Friday, 4 January 2019

When We Were Kings

In those days when steam and smoke
belched from chimneys in our towns
We were the kings of industry
from coal we forged our crown.

In the heartlands of the north
below field and towering mill
we ripped the coal and churned it out -
we had strength and we had skill

In unison we rode the cage -
worked in thunder, breathed the dust
to feed the ever hungry beast
and earn a grateful nation's trust

But now those days have been and gone
we're never going back
where the coal flowed like a river
rumbling dark and black

to every corner of our land
by canal or rail or road
the people needed coal and
we colliers bore the load.

The banter on the coal face
the scream of the machines
the conveyer flying past us
lives only in our dreams.

So now we stand where the pit was
at the top of the slag heap hill
the noise has gone, just birdsong,
but we can hear it still.

Tim Fellows 2018