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