By Meg Lewer

Central Coast, Australia

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The Shaft.

“Deep in the shaft, I chip alone
where sunsets sleep in the dry brown stone.
Scrape of shovel blade, tap of pick,
Flickering light from the burning wick.
Long ago before there were clocks,
A rainbow crept inside these rocks.
Now in the darkness,
I burrow and creep,
Waking that light from its age old sleep.

I may never see the day,
When that stone shines bright as the Milky Way.
But some other miner when I’m long gone,
May discover the dream that drove me on.
My blue green eyes, my bloods’ red streams,
Golden hope and harlequin dreams
May shine like colour in the dry brown stone
As underground I chip alone.”
By Bill Scott 1930.

I first heard this verse on ‘Australia All Over’ with IanMcNamara, I think and am always moved by the sheer tenacity and loneliness of the miners.
Inks on board


Australia, outback, Australianlandscape, Opal, mining