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Animas
 

  Years before the draught  came
To this valley there  was
A creek that flowed, it was so  silent they named it
The Animas.

Being like a ghost
The name came from the same old
Latin that means to  animate
Or separate the living from the  non.

And here it was in the  middle
Of this valley, from
The Pyramids in the  north
To the juniper forest in the  south

That the Mormons  came,
They built their tawdry kingdom  in the shadow
Of the copper king
And the great sulfur  stack.

Wandering through the desert
Between ruined escarpments  and
Windy homesteads,  skeletons
Of orchards wasted by  time.

I think of those young  pioneers
In the seventies who came out  here into
This wilderness to hang  iron
And blade roads.

In 1973 the copper king saw a  vision
Of an oasis beside the
Ancient lake, and mock adobe  housing units
And tennis courts in the desert.

And they built Playas, beyond  the divide,
With shaded boulevards, and  picknicks
And barbeques, horse shoe  tournaments and trucks of free beer
On the fourth of  July.

Now, only a hulking
Mess, haphazard streets and  broken windows
Ringing out with the  voices
Of the industry  dead.

But in our day we were kings,  we
Walked among the roaring beasts  slag, molten
Boiler screaming we
Were ants in  metallurgy.

The train would haul the anodes  out
Everyday, copper to  market
Southern Pacific line, Separ  connection
And the big train to the  world.

Now it’s all returning to the  time before,
The desert walks in in creepy  little
Increments, blindly, like some  retarded
Bulldozer.

The Mormons have retreated  they’ve gone back
To their tumbleweed jungle in  the valley
With their giant  temple Of memories.
This is Animas, the  moving
The living, the ghost but ghost  is simply
A word that means  animation
Or movement.
 

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