Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE YELLOW STUFF, by CHARLES BADGER CLARK JR.



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THE YELLOW STUFF, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: By the rim rocks on the hill
Last Line: Without a lick of mining!
Alternate Author Name(s): Clark, Badger
Subject(s): Cowboys


By the rim rocks on the hill
The canyon side is rifted
Where Grasping Gabe, with pick and drill.
Once mucked and shot and drifted.
His hairy arms were never still;
His eyes were never lifted.

The yellow stuff! The yellow stuff!
All day his steel would tinkle
And when the blast roared out at last
He scanned each rocky wrinkle.
That tunnel's face was life to him,
And joy and kids and wife to him
Its thread of yellow twinkle.

By the rim rocks where he wrought
A wall that looked eternal
Caved in one day and Gabe was caught
Snug as a walnut kernel,
Shut up with hunger, thirst and thought
In dark that was infernal.

The yellow stuff! The yellow stuff!
Then Gabe forgot its uses,
And all the gold the hills could hold
Looked like a pair of deuces.
No joy was dust and ore to him;
The gold outside was more to him
That slanted through the spruces.

By the rim rocks, far away
From helpers or beholders,
Gabe worked a lifetime in a day,
Then shoved out head and shoulders
And cried and kissed the light that lay
Upon the sunny boulders.

The yellow stuff! The yellow stuff!
He blessed the sunset shining,
Too high in grade to be assayed
And pure beyond refining.
What scum his work had doled to him,
When God would give such gold to him
Without a lick of mining!





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