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The lone Guard

Updated on February 23, 2011

Gold panning

The Lone Guard

All is tranquil bar the wind

that annoys and torments leaves in the tree tops

Gusting wind imprisons tumbleweed

in barbed wire fences

Tin flaps against the shell of a miner's shack

A skeletal curtain beats out a tune

against discarded bottles on a ledge

where red dust blankets years of tears and pain

A lightning charge of electricity

illuminates the solitary cross on a hilltop

bearing the carved words - barely visible

Benjamim Turner 1870 -1883

Guarding all that remains

of sleeping memories in other unmarked graves

Tells naught of mental torture suffered by boys

digging the earth like men, beside fathers and brothers alike

Nor of wives and daughters tending chores

aware of dangerous rock falls and cave-ins

facing their men tunneling like rabbits for gold

Their spirit mystifying all that follows

Old Cemeteries

What is it about cemetries that attracts flocks of people to them. No it isnt to visit their own loved ones - its a curiosity or something I just dont know what.

It is amazing how many times while travelling around australia that we have stopped by at the old cemeteries to read the inscriptions on the graves of old pioneering families. They did it tough in those days.

It is eyeopening when you see how many people have lost most of their children at a very young age. We have found that some families suffer more than others. It just makes you wonder why?


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    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      8 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      DanielBing1, The solitary x on the hill is the graveside of the small boy which died in a mine.It describes some of what the miners are living like and in death he is guarding all the others that have or will die in the mine.

    • DanielBing1 profile image


      8 years ago from New Hampshire

      Mmmm....Mmhmm...Mhhmmm...I don't get it. I like the sound of it but I don't really get it.

    • Cindy Letchworth profile image

      Cindy Letchworth 

      9 years ago from Midwest, U.S.A.

      Nice work.

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      9 years ago from Michigan

      I hope you try publishing a book again. I'm on to the next one.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      moulik mistry, thanks for your lovely comment.

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 

      9 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      Beautiful writing - it is nice to read your poems...

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      11 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Gee thanks for that. The people in the mining times really did it hard I think. What with the heat and flies and digging underground. They didnt have machines like our miners.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Eileen you are a poetess by nature.My,my my what great poem after the 'Golden Earth' one too.I could become your fan each time you publish your poems here.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      11 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      thanks very much for that. They were old memories I had when we were living in the goldfields. I just felt sorry for the way they had to burrow like rabbits day after day for little rewards.

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      11 years ago from Sydney

      Gee, If you keep this up I will never have the nerve to try it.

      You are getting better abd better.

      Great on second thoughts you had better keekon going


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