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Mine Disasters in the United States

More Mining Poetry by Joel

Mining Poetry by Joel Tankersley

Mining Law

Once upon a time,
in a valley deep and strange.
In a dim lit hovel,
in a far flung mountain range.

In this little boarding house,
a candle cut the night.
Sat three ragged digger hands,
who vowed to make things right.

They argued, fussed, and fought,
until the morning sun they saw.
A never ending vision,
called it Mining Law.

The first was a former barrister,
born of a foreign shore.
Who spoke, "we must make this law as precious,
as the metal that we pour."

We must make this vison binding,
to protect those who claim the land.
so a nation will grow stronger,
with every ounce that's panned.

The second of that council,
one of the eastern kind.
Said, "this law must have health and welfare,
this must be kept in mind.

Calls for special standards,
labor wars end in cinder.
No money made in the attitude,
men are cheaper than timber".

The third attorney talked expansion,
how law should grow from birth.
He often used the word "pristine",
in phrases about the earth.

Somewhere in the smelter smoke,
mill and tailing pond.
This one looked to the future,
and the things that lay beyond.

All sat in that candle glow,
their wisdom did abound.
Brought forth was regulation,
on how to mine the ground.

Well, they dumped through the grizzly,
the ball mill did caress.
Over the flow of tables,
concentrate formed the press.

Now while all this was going on,
a fourth miner got off shift.
He burst on the scene with a "Howdy boys,
this whole jackleg's got me stiff".

I almost cycled three rounds tonight,
the air was just too low.
I put in about hundred bolts all by myself,
I had lunch for an hour or so.

Say have you boys been up all night,
why so long the run?
They told him of the MINING LAW,
and what was now to come.

They spoke with pride and thrill,
of it's benefit to man.
That tired hard rock aristocrat,
and all he said was damn!

Mine camp priests and barmaids,
they all know the song and dance.
Be aware in conversation,
first liars don't stand a chance.

Copyright Joel Tankersley

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