Thursday, January 5, 2012

Delamar Ghosts

We have a gold mining claim, "we" being my Dad and his brothers, all of whom are gone now except for my own dear 88-year-old Father.  It's been in our family for decades and I love hearing stories about it today just as much, or more, as I did as a kid.  It has mysterious beginnings that will require another post to'll just have to trust me when I tell you it'll be worth the wait!
The claim is located in a wind strafed, other worldly desert in South-Eastern Nevada. Joshua Cactus have nearly taken over and rule the barren expanse of rocky outcroppings where the historic claim is located.  It's closest neighbor is a ghost town known as Delamar, once a booming gold mining concern, with a populace of about 3,000 miners and their families.  All that's left are toppled stone buildings, lonely graves, and tales whispered on the breezes that ruffle the overgrown Cheat Grass covering everything. There is a feeling there, and at our claim, that is equal to a delicious shiver!  I am thankful for the shared history that binds Delamar and my own family. With the passing of my beloved Uncle Glenn this week I have been filled with desert longings and a need to share his passion for the bit of unwieldy earth known as "The Lee Boy Claims".  I'll forever listen for his voice in the warm winds murmuring over Delamar and into my heart, claimed long ago.

Delamar Ghosts

Wind hushes
 itself to hear
whispers in tumbled walls
and open stone.
Spiders on Prickly Pear
spindles loom poems
thin, woven white
ciphers worn by the sky.
Life with pick and shovel
once bent here,
breathed air ripe
with coyote cry
and blistered earth.
Myriad small eyes
watch tattered shadows 
cross over  
Dog Weed
and Cheat Grass,

Susan N.