Posts tagged ‘British Empire’

14/07/2013

From Northern Ports the Empire…

 

They call this place the Last of Hope,

The quayside packed with wailing folk,

Where Stoics stand and watch the boats,

And some will fight whilst others choke.

 

Behind the docks, the red brick spreads

And fills with cotton, coal and lead.

The brick turns black on chimney stacks,

Turns black on houses, back to back.

 

It wrenched its future from the fields,

From cottage mills and common lands,

And now it faces out to sea:

Enslaved, dependent, hanging on.

 

From lands which spill their ocean blood,

Come those who walk the one way street.

 

 

20/06/2013

Jesenica – Aberdare – Iron – Coal – 1913

 

The garlands of narcissi shone,

Amongst the regiments of steel.

From orange dust, in which they coughed:

Came building’s load, and railroad.

 

Just like the metal there was coal,

Which clogged the lungs, and coated souls,

And saturated hems and hopes

Of every waiting valley girl.

 

And from the margins built the calls,

Along the tunnels, from the slag,

Around the coke and winding sheds:

They sung the gallows, whispered war.

 

The patterns of despair were set

Across a Europe drowned in sweat.