Monday, July 20, 2009
Poem: Quarry Flowers
The slate quarry rises next to your house,
mountains of grey stone, hard and sharp,
the abandoned slag of stone, left behind
a generation earlier, when the mines closed
and the hardscrabble work
that fed the town was suddenly gone.
Since then the pit filled with water,
clear and cold, and the roads
through the quarry have been closed.
A few trees have somehow found root, but still
you can see the harsh rawness from miles away.
Everything about it cries "abandoned",
poignant and dark,
and yet, if you come close,
and walk past the first walls of stone,
and look past the ugly scar you see from a distance,
and walk into the ridges,
you will see them: Flowers.
Not just one or two, but a symphony of color,
a reminder that there is no scar
that cannot be healed,
no matter how badly we try.
My son and I walked through the abandoned slate quarry that is on 3 sides of my house this afternoon. (A picture of a part of the quarry is below). There is ugliness in a mine that had ripped the earth apart for it's treasure and then was left, but given time, there is beauty too. I was struck by the walls of wild flowers and green that had grown over much of the slag heaps, and from that, this poem. You can click on the pictures for larger versions of the images.