Bowers Row Second-hand Memories

Although shut pits no longer spit their

Packed-grit, black, thick-slack phlegm from

Hacked pick-carved sun-starved bronchioles


Deep in the high-spine Pennines' pulsing chest,

Green-seeded heaps of spoil-hill snot still blot

The gang-scraped Yorkshire landscape


And make me hark back second-hand

To an almost-unremembered past when dad,

A flat-capped gap-toothed lad, was shipped off


To one of his dozens of cousins who culled coal

At Bowers Row in thirties' raw austerity

To learn a lesson of what life might be


If he would not apply himself assiduously at school.

Meningitis and the tide of war perhaps prevented

This apprentice painter from the pit's pull but


Maybe the visit did its bit to re-inspire him.

At Bowers Row, spring flowers grow now

Where all was soot-stained grey but there may


Still be some pale remembrance of a lad,

My dad, who made his one descent inside the mine,

Confined close-coffined in a pit-cage for a day.

◄ Mayday Mourning

Dales Pictures ►


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Cate Greenlees

Wed 16th May 2012 21:54

I agree with Harry. Some powerful imagery and a definite flavour of Hopkins here.
A very evocative piece of writing.
Cate xx

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Harry O'Neill

Sun 13th May 2012 21:27

Missed this,

Reminds me of Hopkins (something sprung rhythm-ish about it).

Admire the hard-syllabled adjectival attack of the first three stanzas tapering off into the `explanatory` ending and the alliteration in the final line.

An excellently workmanlike piece of poetry.

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