Projects - Ghost Town (2014-2016)

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Mining Frames - Juab County, Utah Library of Congress

by N. Barry Carver

        ODE FROM JOY

Racing out the dusty road
Or arcing 'cross my sky
You don't slow up, or look down, or in
Or hear my long, slow, sigh,
                But I've seen you.

A bit cleaner than you used to be
Still not taking time to hush
Ignoring that you're finite
And really have nowhere to rush
                Can you see me?

Laird's bunkhouse lost its windows
Sand's eating all her flooring
Little left of that old windmill
Whose rusty creaking sounds like snoring
                They see you too.

Here, out in the bent mesquite
Forever standing in the sun
The child of a Detroiter's passion
He thought he was the chosen one
                Someone may yet be.

You came for silver and cinnabar
Water just a bit more down
Then left me like an aging lover
Taking several million pounds
                There is more.

I sheltered you
I heard your prayers
Suffered your failures
Shared your despairs

Evans' boy, fourteen,
Can't even turn to clay
A played out manganese pit
Is where all his hopes lay

Sam Hagen's place, a palace,
Collapsed in forty-four
While the Drums, like Poe's raven,
Re-repeated, "nevermore"

Now light rail and arena
Your green lawn and mall
Without my baking open wound
You wouldn't have at all

Not looking for repayment
Don't want your sympathy
Too old for salvation
I'd just like some company

While I'm at my reclaiming
As foundations winnow away
I'll sit silently proclaiming
All you were, just yesterday.
By N. Barry Carver