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Beware! I don't know much.

Down Pit, Act One (2005, Play in Three Acts)

CHARACTERS - They are all as miners are.

SENSING Ė the father of THINKING, the husband of QUICK and SUSTAINED.

THINKING Ė the son of SENSING, the brother of BOUND and FREE.

QUICK Ė the wife of SENSING.


BOUND Ė the sister of THINKING.

FREE - the sister of THINKING.


A pit.


In between time.


1. SENSING(Strong) I mockerise this and you all.

2. QUICK Onways and upways and inways too.

3. THINKING(Direct) Trying to get to there.

4. BOUND Try that much to, but for the audacity.

5. SENSING feverishly digging at the spot and whistling a tune well known.

6. SUSTAINED Donít really yes; the load is big, the back is too and in it I am.

i. Pause.

7. FREE Does it matter; after all the lord on high sits and hears us down here.

8. THINKING(Flexible) Could well be so, as I go down in of the land and dig.

9. SENSING(Strong) Back to it then. Back to it. Back to it. Back then.

10. BOUND Alright. Some of us do as we are told.

11. THINKING(Direct) That is you too - let me drill walls.

12. QUICK Meat spoiling under that tunnel.

ii. Pause.

13. SENSING(Light) Oh ho ho and a finely built pit mouth.

14. FREE walks to QUICK and pulls at arms to fall off the spot.

15. SUSTAINED Leave it as is. Itís right. A tuneful hum of pity and scorn.

16. THINKING(Flexible) I guess so; a real song in a box of voices in time to nick a beat.

17. QUICK Have to do other that I am in here now.

18. SENSING(Strong) Oh no you do not thanks.

iii. Pause.

19. BOUND Not this again anything but this. Oh please I say.

20. THINKING(Direct) Just letís wait. A thudding and a dripping.

21. SUSTAINED Maybe a bit late; but I saw the perch wobbling cage canary.

22. SENSING(Strong) With a hammerhit the yellow life lungs in little gulps of bad air.

23. THINKING(Flexible) Itís all the same but the chirping and the singing has stopped.

24. FREE What lovely jugs, can you hear them - the cold draught plays a song.

iv. Pause.

25. QUICK Might smash them into little coal song pieces.

26. BOUND I am trapped Ė an animal without freedom.

27. SENSING(Strong) I beg your pardon. I mean...well I never.

28. THINKING(Direct) Find a way out Ė an open space.

29. SUSTAINED Letís not go yet. I have recalled the better times; not good!

30. FREE I canít hear you and how that applies here in the dark Ė search me.

v. Pause.

31. THINKING(Flexible) You do not care - take me for instance Ė what a handsome sight - and regal

32. SENSING pleading vociferously with THINKING to go off into the wings but to no avail.

33. THINKING(Direct) We must escape. In my dulcet tones: great nobility.

34. BOUND I above you know. So Iíve heard

35. SENSING(Strong) I hit you wall. Seamless, holey wall.

36. QUICK I may know a way up.

vi. Pause.

37. THINKING(Flexible) Not now - itís a bit late and donít make me.

38. FREE Romping through the earth wind tunnels in synchronicity with all the thunder falling walls.

39. SUSTAINED You just do that, believe you me, just you wait, youíll see, youíll all see.

40. SENSING(Light) Wait...the fluffy scales of the flying bi-ped resurrected or all my eyes: all bad.

41. THINKING(Direct) Life Ė all life is precarious Ė it is precious to me.

42. SENSING(Strong) Ram this fist in your ear hole.

vii. Pause.

43. QUICK Out this way here, Iím told.

44. BOUND I can...I can witness the results.

45. THINKING(Flexible) It is - to me - I hold it dear to me - life is dear.

46. SENSING walking to the centre point and returning, and looking at SUSTAINED in total disbelief.

47. FREE What nice melons and a shallow echo of the ripe flesh of spuds.

48. SUSTAINED We could all stay, from evidence I have seen, the wobbly canary is no help.

viii. Pause.

