by Thomas Davis
Their stomachs ached, they felt ice cold, their eyes
Sank back into their sockets. Still, worn out,
They kept on moving, moving. When the skies
Were dark enough, they got up, brushed the flies,
Mosquitos off, shoved fear and gnawing doubt
Into their bellies’ emptiness, and ran, their route
Through hills and fields, past roads, an exercise
In dreams that live on while the body dies.
But as they moved, the Preacher was a force
Inside the dream of God, a man possessed.
He would not fade. His tongue, without remorse,
Whipped legs too tired to move to movement, stressed
Them all until a blessed miracle
Made life and dreams again seem possible.
Note: I have been posting two of these sonnets at a time. Since I am in the rewriting mode of the novel at the moment, going backward unfortunately, I am afraid I’ll run out of postings for the series before I get to a place where I can keep up the sequence. This is the fifth sonnet I’ve posted from the series. I am working on a novel with a sonnet at the beginning of each chapter. The sonnets themselves are a mixture of forms. This particular sonnet is a Spenserian sonnet.
7 responses to “A Force Inside the Dream of God”
This is a wonderful sonnet – image rich and a joy to read out loud.
From a poet that is so oral in her songs, this is, at least from where I sit, the highest complement. Thank you so much Glendadoodle. I love sonnets. I love your sonnets.
Good luck with the project, Tom. I like the thought of a novel with a sonnet at the start of each chapter.
This sonnet reminds me, somehow of your previous “The Miracle Inside A Storm From Hell” but you have taken the spiritual “miracle” now to a tangible, visible, audible “force”, in the preacher. The bulging eyes, the flies, the empty bellies, and that remorseless tongue whipping their legs…wow!..until we are back to the miracle again. This one zooms-in on the physical details in a vibrant way that is most wonderful!
I’m coming to like this preacher. And I love the title. Inside the dream of God is an extrasimile-like title, for sure. Right away the questions start. What does it mean to be inside a dream? Is that the person in the dream or the dreamer? And what about the status of god here. Is he a dream? Is he dreaming this dream? Or is it the world itself that is the dream of God?
These questions are soon resolved once we get past the title and into the poem. [Sort of]. We are in ‘an exercise in dreams that live on while the body dies’. What a line, what a thought.
Aside: in whose consciousness does this poem take place in?
But of course, it is the arduousness of the situation that the preacher ‘preaches’ to [or against].
I’m curious about the blessed miracle. Is it something outside the preaching or is it the preaching itself?
Well, Thomas, this one strikes me as the strongest poem so far in the series. I hope the prose is going as strongly.
The prose needs to be rewritten right now, Jim. I truly appreciate your comments. They help me see where I think I am not going.
And a fine specimen, It draws the reader in, seeking for the detail that fuel the words. If it’s purpose is – beyond its completeness in itself – to encourage one to read on into the chapter it precedes then it succeeds perfectly.