For Adrian Mitchell
Hello and welcome to our industrial museum.
On your right there’s a slag-heap reclaimed…
a hill… another slag heap…
that one shaped as a landing-pad
for bird-like hang-gliders.
Notice the pit-wheels perfectly perserved
where you can buy mementoes
of the Big Strike and eat authentic cawl
at an austere soup-kitchen.
There mummified miners cough and spit
at the press of a button
and you can try their lungs on
to a tape-recording of Idris Davies’ poems.
That rubble was a 19th century chapel,
that pile of bricks an industrial estate.
The terraced houses all adorned
in red, white and blue as if royalty were visiting.
See how quaint the wax models
of women are, as they bow in homage
to polished doorsteps, the stuffed sheep
at the roadside give off a genuine odour.
by Mike Jenkins
from Invisible Times