PDA

View Full Version : Ghost Town Prose and Poetry



LauraA
07-14-2006, 03:24 AM
I don't know if any of you are into poetry, but I'd like to share these with those of you who might be interested. The Arizona desert and what we've found here has been an inspiration to me and my writing for quite some time now. These are from my web pages, hope you enjoy......



Vestiges



Trekking through the sage and scrub we happen upon walls of stone.
A hearth which once held the warmth of kinship now holds only ashes heated by the relentless sun.
Long gone are the hands that toiled and labored to form this humble dwelling.
Blood and sweat are no longer evident in the mortar that refuses to give up its hold.
Only an empty shell sits in silent testimony to the lives it once sheltered.
Wind whistling through vacant rooms is the only sound our conscious mind can hear.
We pause and listen with our hearts, only then can we perceive the faint sounds of laughter which once must have echoed here.
A broken doll cast aside on the sandy floor, her button eyes reflect a look of longing for a long-gone playmate.
Bits of glass bespeak a time when a goblet was raised in a toast to life.
Ragged remnants of lace flutter at the blankly staring windows, a contradictory statement to these harsh surroundings.
Rust now blankets an iron bed, once the place to rest a weary body,
Mutely we hear the sighs of a lover and the joyous tears of childbirth.
Now, as the desert reclaims what is hers, only vestiges of those who dwelled within these walls remains .... Soon all will return to the greedy arms of the land which once cradled them.




Sands Revisited





Venturing way out past the pines.
To the land of sand and lost gold mines.
The vast dunes cragged in deep dimension.
We ponder their meaning in comprehension.
Timeless eternity, constant changes.
Of sands revisited upon open ranges.
Hot winds blow in gusts unceasing.
Across stone walls softly creasing.
The brown snake slithers his soft ballet.
In sinuous motions upon dry clay.
Cactus arms are ever reaching.
Toward mother sun as if beseeching.
Lava rock locks in the mystery.
Of eons past and ancient history.
Water dear as liquid gold.
Dry river beds we now behold.
Vistas of color and shadows changing.
As the deserts' cloak is rearranging.
Where some see harshness, we find peace.
She brings to us our inner release.



Pondering The Three Shards


Walking through the tall pines, enjoying the scents, sights and cool breezes we came upon a clearing.
Scattered planks of half burned lumber littered the ground.
Broken bricks scattered haphazardly over the landscape.
Sunlight glinted reflections at our feet and we bent to investigate the source.
Among the pine needles and dirt we found three shards, one a piece of milky-white glass, the other two, smooth, colorful pieces of pottery.
As we sat upon the soft pine cushion, we pondered the possibilities.
Was the smooth milkglass the remainder of a medicine bottle used to restore health to the inhabitants of this magical glade so long ago?
Was it perhaps a cure-all peddled by an itinerant huckster from the back of a mule drawn wagon?
Were prayers of restored vigor pinned hopefully to the bottled contents?
As we held the pottery our imaginations were stimulated by the incongruity of their fineness amidst this woodsy surrounding.
One appeared to be once-fine porcelain, blue and white, intricate in pattern, perhaps a treasured heirloom tenderly packed and brought to this place on a covered wagon by a hopeful bride?
The other shard, green, smooth and obviously part of a more practical set of dishes. Did the people who lived here, dine heartily on this dinnerware after a long day's work?
Did the people who dwelled here ponder their hopes and dreams, much as we do now? Did they have opportunity enjoy this wonderful environment or were their lives so taken with the chores of making a living, they had no opportunity to pause and reflect?
We felt fortunate to have the time to sit and lose ourselves in thought, thankful for the tiny gifts left here for us to find.
We gazed from the shards in our hands, up to the blue and green canopy above us. We thought of the lessons of appreciation to be learned from these three precious shards.


Winds whispered through the pines as we strained to hear the secrets it softly told us.

old judge
07-14-2006, 04:01 AM
Excellent Laura. Class and talent. OJ

brian10x
07-14-2006, 04:22 AM
The only way you could have written so eloquently is to have been there, and excuse the cliche',done that.

I know I BS a lot here (****, its my initials) but you have captured in words exactly how I feel when I'm in a GT.

I hope your words give inspiration to those thinking about getting out there for the first time.

:) :) :)

LauraA
07-14-2006, 07:43 AM
Gentlemen, Thank you for your kind words, they are much appreciated! :)

brian10x
07-14-2006, 03:15 PM
...a rose amidst the thorns....

Better next time to add some nekkid pictures of women to help the story along doncha think?

:mad: :mad: :mad:

LauraA
07-14-2006, 05:04 PM
Better next time to add some nekkid pictures of women to help the story along doncha think?

:mad: :mad: :mad:

Well, in keeping with propriety and the historical nature of this forum, this is the best I can do. :D



254

LauraA
07-14-2006, 05:07 PM
...a rose amidst the thorns....

Awww that's sweet of you to call Brian a rose. ;)

High Desert Drifter
07-15-2006, 01:03 PM
To help me and Brian out, on the next one.. Can you write about the dance girls or cat houses? :)

Otherwise I love your stuff. Kinda goes with that initial feeling you get when you take that first deep breath as you step out of your rig at a new place to explore.

