Twas on the day that Harry and Meghan wed

We came together to honour our Black Country dead

Those living too sharing that vital spark

That they used to light up here at lovely Lightwoods Park

Black Country lungs that breathe their last

For so many the deadly die was cast

With smoking and industrial disease

The cause of their early much lamented demise

Black Country lungs were ravaged by COPD

A blessed release as they passed….it set them free

Women like Ann told how she couldn’t breathe

Her Brummie lungs congested by a Black Country disease

Then along came Corinne to take pictures of their plight

With oxygen masks helping them make light

Of this terrible disease which was such a blight

But Corinne came along to make them feel bright

By telling their stories to the rest of the world

It gave them purpose as their suffering unfurled

Such lives well lived in the tough foundries and mines

These Black Country folk had shown such backbone and spine

In their fight to make a livin’ in tough times

Corinne Noordenbos this Dutch lady artist

Gave them their lives back with a voice at their parting

Black Country lungs breathe their last in the park

Black Country folk are the ‘Salt of the Earth’

Keith Bracey the Brummie Bard: Birmingham and Black Country poet.

You can read my poetry on my Bracey Bearwood Blog at