A heritage of a sort.
A heritage of comradeship and suffocation.
The bawling pit-hooter and the god’s
explosive foray, vengeance, before retreating
to his throne of sulphur.
Now this black-robed god of fossils
petrifier of underground forests
emerges with his grim retinue
past a pony’s skeleton, past human skulls,
into his half-propped up, empty, carbon colony.
Above, on the brutalised,
unstitched side of a Welsh mountain,
it has to be someone from somewhere else
who will sing solo
not of the marasmus of the Valleys,
the pit-wheels that do not turn,
the pump-house abandoned;
nor of how, after a half-mile fall
regiments of miners’ lamps
no longer, midge-like,
rise and slip and bob.
Only someone uncommitted,
someone from somewhere else,
panorama-high on a coal-tip,
may jubilantly laud
the re-entry of the exiled god
into his shadowless kingdom.
He, drunk with methane,
raising a man’s femur like a sceptre;
she, his ravished queen,
admiring the blood-stained black roses
that could not thrive on the plains of Enna.