In 1966, in a small village in South Wales, on the 21st. of October, Pantglas Junior School was engulfed by a slide of mud and coal slag. One hundred and forty four souls lost their lives, including one hundred and sixteen children.
The sky was grey and sullen
Shrapnel rain struck window pane.
Inside sat fresh scrubbed faces
Pink with expectation.
Hair, filled with mischief
Notes passed, with intention.
Teachers with vocation
Intent on revelation.
Unearthly sounds reverberated
Silent breaths were held.
Death's hounds were near, and convocated
Close upon this ground.
Suddenly, the valley, silent
Not a sound was heard.
We looked in shock, in total awe
Could God be this absurd?
We tried with bloodied fingers
But to no avail.
The filth that took these poor young souls
Had handed us no trail.
So, where were you upon this day?
And where was our sweet lord?
When these young souls should meet their end
Could this be his accord?
So, this I ask each one of you,
I ask it too, of me,
Is each soul that died that day?
Nearer God, to thee?
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Aberfan by Owain Glyn )
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