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Poetry Monday:

Black Country Coal, 1868, Taylor Graham

This whole town’s built on under-tunneled ground
where coal pays wages. Here’s the collier’s door –-
it sinks so gently, you don’t hear a sound.

Beneath, they dig with pick; with sledge they pound
a way toward deeper-buried seams: black ore.
This whole town’s built on under-tunneled ground

where roofs that settle, day by day, astound.
The steeple’s lost another inch or more;
it sinks so gently, you don’t hear a sound.

Through passages by torchlight, ironbound,
the miners delve toward hell, or planet’s core.
This whole town’s built on under-tunneled ground

that can not hold. Though greening hills surround,
their roots can’t stay the tide, nor timbers shore
what sinks so gently, you don’t hear a sound –-

no word of outrage, just earth’s sigh profound
at what our tools have wrought and can’t restore.
The whole town’s built on under-tunneled ground
that sinks so gently, you don’t hear a sound.


Found in Villanelles ed. by Finch & Mali.

---L.

Subject quote from "Pollution," Tom Lehrer.

Date: 10 April 2017 03:42 pm (UTC)
cmcmck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmcmck
I'm from a mining family originating in the Black Country and it's the Black Country we've moved to live in, so yeah!


Close the coalhouse door, lad. There's blood inside,
Blood from broken hands and feet,
Blood that's dried on blackened meat,
Blood from hearts that know no beat.
Close the coalhouse door, lad. There's blood inside.

Close the coalhouse door, lad. There's bones inside,
Mangled, broken piles of bones,
Buried 'neath a mile of stones,
And there's no-one there to hear the moans.
Close the coalhouse door, lad. There's bones inside.

Close the coalhouse door, lad. There's bairns inside,
Bairns that had no time to hide,
Bairns who saw the blackness slide,
Oh, there's bairns beneath the mountainside.
Close the coalhouse door, lad. There's bairns inside.

Close the coalhouse door, lad, and stay outside.
For Geordie's standin' on the dole
While Mrs Jackson, like a fool,
Complains about the price of coal.
Close the coalhouse door, lad, and stay outside.

Date: 11 April 2017 01:07 pm (UTC)
cmcmck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmcmck
It's by Alex Glasgow who is a damn fine songwriter.

Date: 10 April 2017 05:28 pm (UTC)
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
From: [personal profile] sovay
The whole town’s built on under-tunneled ground
that sinks so gently, you don’t hear a sound.


This is great.

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