Poetry and Pictures from Tyneside by Alan Hartley

tyne poetry headerPhotograph ©Carol Haynes.

Going Home

pit wheel"Pit Wheel" by Michael HartleyIt isn't there, the big wheel at the pit head.
They changed its name, the lane up to the school.
It just fell down, the Methodist tin chapel.
What was is gone, and change is now the rule.

They closed them down, the yards along the River.
They went for scrap, the cranes that held the sky.
It's quiet now, where noise went on forever,
Leaving skilled men to curse and wonder why.

They've gone, the kids you used to play with.
They took with them their lives and memories.
Like you, they left their hopes and daft ambitions
Behind, and faced the cold realities.

She isn't there, the girl beside the bus stop.
Perhaps she got fed-up, or her bus came.
Or did she just grow old enough to see it,
That you and Dick and Harry were the same.

He got his cards, the mate you used to work with.
They said he wasn't needed any more,
And when he felt he truly was redundant,
He left, accepting what we all foresaw.

It isn't there, the house, the street, the township.
Forget about the past, who else would care?
You've been away too long to find the answers.
Before you start, you know it isn't there.