Monday, 19 February 2024 14:52

Winding Back

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Winding Back

This poem is about The Winding House museum in New Tredegar in the Valleys (see above), built on the site of the Elliot colliery. It is due to be shut by Caerffili's Labour Council at the end of March as part of cuts. My choir Merthyr Aloud will sing there along with local choir White Rose Singers on March 22nd, 2024.

Winding Back

by Mike Jenkins

Wind the wheel back
Memories of the dark -
Of a collier lost
In the deep galleries,
Of a canary ceased,
Of a pit-pony toppled,
Of props snapping,
Of floods and dust
Choking many throats
Made for singing.

Yet also, winding back
To butties joking,
To laughter echoing,
To names called
"Bryn-O!" carried to the face,
To comrades out on strike
For a tidy wage,
To the Stutes and their books
Promising better days.

Wind it and watch it
Reeling back in black and white,
Though they can never
Wash away the coal
Engrained in palm-lines
Showing none a fortune.
Spinning a lethal barrel,
Or the thread of tales.

Read 519 times Last modified on Monday, 19 February 2024 15:09
Mike Jenkins

Mike Jenkins is an award-winning Welsh poet and author and unofficial poet for Cardiff City FC. His new book of political poetry, Nobody's Subject, is published in Summer 2016.