© Terry Piggott

Winner, 2018 Serious Section and ‘Silver Spur Award’, WABPYS Championships, Toodyay, WA.

I am standing, looking, thinking as the sun is slowly sinking,
casting shadows on these ruins where a town once used to be.
Yet I’m sure amid this rubble, if I care to take the trouble,
I can glimpse into its past now from the relics that I’ll see.

For among the debris showing where the saltbush is now growing,
there are countless bits and pieces out there waiting to be found;
that may help to tell the story of this old town’s former glory,
back when golden nuggets had lay hidden, deep within this ground.

As I view this scene I ponder, and I let my mind now wander
to a time when this old town was full of noise and people too.
When its dusty streets had sounded to the drum of hooves that pounded,
as the bullock and the camel teams were daily passing through.

I can see those bullocks straining; hear the dreaded lash now raining,
as they struggle to drag wagons over rugged tracks outback.
With the hot sun fairly glaring and the bullocky now swearing,
they attempt to pull as one along what passes for a track.

They bring rumours quite compelling yet there was no way of telling,
if there’s truth in all the stories circulating through the camps.
Yarns of nuggets some are finding are to diggers quite spellbinding,
firing up imaginations by the glow of miners lamps.
Such excitement was contagious, but they must have been courageous
to have faced this hostile land, with danger never far away.
When the lure of gold had beckoned, any fears they had came second
to their dreams of finding fortunes – dreams they lived with night and day.

With the end of day approaching and the shadows now encroaching,
I imagine I hear voices drifting to me on the breeze.
I can hear them yarning, joking, sitting by their campfires smoking,
out among their tents and humpies scattered through the nearby trees.

Now that daylight’s slowly fading and with darkness soon invading,
I’m reluctant to be leaving here with answers yet to find.
I can sense their spirits calling, as the final curtains falling
on a now forgotten era, and a place time left behind.


With the first stars faintly peeping, as the moon is slowly creeping
up above the nearby ranges, high above the valley floor.
Then its silver beams start shining on these ghostly scenes of mining
and highlighting here the ruins, where the old town stood before.

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