Treasure Island

Tonye WilliePepple

(Nigeria)

The old riverbank


There was a certain year
when oyster-shells massaged
founding feet
pacing the old riverbank

In that year, as well,
peppered oyster meat
filled hungry flesh-graves,
nurturing their darkened skins

That was the year
of sand-papered hands
paddling with experienced sticks
Their gloves, salty splash of clapping waves

All those were in that year
when the loosened George
and snow-colored bed-cloth
produced fishing boys and trading girls

The years before the first ships arrived
beat our mother,
raped her hard,
and raised the flaring flag

This red flag
that came from hell
replaced the oyster-pot with us,
cooking us deep, deep, to the bones

And so, on the old riverbank,
no more tales are told
of men who once ate oyster-meat,
who fished and bought and sold

But let the ships know today,
that when our gods paddled away
it was not because of their small canoes
but because they went to get their weights

Tomorrow, when they shall arrive the courts,
drunk from our advocates of tears and gin,
that ship shall either sail or sink in the sea
By the old riverbank.

Submitted: Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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

What do you think this poem is about?



Topic(s): justice

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 (The old riverbank by Tonye WilliePepple )

Enter the verification code :

  • * Sunprincess * (6/17/2014 10:51:00 AM)

    ~ And so, on the old riverbank,
    no more tales are told
    of men who once ate oyster-meat,
    who fished and bought and sold ~
    .........from this stanza I could feel the sense of community (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Always Yours, Michael McParland
  2. All rich, gajanan mishra
  3. ما كان ذنبي, قسطاكي الحمصي
  4. حديث النفس, قسطاكي الحمصي
  5. A fox in Leeds with unusual needs., Stephen Katona
  6. Concepts 27, Somanathan Iyer
  7. More Time, Babatunde Aremu
  8. The Daughter of the Earth - 30, gajanan mishra
  9. Last Farewell, Mark Nixon Legaspi
  10. Travel China Haiku - Chengdu spices, john tiong chunghoo

Poem of the Day

poet Robert Louis Stevenson

It is very nice to think
The world is full of meat and drink,
With little children saying grace
In every Christian kind of place.... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Amy Lowell

 

Trending Poems

  1. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. A Thought, Robert Louis Stevenson
  4. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  5. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  6. On the Ning Nang Nong, Spike Milligan
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. Warning, Jenny Joseph
  9. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  10. If, Rudyard Kipling

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]