Extracts from William's fourth book




Hinny Beata is available for purchase from the website shop.

There now follow two poems from Hinny Beata. To hear the first, Song of the Cotia Lass, click on the jukebox button below and choose number 4 from the menu:



Song of the Cotia Lass*

The keel took my heart

In full tide it was torn

The keel took my heart

Black blood to its flame


The waggonway fall

Was braked by the river

The horse on its tether

With nose-bag and corn


The keel took my heart

To whistle and wo-lad

Down in his brig of dust

Down in his hot ash breath


On lip of drift crying

I sang the raa up and down**

Black the craa hinny

Ivvery day now


I sang over fell where

Grey pocked my

Green stiched hem

Smouldering sway there

Banners to brighten


The keel bought my heart

It was bonded and bound

The keel took my heart

In full tide it was torn


Who rose in the morning

To see the keels row then

Who'll rise in the morning

To see the keels go


It was down by the river

Ventricles pumping there

Shute and flat bottom

Leveller schull


Who rose and who'll rise

With banners and drum thump

The keel took my heart

Silk over it laid


The keel played at morning-tide

Bideand abide with me

Keel brass for my heart blown

Banner-water bidding


Rite blinds were drawn to

Down staithe banks drawn all the way

Hats doffed and held there

In the ebb tide hush


Down in yon forest

The keel rang my heart away

Black bells of Paradise

Hutton and Harvey change


Foy boatmen blow the flame

loosen his rope-fast sail

Scorch the wind southerly

Fill it with fire in flood


Blood rages over bar

Out in the molten toss

Fury and friend are lost

Where you are


The keel sought my heart

In full tide it was torn

It beats every tree on fire

Wagga-pulse fossil dawn



* Named after the 'Cotia Pit' (the former Harraton Colliery nearr Washington) .

** Traditional song 'Up the raa, doon the raa'




Silksworth Colliery (from Wiramutha Spiral)

(There will be a special meeting)

We all stand still


(In the Miners Hall)

I touch your eyes to tears


(At seven o-clock)

I count to fifty while you hide them

I see day turning away from us

The moon is a dark faced Crake Man


I am his shakey-down child

Silk banner up to chin


I hold his blue-scarred hand

Deep in cloth cap grass


I am raised to meet dawn

Slow on green shoulder


I am the whole field moving

As marra -wind ruffles


Drum thumps its common pulse

I felt it all day


Ears and throat connect brass valves

I clip music to my feet


I dance the banner clef

Tassel notes Lodge at the heart of it


I will sing inarticulate words

Next year in Durham again