The poem "The New Mule" is a wonderful story about how a man and a mule could change each other and form a relationship over the course of several years making lateral trips along the furrows of a hillside farm. It is truly a work of art. The mule progresses, over the course of 23 linguistically spare lines, from an uncontrollable, wild beast to moving "a careful inch in the furrow to my asking". The man progresses from "goddamning voice" to being able to will "myself to patience". It is a wonderful poem by a man who understood animals, land, and people and was able to express that knowledge in a minimal expenditure of words. It is a wonderful poem about slow, positive change in a place where change was generally unwelcome.
Albert Stewart's poetry is a the poetry of an educator, environmentalist, farmer, neighbor, and friend. It is a rare, wonderful kind of work which has received far too little recognition on the greater world wide stage. Just like Al, it has had a tendency to stay on Yellow Mountain. But those of us who knew Al as a friend and mentor keep taking it with us into the wider world and showing it to people who never had the good fortune to know him or his poetry.