Graniteville, California

A historic mining town in the Sierra Nevada mountains

The Fortress


A poem by Ed Show
May 23, 2015

I’m not a resident but I visit now and then.

And there’s a bridge at the Elevated end of this town straddling Poorman’s Creek.

And this Creek is the Township’s enduring, constant natural dynamic (at least I’ve always thought that).

Does Poorman’s water voice pray for me (or for another)?

Or is its solitary song a private language of wordless rhythms resonating only for an audience of granite ears?

And on my way towards the Bridge, A Fortress measures my progress, makes me watch my own steps (carefully).

The Fortress has been here as long as I can recall but not forever like Poorman’s Stream

Someone fastened its planks like solid anchors into an earthy uneveness, supporting a Fortress of walls that scrape sky beneath old pine, cedar and fir.

Who could have done this — and how? (Certainly not a poor man.)

Only Wealthy-Minded Man and his Machines and Imagination.

A Fortress serving as an Artist and Craftsman’s factory for shaping memories of many sorts.

Today the Bridge and Creek attend to the renewal of mountain dogwood’s beautifully-brilliant, milky floral Dance.

But The Fortress has been invited to a Dance of an altered sort.

Once where TIME (the master teacher of every artist and craftsman) creates a new Song and a new Dance in another Land.

And those who were seen to be dancing (there) were thought to be mad by those who could not (yet) hear the Music.

Read by Ed Show at event honoring Richard Mehrken’s Life at the Graniteville School House


Italicized emboldened last verse is a paraphrased thought of of Friedrich Nietzche


About The Author

I have been a resident of Graniteville since 1977


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