Monday, August 18, 2014

Coal miner

I wrote this poem when I was in 12th grade.
It was written in Croatian originally. I found it recently and translated it to English: 

Coal miner

Thunder at the end of the night
Storm with iron-gray towering clouds
Wind howling somberly fiercely
Around the battered old trees
Raindrops frantically
Falling down on mushy earth


The first hesitant ray of sunshine emerges
Behind the hill
Man comes out of the valley
Trail leads him through the woods
Each step more difficult
Heavy mud clinging to his heavy shoes
Few more drops fall from the sky
On his numb rough face
His dull shining eyes
By the misery of a trivial hard life
His heavy dark garb
Impregnated with fine black dust

Coal miner

Hurrying to the mine shaft
He becomes a mole
In a minute

His eyes have blurred vision
Since they’re not accustomed to daylight
His hands have a rough firm grip
Since they’re not accustomed to tenderness
Yet in his character
There is something that draws attention
Because he doesn’t ask for anything
Earning bread with his hands
He sleeps heavy
Because he’s too tired to dream

He goes to spend a day in the dark
By the twinkling light of a miner’s lamp
At dusk he shall return
The same way
With laborious steps
Unknown heavy thoughts
Not ever noticing
A thousand stars in the sky
His tired eyes fixed on the narrow trail
Which never ends

In memory of my grandfather
Stanko Novak
A coal miner

© Mirjana Cesar