Saturday, June 21, 2008

Gritty Skies

Coming Home from the Mill by Laurence Stephen Lowry

Gritty Skies

Gritty skies and blackened eyes
with visions null and void.
Nothing to see
but polluted air
raining black flakes and despair.
They come, they go
like frenzied ants.
The Company is King.
Twelve-hour shifts and shoddy minds
of utter emptiness.
Where is home?
And kids in tattered souls
who press eyes like vacant moons
against still, glassy panes.
The bar, it welcomes
with libations
ambrosia for the soul.
Golden liquid pours
vigor-inducing life juices
to feel for just a while
with belly laughs
gutsy, giddy, roaring
to the bottom
waterfall blasting
rolls of ecstasy
until the infernal shrieking
of cantankerous melancholy.
It skulks by after midnight
shadowy fingers
pointing to the clock
the damnable clock
to remind of another shift.
Another day of toil for
the King.

Copyright 2008 JO Janoski


  1. "And kids in tattered souls
    who press eyes like vacant moons
    against still, glassy panes."

    Just brilliant... as good a poem as you've ever written, in my estimation. Reveals your soul, Jo... speaks to the generations of Steeltowners who came before you.

  2. Yes, I could taste the steel grit between my teeth writing this...

  3. While I've hauled many a load od PA steel I'm also reminded of brown lung and the southern cotton mills who, like the steel mills, destroyed everything in the name of progress before packing up and moving away.

  4. A great poem with a wonderful message. How are you doing? We have not talked in a while.

  5. Billy, so true, so true...our mills are certainly long gone. They left a trail of pollution behind them on the way out.

    Terry, doing super. Hope you are well...