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Got The T-Shirt: Holly Bank

Do widows grieve the loss of a pit? Steph Spiers' heartfelt poem poses a rhetorical question.

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Sank in 1890, closed in fifty two,
Earthborn hell, hewn where no light shone.
Dust hated pit, air thick ‘n blue.
Do widows grieve Holly Bank is gone?

Far beneath fair Staff’s clay, red face.
Lurk yawning shafts which drop to gloom.
High above, the bracken covered Chase
Of the King’s gorse ‘n saffron broom.

The Chase’s timid roebuck frolic ‘n play
seek, on heath and ringed birch forest.
Concealing seams without God’s day.
unmerciful takers of our dearest.

Littleton, New Essington ‘n Holly Bank,
reapers of mere boys ‘n solid men.
Collieries sweat hot, black and dank,
Echo our dead boys, every soul worth ten.


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