Bitter limp fruit

Bitter limp fruit

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Imagine fishermen labouring in a heavy seas swell

Pulling in the trawl to find a bitter limp fruit

Entwined in the mesh of drip wet green nets

The dead eyed souls of their young children

And we stay silent for our history is never told

Silenced from the hour, the days, and the years

For we are edited out of the hour of our times

 

Imagine coal miners hollowing out the seams

Men stripping coal a mile underground and more

And the hooters above ground calling them away

And brought up into the blinking light see the black tip

The harvest of their toils washed into the village

Spewed over the school where small children

Had read rhymes, sang hymns, were supposed to be safe

And we stay silent for our history is never told

Silenced from the hour, the days, and the years

For we are edited out of the hour of our times.

 

Imagine the trail of letters written foretelling

The concerns, the fears that a disaster would occur

And the NCB replies not days, not months but years later

And on a grey fog filled October day after weeks of rain

A small children’s school and a day of devastation

Exactly in the manner and the way foretold

And imagine if no one was held to account

And those families told make the slag heap safe

From the proceeds raised for the disaster fund

And we stay silent for our history is never told

Silenced from the hour, the days, and the years

For we are edited out of the hour of our times.

 

Imagine the miner, the father, the brother, the son

Looking out at the sprawl of waste they’d dug

Imagine the mother, the sister, the daughter

Looking out at the grey listlessness of another day

Of the silent keening, the numbed grieving

Of the impossibility of using words to describe

And we stay silent for our history is never told

Silenced from the hour, the days, and the years

For we are edited out of the hour of our times.

 

Imagine the mothers bringing up children

The happiness and hopes for the future

Imagine the sisters who stayed off school

Imagine the brother too slow and was late

Imagine the vacuum where a life had been

Imagine a young life where a vacuum is now

And we have been silenced, our history just words

And our future is silent and will never be told

Silenced from the hour, silenced from those days

Silenced from the years, silenced from all that might have been.

 

 

The Aberfan Tribunal found that repeated warnings about the dangerous condition of the tip had been ignored, and that colliery engineers at all levels had concentrated only on conditions underground. In one passage, the Report noted:

“We found that many witnesses … had been oblivious of what lay before their eyes. It did not enter their consciousness. They were like moles being asked about the habits of birds.”

No NCB staff were ever demoted, sacked or prosecuted as a consequence of the Aberfan disaster or of evidence given to the Inquiry.

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