A Visit to Basque Monument at Evans Creek

Basque Monument Reno Nevada
Basque Monument Evans Creek Reno Nevada

A Visit to Basque Monument at Evans Creek

I. Basque Monument Evans Creek Reno Nevada

One early morning wandered out to see

a rising sun upon a monument

gone green with oxidations installment

of man protecting sheep from what could be.

The text on English side of plaque opened

here Basque sheepherder sculpted by the wind

a solitary man who would not bend

a laborer who kept his flocks well fed.

Upon these vast hills he once journeyed forth

from Pyrenees onto this sparse wooded land

his only goal to raise a healthy flock.

His eyes in clouds his feet upon the Earth

this culture part of what makes our world grand

a history carved out of solid rock.

Basque Heritage
Basque Heritage

II. Family Heritage

When young raised in a small Nevada town

my father helped the Basque to move their sheep

from pasture to a barn with sheers in Jeep

to collect wool and leave nothing but down.

In sheepherders basement sat salon chair

where I would sit while my father helped

sometimes the silence broken when sheep yelped

while both of us would wait to trim our hair.

Back when our Basque neighbors would help us thrive

by bartering our skills as neighbors do

at least back then when we lived off the land.

Through marriage now the Basque is kept alive

my children grow as strong as this statue

culture part of what makes our world grand.

Basque Culture
This one immigrant Basque man from Empire…


III. This Modern Shrine

So still I sit next to this modern shrine

with poem etched in Basque upon the front

this art an instrument that’s firm and blunt

the bravery of immigrants in time.

To move my fingers over heritage

and feel the ridges caused by engraving

an alphabet whose foreign lettering

will lead my hike through canyon and on ridge.

Our history found in these used hiking boots

my eyes in clouds my feet upon the Earth

the only goal to raise a healthy flock.

To hike the Pyrenees and find my roots

upon the hills I’ll search and find my worth

maybe to carve a history out of rock.

Basque Culture
This one immigrant Basque man from Empire…


IV. Grandpa At Thanksgiving

Our children’s great grandfather would join us

for supper, we would sit around table

in silence due to language, unable

to understand he never made a fuss.

He would ask for some wine and pet our dog

and laugh at humor no one understood

or share his stories while he’d carve soft wood

we couldn’t understand a word through fog.

His place still sorely missed when he passed on

this one immigrant Basque man from Empire,

a mining town out in the desert sun.

A solitary man who is not gone

for generations he will not expire

his carved history weighing metric ton.

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Jamie Lee Hamann
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Jamie Lee Hamann

My name is Jamie Lee Hamann and I have a passion for writing short fiction and poetry. I started writing for TCE around 2015 and since then I have finished seven collections of poetry and plans for more. I currently live in Lemmon Valley NV with my family. If you desire to find my other work on the internet feel free to stop by my website simplepoetics.weebly.com. The website offers articles on poetry, poems, and links to all my other writing.

2 thoughts on “A Visit to Basque Monument at Evans Creek

  • August 17, 2020 at 10:19 AM

    This is a very well-penned piece and an enjoyable read, Jamie. We have Spanish Basque ancestors on my father’s side so this was very interesting for me. Thank you for sharing this work. Well done.


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