LauraA
07-15-2006, 07:17 PM
To help me and Brian out, on the next one.. Can you write about the dance girls or cat houses? :)


.... in an effort to please, how about this? ;)



Retrospect on A Silver Comb


Day by day, night by night, Sally pondered on her fate.
She'd come west with the preacher's son on that June of '90 date.
They dragged along an old mule and a herd of billy goats,
but the preachers son had other thoughts and went to sow his oats.
He took off and left her, was how she'd come here to this point
of bein' stuck in this dusty town and workin' in this joint.
Men with tales of riches and promises of gold,
Vied for her attention, their stories to be told.
Her dreams of silks and mansions were shattered with their breath,
She often thought the foul smells and whiskey would be her death.
Sally kept a small wood box, safe beneath her bed,
tucked inside it, a silver comb, she wear one day when wed......


Whew, it's hotter than **** today." Ralph said as he stepped from the Jeep. "But I think this is the place the map shows as being Journigan Springs. There was once a saloon, a couple of houses and a mine nearby."
Laura wiped the sweat from her face and said, "Too bad, there's not much left. The mine we passed was caved in and all that's here are a few stones and some burned boards." She moved a small timber aside with her foot and noticed something small poking up through the sand. Laura bent to pick it up and wiped it off on her shirt. "Look Ralph!" she yelped excitedly, "it's a tarnished comb, some kind of metal, maybe even silver!" Ralph took the comb and held it, looking at its intricate design, "I wonder how something like this ever came to be way out here in the boondocks?"

brian10x
07-15-2006, 07:54 PM
"Laura wiped the sweat from her face and said, "Too bad, there's not much left. The mine we passed was caved in and all that's here are a few stones and some burned boards." She moved a small timber aside with her foot and noticed something small poking up through the sand. Laura bent to pick it up and wiped it off on her shirt. "Look Ralph!" she yelped excitedly, "it's a tarnished comb, some kind of metal, maybe even silver!" Ralph took the comb and held it, looking at its intricate design, "I wonder how something like this ever came to be way out here in the boondocks?"

I have a dream something like that almost all the time. In my dream ,its a 45 caliber brass case, or an opium bottle.

GaryB
07-16-2006, 04:08 PM
I have a dream something like that almost all the time. In my dream ,its a 45 caliber brass case, or an opium bottle.

My Uncle used to tease me with stories about finding opium bottles and migrant Chinese worker graves around Caliente along the rail road when he was younger. I never did get to see any of them :rolleyes:

Oh, and cool tie in story Laura.

High Desert Drifter
07-16-2006, 11:12 PM
Don't listen to em' Laura, Don' you go all Paris Hilton smutty on us.

Hey Drifter I lived in SJ for years & saw another old post where you mentioned Pescadero, (love it) & I thought you might know...There is a lttle canyon just south of Bonny Doon. Might be named Laguna canyon. Beautiful place with a full time creek, building ruins/foundations about 3/4 mile up & an old wood flume running about 1/2 way up the canyon wall on the south side, (like the one just out of Los Gatos). That was one of the prettiest spots I've seen & I wondered if its still the same or if its been turned into condos.

The bay area isn't thought of as having much in GT's but there was some. I remember when the marina at Alviso was open, hike out past the grocery (Lanes?) to Drawbridge, several bldgs standing/sinking. In the 60's Holy City gas station still had the bubble top pumps & several bldgs. The Santa Cruz mts used to be much fun to explore but I guess it's all built up now. The road to New Almaden was a two lane country road (before it was an expressway). My ex went to Jr high at old town Los Gatos.

Anywhoo...just thought you might know.

Best, TW


Total Wreck,

I have never been to Laguna Canyon, now you sparked my interest and I will have to visit there soon. Not a problem since it is on the coast, temps. should be under 80F. I have wandered all over the Santa Cruz Mountains as well as New Almaden, Coyote Valley. There are some interesting places to visit still but the way this place is still growing it will not be long before it all vanishes. Last weekend I made the trek over to the New Idra Mines south of Hollister, that was interesting. those gas pumps at Holy City are long gone, and access to Drawbridge has been cut off and can only be made by appointment with a ranger and even then you are no longer able to walk the rail road tracks to get up close. My web site will be up in a couple of weeks with plenty of photo's and stories from
around San Jose area.

High Desert Drifter
07-16-2006, 11:24 PM
.... in an effort to please, how about this? ;)



Retrospect on A Silver Comb


Day by day, night by night, Sally pondered on her fate.
She'd come west with the preacher's son on that June of '90 date.
They dragged along an old mule and a herd of billy goats,
but the preachers son had other thoughts and went to sow his oats.
He took off and left her, was how she'd come here to this point
of bein' stuck in this dusty town and workin' in this joint.
Men with tales of riches and promises of gold,
Vied for her attention, their stories to be told.
Her dreams of silks and mansions were shattered with their breath,
She often thought the foul smells and whiskey would be her death.
Sally kept a small wood box, safe beneath her bed,
tucked inside it, a silver comb, she wear one day when wed......


