Treasure Island

Sterling A. Brown


Riverbank Blues


A man git his feet set in a sticky mudbank,
A man git dis yellow water in his blood,
No need for hopin', no need for doin',
Muddy streams keep him fixed for good.

Little Muddy, Big Muddy, Moreau and Osage,
Little Mary's, Big Mary's, Cedar Creek,
Flood deir muddy water roundabout a man's roots,
Keep him soaked and stranded and git him weak.

Lazy sun shinin' on a little cabin,
Lazy moon glistenin' over river trees;
Ole river whisperin', lappin' 'gainst de long roots:
"Plenty of rest and peace in these . . ."

Big mules, black loam, apple and peach trees,
But seems lak de river washes us down
Past de rich farms, away from de fat lands,
Dumps us in some ornery riverbank town.

Went down to the river, sot me down an' listened,
Heard de water talkin' quiet, quiet lak an' slow:
"Ain' no need fo' hurry, take yo' time, take yo'
time . . ." Heard it sayin'--"Baby, hyeahs de way life go . . ."

Dat is what it tole me as I watched it slowly rollin',
But somp'n way inside me rared up an' say,
"Better be movin' . . . better be travelin' . . . Riverbank'll
git you ef you stay . . ."

Towns are sinkin' deeper, deeper in de riverbank,
Takin' on de ways of deir sulky Ole Man--
Takin' on his creepy ways, takin' on his evil ways,
"Bes' git way, a long way . . . whiles you can."Man got his
sea too lak de Mississippi Ain't got so long for a whole lot longer way,
Man better move some, better not git rooted Muddy water fool you, ef you stay .
. ."

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: river, water, baby, evil, moon, peace, sea, time, sun, tree

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Riverbank Blues by Sterling A. Brown )

Enter the verification code :

  • Jason Moore (7/10/2007 1:50:00 PM)

    sterling brown was great because he could write a deep, meaningful poem that stays fresh after many readings, and at the same time make it so accessible almost anyone could understand it. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Death's Breath, Justin Reamer
  2. MOTHER, Pankti Vadalia
  3. Dead Brother's Note to Our Dad, Donal Mahoney
  4. Uncertainty, Justin Reamer
  5. Silent Tears, Justin Reamer
  6. Zur Wiederkehr meines Todes, Wolfgang Steinmann
  7. We shall overcome someday...for Ferguson.., Chenou Liu
  8. Partnership, gajanan mishra
  9. The Hydrangea, Justin Reamer
  10. Sonnet: Where the senses are scot-free, Laxman Rao

Poem of the Day

poet Edmund Spenser

My love is like to ice, and I to fire:
How comes it then that this her cold so great
Is not dissolved through my so hot desire,
But harder grows the more I her entreat?
...... Read complete »

   

Trending Poems

  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. No Man Is An Island, John Donne
  9. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  10. Choices, Nikki Giovanni

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]