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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 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: 6/15/2013 1:02:00 PM
    A very emotive piece, Keith! Well done! Love, Kim