The Grasslands

| fifteener |


Grass carpets continents one fifth the blueprints current the drift
in naps: tropical, temperate, and tundra; flooded, zeric
and montane; grasslands various didst spread to end Cretaceous
—sundry graminoids dotted by sedge, rushed to the forest edge—
[buffalo, blue brush, red oat; purple needle, lemon, and Rhodes]
the drumming hooves heard mutually, with the upping of herbs.
Lo the buffalo ruffled low, snuffling clumps from undersnow,
tallgrass in loess and till, nitrogen from the urine spilled;
bands of pronghorns, prairie-born, munch scrub until the white rump warns.
And grassy-sand springboks prong, and lope shrubland in harem throngs,
while the tommie gazelles sail through shimmer of wildebeest trails,
and galloping Great Steppes, pangaré takhis with buzzcut necks.
Forsooth. Cranes wade swamp blades, as sharp-tooth gators slide Everglades.
Beyond the fence the moocows moo, grazing green pastures like gnu
blue numbers on savanna midst brays of wavering zĕbra.

*[ WSB ].