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Walking With Ghosts

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:57 pm
by Terry
WALKING WITH GHOSTS

I hear their whispered voices as they’re carried on the breeze,
and laughter’s all around me in the sighing of the trees.
Excitement ripples through the ranks despite the searing heat,
and footsteps ever echo to the tramping of their feet.

I follow now the trails they blazed and sense their ghostly ways,
at night I see them in my dream’s way back in bygone days.
With tucker bags near empty and their water running low,
they dared to test the limits where a mortal man can go.

A fever burnt within them as they pressed ahead so bold,
to face this hostile country in a frantic rush for gold.
And many lives were forfeit in the barren wastes outback;
their ghosts are out there wandering along each lonely track.

They join me by the campfire from the shadows of the night,
I know they’re all around me though they keep well out of sight.
I’m sure they try to guide me; show me where the nuggets lay,
but earthly ties forbid me now from hearing what they say.

By day I pass a ruin where a town once used to be,
it’s slowly disappearing and there’s little left to see.
Where streets once filled with laughter you’ll find only silence now,
along with faded memories - it seems a shame somehow.

A long forgotten graveyard huddles on a nearby hill,
no markers show who lies there but their spirits rest here still.
I feel a surge of sadness as I view some tiny mounds,
among the crumbling graves here in these dusty harsh surrounds.

I cross the sun baked clay-pans on the desert fringe again;
beneath these burning sands here lie the bones of many men.
Mirages tantalized them showing waters clear and cool,
they’re always out here waiting, for a victim they can fool.

And in these arid places where the dunes reach for the sky,
the sameness of the landscape sometimes tricked a passerby.
Men disappeared forever in this harshest of all lands,
their voices may be heard now in the songs of singing sands.

Corella’s noisy welcome means there’s water in the creek,
and ghost like gums are beckoning with shade that I now seek.
Some rusty cans and bottles show that others passed here first,
perhaps in search for water when a drought was at its worst.

I sit beneath a shady tree; cool waters at my feet,
and visualize those people whom in dreams I often meet.
Their courage is unquestioned and their deeds will long be known,
and though it happened years ago - how quickly time has flown.

Despite the many hardships there were those who made it through,
and set about to build this state the way that heroes do.
A surge of pride engulfs me as I think of what they’ve done,
they risked it all without a thought - that’s how the West was won.

******
© T.E. Piggott

Re: Walking With Ghosts

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:02 pm
by Shelley
Just one comment from me ....

"Terry at his best!!"

Re: Walking With Ghosts

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:35 pm
by Catherine Lee
Absolutely agree with Shelley! This certainly passed the 'chill factor' for me, Terry, and I love lines like: Men disappeared forever in this harshest of all lands, their voices may be heard now in the songs of singing sands. ...Personally, I think you should consider entering it in a competition soon!

Re: Walking With Ghosts

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:41 pm
by Ron
Great poem Terry, so many "close your eyes" visuals in it, that really take you there.
I always find it amazing to read just how much of our great country was opened up by the lust for gold! Also the off shoots such as the birth of Cobb and Co. etc. and of course if a certain Norwegian sailor didn't jump ship to join the chase, we wouldn't have been gifted the works of (in my opinion)
our greatest poet! :D
I will certainly be be reading this one again.
Ron

Re: Walking With Ghosts

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:10 pm
by Terry
Thanks Shelley & Catherine.

It's an old poem Catherine, and it won the first and only comp. it was entered into.

It's a special poem for me too, because it brings back memories of our early days of prospecting for gold with metal detectors.
They were a new thing, and we were at the forefront of what could be called I suppose the detector rush.
Many places we went to hadn't been worked or even visited for many years, and it really did have a special feel about it.
A bit like walking in the footsteps of original prospectors and rediscovering their old long forgotten patches.
They were exciting times, and in those early days there were only a few of us, you could go weeks without seeing another person.
There were many scattered remnants of old townsites and old grave yards, all overgrown and crumbling.
I could well imagine that their ghosts were still roaming away out there.
The Late Dave Smith had threatened to get this poem laminated and placed out near the old Kanowna grave yard.
It's only 20 kilometres from Kalgoorlie and lots of tourist visit there these days.

Cheers
Terry

Re: Walking With Ghosts

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:15 pm
by Terry
Thanks Ron

Even for me, Just reading this poem again helps to rekindle the excitement of those days - I'm really pleased you enjoyed it Mate.

Terry

Re: Walking With Ghosts

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:03 am
by Maureen K Clifford
I remember when you posted this on the old forum - loved it then, love it still, and it was the inspiration for a few of mine as well. I loved the way you captured a picture with your words
I feel a surge of sadness as I view some tiny mounds,
among the crumbling graves here in these dusty harsh surrounds.
those lines always had a poignancy that spoke volumes to me, having once come across a small abandoned graveyard out in a paddock some years back, on a property we were looking at maybe buying. It was overgrown and neglected - I had visions of putting some sheep in there to crop the grass down and help tidy it up and bring a bit of softness to it ... thinking on it now perhaps there is a poem in that :lol:

I'm pretty sure you won't mind otherwise I wouldn't have done it - but I've shared this poem Terry to the ARP site.

Re: Walking With Ghosts

Posted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:28 pm
by Terry
Thanks Maureen

I'm always happy to share a poem as you know - Like you I believe poetry is meant to be enjoyed and shared.

Terry

Re: Walking With Ghosts

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:15 pm
by Catherine Lee
Ah yes, I realised later that it was an older poem - I'm so glad it won that competition, Terry - I knew it definitely had a winning feel to it so am not at all surprised!

Re: Walking With Ghosts

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 3:42 pm
by Terry
Thanks again Catherine

As I have mentioned this poem brings back so many memories of my early gold Prospecting days in the mid seventies.
I knew the history of the old days, and it was like following in the footsteps of those first blokes,
and in a way we were writing a new chapter to the story.
Also as mentioned they were exiting times, and having the luck being there at the right time - something I'll always remember.

Terry