Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Santa Cruz Issue
 
 

MATTHEW HILL

Shantiko

 

Set down here
In a semi-arid landscape
This ghost town where
12 ghosts still reside
The post office still open
2 hours a day

This place named after
Some corrupted version
Of a long dead German pioneer
Him who first passed this way
With intent to set up a gold camp

Viewpoints of the far distant
Cascade peaks in snow
A staged enigmatic frontier
A way station of lost time
A western vantage that is
A portal to evening’s fiery sky

This place was all about the
Wool wheat cattle and gold
Commodities that funded
A place where medicine
Had to arrive by horseback

We as travelers now proceed
Southbound on Highway 97
& must make a 90 degree turn
Towards the western horizon
While driving into a blazing sun

& then into twilight’s hallucinatory sky

Hell, it’s damn near enough
To make you want to buy the place …