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Black Christmas

Black Christmas

 

Fifty fucking years

this black snow’s fallen

every Christmas.

It fell on my father

and his father before him.

 

Stepping out

into the grey December light

cold and tired.

Home to a bath

and the warm hearth

of family.

 

A bond of men

tighter than brothers,

thicker than blood,

darker than midnight.

 

All gone now,

like d...

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death of communitykellingleylast deep coal mineminerspit closure

Carnations

Carnations

After the bath
she used to drag
black worms
of coal dust
from the corner
of his eyes.

He has never cried,
though sometimes -
when he thinks back -
for no apparent reason
he finds charcoal
on his cheeks.

He is clean now,
though for many years
every crease and wrinkle
on his angry forehead
was gritted with
carbon hate.

Where once stood
a newsagents
on the corn...

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carnationsdeath of communityFryston collieryminersminers strikeremembering

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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