49. BOUND A spectacular pit pony ocularised by a pair of minor colliers in a dark pit.

50. THINKING(Direct) What would we do without your pulling power.

51. QUICK I heard I dragged sacks.

52. SENSING(Strong) Loudly fist bash all the wall.

53. FREE Not fruit; a tall slag heap deep below my hole.

54. THINKING(Flexible) Days used to be so fine, the birds sang, the fish swam in wee.

ix. Pause.

55. SENSING running from point to point and lightly checking on the safety of all the others.

56. SUSTAINED Weíll stay here, itís not bad; after all ~ bread, water, roof, beds, itís what Iím told.

57. BOUND Might hide here. Observe the small chicken gasping the violent air to innocent lungs.

58. QUICK I praise indeed. I saw it too

59. SUSTAINED attempted to get back only to be turned back again.

60. THINKING(Flexible) Jimmy this lock Ė click, click, turn, turn. I need a bath Ė soap, soap, gush, gush - a wash.

x. Pause.

61. FREE Here I can help; that is not the bathwater. It is a spring under foot.

62. SUSTAINED Here I recall a pen of baby canaries going off to meet the dark.

63. THINKING(Flexible) This will not do - my britches are all choked with emissions and I also need a bath.

64. SENSING holding nose and looking for a toilet to be crapping in and failing.

65. SENSING(Strong) Iím telling a tale of dirty bathwater and overflowing bowls.

66. QUICK Recollections of brown bum bowls.

xi. Pause.

67. THINKING(Direct) Not good - a good sight.

68. BOUND Is it actually a canary? Not a chicken.

69. SENSING(Light) The blocked shaft singing a mute delirium of limbs lost in a collapse.

70. SUSTAINED Have you heard the silent canaries wings flap and cage break attempts? because I have too.

71. FREE All sight canaries as a rubber duck in the bath, so too wobbly pit canaries.

72. THINKING(Flexible) I save canaries - behold it is I Ė me - you know me - not much really.

xii. Pause.

73. SENSING(Strong) My borer infested wooden leg. They are your borer. They bore you.

74. BOUND They are doomed because a canaries diet: raw borer.

75. THINKING(Direct) I can you know - stare at the pony.

76. QUICK Looked at the worms entrails.

77. SENSING now hopping on the spot and from point to point hereafter.

78. FREE A can of hursuits, shaved to make cleaning easier, scraping stubble faces smooth

xiii. Pause.

79. SUSTAINED I thank you all for the gnaws of rats and the scurrying that warns of doom.

80. THINKING(Flexible) How can this be - that I look a bit ruffled and dirty from the coal and crap.

81. QUICK Donít look at me, thatís what I told you all.

82. SENSING(Strong) Iím telling you this much ok.

83. BOUND I heard the invisible gas exhale from the earth.

84. THINKING(Direct) The pretty pony carries my sack with pleasure.

xiv. Pause.

85. SUSTAINED Youíre all wrong ~ when I had eyes to see ~ before birth.

86. SENSING(Strong) Give us a cuddle. Speaking of which, my testes - tickling with pain.

87. THINKING(Flexible) No not like that - you have to listen to the noiseless pity.

88. FREE Let me help with that little ditty, a beautiful song felt in my bones.

89. QUICK Donít know again whether I saw the ceiling.

90. BOUND Iím over here. You know it is I.

xv. Pause.

91. SENSING(Strong) So, so miserable; digging and shitting around down here.

92. THINKING(Direct) All through here the vibrations wave hello!

93. SUSTAINED This is the way I lost my eyes ~ I ~ mine eyes ~ mine.

94. FREE Yes it is, but at least yours worked at one time. I can see that.

95. THINKING(Flexible) Iíll help you up - surely itís not that bad - particularly down here in this.

96. SENSING(Light) Itís all here the gas the gas the beautiful gas sweet gas far too loud.

xvi. Pause.

97. THINKING(Direct) That sound - is that the sound of the seeping gas?

98. BOUND Itís all a little bit blackdamp down here.

99. SENSING(Strong) All die any way. Not that it is playing.

100. QUICK Is that what I said? No!

101. THINKING(Flexible) You donít mean it - we donít have pins to drop.

102. FREE Let me help please, as the beautiful waves thunder clap; lightning go away please.

xvii. Pause.

