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last update:
28 Mar17

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Jenny Hamlett at Second Light

poetry favourites:
Indigo Dreams Publishing

and in the shop…
collection –
“Playing Alice”
Indigo Dreams Publishing




The Rope-Maker

Peak Cavern, Castleton
             All day carrying rope
I walk the cold floor
forward back, forward back.
             My home’s a hut
in the depth of the rock.
My bed is straw.
             Rain drips
from the mouth of the cave,
’Tis devil’s touch, we say,
             work harder.
I keep the woodpile stacked,
fetch water for porridge.
I won’t walk death across the floor.
Winter months.
We walk faster to keep warm,
coughing in the smoky air.
There’s no money
from visitors this time of year.
The coffin boat stands empty.
Icicles hang.
Peakshole water floods.
Devil’s laughing now, we say
but I won’t walk death across the floor.
Married to a miner
my sister lives in a strong stone house.
All her lads will work the lead,
will not make old men.
             Better poor.
We’ll walk forever
twisting hemp threads into rope.
             Rope for sailors
up in the crow’s nest,
rope for trucks down in the mines,
             rope for pack men,
driving donkeys over the moor.
But I won’t weave a hangman’s noose
             not for the commoners
fighting for their rights
not for the starving, forced to steal bread.
I’ll never walk death across the floor.

Jenny Hamlett

in collection Playing Alice, 2017, Indigo Dreams Publishing,
ISBN 978-1-9108343-2-4;
previously published in Reach Poetry 216, 2016