Sunday, 10 September 2017

3 Sonnets

Miner's Sonnet #1

The cage door slams and down the shaft we fall
The rope that holds our lives the first set trap 
Of many heartless ways that death may call
To transport us in its eternal wrap  

The roof that hangs low o'er my lamp-lit head
May just decide to slip and down-ward drop
The work's too hard for me to dwell on dread
That comes from cracking sounds of failing prop

We hew and hack the black and shining seam
As with no warning firedamp slyly creeps
One fatal spark will light the gassy stream
A man is gone, his lonely widow weeps 

Though peril tracks the collier's daily grind
We are within its thrall of pay entwined

Miner's Sonnet #2

With comrades brave to work each day I'd go 
Joking as back and forth the wit and craic
We'd scarce be fear'd or cowed or weakness show
We knew our brothers always had our back

Communities were built on mines and coal
One whole and nourished, fed by that dark pit
The bond we had held tight within our soul
Strong as atoms no government could split 

With pride we marched together as one kin
In war the ranks of blue against us stood
Knowing that should we either lose or win
We'd pay for our revolt in flesh and blood

Yet danger lurked and lives were harsh and tough 
The death of coal did come not soon enough

Miner's Sonnet #3

The strike is lost; so back to work we go
The fire has gone; the will to fight is slain
The comradeship continues down below
But things will never be the same again  

There's coal down there and they all know the price
But no-one counts the cost of human pain
No jobs, no hope, a village slowly dies  
Our leaders arrogant in their disdain

A collier's spirit I will surely find
At school I failed; or was it failing me
I'll not allow despair to rule my mind
Can I a new trade learn at fifty-three? 

Leave behind the only life I've ever known
My future I must plan and I must own

(c) Tim Fellows 2017