I wanted to try and write a more "together" poem today and I fell down the Internet Research Rabbit Hole simply by typing "non-pareil" into Google. One of the entries it came back with is the former town of Nonpareil, Oregon. Since I had never heard of it and I love old maps and history I read all I could about the subject.
One of the more useful sites I came across was Western Mining History. It has a wealth of information from mine and town locations to geological studies to letters about the towns. I especially liked the article on what makes a ghost town a ghost town. You can view it HERE.
Four words I pulled from a US Geological Study paper, basaltic, andesitic, rhyolitic, dioritic,
The 10 words I used from the list are in italics. I hesitated to highlight them thinking it would interrupt the flow of reading but it looks okay to me.
"Upstream from the salty, icy waters of the Pacific, the Umpqua River flows,
Carving a thin ribbon of blue through the gutter like canyons of Oregon.
Owls and cowbirds roost upon the ghost town of Nonpareil,
Mines of mercury and gold, elusive to the naked eye sit below the surface.
Fortunes made from cinnabar rocks, egos did squander,
Leaving this place desolate and barren."
- Jenn Mossholder, 31 and 3 Productions