Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Charm Stones

She still walks these hills
In her long black veil
Softly singing her solemn tunes
With her raspy, dry throated cries

Scratching the hillsides
With only soft breaths blown
Yet hard against the rock
Clinging to ageless holds

With boney fingers she caresses
Fingertips rustling through the oak limbs
Rusting some leaves to russet tones
Leaving others untouched just yet

We have gathered her thirteen charm stones
Which have fallen from her boney, cracked wrists
Encircled them in the Earth
And tindered small fires within them

Some we have left tied among the willows
So they droop just above the ground
Charming waters once again
To flow in these ancient creekbeds

We sing songs to send her on her way
Hoping she will leave us in peace
And let her fourteenth sister join the dance
Bringing happier hymns more playful in her youth

Toke'-un lih'-nuh      Wa-tin-hin      nah      Yo'

Hi-yo-um'-ne      Ah-he      oo-nook      mi-uh-wah

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Songs of Healing

Dry empty lands follow the roadside dust of the West
Staring skyward with hollow eyes
Peering deeply into the black of night
And the hard trials of the silver light of morning

Gone are the storms that blow in from the ocean
Replaced by the tribulations within the sea foam
Frothing hymns coughed up from the murky depths
Out of tune lamentations riding the swells

Here now is the witching hour
As a dark haze of putrid blackness
Settles upon all the land
An eery spell cast down from above

We drop tears into our bread bowls
Sit simmering in our winter cauldrons
Slowly stirring ingredients of the downtrodden
The spices of congestion weighing down

The surrounding hills remain barren brown
Dirt exposed as open lungs
Absorbing the orange and yellowing rays
Licking cracked lips and swallowing dry

Creases deepening to darkened depths
Fissures in the dust dried sinew
Hearts and arteries hardening under folded scowls
Slowing blood flow to the marrow

Needed are the healing songs of the magpie
Screeching softly among the incense cedars
To sing winter's rejoicing tunes
To throw moisture to the winds

Lonely, lively songs to unearth the spirits
Upturn the soil to dig at the roots
Search among the herbs for ancient cures
And bend an ear to the ground

To listen for the music playing idle
Strings, woodwinds, horns,
Hanging notes softly steady rolling....

Bass drums slowly rumbling
Like constant thunder....

Forever on....

Building and falling in the same instant....

Bringing peace to calm the mind....

Visions of waters resting
Below white, heavy snow laden peaks to the East....

Clouds building nearby intensify the crescendo....

Tinkling chimes ring out in graceful unison....

Then softly the music fades away as the wind picks up....

In the distance the magpie takes shelter
Deeply inhaling the clean cold mountain air
Reveling in pure winter fresh breaths
Letting the medicine work its course...

For Lu

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Wolf Hunt

This poem was based off the American Grouch's latest adventure into the wilds of Northern Minnesota. It was a grand journey in search of the ever elusive wolf that turned into a struggle to just get home with his life. 

His journey began here:  http://www.americangrouch.com/2013/12/day-one.html

Normally I do not write about other people's adventures, but this one gripped me from the beginning and was very inspirational. Not only was his story a great read, but it was a fun exercise for me in writing this poem. As he updated his story day by day, I in turn updated this poem as well. It went along very well with how I write these poems. Not knowing where the story will end, or what will happen the following day in the story. This was a natural fit for me as I usually do not know where these poems will end, let alone what the next line will be as I write. They come to me word by word and line by line with no direction known. That is why most of them do not rhyme. That would take some backward and forward writing and revising to make the words fit together. Mostly I enjoy writing these as they appear to me, flowing onto the page as quick as they show themselves. That to me is a very enjoyable way to write.

So anyways, check out the Grouch's story and enjoy the poem if you will.

