The Monolith seems ageless,
enduring endless moments,
while buttressing the heavens,
surviving epoch's agents,
this monument of stone.
The wonder of existence,
in awe by sage and scholar,
would motivate conjecture
of origins in squalor,
its purpose yet unknown.
When seen from vast horizon,
it squats in desolation,
the wind and rain exposing
the Monolith's foundation,
and setting nature's tone.
Got my backpack brim full
As I hike this decline,
Into Goldfield at last,
Where the gold flows like wine.
I'll forget silver strikes,
It's now gold that's revered,
In the Goldfield ravine,
Where the crowds now appeared.
I will find branching veins,
Teeming thick with gold ore,
That would keep mine cars filled
And still waiting for more.
I may not like the heat,
Or my blistering skin,
A dry hundred and nine,
Listless fever within.
Life's exceedingly hard
In this hot Goldfield town,
I'll be tempted to drink,
And loose women, bunk down.
I will not let escape,
While my confidence wanes,
All the riches and dreams
I hope Goldfield contains.
Thirty thousand or more,
But the city's decline
Will leave most of them poor.
So the lesson is clear,
With my Goldfield goodbye,
That it's human to strive,
Daring risk to comply.
A time for pause, a time to rest,
the sowing done, you've done your best,
now weather is both friend and foe,
the Doppler watched to keep abreast
of coming thunderstorms, although
it's early yet, the risk is low.
Equipment sits in wait, for now,
while shoots define each seeded row.
The pace of farming would allow
a single respite from the plow,
another year, another spring,
has etched your face from chin to brow.
The price that winter wheat will bring
affords you time to have your fling,
to go abroad, have fun, relax,
let nature do its April thing.
For May will come, and too, the tracks
of twisters, say the almanacs,
though none had ever hit your land,
you must rely on callow facts.
So take the trip you always planned,
regain the drive that you demand,
go view the world and know you're blessed
to live where generations spanned.
Cramped aisles of New York's
high-rise apartment buildings
Wyoming's wide expanses
provide the converse, proudly.
The gambler leaned across the aisle
and tucked the sleeve of Miss Louise.
"Excuse the interruption, please,
do we have time to play a while?"
The callow Miss held back a smile,
for now she didn't want to tease.
"Why, sir, I think there's time to squeeze
a game or two, if that's worthwhile."
She found him in the poker room
much later, leaving with the pot.
"Now, boys," he said, "please don't assume
my winning here is luck, it's not.
Just skill, I promise, I presumed
that cheating here would get me shot."
Jack has published over 350 poems in his career, many accompanied by his own photography. He specializes in a view of the commonplace and Americana.