He Turned Once and Smiled.........

The Coal Miner

I remember well ......He turned just once
and smiled ....as if somehow he knew
That man within darkened bowels of earth
can see gods eternal view

The look on his face serene and
accepting....but alone
How does a man die in the darkness
no light has ever shown

That darkness smeared on his face
and ingrained within his hands
Never washing free......eternally dust
to dust ....but he understands

He takes the brass tag from one nail
and hangs it on destinies wall
And knows his number is chosen
he works until the final call

The shift is about to end and he imagines
his children waiting at the gate
But ......a tremor in the bowels of earth
......some one shouting ...a warning too late

How many men could turn just once
smiling and then enter the mine
As if the darkness itself were light
as if awaiting hiis time

The tremor within the bowels.........
his nightmare that never leaves
One day some new light will shine...untill then
man would burn the sun he believes

Comments 24 comments

Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 5 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

That is so deep dramatic poem, Dad. I can feel the chill.

This poem reminds me to the case of 33 Chile miners trapped under the ground when one part of the mine collapsed and shut their way out. take 69 days until their government finally managed to find a way to save these miners and brought them out from bellow the surface of the earth alive, one by one. truly a miracle. I'm sure at that moment, after several months, their families might not expect them to get home safely but they did get home safely, thanks to God! This job is really risky and you managed to described the emotion around it. Awesome, beautiful and vote up! ^^

elfishflea profile image

elfishflea 5 years ago from Texas

This is lovely. Dark and dramatic.

Might I suggest that instead of the long ellipses you use a hyphen or dash? I understood the effect you were going for, but found all the dots a bit distracting.

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Through my life I have read and heard of so many coal miners that have lost their lives and it always has saddened me.

Beautiful Poem.

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Freya my dear girl, you are so right , even in the country called America , so many occupations are very dangerous . Loggers , farmers , fishermen , the miners. Thank yu for sharing with ME ! I am blessed!

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Elfishflea, Thank you , I may just try that ! Glad you stopped by.

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Hello Susan , I have always dreaded to await the results and there are so many examples of tragedy again and again. I watched a documentary on the Springhill mining disaster in Newfoundland a year or so ago. How do we tend to forget these dramatic looses. Thank you for dropping in.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

A great and sensitive hub !! A brilliant tribute to the boys and men of many years ago.

Many have suffered in the coalmines of Wales over the years.

Thank you for sharing this one and take care


tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 5 years ago from USA

A heartfelt poem to remind us that life is short and not to be taken for granted. God does work in amazing ways. My dad was a coal miner for many years. Even tho they did strip mining, there were many accidents. I cringed each time my son and husband went to work in the oilfields. I was grateful to see them change jobs. Great hub!! Voted up!

Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

I also read that same story about the trapped coal miners. It went right to my heart. I prayed for those people. It must have been a long, desperate time for those souls.

It does happen that people get trapped and die in mines; that seems like a horrible death.

What a powerful poem!

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

A splendid tribute to the men who work the mines. I couldn't do it.

Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

This is beautiful Ahorseback, very solemn piece. Good work!

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Eiddwen , Thank you dear lady , I have always felt I could never go in the ground! They are sure brave. Yes Wales is known too for mining , well known . Be well my dear.

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Tpoague , Them them dearly for us all! They have a tough and dangerous job. Nice to see you.

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Thank you Paradise , nice to hear from you.

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Will Star , Meee either! too scary.

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Cardisa , Happy Saturday too yoouuu!

Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 5 years ago from Australia

This really puts into context the risks these brave men take, every day of their working lives. I couldn't do it.

Another brilliantly crafted and passionate poem from you ahorseback. Thank you. Voted up and awesome.

chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

Dark and dangerous work not forgotten by the writer. A powerful acknowledgement of the reality of their work.

Fossillady profile image

Fossillady 5 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

You got me with the line about his children waiting at the gate. No one should have to work in the dark, it would put so much stress on a life! Thank you for sharing and it also reminded me again of the Chilean minors and how we were glued to the TV until they were out!

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Fennelseed , You are too kind , but I love it! Thanks for this soul connection!

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Chs Publish , perhaps it's the reality of life that intrigues my wayward mind so! Thank you for undeerstanding.

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Fossillady , thank you for having such a compassionate heart ....You are the reason America is so giving. Thank you for all you do.

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is so beautiful. So many lost in the mines. When are the mining magnates going to put man ahead of profit? Thank you.

ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 5 years ago Author

Always Exploring , Thank you for the comment. I don't think corporate America has a concience at all. Oil rigs , coal mines , asbestos ....on and on. Hopefully one day..........:-}

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