The Wolf Hunt

The boreal has its own ways
Beauty that can break a man
Or help one to find himself
Among the wilds unchained and alive

It is depths of green unseen
Almost singing in the sunlight and breezes
Summertime scents of Labrador tea
Brewing in the warm air of splendor

Of damp leaves upon the earth
Among beds of luxurious sphagnum
Soft as a bed of pillows in every direction
Spring back resilient with every silent step

For the mosses are the friends of trackers
Quiet when in the tension of pursuit
Senses heightened in the brilliance
That the boreal autumn delivers with pride

Rust reds and flames so bright
They blind the eyes with fiery spectrums
Leaving all who pass through
Unable to wonder of a grander time

When the summer rains wash away
And the autumnal ruins are chilled throughout
And the snow bound flurries blow once again
A silence falls upon the land

The forest scents escape the wilds
No pungence of understory
No piney wafts of spruce
Just the crispness of cold clean air

And of the woodsmoke of the hunter's camp
A warm sanctuary of slow cooked meals
Wafting along with anticipation on the air
As the wolfs howl among the ridge tops

Singing more like it
Haunting songs for communal pack gatherings
Lamenting in the grayness of the wild
Roaming woods ghosts of the north

Where one ghost will fall
If the hunter finds his way
For among the snow and ice
Even apparitions leave a trail

Some signs faint as wisps through the trees
Some prints deep in the ice
Some vanish into nothing
Leaving the hunter to his wits

Wits that sometimes fray at the edges
As he is constantly reminded
That the boreal has its own ways
And that man is not often one with nature

Quickened pace footsteps are heard
Plodding through the light snow
Footsteps not from afar
But muffled by the hunter's deepening breaths

Legs once numbed from the frigid waters
Of falling through the beaver pond's icy roof
Now churning their way back to camp
Bearing the hunter's capacity to withstand

To withstand the frozen north
To withstand sighted prey out of range
To withstand the waves and tremors
Of anticipations gone wrong

Thoughts of rifle fire amidst the treeline
Fade now to woodstove warmth
Relishing hot brewed coffee and comfort
In the heated canvas tent of old

For the second day is done
And the hunter's trove contains no fur
But a treasure of stories to be told
And the morning will bring another try

Another attempt in the gray light
That has lingered long above the trees
Casting the flatness that forbids shadow
And hides much in the mist

The morning of the third day brought these familiar
Ominous gray clouds descending upon the woods
Strange beaver sign of hasty retreats
And ever increasing tracks of wolves

Cold, dreary trails in the ice
Paths heading into deep woods snarings
Brambles in the tangling thickets
And trees that seem to enclose at will

Another uneasy feeling sets in
Have the wolves now set their trap
Has the hunter become the hunted
In this unforgiving gray of the timber lands

With these woods tokens held close
The hunter heads back to the noontime camp
Passing under the watchful eyes
Of phantoms perched in the mists

Back at camp he gathers his thoughts
Over smoked ham and eggs
Fried up right along with coffee
Black as looking down the rifle's barrel

Then back out into the fray
Of dropping temps and darkening skies
To the stillness of the beaver valley
Where the hunter's callings are emptied windward

For time alone in the bush
Brings thoughts of old and folded
Tucked away and kept safe from ruin
But laying just beneath the surface

Reasonings and ramblings
Of backwoods trampings long told
Bearings and pitfalls along the paths
Aged grooves upon the stones

Forms and function flowing together
Senses and sinews connecting eternal
Utterings felt deep in the marrow
Below currents coursing heavily throughout

Thoughts laid upon the rough hewn table
Play across the hunter's mind
Like waters finding their way
With patience they will overcome

As the rivulets form through time
And trickles become strong flowing streams
Springs well up in the rocks
To form new points of new beginnings

Creekbeds gathering in the valleys
Their courses altered and spread
Across the lands dammed by beaver
And push the forest to the water's edge

These edges call the wolves
With summons of migrations
And of hunting circuits spiraling outward
Like rings upon the pond

Now the hunter summons in the cold night air
Conjuring spirits above the firelight
Shamans in the sparks rising beneath the clouds
With ancient spells for wolves again

And as those spells mingled above
The darkening clouds took hold of them
Swirled them about inside and around
Until they could travel on the wind no more

Instead they gathered energy within
And released their fury upon the land
With great joy they called the hard blowing wind
And snowfall of great abundance

A storm to hinder the hunter's quest
Though his heart is good and strong
For he laughed at what was brought upon
And ventured deeper amongst the wilds

When at last the tracks were covered
No sign of wolf nor bird upon its perch
The hunter turns towards home at last
But not without some other quarries first

For it is not the end result that matters
But the journey along the way
Sights, sounds, and stories to tell
Go home with the hunter to stay

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fire, Wind, and Water Together

The fires are lit
Not as signals among the hilltops
But for warmth in the halls of the orange belt
Where tangerine tapestries clutch the walls

