Saturday, June 19, 2010



A tribute to the miners of my town

When the sun first shone its rays on earth, its energy turned green;
Then that energy decayed and sank and could no more be seen.
And seams of hard black gold were formed beneath the earth's thin crust
And Miners came and dug it out saying 'In this coal we trust'
Then Newcastle arose above the workings down below
And the populace, in wonder, saw it prosper, saw it grow,
And little heed was paid to all the tireless grimy men
Who ripped the coal out of the earth and made it live again
And the coal fired smoking chimneys and the coal fired puffing trains
And the Miners toiled and laboured and got little for their pains,
While the air grew clogged and dirty and the Miners shirts were torn
And still the city prospered. A community was born.
Now the age of coal is ending and we're harnessing the sun
And the windmills turn above us and a new age has begun.
But let us still remember, as we speak of high renown,
That the Miners came before us and the Miners built our town.


A hundred thousand lightning bolts strike the earth, they say,
Every single minute of every single day!
Lightning kills a thousand people every single year,
Which proves to me that thunderstorms are something I should fear!
Six hundred and fifty volts are in the shock from electric eels!
And I refuse to test that and find out how it feels!
Electricity travels at the speed of light and messages from the brain
Reach the muscles faster than the speed of a speeding train.


mrsnesbitt said...

Wow! The poem for the miners really touched a nerve there Brend! As you are fully aware the North East, where we live is coal country and many communities arose round the mines - there were so many of them and infact my Dad's dad worked down the pit! Fantastic poem, really really enjoyed it!

flaubert said...

Brenda this gave me the feel of a passage from Germinal
I really enjoyed the first one a lot!

brenda w said...

Change! is a wonderful tribute, Brenda! My family is from a mining town in northern Minnesota. Your piece reminds me of some old mining songs I know. Very well written...made me want to sing. ha!

vivienne blake said...

I really enjoyed your evocation of coal-rich Newcastle (I was there last week!). The multi-iambic lines gave it plenty of movement, adding to the idea of change.

Mary said...

Nicely written poem. To me it says one should never forget one's town's (or one's own) roots!

Elizabeth said...

I am a history buff and thoroughly enjoyed the history lesson inside of your poem. Just finished reading a Baldacci novel with the plight of coal miners as its background. Your writing reminded me of so many things, thank you.


Unknown said...

An interesting poem. Miners get little recognition and without their work at lot in our society would be different.

Interesting rhythm to the poem. Enjoyed this immensely.

keiths ramblings said...

You never fail to please! Your miners poem was really thought provoking and the lightening piece pure delight!

Diane T said...

I enjoyed reading about the birth of your community. Coal miners do not have an easy job, and industry through the years has owed so much to them.

Dee Martin said...

Oh I love this Brenda - My great grandfather was a coal miner :)