Alison Cassidy

Rookie (6th August,1945 / Melbourne, Australia)

Revisiting Walhalla - Valley Of The Gods - Poem by Alison Cassidy

Trekking through memories
of lamp-lit holidays
choked by thorns and leeches,
I find myself revisiting Walhalla -
old gold-mining town,
old ghost-mining town.

There, in damp and misty air,
shrill bellbirds ring out loud
and chilblained hands
catch frogs in Stringers Creek.

Small feet in gumboots
creep by luck and match-light
through long abandoned
dry and musty tunnels.

Eager eyes read words
of anguish and despair
on tombstones half-buried
by time and blackberries.

Today the town is flooded
with tourists and electric light*,
yet that intangible spirit
of pioneers and pickaxes
still haunts Walhalla -
old gold-mining town,
old ghost-mining town.

*Walhalla was Australia's last mainland town to be connected to the national electricity grid in February,1998. The resident population is nine.

Comments about Revisiting Walhalla - Valley Of The Gods by Alison Cassidy

  • Tailor Bell (6/27/2007 7:24:00 PM)

    almost certain this is very similar to (or perhaps a rewrite of) an earlier work you had done. nevertheless, brilliant as always for its earthy charm and casual elegance...those are compliments for the this is masterful at least. magnificent work. -Tailor (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Elysabeth Faslund (6/26/2007 3:48:00 PM)

    Strange how light makes such a difference! This poem has led me through this town, dusty, seen the faces, are a poet by birth, writer by heart, word mistress by soul.xxElysabeth (Report) Reply

  • (6/25/2007 8:45:00 PM)

    Something that once was, but can never quite be again. And yet the memory of it lingers like an old and treasured tune. A bittersweet write, well worth remembering.


    (Report) Reply

  • (6/24/2007 6:47:00 PM)

    You're keeping the spirit alive with style, grace and deep respect Allie. Something of those times has been lost, something mainly innocent in nature which may never be fully experienced again in this connected, cool, irony dulled world - unless the whole thing falls apart and we have to start again. Valuable, quality and engrossing storytelling. xxx jim (Report) Reply

  • (6/20/2007 12:00:00 PM)

    I love the attention to detail - your poems are always captivating - the mood, tone and language combine perfectly to create a wonderful sense of place and time. You take the reader by the hand and lead them... a visual gem of a poem Allie. Justine (Report) Reply

  • (6/17/2007 5:14:00 PM)

    Thought for sure this was going to be about that legendary festive hall of Norse Mythology, Valhalla. At any rate, it certainly didn't disappoint with your lovely discriptive vernacular, Alison. Reminded me of some of the smaller towns & hamlets that I grew up in, and the little adventures we kids went on. I especially liked 'Small feet in gumboots / creep by luck and match-light...'

    The best to you,

    (Report) Reply

  • (6/16/2007 12:02:00 AM)

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful poem with us... It is like a mini-trip gifted by you to a place in a country that I've always wished to visit but don't expect to ever get there. I feel like I've just been on a weekend getaway.....marci.xo (Report) Reply

  • Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (6/16/2007)

    HeyThere Young Lass! We have a Valhalla, in Westchester County, NewYork...whats 1 letter (that are back to back, no less...v-w) among friends, eh? ! Only the pop. is a BOOMING 3,000, which in our parts is merely recognized as a hamlet, as opposed to a city, town, or even a small village...
    Very astute crafting my dear...Love the homegrown lexicon employed...
    Glad to see a pen in yir hand...although i have been a cameo-spot these days despite what it may look like...quite afew poems...but all hit & rin back to the real job...Little time for reads & comments...but i do my best! I miss our daily interactions & readings, Missy!

    (Report) Reply

Read all 8 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poem Submitted: Friday, June 15, 2007

Poem Edited: Saturday, March 12, 2011

Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  7. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]