When I was just a boy
the very earth on which I stood, shook
at the sight and sound of the hammers
in the midst of this,
the furnace of Merry England.
Sparks flew from open doors,
left ajar to dissipate the heat,
and the faint odour of body sweat could be caught
upon the morning breeze.
Factories, of brick and asbestos,
stood on every corner
like cathedrals built to honour Thor,
churning out things of every size and form
from within their fiery frames.
Dark smoke swirled from tall chimneys
blackening the sky, giving this country its name.
It was the place where iron and steel were king,
and coal had been its queen
until she had ceased to issue forth from
the bowels of what lay beneath,
to remain submerged, five fathoms deep.
Her historic heaps which spoiled the landscape
were our playground.
But nothing is immortal.
When crisis struck
the silence fell
and sparks no longer flew.
Men, dismissed, sought fresh employment,
or took the dole as was their want,
their forges sold to clear the debt.
And then the final throws of death.
Roofs were taken from these sacred spaces,
to avoid the tax that must be paid for their enclosure.
And sadly, the places I once knew and loved
… ceased to be.
In honour of the place of my birth
(c) 2016 - CH3man