PIT PONIES by Arthur Cole

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This poem was written by Arthur Cole who said "I was brought up Caerau a small mining village in the Llynfi Valley. Every miner's holiday my brothers and I would help take the pit ponies to the fields, where they would spend two weeks in the fresh air. Sadly our coalfields are no more, and our children will not be able to cherish such memories."

I was four when I started my life underground,
stabled below, choking coal dust did abound.
Brave miners my friends, they treated me well,
for one, oh so young, the face was like hell.
The dust and the gas, air putrified,
miners would crawl, on bellies and sides.
After pulling the journeys, for eight hours a day,
I lay in my stable, on soft and warm hay.
Fifty weeks of the year we'd work together,
oh what I'd give for fresh air, fine weather.
Then it would come, two weeks on top,
roaming the fields, a nice gentle trot.
The air I took in, so fresh and clean,
the weeks would fly by, then back to the seam.
Ten years I would work, with those brave men below,
but my time it did come, up top I would go.
Up in the cage, to the top of the pit,
they patted my head, 'you deserve it'
Checked by the vet, then down to the field,
where for two weeks a year, always spring heeled.
A pit pony's life was hard, and so tough.
I made many friends, took the smooth with the rough,
Life in the field, is the way it should be,
for ponies who started out young, just like me.

Copyright Arthur Cole 2016 (8)