Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Spot in St. Agnes

Wrote this about a disused mine I came across last summer in Cornwall. Needs a better title though...

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An ancient ruin
of stone foundations.
Ritualistic circles, molten troughs and concrete coffins
around us, worn by time.
"Disused Mine" is all the map says.
No signs
to tell the stories, the
Hundreds of lives and livelihoods
carved out here.

Footprints of ghosts invaded by
spray-painted dicks.

But you can still feel it;
the clang of machinery,
the steam and noise
the grey rubble mounds
and the shouting tinmen.
Stephenson's Industrial legacy,
Britain's choking, chugging combustion engine
is lost.

Blake's "dark, satanic mills"
have been exorcised by
time.
The machinery is rusted and abandoned,
rotted by sea water winds,
the steam and fire replaced by
harking gulls and crashing waves.
The great stone structures are nothing
but a rambler's quaint picnic spot now.
The deep dark pits that men descended into and
died in are filled in and covered up,
and the grey rubble Mordor mounds are
green and purple
with heather.

It's a hidden reminder that
nothing ever stays the same.

Men poured their lives and health into these stones.
They lost brothers, exchanged wives,
laughed long and loudly among the flames
before retiring to the pub,
to Mable,
and then the grave.
Now it's just a canvas
for local graffiti artists,
and a pleasant meeting spot for nearby doggers.

Everything changes and time always wins.
One day these walls will be
taken back by nature, reclaimed by the oppressed undergrowth.
And chilldren of the future
will scrawl filthy messages on the remains.
And ramblers will peel tangerines on the rubble,
and historians and writers will sit and gawk
at how quaint and simple
our lives were.

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