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The Dark Men

Kenneth is a rural citizen of Hamilton, Ala., and has begun to observe life and certain things and people helping him to write about them.

  Coal mier in 1946.

Coal mier in 1946.

Iz gets up in de dark; go’s to work in de dark; work in de dark

An’ goes back home in de dark. Iz not by myself.

Iz gest a man with other broke backs . . .

We’ze de Dark Men. Just de dawk ol’ men.


Bloody hands runnin’ o’er de Compun’s lands

Keeps da shoose, da blooze, ah stayin’ out da dough.

Iz gits much coffee, tying my shooz, Iz a Dark Man.

Working in Dawkness makes a leen sumtymes.


Cryin’ dem sad ol’ blues—down heah, dey ain’t no nooze

Gest pick, ‘n shuvel, ‘n timber; takin’ a ton ‘er two tuh lite.

Wez da Dark Men, de brokun ol’ men.

A drank now-n-den, alls Iz been—iz a Dark ol’ man.


Can’t pay de rent; no lettur frum home evuh sent’

Head hung low; no stoppin’, hatin’ to go.

Wez de sorreful men: de sonz of Older Dark Men

Wailin,’ tears-a trailin’, Nuther cave-in kill’d two men.


We crawl de hole when Boss man blows de hoan

We crawl to shantys—pains, death, an’ blues bemone.

Wez de Dark Men.

Gest ol diggin’ men . . .

Gest ol diggin’ men . . .

A Very Personal Moment

This very personal commentary is true. Sadly, very true.

My granddad, Quinton Lee, did his share of coal mining

during some severely-tough times. With a wife and nine

kids to feed, clothe, and be the breadwinner brought laughter

when he dared to say his job was “tough.”

________In Memory of Quint.

Explanation: although the verbiage in this commentary is written in the tongue and slang of those Coal Miners who labored in darkness for most of the times, no intent is given to humiliate or put in a harsh light of these men in the Coal Mines in The Appalachian Mountains, West Virginia, Kentucky, and some far regions in the State of Alabama—circa 1930 – 1955. Thanks, Kenneth.


© 2018 Kenneth Avery

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