Originally written and posted 21.12.2011 – Re-posted 09.12.2019


… …

He dressed in blackened soot whose eyes shone upon his bare and yellowed teeth
     He worn and torn, whose royal, calloused hand, held no change or caution in its flush
Battened, trained and tested, he doubtless and replete might live 10, the 20 less than many
     but still would carry brother ‘hame’ from dark the wilderness battle, the grim shadows dancing
I earned these scars for bearing down with gritted teeth and carving diamonds from my sorry flesh,
     Now is there any wonder the purple thunder in the dark night cavern is a woman’s hole?
          and a necessary mother to those who pay with perspiration, oiled hands
               and attend the birth of nations wealth, the rich man’s worn-silk purse, lovers mementoes
The day the siren blows like a death knell at this royal mile where only thoroughbred
   stallions enter and four maimed and broken ponies leave, drawn on a rickety cart to the bone-man
The glistening heat burns this sweat box over,  as men who are men, dream of women’s
     flesh or the soft sweet touch of a harbour friend with tattooed-bluebird and a faithful touch
In the centre of the earth only burnt goblins, wraith’s or branded saints can stand healthy
     So fathom the memory of those bruised gladiators carried from their duty unheralded
Born on the shoulders of the working classes, straight tall people who bowed their backs
     to grasp an egg omelette, a slice of dry soda bread and maybe a broiler in a pie on Sunday
These forgotten, muddied infantry of the foremost lines still treading and spreading
     Waiting on a word from God or a handout from the Pentecostal soup kitchen whose
          battered Yellow Coach-Bus they call ‘Emmy’ rolls into Market Square when all the good,
               fair people are rehearsing whispered promises and making plans for an evening with
                    solitaire, magazines and some oh so simple and po-lite conversation 
I wished I walked again in Steinbeck’s holy pages with faces wrinkled by a dagger-sun
     or scanned the white-fields where hands and figures boned,
          tend and care for ankles torn and bloodied by the day
A ‘mistral’ cat with a sharp eye is prowling hungry in the bare gorse bushes
     It’s fur is knotted brown, its clavicles and pelvis standing bare through thinnest skin
Its stalking game against a mandarin sky with its belly so full of kitten, so ripe to burst 
    A mothers face I see amid her salted torment, a face of recognition in a dry wind gusting
         this wind catching ever so lightly a chicken wing thrown from a tan-faced workman’s lunch-tin.
… …

… …

Authors comment .. I think I discovered a rich vein of feeling for this piece – I think I wanted to capture the plight of the downtrodden – those who have worked so hard in tortuous circumstances for a mere pittance and little human reward so that others might benefit financially and enjoy a privileged lifestyle. I think all my work is about ‘feeling’. The saying goes ‘Manners maketh man’ and that does make for a fine saying and a catchy stanza of alliteration – but for me it is our feeling that makes us human. Compassion and kindness sets us apart from most animals. – edenbray today

My friend Jessica Phirri also commented – 04.01.2012 ~ Thank you for your rich painting of words and history and cultural distress. It really quite means something, EB. And how we take for granted the blood on our fingers! I love the pictures that you selected as well. It’s a humbling and faithful exercise to think of the downtrodden; the workers who push our world around its axis- the hands of God when we think we are our own. Your work is alive and speaking in tongues! ~ I loved these words she wrote for ‘Black Diamonds’ and I told her so. – edenbray today

#PROG-PROSE ~ Progressive Poetry – part of an #Edenbray retrospective – Re-posted today for a new generation

A Photo Glossary :

… Black Diamonds …

scene from ‘DAYS OF HEAVEN’
diamond worker with muddied face
DeBeer Diamond Mine Workers
‘ … where only thoroughbred stallions enter and four maimed and broken ponies leave … ‘

About edenbray

I'm a writer ... I write .. . I’m not sure why I ever stopped, was it 9/11? .. . edenbray is born ugly, wet and covered in blood, mucous and bodily functions ~ the effluence of my short life .. . I am a Writer and Artist since 1966 - I'm an avid Blogger ~ I write lots of poems, written essays, articles, reviews, opinion + comment .. . I have had many poems selected for Anthologies of verse and recently have published many of my poems in 24+ themed booklets ... please ask for details - join the shebang by leaving me a marker with a 'like' or a comment for my ego and encouragement and thanks for listening - I really value your interest ~ edenbray
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