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. I discovered the valley of the shifting, whispering sands
While prospecting in a western state.
I saw the silent windmills, the crumbling water tanks,
The bones of the cattle picked clean by buzzards, bleached by the desert sun.
I stumbled over a crumbling buckboard nearly covered by the sand.
And stopping to rest, I heard a tinkling, whispering sound,
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And suddenly realized that even though the wind was quiet,
The sand did not lie still.
I seemed to be surrounded by a mystery
So heavy and oppresive I could scarcely breathe.
For weeks I wandered aimlessly in the valley,
Seeking answers to the many questions that raced through my mind.
Where was ev’ryone? Why the white bones, the dry wells,
. The baron valley where the people must have lived and died?
I sat down and buried my face in my hands.
And resting, I learned the secret of the shifting, whispering sands.
How I managed to escape from the valley, I don’t know.
But now to pay my debt for being saved, I must tell you
What I learned out on the desert so many years ago.
. (When the day is hardly quiet and the breeze seems not to blow,
One would think the sand was resting but you’ll find this is not so.
It is whisp’ring, softly whisp’ring, as it slowly moves a-long.
And those who stop and listen, it will sing this mournful song.
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Of side-winders and the horn toad on the thorny chaparral,
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In the sunny days and the moonlight nights, the lonely coyotes yell.)
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How the stars seem they could touch you as you lay and gaze on high
At the heavens where you’re hoping you’ll be going when you die.