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Poems On / About RIVER  1/29/2015 6:20:12 PM
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  237.     

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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  238.     

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
   
 

   
   
 

  239.     

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
   
 

   
   
 

  240.     

The Dirge of a River

My eyes were hooked on to the West
Feasting on the riot of colors the sun had cast
I stood dazed at a sight so blest
That any poet would treasure with zest

By chance I glanced at the river below
It moved like an overloaded carriage slow
With floating weeds and dirty rubbish
Reminding one of an ugly heap of trash

I saw partially submerged bottles bobbing on the surface
Gradually filling with dirty water perforce
And slowly sinking down to rest in peace
With their sunken brethren at the river base

Spill of oil glistened iridescent
On the face of the river florescent
Its water was far from clean
And had turned murky green

On the still surface was a layer of scum
Like rancid butter annoying anyone's calm
Reeking smell of rotten fish and mulch
Entered my nostrils with an obnoxious stench

I closed my eyes and turned my head
And looked away from the river bed
I thought of man's callous audacity
In assaulting Nature's pristine vitality

I heard the river's rising lament
And me it did acutely torment
Any sensitive soul would be left grieving
Watching the river in agony heaving

In the far horizon, the sky had grown into flames
I wondered if Nature was mad at man's tall claims
Suddenly I saw with the eyes of a seer
That Doomsday is drawing near!
 
Valsa George

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