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More Mining Poetry by Joel

Mining Poetry by Joel Tankersley

Modern Times

I once was a miner,
I stood on a street.
Mountains of stone,
laid at my feet.

The viens of fine silver,
and the stringers of gold.
bluest ridge of copper,
a sight to behold.

I once was a mill man,
the smelter, a pan,
the crusher, and sag sample,
I so understand

I was driven to capture,
the wealth of the west
I did what I did,
and I did my best.

I was honest, I had a family,
my fellow man.
The community about me,
fairly did stand.

They were men like I was,
they pushed to the wall.
And never backed down,
not that I can recall.

They would only break ore
they would never break waste.
Never the gob,
with a friend they would haste.

Not one was dishonest,
never would he.
He would tramp in a moment
not a coward he'd be.

I have grown old,
long in the tooth.
Those days are over,
the days of my youth.

So are those men,
who I stood before.
I've never met,
so many liars and whores.

Men without backbones,
men without honor.
Who would sell their said souls,
for public honor.

They would sell their good names,
for a smitten of food.
for their masters that are,
and what they approve.

My anger is relentless,
and I am ashamed.
But among those I'm not,
and among them not named.

I'll not lie for their justice,
I will not give for their blood.
Their souls are as dark,
as that Telluride mud.

Where's Mother Jones,
who would walk on her grave?
Laid down in Ludlow,
childen to save.

No quislings, nor misfits,
not a lawyer of school.
Not a fool found in wander,
blood in a pool.

Where are the men,
have they all gone?
Those who would shovel,
and sing out their song.

Those men who did not give,
back down or cry.
Brothers and fathers,
did they all die?

Men of conviction,
who would be surrounded.
Those faith never failing,
that would be counted.

Men of their lessions,
straight and so true.
They said what they said,
and always would do.

Where are they? Sold for sheckle,
or silver of judas?
Their stench and profile,
never alludes us.

They pretend to be wise,
play to the spoken.
Not a rock by their own hands,
has ever been broken.

Copyright Joel Tankersley

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