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Aberfan

In 1966, in a small village in South Wales, on the 21st. of October, Pantglas Junior School was engulfed by a slide of mud and coal slag. One hundred and forty four souls lost their lives, including one hundred and sixteen children.


The sky was grey and sullen
Shrapnel rain struck window pane.
Inside sat fresh scrubbed faces
Pink with expectation.

Hair, filled with mischief
Notes passed, with intention.
Teachers with vocation
Intent on revelation.

Unearthly sounds reverberated
Silent breaths were held.
Death's hounds were near, and convocated
Close upon this ground.

Suddenly, the valley, silent
Not a sound was heard.
We looked in shock, in total awe
Could God be this absurd?

We tried with bloodied fingers
But to no avail.
The filth that took these poor young souls
Had handed us no trail.

So, where were you upon this day?
And where was our sweet lord?
When these young souls should meet their end
Could this be his accord?

So, this I ask each one of you,
I ask it too, of me,
Is each soul that died that day?
Nearer God, to thee?

Submitted: Sunday, April 28, 2013
Edited: Monday, September 23, 2013


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

A true disaster

Comments about this poem (Do You Remember? by Owain Glyn )

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  • Valerie Dohren (5/5/2013 3:25:00 PM)

    Yes, I remember the Aberfan disaster - a tragedy indeed, and which has been followed by many more tragedies since. Leaves one to question God - I am not a believer, so there is no question for me here. I question humanity.

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  • Lynne Fincherspringarden (5/3/2013 4:44:00 PM)

    This is a beautiful tribute to those sweet souls who perished in this land slide. A tragic disaster of mans doing partly and natures abundant rain. It is not God's wish that any of his precious ones should suffer or perish. In spite of the outward these little ones are ever safe within the infinite Love of God. Your poetic tribute to these lost souls is beautiful and will be treasured for years to come.

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