Julian Jordon


All things bright and beautiful
lies piled,
layer upon Coal Board layer.
Truth, a spring trickle
burrowing through
mendacity's spoil heap.

Trickle become roar,
wreaks its revenge on the innocent.
As they bury children.
on a wet-slate mountainside,
in leafy suburbs,
guilt collects its pension.

Aberfan, 1980's

Aberfan memorial garden:
Half-brick rubble,
Broken glass,
Rhiannon loves Dean
In memory of a school
Beneath the Coal Board's shame.

I leave, glad
That things have returned to normal;
That they didn't live
to see this.

*At 9.15 am on Friday, October 21st, 1966, At Pantglas Junior School, Aberfan, South Wales, the children had just returned to their classes after singing "All Things Bright and Beautiful" in their assembly. A colliery spoil heap above the village collapsed, engulfing the school and 20 houses in the village. 144 people died in the Aberfan disaster, 116 of them school children. About half of the children at the school and five of their teachers ere killed.

Julian Jordon is a performance poet from Bolton, Manchester. The short film for which he wrote the script was a finalist at Moondance Film Festival,Hollywood. He writes non-fiction works, most recently including a book for young fathers. He is the co-founder of Write Out Loud, a British organisation encouraging people to share their poetry by reading at open-floor events and via the website, writeoutloud.net, of which he is managing editor. He is an active reader of his work throughout the UK and in Bordeaux, where he organises poetry events and translates others' and his own work.



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