The Bedding Plane

Beneath which the quarryman
    crawls. Or rather
        shimmies on his side

    by lamplight, right
arm free to wield the single-bladed
        pick (no room

        for a backswing). Columns
    of ragstone left to support
the ceiling, which, when near collapse,

emits a telltale series of clicks,
    the quarryman then retreating but
        no faster than

    the knocking down of columns
will allow. The broken ceiling,
        hauled in barrows to the

        surface, they call
    Collyweston slate. The clicks?
That part they call talking.