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Reality Check, The Mines of Valtar

It was late in the day and the foreman had been ruthless
All of us were driven to within a heart beat of death.
We had to dig and pick for the masters of the gold mines
Or our friends would be digging and picking for our graves.

Life was not fun in the gold mines of Valtar.
Before that fateful night, I had been a shop keeper
But I angered the wrong customer and I was taken away.
Now I am a slave digging in the gold mines of Valtar.

Each day I worked until my hands bled, then worked some more
Calluses had grown and my muscles had hardened.
But that didn’t slow the sharp cutting flicks of the overseer’s whip
If only there were some way of killing them all and escaping.

But many smart men had tried and they all had died
I didn’t want to go that way, uselessly, no revenge, no freedom.
So each day, I looked about until I saw my way out. I mightn’t live
But I would no longer be a slave in the gold mines of Valtar.

What I had seen was a beam that was being stressed
I had heard it cracking and thought the roof would cave in.
That was my plan. Bring the mountain down on their heads!
Each day as I passed I gave the beam a hard kick.

It started to slide and pebbles dropped from the cracks above
It was only a matter of time before the end.
I’d talked to John, a giant of a man. He liked my plan
He said in a little while, it will all come crashing down.

We kept on kicking each day. The beam cracking, giving away.
The day had come, the beam was almost done.
John said, I’ll keep them inside. You kick the beam down on my head.
John thought I might go free, but not me. I thought I’d be dead.

It was the end of a day. Our backs were bleeding. I was leading.
As we got to the beam, John smiled and stopped. This is the end.
One way or the other, John was done. He pushed back on the line of slaves.
The overseer’s whips cracked. John fought back.

The other slaves, that weren’t dead in their heads, attacked
The overseers fought back. With intense fury, I attacked the beam.
I hit it hard; it moved. I grabbed a huge rock and struck the beam.
Thunder sounded and lightening struck. The roof caved in.
Beams were snapping everywhere.

The overseers tried to run.  But the slave’s fun had just begun.
They tackled guards and beat them to the ground as the roof caved in.
Suddenly I saw a flash and the scene vanished, it was done.
The mountain had filled the space where I had been standing.
There was a total silence. No more struggling or fighting.

That was all done. I had victory, my battle was won.
I moved out into the still of the night sky.
The mountain looked the same, no damage done.
No one would know about the graves down below.

I already missed John. He’d been a good friend to the very end.
I snuggled up under the covers to try and shake the night’s chill.
Lots of memories come up at night; I sleep with a light on.
Light so I can see my room. I opened one eye for a reality check.

Yes it was my room and I was safe at home again.
Sometimes I think things are bad or things are sad but then
I remember the past. It serves for a good reality check.
I’ve got it good, no one is killing in my neighborhood.

No whips cracking on my back today
I get to sleep warm in my own bed,
No worries about the rock overhead.
No worries about horrors in the gold minds of Valtar.

This has been a reality check provided for you by the Poet.

©2009 Carl Watts www.carlwattsartist.com
Page created 1/21/09
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