Nanaimo’s Latest Coal Hole

By Kim Goldberg

Nanaimo is a town that was built on coal. Literally! And those of us who live here got a reminder of that geological fact a few days ago when a stretch of road downtown at Pine Street and Victoria Road was closed off after city workers discovered an underground void that is most likely the remains of a shallow coal mine.

This is not the first such discovery in Nanaimo. In fact, there has long been the tale of the piano heard at night, when the town is quiet, on a certain block downtown where (as legend has it) a poorly situated house slid into an old mine shaft – piano and all. To this day, the story goes, slight shiftings of the earth, or perhaps a subterranean breeze through the dank shaft, still vibrate the strings of the old 88.

Nanaimo's Coal Hole

About Kim Goldberg

Kim Goldberg is a poet, journalist and the author of 8 books of poetry and nonfiction. Latest titles: DEVOLUTION (poems of ecopocalypse), UNDETECTABLE (her Hep C journey in haibun), RED ZONE (poems of homelessness) and RIDE BACKWARDS ON DRAGON: a poet's journey through Liuhebafa. She lives in Nanaimo, BC. Contact:
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