103. SUSTAINED Recognise this? What is it? tell me what it looks like! Is it deaths face?

104. SENSING dragging the borer leg behind herein, moves to the next point and pointing at THINKING.

105. THINKING(Direct) Manage by myself - the wee sweet drips from the slagearth.

106. SENSING(Strong) All writhing about the head pits: stop!

107. QUICK I saw the face of death.

108. BOUND Can we escape a life born into?

xviii. Pause.

109. THINKING(Flexible) Leave me - I donít want to know about any of this.

110. SENSING(Light) The voices hear! Here here they are talking to me; I am not ignoring.

111. FREE Tulips and canaries tralalalala; willow tits and weeping roots under foot, between toes.

112. SUSTAINED At last idolatry is mine. O and I need and hunger for the flesh.

113. BOUND Hide over here from an inescapable destiny we all share: death and degradation.

114. THINKING(Direct) The sound of escaping gas: the earths exhalations.

xix. Pause.

115. QUICK That is what I heard.

116. SENSING(Strong) My bigger shovel and bored leg.

117. FREE goes up to THINKING and makes a great show.

118. THINKING(Flexible) I refuse to admit the very idea that we are down here at all.

119. SENSING(Light) I have the drums of the years spent with the years down to the ground.

120. SUSTAINED My thumbs hurt; the big bummed, small headed rodent bit that digit. I recall those rats.

xx. Pause.

121. BOUND Hidden over here I see them, they are our allies. They raise the collapse alarm.

122. QUICK Do pay attention to what I said.

123. SENSING(Strong) Pay me, pay by the ton.

124. THINKING(Flexible) Fix this, find that crap. Do this, do that, eat. Fluff it!

125. FREE Give this sacrifice that, suffer this mouth, suffer this help, Iíll find the way.

126. SUSTAINED bent over backwards to detain THINKING from reaching itís next point with out a result.

xxi. Pause.

127. THINKING(Flexible) Is this gas is it? I refute those claims in the extreme; birds wobble all the time.

128. SENSING(Light) What do you mean my voice a deafening pitch and bored drums from my leg?

129. QUICK Iím sure I saw it wobble.

130. SENSING(Strong) The bird is a canary, and it only wobbles with asphyxia.

131. THINKING(Direct) Sharp pains and intoxicated invertebrates.

132. BOUND Gather round me to sing like canaries.

xxii. Pause.

133. SENSING(Light) Um well um I um am so loud I canít be heard.

134. SUSTAINED Burn in pits; my eyes: two lumps of slate to be discarded and thrown on heap.

135. FREE is hit by the unseen bossman but makes no great show of the assault.

136. THINKING(Flexible) Not being very fluent in pit talk, you must forgive my reticence to converse.

137. SENSING(Strong) Hammer picks in to our lives, as obtrusive as right hand bacteria.

138. BOUND Poor birdies gas got them. Gassed by the gas.

xxiii. Pause.

139. THINKING(Direct) Those poor rats rummage through our lunches desperately.

140. QUICK I said It was wonky.

141. SENSING(Light) The thunder earth chasing the rats to the surface.

142. FREE The bossman singles me out for special attention, and it involves the beats.

143. SUSTAINED At last my time and my sockets as a pickhandle with no pick at all.

144. THINKING(Flexible) Jimmy this lock - the key to the baths - as I am there - we are not in pit.

xxiv. Pause.

145. QUICK This lock here; thatís what Iíve been saying Ė no wait.

146. SENSING(Strong) That is the falling of trousers.

147. BOUND Is that a pick or are you entirely dead.

148. THINKING(Direct) I have to leave - take note of me.

149. SUSTAINED has looked QUICK up and down for a key hole.

150. SENSING(Strong) Iím not hearing of having a bath down here Ė the waterís urinous.

xxv. Pause.

151. THINKING(Flexible) The air thick with the voices under foot and over the top.

152. FREE Save the canary, save you and save you all from embracing love and compassion.

153. QUICK From the gas encroaching and suffocating or loneliness?

154. FREE runs from the unseen bossman to safety.

155. SENSING(Strong) Iíll start to dig; even though the thunderís getting louder.

156. THINKING(Direct) Not like that! Itís not exactly seamless.

xxvi. Pause.

