Slate quarries

Gigantically towering grey-faced giver of itself 

to many a roof,

open-air cathedrals of hard labour,

choicelessly enforced small wage-earning congregations 

slog it out, men, exploding, hacking, chiselling, splitting, trimming,

making beautiful in so many other ways too.


Did I mention those injured and dying in the process?

look again, look again at the old roofs and remember, remember.   

◄ optimistically rallying non-defeatist rhyme

Food banking ►


Profile image

Don Matthews

Sun 18th Aug 2019 00:35

No you didn't mention it Leon. You've just mucked up my day..... here I was enjoying my prawns-a-la-creme and you forced me to think of those poor creatures in the nether-nether slaving away (for next to nada) satisfying the whims of my Western fancy. Unforgivable...?

Seriously, a thought-provoking reminder. Which shouldn't remain just a thought, but a call to action. I have just given my prawns to the the homeless. I now have a good/bad feeling. It's all your fault Leon.

Seriously (does this man know what this means?) - a good piece my friend.....

Profile image


Sat 17th Aug 2019 23:16

Devon and Philipos, I'll investigate the XTC track and the Betjeman description. Thank's. Rose, don't leave it too long girl!


Profile image

Rose Casserley

Sat 17th Aug 2019 10:33

I have passed by many of these quarries in my time Leon and just the sight of them alone is not only ugly re the waste mounds
( although obviously deemed necessary at the time ) but thinking of how these guys carried out their low paid tasks ' injured and dying in the process ' is far more ugly.

Like Dev, I too will come back to this poem in my thoughts when I do ' ' look again at those old roofs ' or pass by those quarries once more.

See you in a few weeks dude, I'm off to deal with shedloads of personal this'is and that'is.

great poem! keep well!

Rose ?

Profile image


Fri 16th Aug 2019 22:08

I enjoyed this. Reminded me in a different way of Ireland with Emily, where Betjeman describes in an almost haunting way in which the slates are nearly slipping off the roof with sheep's wool stuck here, there, and everywhere.

Devon Brock

Fri 16th Aug 2019 21:18

Well done, Leon. This reminds me of "Towers of London," by XTC. Tomorrow morning I will be driving past an abandoned quartzite quarry. This poem will certainly be on my mind as I pass. Thanks for this.


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