Thursday 25 November 2010

Pike River 24/11/10

Do not think of them in the dark.
Remember them in the light.
For these were New Zealand boys,
Born to sunlight and the Tasman’s thunder.

Do not think of the ancient trees
Pressed black in the earth’s embrace,
Whose richness these miners carved
Out of the mountain’s chest.

Remember them, instead, among green hills
Under a fleeting sun.
Rummaging in the fern with dog and gun
For the wild pig and the running deer.

Do not think of the tears.
The rictus of disbelief.
Of ragged breaths indrawn
Over jagged reefs of pain.

Remember, though the heart cracks,
Their laughter and fierce joy
At discovering along this smoky coast
First kisses, proud promises, wedding days.

Do not think this is the end.
That Death and Darkness
In the deep confer and grimly
Draw a line beneath our Twenty-Nine.

Though it took their lives,
Think of the coal they hewed
Burning white hot
In the world’s furnaces.

Think of the bright steel
Their labour forged.
Lift your faces to the sun
And know the quality of our loss.

Chris Trotter


Anonymous said...

Well said Chris.

A Dios boys.

Mick [South Westland]

Pascal's bookie said...

Thanks Chris. Spot on.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful tribute to the miners Chris.

Victor said...

This is beyond excellent, Chris. It deserves to be seen by a much wider audience.

ani nil carborundum said...

well said, Chris

lurgee said...

One of the few occasion's Chris's trademark florid style is rather dwarfed by events.

Olwyn said...

A beautiful tribute Chris. Well spoken. Thank you.

Richard McGrath said...

Nice words, Chris. A tribute worthy of the 29 lost men. I followed a link here from Peter Cresswell's libertarian blog NotPC.

Anonymous said...

What's that half mast NZ flag all about?

Since when did entirely preventably workers deaths become some sort of national tragedy?

Nice arrangement of words in the style of Binyon, but don't start thinking it touches the raw heart of this very political matter, it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris
We enjoyed your poem so much, we are seeking your permission to use your it as part of card thanking people for their support of our school over this time of tragedy in the community.
Can you email me urgently, regarding this.
Brendon Robertson
Greymouth High School