A poem by Gerhard Leuschke

May 07, 2015 |

The author’s father worked as a miner at Chatterley Whitfield colliery and he kindly allowed this to be posted on our Facebook page…..

This is The Pits!
The work worn pit-head silent now,
The winding gear deceased,
The bank is dead, the washers bled,
The engine sheds at peace.
The lamp-house, eyeless windows stare at this joyless sight,
No chimnies reek, no buckets sweep, their shadows in the night.
No cages plumb the abyss now,
The shaft a stygian void,
The galleries hushed, the pit-props crushed,
The miners unemployed.
They laboured on the coal-face, they dug and they faced death,
They fuelled the war, they warmed the poor, they toiled to their last breath.
The mineral’s rich abundance,
Lies forgotten in the ground,
The miners dead, their bodies bled,
Gone without a sound.
Save the wracking cough from dust filled lungs, that ghastly choking noise.
They’re here today, their faces grey, those heirs to Bevin’s boys.
When striking is called treason,
Yet families must be fed,
The press is hushed, the miners crushed,
The industry lies dead.
The coal-face still and flooded, the seams all wasted there,
No steel-works light, no furnace bright, a nation’s shame laid bare.
© Gerhard Leuschke

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