larryhammer: a symbol used in a traditional Iceland magic spell of protection (protection)
[personal profile] larryhammer
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.
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