Tag Archives: Coal

Pony Lad

Deep along and under
coal damp flared, blew
took out men and rocks.
The pony knew it, that fetid puff
and bolted, taking his boy,
tightly clutching the harness, with him

Deep under and along
men scrambled, suffocated
wordless in the dark
never to see the green again.
But the pony boy was out
as the shaft tumbled and crushed
thanking God for his pony

Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Wilfred Whysall, my grandfather was that pony lad….

Under Dover

Father and sons knew their worth
objected to their place in the ladder of profit
and so were sent to where southern mines
took men deep under the English channel
no sparkling mornings for them, but toil in darkness
too far for safety, too damp for peace of mind
off-shift, nightmares of death by water
haunted villages across the weald
on-shift the family built farther out
tunnel men all, determined to live
to fight for justice back up top
 
Copyright © 2020 Kim Whysall-Hammond
Wilfred Whysall, my Grandfather, one of the sons in this poem

Coal

He told me of how coal can be split
to reveal the hoof prints of long buried deer
if you get the angle and the grain right

Of how, in the deepest mines
Darwin was proved each day
by the strike of a miners hammer

And how opening the coal opened him
drove him to library and Miners Institute
to learn, wonder and argue

His gentle voice, with its natural grace
led me into his world
to the child opening trap doors in constant dark

To the young man, passionate for justice
filled up with the joy of learning
all forged in dark coal.

Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

For Wilfred Whysall, my paternal Grandfather (1909 – 1979), on his birthday.