Colin Ian Jeffery

(20th May 1942 / Caterham)

ABERFAN


On the morning of 21 October 1966,116 children and 28 adults died In a sea of slurry engulfing a school after the collapse of a coal-tip in Aberfan, South Wales.

What greater grief
Anguish and despair
Than loss of precious children?

Weeks of heavy rain
Drenched the mountainous coal-tip
Creating a slurry of black death.
Ominous, forbidding, the destroyer
Lurking hidden above the town
Threatening the unwary school.

Children sit at desks
Teachers supervising innocence
Minutes pass with lessons soon to end.
Avalanche of slurry gushes down
Black wave engulfing the school
Crushing, suffocating and burying.

There is a press picture - - soul searing
Of a policeman, helmet missing, covered in dust
Carrying a dead child from the ruins.

Submitted: Sunday, November 02, 2008
Edited: Saturday, February 22, 2014

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  • Guy Lip-more (4/26/2014 5:23:00 PM)

    I was just a kid at the time and lived about 8/9 miles away, I can just about recall talk of rescue workers. Yes a tragedy. another excellent write. I can almost feel the emotions of the tragedy in your words. (Report) Reply

  • Louie -Love & Peace- Levy (7/22/2009 11:39:00 AM)

    Earth hath no remorse for the desecration of her undistubed crust
    What ignorant humans have damaged of her natural generosities,
    prophets, profiteers and activists, one and the same, will have
    their predictions and greed will surely become another Armageddon
    We write with heart filled tears for ink and all the while we not wipe dry
    the memory, Just what that is 'All Mighty' are we waiting for? ? ?
    Bravo Sir Colin Ian Jeffery, we must 'Deciple' our comaraderie of Bards and
    help save all life on this forsaken planet. Inspiring write by a great poet! (Report) Reply

  • Jessica Hepner (4/11/2009 11:02:00 AM)

    My Dear Colin Ian Jeffery,
    Your poem literally sends chills down my spine and brings and tear to my eye. I feel as though I am actually seeing it all through my very own eyes... (Report) Reply

  • Laurie Hill (1/22/2009 8:36:00 PM)

    A very moving account of that awful day in Wales. Your words capture the sadness.......A very very moving poem (Report) Reply

  • Bob Blackwell (12/9/2008 1:15:00 PM)

    Colin I remember this well, it was five o'clock on dark damp evening I had just finished work when I first heard. I remember the policeman too. A vivd description of a tragedy. (Report) Reply

  • James Roberts (11/26/2008 9:35:00 AM)

    Very good I remember the Abervan disaster from when I was a child a very moving poem
    jim (Report) Reply

  • Carl Harris (11/19/2008 8:39:00 PM)

    Since such tragedies are often reflected in my own poetry, Colin, I knew immediately when I saw the title of this superb poem what it was about, and could visualize that heart wrenching photo of the policeman carrying that little girl from the wreckage of that school as vividly in my mind now as I could when I first saw it 42 years ago. I was very impressed by the quality of your poem. I was awed by the almost impersonal way the scene unfolded before the reader, all the while knowing the emotional impact this tragic event and scene must have made upon you to cause you to write these eloquent words. Being almost the same age and having written poetry almost as long as you have, I know that every poet is always striving for that one perfect expression of what their soul feels. This great poem is as close to that rare perfect expression as possible. Carl. (Report) Reply

  • Gillian.E. Shaw (11/10/2008 9:53:00 AM)

    I remember this happening and was a child myself at the time. It was appauling. Well done for capturing the essence of what took place in your poem. (Report) Reply

  • Dr Rajesh Kumar Vaid (11/9/2008 11:05:00 PM)

    Historical blunders of Industry and the importance of Occupational safety and Public health reported through the anguish of poet! Timely reminder in the age of Global warming. (Report) Reply

  • Sulaiman Mohd Yusof (11/9/2008 3:25:00 AM)

    Mishap and disaster are components of tragedy.It's so sad when it happens, someone that we know has to go.......can't be help! Nice works Colin. (Report) Reply

  • Margery Rehman (11/9/2008 2:39:00 AM)

    I remember this very clearly and the dismal images on the television-everything seemed grey and black.
    Well put together with feeling and good imagery.
    Regards,
    MargeryR. (Report) Reply

  • Lee Crowell (11/4/2008 5:12:00 PM)

    the death of children is the saddest possible subject
    this poem succeeds in reminding us that there are cruel paths along the walk of life (Report) Reply

  • Frank James Ryan Jr...fjr (11/2/2008 4:03:00 AM)

    This is surely tragedy, at its worst....You have very eptly painted graphically vivid pitures for the reader to them to fully grasp, the immeasurable impact, and utter perdition of this event. Excellent Writing, Colin.

    fjr (Report) Reply

  • Ian Bowen (11/2/2008 4:00:00 AM)

    Colin, one of the worst days of my life. Thanks for remembering in your fine poem.
    Ian (Report) Reply

Read all 20 comments »

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