Monday, 17 October 2016

Taking the Pits

When coal was king way back then
Work was hard, boys became men
Each generation followed line on line
Fathers and sons went down the mine
Blood was shed and lives were lost
Families would have to count the cost
Of putting food upon the table
Earning as much as they were able
Digging deep in the bowels of the earth
Each man proud of his own worth
Then after all the years they grafted
They were well and truly shafted
The pits were closed, the work was gone
The miners wondered what when wrong
Their world was turned upside down
Life was changed in their hometown
They'd taken the pits along with their pride
On that dark, dark day the community died
The brass band played its very best
And the colliery was finally laid to rest
With a requiem solemn as befits
The mournful day they took the pits

© Marian Barker

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Thirty Shades of Black

Black the tunnels underground
Black the treasure that they found
Black is buried within the ground
Black drives industrial wheels around
Black gold is found at every turn
Black that makes the home fires burn
Black the coal dust in their hair
Black the clothing that they wear
Black faces leaving the pit head
Black water in the washing shed
Black the towels on the pegs
Black and blue those arms and legs
Black matter mined beneath the earth
Black diamonds now have lost their worth
Black the mood when word got out
Black news is what it was all about
Black the ink upon the page
Black the miners’ darkest rage
Black the look on every face
Black the shadows in this place
Black the cloud hung over all
Black depression began to fall
Black the list of mines to close
Black as night the miners’ woes
Black eyes shedding salty tears
Black future in their later years
Black the armbands that they wore
Black the words the miners swore
Black the colour of their spit
Black the day they closed their pit

© Marian Barker