Alan Morrison



Light Shining in Lanarkshire

i.m. Keir Hardie (1856–1915)




Knock, knock! The baker’s boy, sharp as clocks back,

Ear to the pithead’s cogs – upturned prams spun

In puddles. By ten, he melts in with clogged ranks,

Resurfacing as day-shadows cobbling home to tubs.


His pit-lamp halos pin-scratched Pitman in lit

Anticlines. Cage-clattered up the strata on a carbon

Ribbon to paper and Party. Years on, in the after-

Damp of Parliament’s scalds, signs his last letter under

Inked portcullis; packs up his books, kit and cough;

Ebbs back to shadow. But his shadow casts a light.





Alan Morrison © 2015

Taken from A Tapestry of Absent Sitters (Waterloo Press, 2009)