Diggin' - Poem by Tony Grannell
He's pale an' cold, he's all beat up, a wasted, dim an' dead.
'Tis tough a chore, to muck his flesh an' nothin' more be said.
He gave his all, God bless his soul, ain't nothin' left of worth.
A coin or two to dig his grave an' put him in the dirt.
Of graves, I've dug the many, them be paupers, nearly all.
A labourer since I a lad, me pick me wherewithal.
In hobnail boots an' dungarees, me head, a black beret
A rovin' some, in search of work, whatever came me way.
Down the pit, I dug for coal with men as tough as any.
When found me then an alehouse, where drank me hard-earned penny.
In rough a gang, diggin' sewers through many town an' city.
Beggin', too, when work was scarce as were the coins of pity.
Of swell an' squall in weathers all, I toiled the seven seas.
Dug ruptured hulls from creakin' ice whilst butchered by disease.
I mined through rock for riches, found but veins of hard despair
An' broke near every bone I had, an' some beyond repair
Nay loved me once a maiden fair, who'd love the likes of me?
To brothels then when I would long some female company.
When down an' out, without a hope, them lawmen moved me on.
‘The likes of you ain't welcome here, begone ya bum, begone! '
Dug ditches on a chain gang, laid a thousand miles of track.
I cursed them rocks of ages, near a broke me bloody back.
I scaled them concrete towers as a hodman bearin' pain.
With tunnel men we dug an' dug 'till dug we back again.
A gambler's life when I'd be flush though luck nay came me way.
Showed my disgust with fist an' foot, kept not me strength at bay.
Threw punches, aye, at my regrets an' wrestled with me woes.
No matter what, e'en offered help, it always came to blows.
Sunk wells to sup an' dykes to drain, as oft' I've done afore.
Dug meself from many a hole 'till I could dig no more.
And all for nowt, to cuss an' swear, 'twould drive a feller mad.
Of aches an' pains an' raggedness, 'twas all I ever had.
I've done enough, I'm all worn out, no more a diggin', me.
Let come what may I shan't complain, whatever that will be.
Woe on to me in hardship or woe on to me in crime.
It matters none, I jest you nay for I have done me time.
I'm pale an' cold, I'm all beat up, a wasted, dim an' dead.
The truth I speak, to muck me flesh an' nothin' more be said.
I gave me all, God bless me soul, I'm nothin' now of worth.
What you say, come dig me grave for I'm done with diggin' dirt.
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