Rugged Beauty

Have you ever visited any of America’s western badlands?  Some of my travels have allowed the me the privilege to experience these wonders of nature.

2018 August Montana Trip 185

A panoramic view of the Painted Canyon Overlook off of Interstate 94 near Medora, North Dakota and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Hidden beauty, waiting to be found

Western badlands, ready to be crowned


Nature proclaims its rugged features

Wildlife views from its austere bleachers


Kaleidoscope of creatures around

Falcons, eagles, deer, bison abound


Barren environment, a wasteland

Native tribes nicknaming this “bad land”


Slippery clay gumbo, sinking sand

Fur trappers evade these harsh badlands


Timely erosion unearths treasures

Fossil beds offering up pleasures


Late spring rains transform the quiet view

Green velvet covers buttes, right on cue


Sleeping landscape erupts with color

Prairie flowers dazzle and holler


Brilliant colors reflect morning’s light

Ravines, gullies paint prismatic sights

2018 August Montana Trip 187

Another view of the North Dakota badlands.  If one looks closely, there is an American Bison (Buffalo) in the center of this photo.

My journeys out West have allowed me to visit three of America’s treasured badlands:  Makoshika State Park (near Glendive, Montana), Theodore Roosevelt National Park (near Medora, North Dakota), and Badlands National Park (near Rapid City, South Dakota).


24 thoughts on “Rugged Beauty

  1. Your poem and the photos gave me a glimpse of some of our most precious places…. places in the USA that I have yet to see. You whet my appetite for a chance to travel again! Lovely poetic descriptions, “Brilliant colors reflect morning’s light/ Ravines, gullies paint prismatic sights.” Thank you, Mr. Wordsmith!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The wonderfully intense panorama of your poetry sings out an epic in short. I can hear the French Horns as James Horner soundtrack music starts. Thanks for watering the memory of these profound places. I’ve only been to Badlands National Park in South Dakota… after leaving a poorly cobbled together art opening around midnight, my own. I drove all night up and down through all 6 gears from Denver, and fortunately didn’t get any speeding tickets, just flat out open on those open roads — and fortunately no animals ON the road. I arrived just before sunrise. Quiet. Calm. Resonating BIG, though calm from being in the driving groove all night. The sun came up…. MAJESTIC. MAJESTIC. Suffice it to say the bad taste in my mouth from the opening the night before did not even cross my mind.

    Thanks for your poem. There’s a wonderful one-two muscular punch into the air in each of your stanzas that is muscular and fluid. Wonderful dance between the lines viscerally describing these ruggedly beautiful places.

    Liked by 1 person

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