TO celebrate the opening of the new Archives Centre in Tipton Road, Dudley, I with a number of other writers, attended workshops where we wrote poems on the subject 'Dudley Past and Present.'
Attached is one of mine, and I wonder if you might be interested in including it in one of your publications.
I may be dowdy now,
old-fashioned; down at heel;
past my sell-by date; but once …
Standing proud on a high hill,
nothing between the Urals and me,
I looked down, watched as a well wind
washed over my lands, blew away clouds
so the stones of my castle glowed.
Having celebrated millions of birthdays,
my rocks glinted, boasted fauna long gone.
Beneath the surface, treasures sat; patient.
Sand, clay, ores and glossy, splintering,
high calorie, black gold.
My daughters made homes, brewed beer,
bore and fed my sons, who grew
strong in the sunlight. Broad of back;
sharp of mind; keen of eye and ear;
energised by my Earl, a man of vision.
Toil ensued, miners by the dozen,
colliers by the ton, battled, grafted,
liberated fuel which heated homes,
fired furnaces; hearths that spat out
iron, steel, brass, bricks, pipes and channels.
Inland mariners forged chains and anchors,
delivered to ports and harbours miles away.
Subtler, gentler objects in glass, were blown
in quiet places. Rummers, tumblers and flutes
of the finest crystal, stabilised by lead,
graced homes, restaurants, the saloons of ships,
which sailed the rivers, canals and seas.
In this present world, resources lessened,
skills and talents spurned, I lie, not moribund,
but cocooned in hibernation. In future sunlight,
I shall rise again, be celebrated for the achievements
of my children; artists, musicians, actors, artisans
and administrators. Progeny to make me proud.