Wednesday, 18 March 2020


This poem is posted to mark the first day of the public closure of the National Coal Mining Museum of England.

There are no rats streaming off from rigged ships,
No bell clanging crier calling out the dead,
No trundling overburdened tumbrils led
By masked spectres as the malady grips.
No crosses daubed over doors, though handles
And handshakes could prove fatal. Fast as fear
This plague flies, a traveller’s souvenir
Round the carousel of the world, dandles
Life and death without intent or purpose
Other than its own being. City shaken,
Markets deserted and futures tumbling.
The preachers of profit are at a loss,
While pubs are closing, last orders taken.
Lock all the doors…but the walls are crumbling.

                                                                           Dave Alton