Poetry

HE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND

By 12th December 2015December 9th, 2019No Comments

There was panic in the valleys
As he story filtered through
That our pit was due for closure
And there’s nothing we could do.

Our way of life in Ystrad
Was known for miles around
As a warm and caring village
Where the men worked underground.

Our choir was plauded nation wide
The soccer team was tops
The DARTSY brew was local beer
Made from malt and hops.

The Ystrad Rugby team front row
Was known throughout the land
And all of you have surely heard
Of our famous colliery band.

Despite all this, the cabinet
Who sit in number ten
Had shattered life for all of us
With a swift stroke of the pen.

Uncle Ted was mortified
He couldn’t stem his tears
He’d laboured at the coal face
For forty eight long years.

Coal mining had been his life
Since he was just a lad
He recalled his first day vividly
When he went down with his dad.

He said “ There’s coal in Ystrad Main
For twenty years or more
I dearly hope they’ll think again
Before they slam the door “.

The Reverend Geronwy Pugh
Held meetings in the church
To study various contracts
And conduct a thorough search.

For documents to stem the tide
But it was all in vain
And then the big wheel ceased to turn
Atop of Ystrad Main.

The ministers refused our pleas
All argument was banned
They’d buy the coal from China now
We’d have to understand.

As weeks went by our village
Became a hollow shell
Shutters went up on the Colliers Arms
The library closed as well.

Our lovely choir disbanded
“Pro Tem”, was what they said
But no-one felt like singing
The atmosphere was dead.

The young men left the village
For Cardiff most were bound
To search for new employment
There was none underground.

Gradually they went at first
But soon t’was more and more
Ystrad’s now a shadow
Of the place we knew before.

Uncle Ted stepped off last night
I’m sure he had it planned
The poor old sod just cut his throat
HE DIDN’T UNDERSTAND.

Alan Parry-Booth

Author Alan Parry-Booth

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