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Ghost Town

This poem comes from Autumn Leaves:

They deserted the old town.

He understood why.

He watched them leave

With watery, jaundiced eye.

 

They had suffered and struggled,

On the hungry side of hope.

When the gold wasn’t found,

They sort of run out of rope.

 

A stubborn streak in him

Rose up to the fore.

He knew he’d stay behind

And try once more.

 

The rest had departed,

Long since gone,

And now he was left to his fate,

Up here all alone —

 

Alone with his fear and hope,

Left to follow his dream.

Searching for yellow gold,

Instant get-rich scheme.

 

Gold for his yellow-haired sweetheart,

Sweet Josie DuPree.

Gold to fulfill their dreams,

Turn them into reality.

 

On the edge of starvation

Gave much food for thought.

He’s search and surely find

What the others had sought.

 

The wind moaned an eerie song

Among broken rock and barren stone.

Rugged cliffs rose toward the skies,

Awesome beauty straining his eyes.

 

The wind among towering peaks

Blue cold and strong.

Blue skies turned dull grey.

He knew it wouldn’t be long

 

Before you could see each

Exhaled, frosty breath,

Where slight mistakes in judgment

Could bring instant death.

 

He’d handled it before,

And he’d handle it again.

Once he struck it rich,

Why he’d throw caution to the wind.

 

He’d scoff at the quitters

While he ordered up good gin,

After all he counted himself

A man among men.

 

Slogging through old snowdrifts

And sleet mixed with rain,

He worked the rock daily,

Muscles aching in pain.

 

Digging and searching,

Each day anew,

While breaking rock and shoveling

Endless rhythm, working his chew.

 

He cussed his own stubbornness,

Then cussed the mine.

He cussed at the mountains,

And the gold he couldn’t find.

 

No one ever saw him,

Yet swore he never came down.

They say he’s still up there,

Digging and poking around —

 

Among blown-down, weathered beams,

Strewn over frozen ground,

Searching for yellow gold

Where wind makes a weird sound.

 

They say, if you’ll listen carefully

When the wind is just right,

You can hear his hammer ring out,

Striking rock day and night.

 

If you’re ever up there,

Just knocking around,

You’ll feel a chill or hear

Strange, eerie sounds.

 

Remember,

You’re not alone

In the old Ghost Town

The Eagle Cried

This poem comes from Autumn Leaves:

Mighty symbol of our country,

Against clear-blue skies,

I looked and beheld

Tears in his eyes.

 

“How did this happen?”

Asked I in dismay —

For Old Glory still waves

From the flagstaff this day.

 

I struggled to look through

His lofty point of view,

To see what he saw

From his high realm of blue.

 

Huge tracts of farmland,

Deserted by man —

Farmers of the soil

Being pushed off their land.

 

Pleasure-seeking people,

All searching in vain,

Rich and the famous,

Fleeting moments of fame.

 

Unnoticed people,

Eyes staring in defeat,

Ignored by society,

Sleeping in the street.

 

Pollution and turmoil,

Boundless in array,

People turning blind eyes,

Living for the day.

 

High-rise buildings,

Boredom and despair,

Decaying old cities,

Streets needing repair.

 

A God-fearing people,

Many gone astray.

Old-fashioned virtues

No longer hold sway.

 

Turning away in sorrow,

I shrugged, then sighed,

For it was so plain to see

Why our eagle had cried.

 

Happiness

This poem is in Autumn Leaves:

 

The orchid can pale

Beside the rose.

Blue jeans look poor

Beside fine clothes.

 

Mercedes will win

Each status symbol race.

Homely old Ford sure

Looks out of place.

 

If money could buy it,

The rich would aspire

In all their surroundings,

Cars and attire.

 

The poor man’s left standing,

His feet in the soil,

Indulging in dreams,

Engrossed in his toil.

 

Whose life is the fullest?

Which philosopher can say?

Which path is best to follow,

Or who knows the right way?

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