Day 4: Transition

(transiens) “passing over or away,” present participle of transire “cross over, go over, pass over, hasten over, pass away,” from trans “across, beyond” (see trans-) + ire “to go” (from PIE root *ei- “to go”). Meaning “passing through a place without staying”

I’m catching up a bit on the November Poem a Day Challenge.

“Transition,” to me, does not sound appealing;
It reminds me of friends who have gone or are leaving,
It reminds me too much of the lingering pain
Of those whom I love and am grieving.

Transition has too often been used to describe
My friends who lie in beds hospitalized,
Whom I visit with, counsel, and pray;
But who in the end, transition and die.

“Transition” speaks of a lightness of being
That life is received not grabbed for keeping,
Is held with palms open till it goes away,
Billows in fullness but like a cloud, fleeting.

I long for the Time when transition goes away
And Time says, No hurry. Have a seat. Stay.

© Randall Edwards 2021.

Foggy

Today’s Poetry Pub prompt for the November Poem a Day Challenge is “foggy.” Since today is the 53rd Anniversary of the Farmington Mining Disaster, I chose to combine the two.

Sometimes a poem doesn’t get to where you want it, but because of the moment, you want to say something and so you do. Sometimes this is ill-advised. Other times, you feel you need to speak and trust that it will be enough.

[Note: I’ve continued to rework the piece and have updated it to the most current revision.]

This elegy is in honor of seventy-eight miners who died on this day in 1968 and their families and the community who still grieve their loss and the tragedy. You can read more about the disaster HERE. There is a longer YouTube video of an eyewitness account at the bottom of this post.

You listen to me read the poem via the player below.

Consul Number 9
There were ninety-nine miners who tried
In the Consol Number 9
To earn their wage, punch the clock,
Walk the slope, pick the rock,
Descend into the invisible fog
Released by the pile of Gog.*
Ninety-nine miners who worked inside
The Consol Number 9.

On the 20th day of November
The cold and the damp and the weather
Pushed the air down
To hang heavy inside
The Consol Number 9.

A blast shook the earth
As the third shift worked
Ignited the depths of the mine,
Trapped seventy-eight miners,
Farmington’s pride,
In the Consol Number 9.

Rescuers searched while their families prayed
Only 21 made it alive.
For a week they worked trying to find
The miners who were trapped, inside
Trapped inside but trapped alive,**
In the Consul Number 9.

Llewellyn belched a hellish smog ***
It filled the valley with fog.
To stop the fire, they sealed the mine
With the seventy-eight miners inside
The Fathers and brothers, 
Farmington’s pride,
In the Consol Number 9.

To this day, the families remember
That cold 20th day of November
The seventy-eight miners we worked beside,
The nineteen whom we never did find,
Our friends, our fathers, the brothers who died
In the Consol Number 9.

*A mine’s Gog Pile is the pile of rock refuse which may release hazardous methane gas.
** Though some held on to hope that more miners would be rescued, after the initials blasts, not many believed any could've survived.
*** The Llewellyn is the mine shaft where the explosion exited.
An Elegy for those lost in the Farmington Mining Disaster

You can view a personal account of the disaster.

Too Many

Day 16’s prompt is Too Many. I play around a bit with the meaning.

Too many”
As in there is “also much”
And sometimes there are also “few”
Of which it might be said there are too.

But who
Could say that there are too many
Things to be thankful for?
Too many blessings you’ve let walk through the door?
Too many people who love you, people galore?
Too many that you couldn’t use more?

You are not alone because there are too,
Many people longing for a place like you,
Too many people living afraid that there are too few
Who have room for another friend and who
Don’t have the faith to stick with it through
Thick and thin and to do so with you.

If you think you’re alone, you are not
Cause I am one and we are two,
And there are many more of us too.

© Randall Edwards 2021.

Pass the Piece Discussion

My wife, Jennifer, and I had a lovely discussion with artist Dawn Waters Baker about our Pass the Piece collaborative art project sponsored by Rabbit Room.

Through a Window

Today’s November Poem a Day prompt is “Window.” In recognition of World Diabetes Day, here his one is in honor of my hero.

Peak through a window
Into the life of my hero,
Who, since the age of seven,
Has had a cellular thirst,
Who has stuck her fingers
So many times
That her fingertips can bleed 
With just a squeeze.

Peak through this window.
What do you see?
I’ll tell you, she
Is one on whom the smile
Has remained
In spite of it all
To this very day.

© Randall Edwards 2021