Soften ancient village stone
Where once the powder of destruction
Overnighted, dry, in locked Saltpetre Shed
And as the sunrise called to sleepy boatmen
Roused to disgorge coal and fill the holds of narrow boats
Long with loads of that which, alone save gods, could rend the stone apart
Now gone, where peaceful grass, and pond, alone, fills the once watery Wharf
That, then, contained the many voices laughing
The sunken ghosts of eighteen thirty’s wakening eyes.
(c)Copyright Stephen Tanham, 2016.