Mining Music
united states mine rescue association
Mine Disasters in the United States

More Mining Poetry by Joel

Mining Poetry by Joel Tankersley

School of Mines

How do I become an instructor?,
I ask the dean today.
He said, tell me of your experience,
send a resume.

So I sat down at the table,
stumped with out a muse,
A scoreboard, of things known,
rock wars win and lose.

Well, pard, take off your digger coat,
hang it on that nail.
Open up your pie can,
and let tell to you my tale.

Once I drove a decline,
the kind you drill and blast.
The host was good and solid,
broke like bloody glass.

It was easy there to cycle,
a dream, a perfect place.
That dream like glass was shattered,
I hit a diabase.

I lost a foot on the first round I shot,
that's mining I suppose.
I lost two foot on the next one,
I said, "thats the way it goes."

I bootlegged three feet on the third round,
now it's an awful mess.
I'll try another burn,
a pyramid would work best.

There I took the jumbo,
I drilled and took my time.
I drilled that cut out
perfect, all aligned.

One big hole in the center,
that's what you usually see.
To get all the relief that I could,
I went and reamed there, three.

Finished with the drilling,
I loaded and I shot.
Loud the holes that I had,
I knew what that had bought.

Knew you say,
"what that all about?"
Every hole was loaded,
all had rifled out.

I only popped the collars,
not a single inch was earned.
The pyramid was perfect,
I was badly burned.

I went for caps and powder,
blow pipe off the rack.
I reloaded the round the lifters first,
and then I stepped on back.

I looked at those big holes,
perfect like a son.
I'll teach this ground a lesson,
I'll load the center one.

In I stuffed cap and powder,
I backed them up with prell.
The three inch hole took half a sack I lit,
'n ran like hell.

Almost up the decline,
there came that mighty boom.
The concussion almost knocked me flat,
smoke rolled pretty soon.

Then the air it didn't move,
it hung just like a haze.
Seemed minutes turned to hours,
hours turned to days.

The three inch hole I loaded,
pulled it turned the trick.
But the price paid by the brattice cloth,
it just made me sick

You see every piece was ripped and split,
that's why there was the haze.
I sat on my arse with needle and thread,
ventbag I sewed for days.

I taught that ground a lesson,
a lesson that it earned.
best about the lesson taught,
the lesson that I learned.

Experience is the professor,
and mistakes the price you pay.
There more truth in this story,
than some BS resume.

Copyright Joel Tankersley

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