Cornish Miners

My father’s family came from Cornish mines
Leaving that dreary landscape and darker pits
For Australia and the prospect of gold.

I am not sure if they found that much,
But at least they mined it in the sun.
And they shed the miner’s collar
With education, not a lucky strike.

With the sun so purchased they understood
That only learning kept one above the ground
Until my father, best and brightest of them all,
Aspired even higher – and failing
Took his life rather than be sent down.

At Heathrow, my throat catches on the fog
And buried deep is some dread still
Of return to some wet and deadly hole.

Poem about my family, my father’s suicide, my own sense of purpose.


  • AmandaWitt
    AmandaWittover 7 years ago

    The thoughts of so many migrants – wondering what the ‘promised land’ held, the natural fears of leaving the mother country behind. My father did it all, so I’ve had some insight into this subject.

  • Matt Penrose
    Matt Penroseover 7 years ago

    Very nice poem. I liked the flow and the story you told. My dad’s ancestors were actually cornish miners as well, so I guess that means we share a familiar history. ;-)

  • Paul Louis Villani
    Paul Louis Vil...over 7 years ago

    You had me visualising every scene.
    Nice work mate! :D

  • Rose Moxon
    Rose Moxonover 7 years ago

    beautiful and sad all at once

  • AlOlmstead
    AlOlmsteadover 7 years ago

    Great picture! Only critique: ’Till" is a cash register. Til or ’Til is short for UNtil.

  • Pilgrim
    Pilgrimover 7 years ago

    Al, thanks

  • Robert Knapman
    Robert Knapmanover 7 years ago

    ‘At Heathrow, my throat catches on the fog’, as mine did at this line. Thanks Pilgrim.

  • banditart
    banditartover 7 years ago

    thats tops i dig it good stuff old chap

    TRACY BAGNALLover 7 years ago

    And I have been sent back to that ‘wet and deadly hole’ not litterally but we returned to England and all in the name of my education. And after being bored for two years while education caught up with me I managed to loose all ambition and interest in life. I have the reverse story.
    Very well written, I love it.

  • nickowen
    nickowenabout 7 years ago

    My wife taught in Cornwall for years and my business partner retired there
    In Cornwall the memory of aspiration and despair is a long one
    Thanks for sharing your heart felt fear and longing

    I think the poem cuts a little short on your father’s Icarus like fall
    It is a hard blow to survive for the son.

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