The Called Upon

The old-timers, miners,
say, would say, said,

Go in straight after the explosion.

It was the experts’ thoughts,
advice, words, we heard,


In the event, no action,
no entry, no incursion,

to reverse or regret

Nothing. You all talk.

The mine, the seam, the methane,
like a loaded gun.

In the silent footage
you had to see.

Let me explain.

There would have been therapy
before the disaster,
if we’d have known what
the therapy was for.

But there’s no emetic
for a mountain.

Although, the nicely turned
phrases even the old-timers,
miners, turned out

and the frothing of sentiment,
and certainty,

so soon after
the second explosion,
they were dead

and all the talk of facebook pages,
websites, twitters and places
strangers might offer their condolences

to the families in the distance
of the men who disappeared
into the soundless distance

all of that
should have been enough,
if not to suffocate
the fire in the mine,

then to make it want
to vomit up the bodies
of the 29 it took

down its long undulant
and voiceless

26 November 2010,
the Pike River mining disaster