A poem by: Ben Dunk. 1981.




Holcomb Valley near Big Bear, Southern California.


Thriving throngs existed in this wilderness

and rivers ran wild with men and women,

until the ravening crowds made a populace,

scooping in sand and slime for a fortune.


Holcomb, Van Dusen and myriad others,

lucked in gold and claims with fevers,

some shot and graved their pleasures,

resting here forever under season’s glares


Fanatic flames in eyes matched gold’s gleams,

Why care so much for the spirited metal,

mockingly asks the Indian in his Royal Realms,

naively misunderstanding his destruction lethal.


His answer is in the permanent cosmic pulse,

lingering in the eroded-majestic rocks and gravel

recognized by tribal tribunes knowing thus

that frequency of forceful rays travel-

around the moon and to the Sun

everything resides in their path

and the beauty of life is no gun

for sure the rhythm of body is to laugh.


The miners died and did the boom town,

ruddy pastures re-filled the terrain;

until natures leveling foliage soon down

and up the hills and valley’s came again.