Based on my days as a apprentice electrician working in a coal mine.


Key in C miner

After the dark shift of the dark day,
We come above for air and water,
Undress as converts disrobe for baptism,
Take our tongue-pink soap and frayed towels
And wait for the civilising libations from above.
My neighbour, Taffy, hails from Wales,
And can sing like the canary he used to carry,
Under a cloud of heavenly steam he holds
The showerhead like a old microphone,
Bellowing sweetly songs of the valleys
And angelic arias from stratchy 78s.
Some of us join in the rousing choruses,
Or whistle while we enjoy the moment.
Taffy always jokes that he has a contract
With the BBC, not the NCB, and that
He is an original black and white minstrel.
After his carbon-coated performance
He coughs his guts up in his cubicle,
Emerges like Mario Lanza with mascara
Round his pig-pink eyes, still humming.

Some years later, after the pit was buried,
I heard that Taffy had died of lung cancer.



Chris Fernie, 2009








Poetry by Chris Fernie
Read 751 times
Written on 2009-07-31 at 12:09

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Stan Cooper The PoetBay support member heart!
Chris...you've told a very sad story in a beautifully written
poem...

I thought the title was particularly clever

Stan
2010-10-07


Zoya Zaidi
Hi Chris, This is beautiful!
The anti-climax is really shocking and shakes you up a bit...
How are you keeping?
Love,
Zoya
2009-07-31


Purple Phoenix
Thanks for sharing these memories, both sweet and sad. :-(
2009-07-31