Peach pits smolder in the groves
Tended by loyal citrus shepherds of the night
To shrug off the winter's breath
And shed fears to the air

Fans upon the landscape
Seem out of place in a way
Unusual turbines to blow down warmth
To flush the freeze away

Waters spread upon the ground
Soak roots to their depths
And wash away ice in the fibers
To give life again to the core

Smoke clouds rise in the East
Along the mountain's doorstep
Peaks now blanketed in cold
Resting still in the silence

Low foothills dusted with snowflakes
Cool in the clouded shades
Shine bright when rays glimpse the hillsides
Sunlight seeing what it can

These are the scenes of Decembers
When the hills are yet to green
When the oranges set the stage
For outcomes good or bad

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Season of the Tule

Golden rose burning hazily
Through the mists that hide
The tule fog season begins like this
Before the cloud banks
And the land gets socked in for good

Mists eerily rising like ghosts
From a ghosted lake's old tomb
Creeping along with awakened limbs
Laying low and pressed down upon with inversion

Lite and airy as a dry cloud in the blue
Or heavy as words of faith held close
Soaking throughout to chilled bones
Not yet warmed eternally

Dewey on quick standing hairs
A coat of hazes droplet adorned
Sparkling in the moonlit aldered glade
Swishing and strutting through mosses
And hallowed paths of stone and waters

When rains are scattered haphazardly
The redwoods of mountains and coasts
Will drink the fog from the air
Grubstaking their claims
To whatever means necessary

At least they have their royalty
Their liquid larders in the droughts
Their ways to survive and stand alone
To look down upon the valley below

Where the tule fog beckons
And reflects the clear beaming moonlight
Back up towards the cloudless night sky
Filled with twinkling stars draped in the dark

Like crystal dewdrops wavering
On their quivering webs of light
Bending with the slighting breeze
And wait for the word

Monday, December 2, 2013

Acorn Harvest

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, I thought it the right time to process the acorns that I gathered in the late summer and early fall. I have a fairly good sized Valley Oak tree in my front yard, and since the acorn crop this year was rather abundant, I harvested about a third of what the tree provided this year - leaving the rest for the birds.

Speaking of those feathered friends, as soon as the acorns got to sufficient size, crows, doves, and mostly scrub jays began working on the nuts which they knocked to the ground. Yes, while the early nuts were mostly still green, I began picking the good ones up to hide away for myself before anything else got to them. Seems to me the birds would mostly eat a little bit of acorn and then continue to knock others down. Maybe they were only interested in the grubs that infest most of the nuts.

By picking about a handful a day off the ground, I harvested quite a nice little batch. Eventually the nuts ripened on the tree and the birds started knocking down mature brown ones. I ended up with just as many brown ones as I did green, and kept them separated in two different boxes to do this here little experiment.

I left the acorn boxes in my garage where they could dry out and age a little. About half of them split open on their own which eventually made shelling those easier. In early October I began shelling a few of the brown ones. Those I put in a bowl and left them in the fridge.

Something I had no idea would happen is how fast these acorns oxidize where they were bruised from the shelling process. If put in the fridge right away after shelling, the bruises would only turn a light brown, and remain somewhat "ok" looking. If not left in a cold environment, the bruised meat would turn black and eventually mold up. Moral of that story is to only shell them when you are ready to start the leaching process in the same day if you don't have access to refrigeration or cold temps.

So the 20 browns I first put in the fridge stayed good for two months and may have lasted longer. Of all the browns harvested, only half turned out not to have grubs, even though they all looked good when I first picked them up. Towards early November, I shelled the rest of the good browns. However, those I left in the garage overnight. The next day I found them half black and ugly. So I took out the good meat and added that to my fridge bowl. So overall I was only able to use about a quarter of the browns harvested.

Thanksgiving rolls around, and I decide it's a good time to cook these up. I take all the browns I have, which isn't much now, and start the process. I first shaved off some of the bruised meat that had turned dark brown. That probably wasn't necessary, but this was my first time doing this. I ground them to a fine flour with ease with the coffee grinder. That was a big help!

Luckily I had the rest of the materials for leaching out the tannins already which was nice. Using this leaching method, I found it was good for filling up the coffee filter with water once, achieving a good first initial flushing. However, when I tried to refill the filter with water, it slowed to a drip. So I put the mash into a piece of an old shirt and squeezed and pressed the rest of the tannins out into a bowl in the sink. This took many pressings to get the acidity out. When I was done, all that remained was about a cup's worth.

