This is topic Jest Sage-Brush in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Artemisia Tridentata (Member # 8746) on :
Yeah, It's only sage-brush,
But to me it's as sweet as myrrh
That David gathered
In the Ancient East.

I've seen sage at dawn
Like gray-green blankets
Spread upon the knees
Of countless sleeping hills.
I've seen the magic sun
Shoot his gilded arrows
Throught the velvet leaves
Of desert green, and then,
Miracle of miracles!
I have seen the billowing blankets
Of soft and soothing green
Become a quivering sea
Of racing color!

I've seen sage-brush
Piled carelessly on flickering fires
Whose vine-like wreathes of smoke
Have twined among the stars
As desert incense
Filled the lambent air
And made the darkling hills
Appear as altars
To the grim and sombre gods.

I have drunk sage-tea
And frequently its healing properties
Have eased the pain of sprains and gashes
Registered upon my body
By the hard and unrelenting battle
That was waged to clear a space
Where grain might shine
Like golden islands
In a never-ending sea.

And then I have seen sage-
Fragrant, friendly sage,
Group round the little head-boards
That announce the resting place
Of those who could not stand the shock
Of endless, bitter battle,
And who, like heroes of the frontiers,
Lay down to nightly dreams
Upon some sage-drenched knoll
Where morning ever seems the harbinger
Of changeless, ever changing life.

And so-
I love sage-brush!
And all the valleys love it,
Because, like foil around our precious heirlooms,
It preserves for them-and us-
The very fragrance of life's high romance.

H.R. Merrill

This is for Annie and speaks to my forum name. There is no copywrite or electronic copy to link to on the Net. (They even tore down Merrill Hall last year.) So, I had to type it all.
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
Lovely. [Smile]

I fell in love with sage on the dry, Chinook-swept prairies of Alberta. My sweetheart and I courted to the scent of crushed dry sage underfoot.


Edited to add:

Ours was Artemesia cana, or "silver sagebrush."
Posted by The Rabbit (Member # 671) on :
The very fragrance of life's high romance.
Terrific Poem!
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
That's lovely!

Where was Merrill Hall?
Posted by Artemisia Tridentata (Member # 8746) on :
It was the old Library building at Utah State University, in Logan. Harrison Merrill was my Dad's favorite professor there, back in the late 30's.
Posted by Tante Shvester (Member # 8202) on :
I live in New Jersey. We need a poem about crab grass.
Posted by Artemisia Tridentata (Member # 8746) on :
Does crab grass smell like home?
Posted by sarcasticmuppet (Member # 5035) on :
Are you in the SCA, Artemesia?
Posted by Artemisia Tridentata (Member # 8746) on :
Question1 What is the SCA? The only one I know is Service Contract Act. And, yes I do administer an SCA Contract.
Posted by sarcasticmuppet (Member # 5035) on :
that answers it then. [Razz]

The SCA is a medieval/Renaissance reenactment group.

I thought you might be since your profile says you're interested in History, plus "Artemisia" is the name of the Kingdom that Utah is a part of. I got into it when I joined BYU's medieval club
Posted by Artemisia Tridentata (Member # 8746) on :
Nope, the only history I reenact is when I pretend to brush my hair in the morning.
Artemisia is the student literary magazine at the University of Nevada too. I thought the BYU medieval club was the young republicans.
Posted by BandoCommando (Member # 7746) on :
I grew up in SE Idaho and moved away just before my 19th birthday. It was about 7 years later that I returned to Idaho in mid-summer as part of a summer marching band tour. When I stepped out into the Idaho air, the scent of sagebrush was so filled with nostalgia for 'home' that I gasped in surprise.

Isn't it amazing how powerful smell can be as an aid in recollecting our past?
Posted by Artemisia Tridentata (Member # 8746) on :
Number 2 Daughter lived for several years in Paraguay. She had access to a plastic trash bag containing a dried sage brush. She resorted to it whenever she needed a fix from home.
I remember a similar rush, landing in Grand Junction CO after four years of Deep South Alabama.
Posted by Annie (Member # 295) on :
My mom asked me the other morning - "What does Japan smell like?"

I had to think about it. I think my only real answer is "fish. Pretty much all of the time."

Montana smells like sagebrush and burnt things. It's lovely.

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