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Bevin Boy

Bevin Boy

 

Ernest Bevin got his pound of flesh

as I sucked on my Woodbine,

one of the ‘lucky’ ten percent

who were standing there in line

waiting to be conscripted -

but they decided to assign

me to a living hell

and send me down the mine.

 

So I toiled for years in darkness

and breathed in black diamond dust,

until my back was broken

along with all the t...

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bevin boyblack lung diseasecoal miningconscriptionsacrificeWW2

Wake me up

Wake me up when the storm has passed
And the ravens have left the tower
Wake me up when the war machine
Has finally run out of power
Wake me up when the bigots
Have finally opened their eyes
And all of the presidents have given up telling lies
Wake me up when the tables have turned
And lessons have been learned

 

Wake me up when the big game hunters
Have finally paid for their crime
...

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big game huntesBrexitclimate changecoal miningfood banksNHSworking class

TRUNCHEON FOR LUNCHEON

 

I heard 'King Arthur' on the 'mike'

In a place that they called Orgreave

Fronting Miners out on strike

Urging them all to 'Believe'

He told them it was "Coal not Dole"

Said Thatcher was a clown

And every Miner has a role

To take the Tories down

 

From Notts. and Derby and the Met

Cleveland, Avon and Somerset

After their luncheons

Drew their truncheons

On...

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1984 miners strikecoal mininghorsesorgreavepolicetrade-unionsviolence

BERSHAM

 

BERSHAM

We wonder amongst the ruins

Rusting trucks and cutting gear

Severed cables protruding

From weathered walls

And the pit head wheel

Still proud above us

Preserved temporarily

By municipal crumbs

And volunteer labour

 

Only open occasionally

For public inspection

We whisper questions

Reverentially

Here the miners lamps

Here the cramped cage

...

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Coal MiningLiverpool poetryLiverpool PoetsPoetryWelsh PoetsWelsh Poets.David SubacchiWrexham.

Easington Colliery

They strain towards the light.

Blinded by a death

in black and white.

Stood in a puddle of water

its darkness climbing legs

like sweet peas.

Tickling those hardened

by the tenebrous earth.                                                         Photograph by Keith Pattison

Leaching tears since ’51.

                                                             ...

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coal mining

the Dust, the Dust

the Dust, the Dust


I remember the men,
their faces blackened with filthy coal
layers of carbon dust on skin,
slowly lining their lungs thick.
I think of them in the twilight,
two miles underground
hewing with axe and pick,
shirtless bodies glistening with sweat like morning dew
I see them coming home,
tired of the black
eyes like pissholes in the snow
unaccustomed to the light
and then,
and then their golden...

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coal miningminerspneumoconiosisrhondda valleysouth wales

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