The story of the Chilean miners has been one of the most incredibly moving events I can remember. There’s something of the two-fingers-up-to-nature which is both exhilarating and troubling, and something of the deeply archetypal and transformative about the rescue…


Sliding, encased, through the bowels the earth
thirty-three steel turds are evacuated
into the gleaming bowl of bright white.
Infernal, labyrinthine, twisting
this intestinal mine had tried to digest them
blocked their way out
enveloped them in darkness
suffocated them in rancid air
left rotting in the guts to be absorbed
into the black rock.

Mother Earth, consumed by anger
at we who quarried your depths
and tore at your womb,
we were not vanquished this time.
With heavy bits we drilled down
into your belly, not ready to give
them up, and now we winch them
one by one from your hole,
dragged filthy, squeezed slowly
out of your pits to be transformed again:
these little shits that you would have
broken up and absorbed
are embraced, and tenderly taken
to sobbing children and aching mothers
and regenerated as fathers, as lovers
as men, walking proud, and waving;
not dirt, our minds and tools
lifting them from their certain graves,
heroes, testaments to our winning spirits
for now, for now we will not be taken
as detritus, but sing and embrace as
loved sons and daughters of this bright heaven.

©KB 13/10/2010