Poetry: ‘Mine-Wind’ by Neil Slevin



For all who mined in Arigna


I breathe into you and yours

as you work towards earth’s core

and carry the love you leave behind

on days spent digging for life.

You leave your own


to battle coal, war stone,

smother foes with explosions of rock –

bullets that streak like stars slain by sky –

prostrate under the weight of water,

to drown in sumps, shelter in gob.


Your weapons are not the sword or gun

but clips and caps; hutch a cart for those

mourned only by the foreman’s truce,

their funeral your trek into darkness,

the wounded day’s retreat.


Camouflaged by falling night,

you pause in thanks to Him,

embrace the sanctity of votive light

then let it fade with distance,

wait for dawn.


Neil Slevin MA, BSc is a writer from Co. Leitrim, Ireland whose poetry has been published widely. He is Dodging The Rain’s Poetry Editor. https://twitter.com/neil_slevin