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Below is the poem entitled Forecasts which was written by poet Keith Bickerstaffe. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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'...the burnt out end of smoky days' - T.S. Eliot


The evening rumbles in 
and grumbles, tea is served, the kettle
whistles, bread 
is buttered, weary workers settle,
nibble, drink their tea and chatter,
as the platter's 
passed around and cakes are proffered
in the cozy parlour, lamp-lit,
rum is offered,
daily bread, and thankful for it.
Curtains closed against the weather,
children say their prayers together,
snug and safe now, sister, brother.


The morning sun prods sleepyheads
to service and to play,
the colliery beckons
and the women make the beds.
The cobbled backstreets glisten
from the rain the night before.
The siren calls
and all the miners listen,
they heed its strident roar
and step into their coveralls.


You take fresh linens from the chest,
it's time to straighten up the nest,
then gargle, and repair your face
to meet the challenges and woes,
you hold your children to your breast
and wonder how by heaven's grace
you'll pay the rent, afford the food,
as praying to the Lord you stand and shiver,
arms and legs are shaking, all a'quiver,
a dreadful vision haunts your eyes,
the poor house, shameful to conceive,
you lie upon the bed and weep,
how will you cope, how will you sleep?
no items left to compromise,
a constant struggle to believe.


He wrestles with his conscience, tried
and troubled, thoughts of fraud and theft
beset him constantly, he's torn,
his sickened heart is worn, bereft.
He looks into the eyes of strangers,
each consumed with his own fears,
distraught, and never satisfied,
into a world of want stillborn,
condemned to worry all these years.

We suffer with these souls who struggle
through a life of toil and grief,
tread-milled with no hope of cheer
or expectation of relief.

Copyright © Keith Bickerstaffe

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  1. Date: 4/12/2013 9:12:00 AM
    I think Keith, you will be guesting from now on. Excellent~ A.O

  1. Date: 4/11/2013 3:08:00 PM
    ah keith, your poetry transcends. if every poet on this site came close to your level, i'd never feel confident enough to post anything of my own. it's a joy to read your work...

  1. Date: 4/11/2013 5:29:00 AM
    This is a tragic, but an oh so truthful write my friend! I just love this beautiful write, written so exquisitely and intricately! You have bestowed upon me a grand display of talent and awe Kieth, what an amazing poem! Great work!!