The Cold Rain Fell By David R Graham


David’s response to the trigger ‘then’ – a moving tribute for the anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.

The Cold Rain Fell
By David R Graham 14.10.16

The cold rain fell

But the boy gave no thought to the falling rain
The house was warm – and all was well
And he was engaged with his pencils and his crayon
His mother plied the smoothing iron
And watched a TV show
With half an eye she watch her boy
And marvelled at how quick the plantyn grow

The cold rain fell

But the boy gave no thought to the falling rain
The school was warm – and all was well
And he was engaged with his pencils and crayon
But his thoughts were already on the end of term bell
‘Hush now, plantyn,’ the teacher said,
‘It will soon be time for our short farewell.’

The cold rain fell

It fell on seven tips of slag
That towered above the school
Tip seven soaked up so much rain
Its mass produced a drag
Then – with frightening speed –
Uncounted tons of rain-soaked slag
Slid down the valley side
It formed a wall of slurry-gruel
That struck eight homes – and the Pantglas School

The cold rain fell

But the boy gave no thought to the falling rain
The school was gone – and there was hell
The boy was entombed with his pencils and crayon
Silence fell upon that place  – and there did dwell
One hundred and sixteen children died that morn
None would hear again the term bell’s knell
In mere seconds – a generation had been shorn

The cold rain fell

It fell on cries of horror wrought from gaping mouth
It fell on frantic mothers rushing to that scene of hell
It fell on miners who responded to the shout
Like a cold and awful blight
It fell on those who laboured to dig survivors out
It fell on the rescue work that continued beneath flood light
Save for the young, and the very old
Few in the village sought sleep that night

The cold rain fell

It fell on those who wailed and keened their loss
It fell on those who moved about in their private hell
It fell on those who laid flowers in a giant cross
It fell in a trench – where small bodies were soon to dwell
It fell on the shoulders of the NCB boss
It fell on those miners who had know the tips too well

The cold rain fell

But the mother gave no thought to the falling rain
Her boy was gone – her life was an empty shell
She clutched a drawing to her pain –
Her boy had drawn the village – and he had drawn it well
But across the towering mass of slag – in blackest black –
Two fated words the lad had penned: THE END.

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6 thoughts on “The Cold Rain Fell By David R Graham

  1. Thanks Joe, much appreciated. I was moved to write it after I had seen the picture the boy, Peter Davis, had drawn the night before the tragedy. Why did he write ‘THE END’, across his depiction of the slag tips?

  2. Very moving. The style and and pace befits the tone and you can truly visualise the setting. First stanza- I would only be careful of repetition ‘watch’. Great job David

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