Tennis courts may be covered over and croquet lawns have disappeared to overgrowth upon overgrowth, but the football pavilion still stands and dalliances within them and by the workshops nearby continue. No-one sees us, although some sense our presence.
The sports oval where football and cricket were once played still exists, even if smothered in a lush undulating dense of green. Goal posts stand on command at each end, serving the dual purpose of ventilation through their tops from pipes running below the ground’s surface. The reservoir is gone, the church and schools too. No abode or home exists or gardens well tendered or the cows that came with homes for milking. All are gone. In physicality, that is.
In the sublime of the underworld in this living ghost town of lands faraway, many breathe beneath the earth from where they once stood. Archaeologically, a sleeping beauty awaits her Prince Charming awakening.
Cheers to a life, wistful of lands faraway, in an honouring that's grounding, appreciating and trusting. In the extremes of the harsh to the supremes of the magnificent, the challenging and enchanting, all collected and padlocked in a tiny box of hearts and souls as jewels protected within, of the most precious … the jewel of the crown is life on lands faraway.
A town of living ghosts in a life at honey speed, a calm and peace unwavering in the howl of withering leaves. Crested cockatoos streaming between trees of bare, shrilling whistles of a time unmoved. Ghosts of yesterday dance in sleeping ruins, among flying spiders’ webs glistening in the glory of the day, and families living and playing in a vast back yard of lands faraway.
Drains where pumpkins once entwined the trunks of fruiting plum trees are now barren, date palms and cypress trees, pies at the football and beer behind the goals, a swig of whiskey at half time ... the intrigue of the water tank, cream lilies and milk coffee, fresh cheese from the milking ... aah, but all is fading now, the physical is dissolving, all are vanishing in lands faraway.
Yet it’s not gone, not this life in a ghost town oozing more spirited than the Mona Lisa, not even in the veil of isolation where mosquitoes gorge on the intoxicating imbue of twinkling dew and fat of fog. Of stockmen pulling up under apricot and apple trees for juicy sampling, of cannon balls in the swimming pool, sneaky peeks in the change rooms and bolting after stealing knickers … I’ll get you!
Playing cards into the might of the morning and raising money for those in need, men and women’s football … credit to the gals. Cricket, tennis and croquet, swimming in a land faraway.
Hinged in a haunting of melancholy is a place that once thrived, where homes of yesterday sleep in their tombs, and ashes of those passed over fly in the rising phoenix, beguiling ghosts to rejoice in their tales of yesterday. Wood chopped for the stove and to heat the copper, feeding the pigs and milking the cows, churning the cream and butter to a one-two, a chasse in the Pride of Erin.
Listen and you’ll hear it, a lifelong gloating gilded in gold leaf, a rose of gold of never-ending that connects souls over lifetimes. This space of breath is a vast expanse of clarity, of bounty, of beauty in perfect imperfection.
Cheers to a life in a living ghost town, a life at honey speed, wistful of what’s to come in lands faraway.
The air below thins, chokes in asphyxiating exodus. All families and kin are gone, all have left, all homes have disappeared. The hall sleeps peacefully by the swimming pool, two hearts beating as one, and all working in the old office have moved into a new building full of modernity. We follow them, our escapades above their beavering. Some look up at us and smile, wonder if we're really there.
All are gone. All jewels fall from crowns eventually.
Up here, we gather in blissing glee, more illuminous by the week. We flock with the lost on a quest for this place of warmth, intrinsically weaved into the fabric of the dignified and honouring of this land faraway.
Jewels may fall from crowns, but they never fail to sparkle in the brilliance of a Milkyway of multi-faceted gems. Whether in a white, yellow, green or rose of gold setting, they shine a forever shine.
Cheers to a life in a living ghost town, in a life at honey speed, of a house and two cows and a land faraway.