50th Anniversary.

50th Anniversary


I was sixteen when that mountain of muck

Roared with the sound of the worst hurricanes

Rushing from the mountain top above Aberfan

To consume the life of a school, of generations.

I was being kept in silence in a dark room

And knew nothing at all of that place

Or that small children were drowning

In the slurry storms black torrent

The blackest news was kept from me.

My lungs were drowning me and I was fighting

For my own life. I make no comparisons.

The old priest sat at the side of my bed

Gave the last sacrament, words I barely heard

I was more concerned with the pain

Of taking the next breath and if the next

Would be my last or the pain would come again.

But I survived bed ridden through winter months

I was told my lungs were free of scarring

And in spring I was allowed to walk the mountain

When life is on the edge of a knife’s sharpness

The sun looks different, light has changed

The air of nights darkness has another meaning

The anniversary of the tragedy is near.

Watching them fly in.


Watching them fly in


I never agreed with it

Too much emotion

The rejection said


I wrote something

After nine eleven

Watching them fly in

Not knowing

What they’d been leaving

Arriving in distress.


She had a brother

Working in the first tower

A place that I’d known

A place I’d been

She didn’t know

If he was living

The phone call came

And she smiled again

He was alive.


Long ago

As I walked home

I heard

I felt

The explosion

My classmates

Fathers, brothers

Uncles, men

Had been lost

We use that word

Too loosely.


Too emotional.

What have we become?

Stone pillars

Wooden Indians



People live


Just by television

I’ve lived in a time

That isn’t literally

Real or unreal

I write

About emotions

The connections

People, times and places

That are real.