The pithead wheel turns, up from the shaft
come men and boy miners blackened with soot.
Tunnels of darkness, tiredness and sweat
iron ore and coal by explosive and pick.
Over the railway line engines and trucks
rattle along with monotonous rhythm.
Blast furnaces smoking, glow red in the darkness
choking black smoke cuts out sun and fresh air.
Sparks fly from the forge, hammering anvils sing out,
while slag heaps run silver with hot molten waste,
from steel works and foundry along the canal side
filth, dust and dirt, till the work is all spent.
Gone the industrial age now land devastation,
reclaimed for a festival fit for the Queen.
Italianate temples reach clear to the sky
by sculpture reflecting the natural world.
People in cable cars suspended on steel,
look on water ‘scaped gardens designed in Japan.
Clematis trimmed arbours to flower filled marquee’s,
a spectrum of colour, a rainbow of light.
Scenic trains circle with summer dressed tourists
and picnics in baskets to lawns edged by flowers,
where wandering musicians serenade ice cream eaters
as they wait for the evening firework display.
Landscape of Shelton Bar, now retail and leisure park
where miners and foundry men’s ancestors spend.
Elaine Morris (c) 2014