Fay Slimm




Stones Know.

Strewn over seashore hard evidence of Alquifou mining
for lead.
Trussed amid most in tufty green sward are hidden small
Forrays to deep-earthened hot-holes needed just candles
and valour.

Long wooden ladders often wankled in unstable footholds
were dangerously thin.


Down the rashling

- - -__- - - - - -
would venture in
- - - - - - - - - -
clogged foot or
- - -__- -- - -
plimsole if not
- - - - - - - -
too besmutted
- - - __- - -
by poverty.


Otherwise barefoot of course
which bettered the hold
on each cusp before
hitting rock-floor.


Meal was a pasty with tumpy top
candled to warm or freshly-baked
tattie and bacon-fat onion -wrapp
in floury packet was all some ate.

Bedaubed by black end-croust was
dropped at feet of pit- pony for crib.


No time to be lonely down there, yoiking a-plenty young
lasses wide-eyed the lads.
They laughed at a smidgen and cracked white smiles back
and forth across packs.
Trysts and tresses were forsayed, yet shorn or capped the
Bal Maidens played  for a catch.


A favovian wind meant moist homing
in shivery smicket to a tousled bothy
in fireside bathtub for swift de-slime
and a hot gruel drink afore bedtime.

Tumbling around in dawn mist, next day\'s shift yawned
as they fratched.


Derelict now only the stones know how  t\'was but those
feathery tufts of sea-grass growing alongside some old
mine-shaft still silently catch a scent of miners\' ghosts.

Alquifou = Cornish lead ore.
Yoiking = shouting in jest.
Forsayed = forbidden.
Favovian = west wind.
Smicket = a smock.
Fratch = a quarrel.