the miner reflects on his mountain deep

Poem #167 from a series of poems drawn from the imagination and collected as: a Bachelard reverie.

Back to Bachelard and me – Introduction

it’s a long way

when you know
that there’s a half
a mile
of dirt
and rock
above you

and the space you’ve carved
for yourself to move
is only two men

you have to
your tunnels

keep the pump
and pushing out water

and keep the light
on your helmet

went down there

in my hand
and no concern
for risk
or for danger

breathing black
shitty dust
in the eternity
of black
shitty night
where I could not see
my hand


right before my eyes
and my ears filled up
with god

choosing that deep time
to start talking

but I plinked
and I plunked with my pick
and did my best
to keep his voice
of my head

because I needed clear mind
for the work

it is a soul
down there

some kind of spirit

I’d sit down
on a break
no light

no sound at all
but my breathing
and I could see
I swear
six different kinds
of blackness

the working
of a heart
is a loud call too

its sound
is a determined beat
and it would fill all the tunnels
right up
with me

like a claim I’d staked
I didn’t really
belong there

I didn’t own
any part of that creature
I only

I stole all the ore
that ever gleamed
or glittered
in my light

thief that I was
I don’t think the mountain
squatting up there above me
ever even knew
that I was alive

I stole the ore out

I was a miner
and a thief
half a mile down
I learned
to pray

© Frank Prem 2018

Bachelard and me Poem #168: oneiric elements #3


when the watch stopped

when he noticed
that his watch –
worn most days
on his left wrist –
had stopped

he half-assumed
that someone he knew
must have died

all through the morning
while attending
to his work
his regular routines
and labours
he realized
he was waiting

for a change
in the feel
of the wind

the cry of a bird

for his heart
to beat aloud
from the stress
of him holding on
to his breath

while he waited
for news

for confirmation

he adjusted the hands
of the watch
to correct the time
they were showing

and the day
without incident