Ha Ha Tonka

Ha Ha Tonka

Stone quarried on the grounds is railed
to a bluff. What is not a castle
is named a castle. A man leaves a sign,
a testament to his vanity. Towering
above a lake, imposing on the land,
its wealth succumbs to nature. Flames
that will not eat stone gnaw at the inside,
leaving nothing but stone that is not a castle.

And the land lives on,
preserved for more than one man.

Trails, paved and not, skirt the ruins,
pass above and below them. Berried cedars
cling to the cliff walls, while oak and walnut
line the hillsides, outliving the beams
and woodwork that once graced those ruins.
As heron fish on its shores, the lake is fed
by a spring pouring from the limestone wall.
The naturally hewn walls of the bluff
and its stone arch are the true castle to this land.

The prompt for Take Me With You from Lillian at dVerse Poets Pub
is to write a poem as a travelogue of sorts, with the name of the site in the title.

~ click images for larger view in new tab ~

The “castle” at Ha Ha Tonka was built in the early 1900s and was consumed by fire in 1942. The estate is now a Missouri State Park that features 3700 acres of forest that include caves, sinkholes and bluffs overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks. Other Ha Ha Tonka posts, including photos, can be found here.

 ~ Day 29 ~

20 thoughts on “Ha Ha Tonka

  1. This is quite wonderful. I love the ending where you compare the natural stone walls to the manmade castle walls. Isn’t it true? Nature always outlasts humans and human edifices. So glad you took us here….a place I was not familiar with until your post. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

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