Hessian Sack

I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with the “crossroads” stories, from the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, who sold his soul at the crossroads in exchange for being able to play the blues.

The demons hessian sack


He’ll reach into your heart

find all those pieces

torn apart and bring em back.

The good and the bad

battling for the surface.

Heat like a furnace.


He’ll probe your mind

with his molten fingers of brimstone

digging for that touch.

That touch to take you to hell.

As he ignores your tearful yell.

But its what you wanted.


You stood at the crossroads

trembling and hopeful.

As you bury your box in the gravel.

He’ll smash your brain to bits

with his unholy gavel.

There’s no coming back

he’s got you in his hessian sack.


He’s a god and a demon.

He’s good and bad.

Evil and fair as you tremble there.

The hounds howl into the night,

smelling blood and a fight.

He’ll take you in his arms

And hold you tight.


Its time to stop give up the fight.

as your dragged crying into the night.

He laughs at your tears,

cause he’s a god and a demon

and he’s caught you coming back.

As he feeds you bile and all that’s vile,

He laughs at your pain.

In his hessian sack.


He’s a god and a demon 

and there aint no going back.

Your heart in his fiery hand

you gotto know there’s no coming back.

From the crossroads and across the track.

You sold your soul in blood

fightings no good,

And he’s got you in his hessian sack.

He’s a god and demon

And you aint never coming back.






© Mentalelf 2023
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Yes, this works for me; it is the image of the hessian sack that anchors it. And Robert Johnson? Did he really sell his soul to the devil on that crossroad – whatever, he was certainly one of the greatest guitarists. While I was first reading this we had BBC R4 Women’s Hour on, and the subject was violence against women – how unprotected they are in the courts and by local government housing – I should know, I worked in that myself. Again, a fine poem.


There is, I’m sure, a Robert Johnson character, in the film: O Brother Where Art Thou; still one of my favourite movies.


Another joyous poem. That man Johnson was definitely talented – and the story is one of mystery.

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