The next morning I started on the green acorns that were by now all brown, but we'll still call them green. About a third of these were edible, equaling around three cups of flour. Ground these up later that night, leached as before, and added in a cup from the brown batch. This flour when freshly ground is cream colored like the acorn meat, but I was again surprised how quickly it browns in the open air. Much like apples do.

Now there's many ways to cook acorn flour. You can make it stretch by using it with wheat flour in recipes. But I just wanted to fry up some cakes with a little brown sugar and salt. So I mixed up the mash, and fried them in a little butter. These nuts being rich and buttery already probably didn't need to be fried in butter, but again this whole thing was a first time experiment for me.

And no they do not look pretty, but I thought they were pretty damn good! Rich like Hudson Bay bread. With these a little goes a long way. I can see how civilizations made these a large part of their diet with some meat and berries to supplement. However the recipe I made was only liked by myself and one other that night. The seven remaining participants thought it was pretty nasty. Ha ha! Think of Jeremiah Johnson when he first eats the bread his new wife cooks him. That's the image. So adding it with wheat flour and doing a proper recipe would have been better for the masses. For this time, I didn't want to add too much other ingredients so that the acorn meat could really be the main item.

So out of a whole tree's worth of harvest, I came away with only a plateful of nutrient rich cakes. If anyone's doing the math, only 17% of the harvest was edible. And that was including the green acorns. Not sure if you're really supposed to eat those, but they seemed alright to me. When in the middle of autumn during the normal harvest time, all the acorns on the ground are brown, so it would be hard to tell which ones fell when green. That's my thinking anyways. As long as they look good, they should be alright yea? (Not an expert opinion obviously)

I'd lay the claim that one Valley Oak tree yields about 4 to 6 cups of flour. And these are big trees. The smaller prized Black Oaks must have been like a delicacy in times past.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Lilley Mountain

Standing on a lonely hillside
Distant views in the blowing breeze
Hills ramble and roll
To the far off flattened expanse
Of the fruited valley below

Here on long embedded outcrops
One stands firm upon the earth
As thoughts are sparked
Drifted on the winds
Gazing upon the table tops

Inland seas and ghosted shorelines
Sparkling ever so gentle swells
Rolling in the sunlight
Appear to rise out of the mist
To vanquish the forest now planted
And replace with coastal graces

Seaside scrublands now wooded
With oak and inland pine
That have travelled and bloomed
From places and days of far off

Ocean breezes now dusted
Dried but with sweetened scents
Of hardwoods on the hillside
Heating in the slanting afternoon sun

At last I turn away
To return to the hollows in the rocks
Among manzanita brambles
And deer brush roots in the duff

Where views are much closer up
For there's a greater richness here
In the immersion of the deep woods
That far off thoughts cannot wash away

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Return to the Fountains of Youth

Sometimes plans for bushcrafting may go wrong
Sometimes things get in the way
Of knife and hatchet play
Sometimes enjoying the campfire glow
Is not at hand
Sometimes you are reminded
Of other responsibilities
And sometimes you are shown the light
Beyond your own humbled flames

Daybreak brought breezes that scattered the leaves
Running hurriedly along through the air
And busily across the ground as to a lively tune
From Gaelic fiddles floating
And wavering on thin air

The rustling of leaves
And of awakened hearts
Bright yellows and orange rusts
Wipe the dew from the brow
And rub sleep from the eyes

Signs on life’s many paths
Of the relentlessness of youth within
That grow in new morning illuminations

This was the start of our 2 day journey
To the glorious mountain valley of the Yosemite
Though the fountains mostly dry now as bare rock
Autumn is lingering still in the higher elevations

To bask in all the wonderous glory
And fervor of the season is a joy
Laid easily upon the mind
Warm fireside family time
Filled with hot cocoa and playful cheer

Dreams of mine now
In the latter 30’s of life
Easy comforts that blow lazily
Before my clouded visions

However ‘twas not to be
For a couple of small beings
Reminded me of the days of old
And the days now to come
And that my longings to be comfortable
Are for a later time

For a return to the joys of youth are called for
Now that aches and pains come more easily
And it may take a little longer
To get up from the ground as it used to
But how it now makes sense again
As it all did before

