Poetry: Leslie Norris

The Pit Ponies

The come like the ghosts of horses, shyly,
To this summer field, this fresh green,
Which scares them.

They have been too long in the blind mine,
Their hooves have trodden only stones
And the soft, thick dust of fine coal,

And they do not understand the grass.
For over two years their sun
Has shone from an electric bulb

That has never set, and their walking
Has been along the one, monotonous
Track of pulled coal-trucks.

They have bunched their muscles against
The harnass and pulled, and hauled.
But now they have come out of the underworld

And are set down in the sun and real air,
Which are strange to them. They are humble

And modest, their heads are downcast, they
Do not expect to see very far. But one
Is attempting a clumsy gallop. It is

Something he could do when he was very young,
When he was a little foal a long time ago
And he could run fleetly on his long foal's legs,
And almost he can remember this. And look,

One rolls on her back with joy in the clean grass!
And they all, awkwardly and hesitantly, like
Clumsy old men, begin to run, and the field

Is full of happy thunder. They toss their heads,
Their manes fly, they are galloping in freedom.
The ponies have come above ground, they are galloping!

Just a note from me:
This is not a post about the end of the semester! I do not feel burdened at all by my work (see below). I simply love this poem. I think I identify with it mostly because I have a history of depression, and that awkward galloping?--that's me experiencing joy.


Mrs. G. said…
I still like to roll on my back with joy...my version of the happy dance. Nice poem, Prof. J.

Again, I love your header and the festive background
This is a great metaphor for feeling joy again. I always feel wizened, overwhelmed when happiness first returns. Fortunately, our souls are capable of infinite expansion when it comes to encompassing joy.
Organic Mama said…
This struck me as completely aligned with where I have been stagnating in my own life and how despite ingrained habits of non-movement, things can change and bring such joy. Basically, the universe has been screaming this at me all day and this lovely poem (which I am printing out and putting on my wall -THANK YOU!) has capped it.

Good luck with your end of semester!!
Julie Pippert said…
...too long in the blind mine...they are humble...a clumsy gallop...full of happy thunder

Really lovely. I didn't know this one. Thanks!

Using My Words
Anonymous said…
I think it could be a metaphor for this new phase of your life! It is a beautiful poem. I think I know that feeling too, when emerging from depression.
anne said…
What a wonderful, wonderful poem.
Claire B. said…
I enjoyed this muchly! Animals showing their joy--what inspiration!

Thank you Professor J!
A Mormon Mason said…
I knew Norris. He was an amazing man. His voice was kind and carried the music of the Welsh. He taught me the finer points of poetry. I miss him.

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