Slipping Away

Slipping Away

A Poem by exotic flotsam

Slice view into an invisible American culture.

see the thin white ring, worn right through
his daddy's blue overalls pocket, tobacco tins
to become a man here, every boy must chew,
etching their manly brawn, and so it begins

see fate's clotting cloud subsume daddy; the Keres' black gleaming rails
midst his hope's feckless dream, fragments echo mist of another way
black gleam lowers mine trolleys into the underworld, where all life fails,
for families, miners, Daddy, light and life, the Guide, he prays every day

all the boys think, "I want to be a man, just like my Daddy."

for they believe they are men too now, every day feeling old enough
for the edge, spiritus raptor, boy to man, man to miner, miner to dust
old enough are none, to follow the benighted path, only for the rough,
old enough are none, to force themselves on the seam, yet they must

youth's dreams overlaid daily, under manifest sooty ash snowflakes
their legacy: ever the deeper, ever the darker, ever the reaper
optimism, faith in themselves, in life, for their children, suffocates
we care not, ours is whatever we want, the oblivious sweeper

fathers and father's firefly shadows before them, yoked by our covetousness

optimism collapses to doubt, doubt to skepticism, skepticism to cynicism, cynicism to
yet the boy dreams, for what it is worth, of slipping away from the Sisyphian abyss to

the Hole is their Whole, all they need to know, no place to go
outside their hollar, none care; ostracized, overlooked by our world,
a place none here have been, a place none will ever know
they know we know them not, care not, our empathy coldly furled

"Come on over and see boys, the Hole is who we are".

beautiful God given dutiful faces, luminous eyes, eroded away like silt, lost,
life's wonder, it's joy, quarried away with a hewer's 18 pound pick
soft black rock, fueling our lives; fatal raven dust, the price each day cost
now he sees, putter's black gleaming rails, fiendish fate's cruel trick

each dark dawn, clean shaven faces, toting lunch pails, they talk, then, by rail,
they fall,
Bevin's boys still, conscripted by our want, we offer them a perfect black veil,
lung squall

"Its their choice, isn't it?", we'll take what they offer, but not them

our perishable notice flickers earnestly, important when
expendable souls collapse on vicarious national media coverage,
parasites, piercing suspended grief, only then, only then
does rise our vapid empathy, stained by specious prayer salvage

raised from relentless withering catacombs, hoisted at dark day's end, into dark night,
never reaching a goal
heeding embedded culture, destiny unspoken, by us they know what this is: not right,
yet they labor our coal

coal keeps the lights on,
these lives, we have won

except, that boy, life bled
late one night, stealing into his feathery dream's whisper,
in this dark, his light, he fled,

slipping away

This is an observation of a group of people. Character development is generalized to include any of the culture itself. Dark, yet not without one flicker of hope.

Spirtus raptor (Lat.): transfer of the body of a saint the Lower World; breath ravisher

hewer: loosens rock and minerals in a mine, on their sides, deepest in a shaft, the hewer works 7 hours a day without coming to the surface.

Keres: Death Spirits; Death Fates; Doom

Bevin's boys: conscripted to work in the coal mines, vital, but largely unrecognized service

Putters: brought empty coal tubs up to the coal face and took loaded tubs to the pit bottom

40% of our low emission feel good electric cars derive their power from coal fired plants

Recommended films, "The Devil's Miners"; "The 33"

© 2016 exotic flotsam

Author's Note

exotic flotsam
Humanity reveals our humanity.

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Added on September 10, 2016
Last Updated on September 10, 2016
Tags: duty, labor, doom, ope, insight, forgotten people, another world, destiny


exotic flotsam
exotic flotsam

Bellevue, WA

I'm an adrenaline junkie former lawyer stay at home Dad, infatuated with elevated writing. more..


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