Contributor Alan Ferdman’s article, “California is Headed Toward Being the Pyrite State” prompted me to write this poem. I, too, lament the fact that our Golden State is heading in the wrong direction.
I traveled out west to California
Chasing my elusive dream.
Hoping to find a golden nugget or two
While panning for gold in a stream.
My fantasy was to find my fortune.
“There’s gold in them there hills!”
That idiom, heard a thousand times,
Could be the end of all my ills.
So I followed in the footsteps
Of those legendary forty-niners
I had found a place just made for me.
I became one of those nugget miners.
The “Hills” became my metaphor
For a chance and an opportunity
Where I can grow and prosper
And be a member of the community.
I brought my nuggets to the assayer
To be rewarded for what I found.
My shiny rocks were worthless pyrite.
And all my ambition was drowned.
I awoke from my golden daydream
To find “them hills” were tinder-dry
Awaiting sparks to set them ablaze
With smoke and ash filling the sky.
I became aware that many other folk
Undermined my state, once golden.
Their nonsense, rage and ignorance
Had caused my dream to be stolen.
I also learned many other things
That are just shrugged off these days.
There are higher taxes and homelessness,
Rising crime and crowded freeways.
In my state, once thought to be sane,
Absurdity had gained the upper hand.
It’s now all glitter and no substance
And that gold became worthless sand.
What I see glittering around me
Are broken dreams, not the promised gold.
I see clueless and distracted souls
Unaware of the crisis about to enfold.
Too many gullible Californians
Are oblivious to what’s awaiting them.
Socialism will bring mass devastation
Which my state will never overcome.
Their stupidity took my Golden Dream
And changed it into a nightmare.
I will be forced to follow the crowd.
And to deviate I cannot dare.
Our lawmakers have the Minus Touch
Where anything made out of gold
Is immediately transformed into trash
While our future remains on hold.
I want to contribute and do my part.
I’m a Californian, I care about my state
Whether it’s due to fiscal failure or fire
I can’t sit back and watch it disintegrate.
William Tozzi is a member of the Golden Pen Writers Guild, Santa Clarita, CA