157. SUSTAINED I can see again or are these the pit walls? thatís all.

158. FREE uses BOUND as a shield from the unseen bossman but still takes a beating.

159. THINKING(Flexible) The blood and pain pumps through my ears to the still pit wall air.

160. SENSING(Light) The running rats alert us to the fall even as the dirt fills our undies.

161. THINKING(Direct) The sight of you piling your pants with the earth.

162. BOUND Donít leave me, not with my titanium undies.

xxvii. Pause.

163. SENSING(Strong) I am digging the graves for the purple faced bi-peds.

164. QUICK As I said, we are bi-peds.

165. THINKING(Flexible) The purple faced and yellow canary is nothing but clay.

166. FREE I accept that, but clay has no feathers and canaries have legs and wings.

167. SUSTAINED has achieved a great many advances and retreats in its short and long stay.

168. SENSING(Light) The loud and noisy dirt cleans my crack with the earth, and your ear drums crack.

xxviii. Pause.

169. THINKING(Direct) The digging, shitting and spitting sounds like heaven to me.

170. SENSING(Strong) The shitting not digging imperils our lives.

171. QUICK I said, we should stop this.

172. BOUND When have you done anything about it?

173. THINKING(Flexible) The earth - she tells us of her ill health and our impending doom.

174. SENSING(Light) The lack of food that I make, could lead to the lasting dark for you.

xxix. Pause.

175. FREE Pretty canaries, all soft and squishy fly like aerial mud to your resting place.

176. SUSTAINED has suffered some ailment but has remained brave in the ugly face of death

177. BOUND Hear the pain of quiet wounds, and a dirty pair of pants around ankles.

178. THINKING(Direct) The sound of a thousand tiny running feet.

179. QUICK I knew the sharp pain.

180. SENSING(Strong) Cutting the lunches from the ceiling.

xxx. Pause.

181. FREE is a clay canary that wobbles but maintains equilibrium.

182. THINKING(Flexible) My mouth a cage - my tongue a canary - my lips the gates...are shut.

183. SENSING(Light) All your pits in my palm, their cold minors I have in my hands grasp.

184. SUSTAINED My thumbs hurt; they were my ruler, they ruled with an iron digit; the poor things.

185. BOUND We all have our hardship, but really we canít let our workload pile up.

186. QUICK I heard thumbs crack Ė donít thumbs crack?

xxxi. Pause.

187. SENSING(Strong) Only bone, thatís what Iím hearing.

188. THINKING(Flexible) The cold air and extracted digits. Keep your hands off my goodies.

189. FREE has many thumbs, so many of these human aspects Ė where to start?

190. SUSTAINED did not believe in thumbs and in action this was patently obvious to all.

191. THINKING(Flexible) Fixing problems to myself - they are mine own. I dig them up and then stash them away.

192. SENSING(Light) If in my radiant glow I caused your eye digits to leperize...

xxxii. Pause.

193. QUICK That is not a real pain.

194. SENSING(Strong) That hurts.

195. THINKING(Direct) You know whatís painful? Listening!

196. BOUND Not like the pain I experience: all day.

197. SENSING(Light) Is that so?

198. SUSTAINED thumbs have hurt and it hurt.

xxxiii. Pause.

199. FREE returns to a designated task.

200. THINKING(Flexible) I kill the wolf silently.

201. SENSING(Strong) Killing yellow wolves.

202. BOUND Death comes here. I see the flight of it.

203. THINKING(Direct) I take the floor; the pits, fatal floor.

204. QUICK The pain of the wolf I heard.

xxxiv. Pause.

205. SENSING(Light) The ear splitting clang: our salvation from self pity.

206. FREE I will. I will.

207. SUSTAINED has taken a disbelieving look.

208. THINKING(Flexible) Weíll never find the open; the dodgy key.

209. QUICK Incorrect!

210. SENSING(Strong) Eyeing a place in the sun.

xxxv. Pause.

211. BOUND Dig four graves. It is clear this is it.

212. THINKING(Direct) Make mine larger and I wonít share one.

213. SUSTAINED For your ego.

214. SENSING(Strong) I love you all.

215. THINKING(Flexible) Who said that?

216. FREE takes a severe beating.

Lights down.
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