Man from Merthyr
Memory loss punched holes in your head
and let in the dark, instead of the light.
Constellations faded from your sight,
erased by the arch-angel’s coal-dust wing.
“I’m shrinking,” you said, the last time I saw you,
you, who had been taller, were now smaller than me.
Tonight, when the harvest moon shines bright
and drowns the stars in its sea of light,
I will sit by my window and watch for your soul
as it rides its coal-fired rocket to eternity.
My eyes will be dry. I do not want pink runnels
running down this coal-miner’s unwashed face.
I’ll sing you a Welsh lullaby, to help you sleep.
“When the coal comes from the Rhondda
down the Merthyr-Taff Vale line,
when the coal comes from the Rhondda
I’ll be there.”
With you, my friend, shoulder to shoulder.
“With my golden pick and shovel, I’ll be there.”
Farewell, my friend, safe journey, sleep deep,
as deep as a Rhondda coal mine may you sleep.