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Poems On / About RIVER  12/22/2014 11:41:40 AM
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  233.     

Ali's Song (for Muhammad Ali)

They say that gold don't tarnish. It ain't so.
They say it has a wild, unearthly glow.
A man can be more beautiful, more wild.
I flung their medal to the river, child.
I flung their medal to the river, child.

They hung their coin around my neck; they made
my name a bridle, "called a spade a spade."
They say their gold is pure. I say defiled.
I flung their slave's name to the river, child.
I flung their slave's name to the river, child.

Ain't got no quarrel with no Viet Cong
that never called me nigger, did me wrong.
A man can't be lukewarm, 'cause God hates mild.
I flung their notice to the river, child.
I flung their notice to the river, child.

They said, "Now here's your bullet and your gun,
and there's your cell: we're waiting, you choose one."
At first I groaned aloud, but then I smiled.
I gave their "future" to the river, child.
I gave their "future" to the river, child.

My face reflected up, dark bronze like gold,
a coin God stamped in His own image—Bold.
My blood boiled like that river—strange and wild.
I died to hate in that dark river, child,
Come, be reborn in this bright river, child.
 
Michael Burch

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  234.     

Peace River

The Peace River creeps along
From its start in the sand it calls home
That sometimes takes up more below
Than it adds to the flow.

The groove cut deep in ages past
Into the lime-rock's cast
Remains a testament to the way
That Nature refreshes, then takes away.

Sometimes a wild river that knows no bounds
Later just a few scattered ponds
Harboring life which one day
Will again spread when the River has its say.

Once a road for paddlewheel boats
That carried goods up-river to folks
When loaded with coal and necessities
From mines and far away cities.

Then down river the boats did ply
Phosphate ore that man might buy
As an ingredient to benefit all,
Something to makes crops grow tall.

But now the Peace River's flow
Has been claimed by those below
Who've built along Gulf's shore,
And thirst for water, even more.

There are solutions, few
When Winter's drought begins anew
When fish and man alike must find
A place of another kind.

Yet the river lies quiet and waits
For the Summer rains that will create
Again the flood as in times past
When the water moves deep and fast.


The Peace River originates in an area known as the 'Green Swamp, ' a vast mostly unpopulated area of central Florida lying between Tampa and Orlando. The sandy soil (if soil it can be considered to be) accepts summer rainfall while giving up the excess to runoff, and uses the remainder to recharge the shallow limestone/sand aquifer. In the dry season of the year, the aquifer gives up a portion of its burden through springs and seeps to rivers flowing East (Orlando) , West (Tampa) , North (Jacksonville) and South (Charlotte bay) . Southwest Water Management District (Called Swift Mud) will try to 'harness' the Peace river and control its flow. But there's much about the river that they seem not to know (or want to learn) .
 
Sidi J. Mahtrow

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  235.     

The Negro Speaks Of Rivers

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
 
Langston Hughes

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Read more: sunset poems, sleep poems, world poems, river poems
   
 

   
   
 

  236.     

Negro Speaks of Rivers

I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset

I've known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
 
Langston Hughes

Read more poems from Langston Hughes >>>
Read more: sunset poems, sleep poems, world poems, river poems
   
 
 
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