Home The Thomas Lewis Line Thomas's Siblings Guest Book Samuel Barnes Art Gallery Poems to my Wife

Dale's Poem Page

All the Poems on this page have been composed by myself, after
being influenced by what I know and have experienced. I hope
you will gain something from reading them.
I hope you will accept that the words in the poems are put in to
create atmosphere, and reflect a time when certain words were acceptable,
but are no longer. I do not find such words acceptable in todays
context, and I apologise for any offence these words cause, but like
cows in formaldehyde, it is part of the Art.

Black Hell in the Valleys

My God what a terrible place,
Dangerous, black, dusty, damp, and grim.
Eeking out a living at the coal face,
Living in a world that is hot and dim.

Dying hewing coal far beneath the earth,
In coal and stone dust, blood and sweat.
Often struck down digging, digging for all they're worth,
Digging like a nigger, getting dirty and wet.

Coal, the Valley's curse, the maker of slaves,
Men, women ,and children working for peanuts.
Grovelling in a maze of long black caves,
Doing a job as dangerous as war, spilling their guts.

Giving their lives for the master's wealth,
Digging till they die, digging, digging coal.
Earning so little, costing their health,
Risking life and limb in a big black hole.

Thomas Lewis Died in the Pit

My Great Grandfather died in Waterloo pit,
Thomas Lewis was his name.
The roof fell in, and that was it,
As many other miners who's fate was the same.

At 67 he was still digging coal,
On his knees in water at the coal face.
Risking life and limb in a big black hole,
with little room to swing in his cramped space.

Thomas was buried with his first son and wife,
He now lays in the cemetery of Blaenau Gwent.
Resting his back, after digging all his life,
All that work and all those tears just to pay the rent.

Digging coal and giving his life for the master's wealth,
Sinking their pits like his father before him.
Earning so little at the expense of his health,
Such a dependence was very grim.

Thomas married Mary Davies in Nantyglo in 84,
He sank Six Bells and others for a little extra pay.
In 1886 Blodwen was born, a daughter to adore,
Adding a son Thomas, a happy family until Mary then Thomas were taken away.

Thomas's grandfather was David, born in Bedwas in 1799,
Thomas's father was born in Mynyddislwyn in 1833.
Thomas himself was born in Blaen-y-Cwm, first in line,
In 88 in Cwmtillery another Thomas was born, growing the family tree.

Thomas spent his childhood in Pontypool,
Growing into a fine working man for hard toil.
Attending Chapel in the town and going to school,
He followed his father into the pits deep beneath the soil.

Thomas boxed for money and passion,
Always digging coal, punching, and keeping up his guard.
Watching to avoid a roof fall or an explosion,
Taking farm work in Ross when times were hard.

He met Elizabeth, the wife of a man that fled,
He took on her two sons who showed him no respect.
Thomas added two new sons and now he was family head,
After a hard day, he'd sit with clay pipe and dog at his feet to reflect.

Now he is somewhere else, sitting by the fire,
His pipe in mouth and looking down at his family, hopefully as people to admire.

The Scotch Cattle are Coming

I hope you have been good, not working against your friends.
The Scotch Cattle are back in Town.
They have come to knock someone's selfish little world down.
Did you get their letter of warning
You might get a visit from the herd in the morning
Did you take heed?
They are coming to cure you of your greed.
Did you hear the cattle singing on the hillside last night
Lowing like cattle, shouting, banging pots, and shooting to cause a fright.
If the Bull comes knocking move all your loved ones aside.
There's nowhere for you and your loot to hide.
The Bull is coming to wreck all you've worked for, on the backs of others.
The Bull's lesson is to teach you to stand with your brothers
You can't win in a fight with the Bull,
So Take your punishment and don't die a fool
If you go to the authorities, you will die with Bull's Horns in their chest.
Just standing back letting the Bull wreck your China Shop is best.
Even the Works Masters won't stand against the Cattle,
Nobody in the Valleys wants a Battle.
You've make your bed, so just lie in it.

The Thomas Lewis Line Thomas's Siblings Guest Book Samuel Barnes Art Gallery Poems to my Wife