To be young again
These past few months
Have been a reminder to me
Of the burning pulsing energy of youth

Churning more like it
The hot stoked engine blazing
Through the frozen North country
Speeding through black ink forests
Upon blue rails of icy steel

No lingering lazily on the banks of the river
Admiring its peaceful roll and slow tumble
No nostalgic family picnic in the wooded glen solitude
No patience for family photos
Or movie making for old time’s sake

Youth is on your toes
Poised with arched back and eyes wide
Ready to leap in a single bound
Constant alertness
In tune with the ringing of the bells of chaos
In the swirling motion of youthful energy

Take some action shots and move on
And of new landscapes in the moonlight
Where the cool waters run deep black with night
As the giant granite walls watch from above

Buzzing with the internal energy of Mountains!
Glorious Mountains!
Beaming with light and unrelenting power
Boasting to others that they have earned the right
To sit and enjoy the scenery
And watch campfires shine like scattered lamps
Along the valley forest depths at their feet

Seldom now are the days of enjoying the fading light
Of the glow upon the rocks
Seldom now are the days of comfort
In the moonlit camp chair
Seldom now are the days of watching
From a distance to the pine needles
Swaying among the deep woods

Seldom now and with good tidings
But not forgotten

Life is line driven towards deep left center
As I wheel and turn towards the fence
Caught flat footed
Trying to enjoy the scent of leather in the hand
And the fresh cut outfield beneath my feet

Trying to catch it
Diving in full lay out
With arms outstretched
As it whizzes through the air within reach

For here in these great mountain halls
Amongst parched bare rock fountains
One man’s words of interest
Ring and echo forever true ‘till the end

Stay thirsty my friends”

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Daylight breaks on the peaks and high rocks
Warming stone upon stone
Gleaming gems of black mica
Set in white quartz crystals
A whole mountain range of jewels
Radiate with the shimmering of fiery energy
Of being born in the inner mountain forges of long ago

Now sparkling abundance in the morning light
Still exposed from winter's tardiness
Where nighttime freezes sleep snows
Only among the shaded crevices
As the rocks wake up and rest easy
In the warmth of the growing sun

Lichens stretch awake with creaks and groans
Later in the lazy mid-day beaming rays
Unfurling along their outer bands
To spread slow over ages upon rocky holds
Clinging to the stone ever on
Not to be undone without reason

Here among the peaks the rocks wait
Poised and succumb to the deep silence
Of standing still in the breeze
Not to be moved by the high rock lizards
And marmot tricksters of shaded caves

Rock sparrows fly as arrows
Up, down, around, buzzing the high peaks
With a quick chirp and blinding speed
As to surprise and confuse any who stand witness
To their aerial acrobatics

On the eastern edge, the bighorn rams
Roam the airy rock precipices
In search of clinging grass tufts
And sweet high mountain succulents
Dried and dusted with desert views
And sweeping vistas all with the clang and chatter
Of stones strewn from above with trickle down echoes
And ricocheting crashes among the ramparts
Only to remain standing proudly
With sure footed substance
On regal toe holds far above their realm

And as the sun dips to the West
As dusk settles in the shadows
The peaks are last to remain
In sparkling orange and golden rose
Glowing as if of flames in the distance
Or campfires in the far off lakeside woods

The granite beams with the deep
Churning warmth of the day's lofty exposures
Waiting patiently as is its ways
For winter's snowy blankets to be laid to rest again

Friday, November 8, 2013

Down in the Mellow

Early November mornings
As the sun crests over the mountains
Chilled air sweeping down across the plains
Nip to it but the sun's fire warms

Baking in my truck through the countryside
Jacket on and sun through the windows
Early November mornings of the past
Come flooding back to me

Now is wonderful more than ever
But good is the past early Novembers as well
Sitting in the sunlight heated through and through
As a sort of numbness of comfort permeates within
While a slight chill remains on the fringes

New winter wheat sproutin' up
New season's upon us
Soon the mountains will be blanketed white
Soon the comfortable heat will be gone
And the waiting is well enough

Pleasant slow changes among the seasons
Down here on the fruited plains
Autumn waits until early December
Then stays on 'till Spring
While Winter smiles from above

For Winter washes in fresh from the ocean waves
Then perches on the mountain tops
And rests among old glacial beds
Preferring to keep its distance
Until the summer heat forces it to rush downhill
To flush the bottomland soils in abundance

