Mississippi, DonÕt You Do Me Wrong

 

Poverty, oh poverty and prejudice

Across my hand

Mississippi donÕt you do me wrong

For I was raised from

This mud

This soggy reddish mud

And all my life

ItÕs been tears

Atop fears

I ainÕt seen nothin, nothin but blood

My neighbors

They all sing about being carried home

And itÕs been sung

For so long

Until it

Sounds like the blues

The blues

Running through

My veins

Poverty, oh poverty

And prejudice across my hand

Mississippi donÕt cha do me wrong

Poverty, oh poverty

When will I ever see

Tranquility

 

 

Mississippi (excerpt)

 

The moss hung from the trees

The neighbors hung from the trees

They cried

 

Be bop

Be bop

Was so busy tendinÕ to the share croppinÕ

Until the culture cried shame

Just plow the field, Walter Lee,

Just plow the field.

 

More work needed to produce rhythm for

Madison Avenue

The bigots played on it

And the state justified it

So the culture sought refuge.

Sing the blues for me, Lola.

Sing, baby,

To the sound of drums and chains.

Will the culture keep the culture.

 

16-16th notes tryinÕ to beat out shame

Rhythm and drums that beat out chains

 

We bop ah lee bop

We bop ah lee bop

De bop

Never again

And never again

 

Carthage

The sound bores a tremble

Within oneÕs soul.

Carthage

Again the Spirit shakes

 

 

 

(from Is, The Color of Mississippi Mud & Lou Next Door:  Two Vignettes of Poetry, Revised Edition, edited by Vincent Kobelt and James L. Martin, available from lulu.com)

 

© Charles Curtis Blackwell