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INTO THE MINE

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Poems 1. Into the mine.......................................................................4 2. Canary.................................................................................5 3. Trapped...............................................................................6 4. Publicity...............................................................................7 5. The phone call.....................................................................8 6. Who goes first?...................................................................9 7. Injuries...............................................................................10 8. Alive and free....................................................................11 9. The mistress .....................................................................12

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Into the mine It is just another day on the job.

Bonging and grinding,

Just another day to earn some money,

Is all part

to provide food for my family.

Each day changing slightly.

Another day with my amigos.

A usual day on the job.

We are all ready to go into the mines. With our protective gear, our tools, our lunches our loving families, made for us.

As we enter, We get to our positions, close to our friends. And the party starts. The sound of chiselling,

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of our favourite dance song.


Canary I love the canary,

Shocked.

Its yellow feathers,

Silent.

the colour of the sun.

Scared.

Her wings,

But we stand together in the dark.

like freedom. We’re okay, as long as she is.

Her life begins to fade. Her final chirp. Then nothing. Deafening silence.

The light fades out of the mine. So doe s the oxygen. The faces of my mates.

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Trapped We explore a little more, Same as usual. But this is not usual. From above us, the rock comes plummeting down. A judges gavel, sentencing us to die.

We leap to safety, narrowly missing the rock The realisation kicks in. The small space. Dark.

Me and my mates, Our hearts racing, Palm sweating...

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Trapped.


Publicity The light’s up there and so are they.

They call us heroes, but a hero’s enticement is to save.

They can’t see us, yet so much is already known.

We are trapped, in need of saving.

They speak on behalf of us. Some things we must not say. One hand around a microphone, another smile to the camera, another article published, another dateline set.

To those who listen, to those who watch. To the world.

The sounds down here do not stop, but one tunnel is too long and the other stops half way. 7

Some things we will keep amongst ourselves. We will not sing like the canary, But pray and stay in God’s good fortune.


The Phone Call The TV blurs and the reporter talks, the buried miners headlining the reports. The loss of miners. The loss of good men. The loss of the man closest to my heart. I sit in despair waiting for the call, a call that would relieve my stress. Our canary chirps quietly in its cage, as if it were waiting too. It comes…. “Bring Bring” the loud sound booms in my ears. My heart pounds as I rush to the phone. I feel my knobbley knees And blood rush like a rapid through my body. 8

His voice is warm and trembles lightly. Almost foreign. I miss him like crazy. As he speaks softly with affection and love, about the suffering and despair his fellow men are living through. These long , hard weeks. I am filled with grief as it is time to go. I feel lost and alone inside. The thought of him gone, with no way out, frightens my heart. As I put back the phone, my eyes well with tears. At the chance for my dearest love, to never to see the light I sit in my bed. And I don’t sleep all night.


Who goes first? We have just been told.

I stepped forward.

It is what we were waiting for.

I open my mouth.

Ever since the rocks,

I can’t believe I just said it.

covered the sun.

But I did. The words

We are going up,

“I will go last”

but one at a time.

just left my mouth.

And that it might take

I feel sick.

a whole day to get us all

But it was the right thing to do.

Out

You could see it. On all of our faces. The desperation, the need to be first. But no one says it. Because everyone wants it. But we need to make the decision. 9


Injuries It was all so brisk, The silence, the screams, the fear. All linked with this sudden misfortune. There was no strategy in this haze of dismay .

We were bruised and our sprits hung low, as the darkness inundated what could once be seen. This Chilean mountain was no friend to us, within its depths our minds played puppet, as it pulled the strings. Manipulated with apprehension is what we were.

33 souls were spared all missing their loved ones. Will we see them again? Have they lost all hope? It was the distant voice of the canary’s song that brought us hope. 10

So that when the sun shines upon our face once more , We will be heroes. And all heroes need battle scars .


Alive and Free We were told that we would soon get out, to be happy, alive and free. Rummaging and booming sounds echoed from above. We waited for something that would save us all. A blue cage lowered down in front of us, and we all knew the drill. It was a fight for who goes first. But our bodies suddenly filled with relief One by one we stepped inside our blue savior, and slowly rose through the ground. A beam of light scorched our eyes. Even the sunnies could not protect them. Our eyes kept shut As we grew nearer to land Leaving behind the small canary , that lost its life on this long journey

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As we moved above ground We were filled with relief and joy. We were greeted by a swarm of people. Friends, family and loved ones. The sound of a canary chirping in the wind made me feel warm and at peace inside. We finally out, alive and free.


The mistress The cage opens I see her face My wife.

But who is that standing next to her The face is so familiar But it can’t be her, Can it? What is she doing here? Does my wife know? Are they here together? What has been said?

Questions and accusations are yet to come. Should I deny, should I confront the truth As I embrace the arms of my wife, I watch those eyes in the distance.

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I suddenly hear a familiar cry. The canary with the wings to fly away Oh how I envy it .

Into the mine  

verse novella

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