It’s a cold day down in Memphis
Handy’s shadow shivering in the shade
It’s a cold day down in Memphis
He just stands there he don’t play
The thunder growls in the dull grey sky
He just stands, nothing left to say

Martin spoke of kindness
Timeless words echo through the years
Martin spoke of kindness
Sometimes no one wants to hear
Jim Crow seems slow to go
Now sixty-four is just another year

Watching T.V. in the pawnshop
Down on ole Beale street one day
Watching T.V. in the pawnshop
Saw Bobby’s life get blown away
A bullet caused his heart to stop
His future gone, now come what may

Vacant houses, empty windows stare
Once they were homes, now no one’s there
The hopes and dreams that used to be
Gone to children raising babies in poverty
What life was there is long gone
Tell me now where did we go wrong

The Mississippi flows on down the line
Cotton was king once upon a time
Those times are gone along the road
Washed away with the river’s flow
Like Katrina washed the gulf away
Maybe it will rise again someday

We watch the ghosts of old charades
Pass us all by in slow parade
Memories mingle sweet and sour
Centuries slide by hour by hour
What’s been left behind for us
Will it be here when times get rough

There’s not enough to go around
All we’ve lost, what have we found
Three percent get the lion’s share
Now does anyone think that’s fair
The rich stay rich the poor stay poor
Do we even know what hope is for

Yeah, it’s a cold day down in Memphis
I saw Handys’ shadow shivering in the shade
Yeah, the world just keeps spinning round
We’ve all lost what we’ve never found
There’s nowhere to go, nowhere to start
This cold day in Memphis has gone dark

© 2020, Ward&Mary Hays. All rights reserved.

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Ward&Mary Hays
Life is what you make of it.

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More Memphis Blues
5 based on 5 reviews

9 thoughts on “More Memphis Blues

  • March 13, 2020 at 7:30 am

    1968 was a violent year for sure; being only five at the time, I don’t remember the bad, but it must have felt like the world was ending. I wonder if Kennedy had lived and won the election, how different things might have looked for America; no Nixon, probably the end of the war in Vietnam, and the list goes on and on–excellent poem, Ward and Mary!

    • March 26, 2020 at 5:58 am

      Thank you for a great review. Sorry I messed up the birth date and went off rambling in PTSD land. I forgot to tell you I live in that huge bustling city of
      Horn Lake.

  • March 12, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Lovely poem. Life has changed. It is not like the good ole day! When you did not have to lock your door at night.

    I can relate to your words of wisdom which only time and living can provide. BOO was born down in the Delta. Joined the Navy when 18. Went to Memphis MEPPS to enlist. Went to A School in Millington.. Family in Virginia but I returned to Miss. I live close to Memphis in Walls. I have chopped cotton. I live close to the Miss River! This poem comes from the heart 💔. I relate to your feelings. Being in the land of the blues! Write some more!

    • March 23, 2020 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks for the review. If It was before 68 .we might have met . Did you ever get a half price ride to Memphis f rom a couple of Hippies in a green 63 Dodge? A year later I was in Lakland from there I got to visit the world and kill things and make
      Politicians rich. It took a while but I caught on to the scam. Thanks for the review
      Ward (If you had been real smart you would have joined the C.G. brown water navy}

  • February 6, 2020 at 1:47 pm

    Hello Ward and Mary

    I really like this poem and it is very neat when I read it out loud. Three percent getting the lions share is not fair and I wish that could change some day.

    A very nice poem.


  • January 20, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    Hi Ward and Mary

    Another great piece of poetry. This, I believe is relative to the old song written in the early 1900’s I think from memory.

    Kindness… so many people seem to have forgotten what that is these days. I love that line about “we’ve all lost what we never found,” that’s deep thinking. Fantastic again.


  • January 20, 2020 at 9:42 am

    Ward and Mary, it’s not too cold here in Perth, Western Australia, it’s 30C again lol.

    However, what you say in this well-written piece is very true.

    “There’s not enough to go around
    All we’ve lost, what have we found
    Three percent get the lion’s share
    Now does anyone think that’s fair”

    It is the same here and all over the world, I reckon. The poor stay poor or get poorer and the rich simply don’t care. They must think you can take it with you when you die!

    You are very good poets and I’ll try to keep up with your work when I can.


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