Whew, it's hotter than **** today." Ralph said as he stepped from the Jeep. "But I think this is the place the map shows as being Journigan Springs. There was once a saloon, a couple of houses and a mine nearby."
Laura wiped the sweat from her face and said, "Too bad, there's not much left. The mine we passed was caved in and all that's here are a few stones and some burned boards." She moved a small timber aside with her foot and noticed something small poking up through the sand. Laura bent to pick it up and wiped it off on her shirt. "Look Ralph!" she yelped excitedly, "it's a tarnished comb, some kind of metal, maybe even silver!" Ralph took the comb and held it, looking at its intricate design, "I wonder how something like this ever came to be way out here in the boondocks?"

Ok, when I originally wrote my first reply, I was hinting of something more sensual, now after reading this, I feel for the woman of this day who did what they had to just to survive. Yuk, whiskey breath, and the odors of being bath-less. that must have been rough!

Flatiron
07-17-2006, 05:50 PM
Hey TW...........What was the name of the Mexican Restaurant in Alviso with the sloping floor? And do you and High Desert Drifter remember the old Edelweiss Dairy at the end of "Lawrence Station Road" in Sunnyvale.?:rolleyes: ...................

High Desert Drifter
07-17-2006, 07:37 PM
I remember the Restaurant in Alviso, Used to go there back in the 80's. Total Wrek in 1974 I was 8yrs old!! hehe! Young woopersnapper!

High Desert Drifter
07-17-2006, 07:38 PM
I remember the Restaurant in Alviso, Used to go there back in the 80's. Total Wrek in 1974 I was 8yrs old!! hehe! Young woopersnapper!


I had a friend that worked for UTC all his adult life.. Still there I believe, in the Machine Shop. Name was Frank Bayona. Sound Familiar?

High Desert Drifter
07-17-2006, 08:40 PM
Hoo Boy, you're really testing me here. I do remember the name Frank Bayona, but I didn't know him. I worked in maintenance & back in the day the maint shop offices & the mach shop were in the same bldg so we crossed paths. That was a cool place to work, were making the Titan boosters then. Used to be able to hear the tests all the way into SJ.

I was visiting with Ben Traywick (Tombstone historian), couple of years ago & found out he also woked there, few years before me.

Maybe you can tell what its like now but the "front road" up to the Coyote test site used to be very rural, there was an old ghost ranch. Two room cabin & corrals was all that was left.I bet Frank would remember that.

TW

TW,

There is a Guard building on the driveway leading in from the main road. To avoid strip search and cavity search I keep my distance. From the road you can see personnel and machine shop but most of the test stuff is over the hill and out of sight. Not to familiar with any old ranches up that way. hadn't had much time to do any history gathering up that way. I have a nice story on the Coyote Valley though. Will be up soon. I remember hearing those rockets going off when I lived over off of Ford Rd. and Monterey Rd. used to shake the glass on my windows!

High Desert Drifter
07-19-2006, 07:33 PM
Yeh we could get a little noisey.

Montery road eh?

Drifter,
This is stirring up some of the few memories I'm capable of. do you recall "Frontier Village" & the abandoned mayors mansion before it was turned into a meeting destination place, (great for goals & objectives)?

(sidebar) I worked at Montalvo with a gal who's grandmother lived in Alma. Now I didn't see this, but if you know the area it's a great image. We went to the fire station at Lexington one day & as we looked out over the water she told me about the chimney of her grandma's house being the last thing she saw of the town as the waters rose.

I loved those mountains.

TW

I remember the Frontier Village. went there several times as a kid. In fact, there used to be a drive-in next to it as well. Frontier Drive-in, and from the drive-in you could see the mansion. I was able to bribe the security guard at the Mansion (in its abandoned stage) when I was about 20yrs old with a 12 pack of Bud. I took a group of friends inside and we played lets scare the Sh_t out of each other. Turns out we got a little loud with the screaming and all. some neighbor called the police. we all ended up hiding in the nearby tree's. Ah, those were the good old days. Today the Mansion has been refurbished, the swimming pool buried over. The Drive-in is a condo complex and Frontier Village is a city park. The hotel has a lot of old memorabilia and photos of the Hayes family inside. (previous owners) I read a couple of stories on the Hayes Family. I guess they were good friends with the Winchester family (Winchester Mystery House).

I have read about Alma. absolutly nothing left. even when the lake is at its lowest point during drought years, nothing resembling any structures is evident.

Flatiron
07-20-2006, 05:17 PM
TW...........Oh boy, I remember Campbells Corner in Milpitas, as well as Frontier Village, and Santa's Village in Scott's Valley. We used to stop in Scott's Valley at an apple cider stand and drink as much cider as you wanted for 10 cents. My uncle used to work at UTC in the 70's and ended up getting some skin disease from the rocket propellent and died back in the late 70's. Small world, hey? I left there when I turned 18, which coincided with my trip to Oakland for my pre-induction physical. :eek: