The Miner’s Triumph – Poetry by Elizabeth Barton

Victor Zaretsky – Miner

Sometimes it’s enough to read
the grain, cut to the face,
suffering in the cut, the search
with hands and heart softly trace
the arch and curve alive
in the darkness of the earth.

The cut is the feel of the path
overhung with age and veiled danger,
walled by doubt, hidden and strange
to feet embedding sod with courage;
cold air clung with gossamer threads
catch the gleam of a lonely star.

The disquieting moment descends
in the damp cathedral air
where darkness binds with uncertainty
and light is but a memory
held by diaphanous threads
in the dim cavern of hope.

Tapestries made by moonlight
dance in ghostly shapes
lace scintillate grey shadow
on streaming rock and hidden vein
remind me of a damp, cold cave
in which I found my wish.

I hope I never have to meet blind fate
or lose my strength and will to pass
deep night in a deathly stone embrace,
then to rise reborn in morning light
held like gold nuggets in my hand
the foundation stone of heart and land.

I hope I never have to shed vain tears
for pale regret or tame wild love,
let all flow in me as a gushing weir
where gold winks in rock and stream,
revere what stops my heart with joy
close in my clasp, with jubilant voice.

About the Poet

Elizabeth Barton is a poet and artist residing in New Zealand after living for some 30 years in the UK where she pursued an art career. Her art is in private and public collections worldwide, including the V & A Museum, London. Her poetry has been published on Spillwords, and she has won prizes for poetry performance in New Zealand.

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

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