Sonnet for Langston Hughes: Rivers of the Soul
My father, he is white as English snow,
Beneath a silver moon and butter sun
The rivers of his spirit swiftly flow,
Through dipping vales and glens his waters run.
My mother, she is brown as Syrian sand,
Under a ruby sun and emerald moon
Her spirit’s rivers course that ancient land,
On many banks her muddy silt is strewn.
I am the snow that settled with the sand,
The dusty earth that warmed the fallen snow,
The rivers of my soul traverse each land,
Though neither sun nor moon the waters know.
And yet the waters glint an emerald green,
In yellow vales my eyes have never seen.
He chirps like a cricket under the stars,
Hopping in and out of his black taxi car
With barely enough of a break to eat.
He talks to himself, as if in prayer;
The evening’s fare
Has fallen asleep in the passenger’s seat.
He stops. The car shudders under the sky.
The door slams shut; a thankless goodbye.
He starts up, and disappears into the street.
The Remains of the Play
The cast retires. The audience departs.
What remains lives on in heads and hearts.
When skulls are pots for flowers, chests their bed,
Curtains rise upon the living dead.
Charlie Jones is a poet from Merseyside. His poetry has been published in print and online with Nine Muses Poetry, Acumen, Orbis, The Caterpillar, and The Honest Ulsterman, as well as several other magazines and journals.