A Hand Full of Stars for Pike River

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The last line of this poem has been in my head for days.

Caliban in the Coal Mines

GOD, we don't like to complain;
We know that the mine is no lark.
But — there's the pools from the rain;
But — there's the cold and the dark.

God, You don't know what it is —
You, in Your well-lighted sky —
Watching the meteors whizz;
Warm, with a sun always by.

God, if You had but the moon
Stuck in Your cap for a lamp,
Even You'd tire of it soon,
Down in the dark and the damp.

Nothing but blackness above
And nothing that moves but the cars …
God, if You wish for our love,
Fling us a handful of stars!

Louis Untermeyer, 1917

It has been a hard week for many people in a small town. The whole nation watched as the story of the 29 Pike River Miners unfolded, everyone holding their breath until the devasting news of a second and surely fatal explosion on Wednesday. We'd like to think that events like this happen in another time or country.

I had read this poem years ago, thinking of an older style of industry, but it reads just as bleak today.

Crafters doing what crafter do are looking for ways to help. One I know of is Shirley Goodwin who is collecting heart blocks to make quilts for the families. I have checked with her and stars would be most welcome too.

She is looking for blocks measuring 6.5", white or cream background, stars or hearts. Her details are at the link above.

I'm sorry, no pictures, not really appropriate to try and liven up the post.

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7 comments

  1. I've been following this story as well, half the world away. How scary for everyone! Very few mining accident stories have happy endings like the recent on in Chile. People forget that.

    (PS: You're right: My pregnant belly pictures will come in handy when she's a teenager!)

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  2. That's such a great idea. Is there a time limit? Or any other regulations? Are you going to do it? I can't look at the photos of the men without crying.

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  3. Yes, I will be joining in. The sewing group that I meet with on Monday Nights will start off next week's sewing by making stars.

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  4. I keep thinking about those miners, and now, about that poem too. It's very poignant.

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  5. The memorial is today isn't it? I might hide if DH decides to watch the coverage. My heart cant take the aching :(

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