But that is business for another time
For now we relish in the comforts
Of this in between mellow glow

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

O'er The Greyrock Mountains

For Brother David and Cousin Dave

Loosely schemed to Tolkien’s Troll Sat Alone On His Seat Of Stone

Trail tolls and the cold wind blows
And the granite  holds onto its folds
Billy goat bones among tumbledown stones
And high rock passes a groaning
Yes the granite holds with craggily moans
And darkening stones and bones be atoning

Storm clouds roll in and brew trouble
Raindrops begin to soon double
Lightning advances as thunders rumble
Rivulets form between the stumbles
Yes rising waters swarm as thunders rumble
Wary travelers are soon to humble

The path grows dim as darkness nears
Tributaries flush with flowing tears
Soils are drenched and soaked with fears
Of landslides soon from under
Yes the path grows dim and cloaked in fears
And the rivers swell with their plunder

Now travel they be with clothes a drenched
Boots, packs and tools tightly clenched
For onward they go not to be wrenched
From their path over yon mountains
Yes up high rock passes not to be wrenched
Through streams flowing from high fountains

For at last darkness was all around
They could not see path upon the ground
Here suitable campsite was to be found
So the tarps came out to hide them
Confine them
Sublime them
Yes suitable campsite was finally found
For campfire warmth did dried them

First thing they did was dry their clothes
And then their boots to warm their toes
Then brewed coffee to hearten the nose
And cooked and baked a great deal
A real
Grand meal
Yes they sipped coffee to fight frozen nose
Out came the potatoes and veal

The bubbling pots and roasting steaks
Patted heaps of dough to bake their cakes
Stirred the stews of savory makes
And enjoyed the feast they created
Yes they stirred up scents of savory makes
‘Round campfire they all congregated

Then broke out their pipes and lit a smoke
Deep coals they stirred with sticks to poke
Sat ‘round and told many a joke
As the storm raged on all around them
Surround them
To drown them
Yes deep coals they stirred among the smoke
And nary a one had a frown them

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Have Found the Terrapin Station

Please allow me to jump off the deep end with this one
Full blown gone in an instant
A little trip to the water's edge
To dip my finger in the starry lake of the cosmos
And watch the ringlets glow and bounce
In the light of the brand new crescent moon
As the crickets and cicadas sing

I have found the Terrapin Station

Tucked away in the old swamplands
Of Robert Hunter's California
A wind blown whistlestop
On the edge of the one time
Sunbeaten prairie valley swamp

Near the old ghost lake of legend
Who's crystal clear waters
Would reflect the sky so
That terrapins seemed as if to float
In midair amongst the clouds

A soldier came from the east
To build a station in the sun
Where all the migratory birds
Of the west fly low and fast
Over the scrubland grass
As the ladies with their fans
Chase away the stifling vapors

100 years ago this station rose
Out of the dust and alkali ashes
Of civil and racial unrest
Injustice and unequivocal inhumanity
Towards a race separated only in skin color

A shame and abomination still laid upon the land
As the war had been won
But society's ills were still hell bent
On inequality and prejudice towards itself
Traces of these feelings can still be found
Both on the fringes and rooted deep
Within the world today

This phoenix born in the sun and dust
Rising briefly but shining bright
As so Venus in the night sky
Was spurred on as a place of peace and respite
A watering hole for the soul to live free and thrive
A city of angels amongst
The backdrop of the demon's inferno

Directly across the waters from the old Terrapin Bay
The banjo and tambourine jams
Gospel revelry drifting across ancient waters
Organ pipes churning out hymns to the winds
Praises drifting gracefully to the starry expanse above

Dreams of new beginnings
Alongside old terrapin stomping grounds
Beside freshly laid ivory tracks
For rosewoods wheels to spin away

Rails of transportation to bring
The masses to the holy fireside gatherings
Of this ghost oasis in the sands
And oh how the sands of time
Did wear away here at the station

The terrapins' home is dried and gone
Well waters ran dry
And the town mostly moved on
As the soldier died - the dream grew dim
But memories live on in song and hymn

And the old ghost lake
Likes to show itself now and again
As the new crescent moon and Venus
Hide behind silvery broken storm clouds

Robert may not have been thinking
Along these lines when he wrote his
But hey - it sorta fits right?

Scrubland grasses as far as the eye can see

Slivers of the old ghost lake still remain