Charles Thompson




a coal miner


his cage clangs


like a circus from Lucifer


wild strange discords

- drums


colliers in their dark labyrinths -

their drills whine


coal is their milkless breakfast

they are relentless for it

like ravens

like men with guns


 they are waterless -

dark within their cells – lightless almost -


if a river surges

it is far-off far-off deep somewhere



a flesh of water like the skin of an otter -

silent ceaseless


ceaseless as an apple tree

a pomegranate

a snake ,,,,,,and it is sacred


the river

its turmoil


in kaleidoscope



a scent like bracken.

Like earth

from the deep,


Let the miner bathe

in the river


beside the ash tree

beside his house

his wife's house

his family's house

beside the hill's shoulder

its arms

its breast


My poem  is part of a journey - symbolic in this instance - to engage with ideas and practices ie meditation - connecting to goddess themes.


Thus Coleridge - my source - envisaged such themes with ease and power at home

- for  once - and twice more - in ‘Christabel’ and ‘The Ancient Mariner’ - with his urgent imaginative dealing with the feminine origin of creativity. In ‘Kubla Khan’ the force and feminine ground of the creative bursts forth from the ‘sacred river’ in symbolic parturition 

A mighty fountain momently was forced;

Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst 

Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,


My poem places images of dark masculine energy beside those - contrasting - of powerful creative or birthing female energy. To find balance and health!


I will never catch up with Coleridge of course - but will I trust go further forward on this journey.


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