Donations are essential to keep Write Out Loud going    

The Tale Of A Ragged Boy

I was wandering down the old pit road

Where many a ghostly tale was told

When I came across a ragged boy

His coal-black face contained no joy


In his hand, swung a Davy lamp 

He said it was in case of firedamp 

"A'v lost me way to the pit," he said

"If we've got ne money we cannot buy bread!"


I said, the pit shut long ago 

And then I noticed down below

His feet were not upon the ground!

They were merely mist floating around!


The flame in the Davy lamp suddenly grew

Flickering a menacing bluish hue

"I think I'm dead," the ragged boy said

"Me Ma will never get her bread!"


Suddenly, there came a flash of light

And the boy was burning wild & bright!

Some final words escaped his throat

As I tried to douse him with my coat


"Ah just keep tryin' to make it home

But, in the Harvey seam ah lie alone.

Please get me home! Please get me home!"


The chill of his words cut me down to the bone


Then, there was nothing but the autumn breeze

And the red & gold from falling leaves

I stood there for the longest time

His icy fingers chilling my spine


To this day, I still hear his cry

But, I know, down below, 

This ragged boy 

                  will forever lie.




There are hundreds of unrecoverable bodies beneath our feet from our mining heritage. Boys & men now lost & forgotten. 


◄ Acceptance

Meta Clause ►


Profile image

Stephen Atkinson

Thu 7th Dec 2023 17:17

Thank you for the kind comments John & Stephen. It's part of a collection of more local poems I'm working on at the moment. Hopefully enough to publish.
And thanks for the likes everyone! 🌷

Profile image

Stephen Gospage

Thu 7th Dec 2023 08:27

A beautifully written poem, Stephen. The pace and rhythm pulls the reader into the very moving story. Thanks.

Profile image

John Coopey

Mon 4th Dec 2023 21:19

Marvellous addition to that long tradition of mining poetry, Stephen. It is my own background although I confess I never did a hard day's graft there in 20 years.
I particularly like the line about his icy fingers chilling your spine.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message