My review of Thomas Peacock’s first novel, Beginnings: The Homeward Journey of Donovan Manypenny, is in the latest issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas. Peacock is one of the most important writers and thinkers about American Indian education in the country, and his wonderful novel, published by Holy Cow! Press (one of my favorite publishers), has “the resonance of truth telling” in its pages. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the deepness of native culture and how that deepness draws people into and back to the place where the universe began.
I am also pleased to be published in Wisconsin People & Ideas, the most important publication containing the best of Wisconsin culture and thought in the state. The publication of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters explores Wisconsin’s intellectual and natural environment with a substance that helps define the state’s true spirit.
My daughter, Sonja Bingen, tried to get the Academy to name me a Fellow, but that didn’t happen, so this publication made me especially feel good. The magazine and the Academy is one of the best things about Wisconsin.
by Thomas Davis
Waves rolled with curving lines into the shore.
Lake Michigan horizoned into sky.
They watched a dark brown, white crowned osprey soar
Above the waves and heard its hunting cry.
Inside pinched spirits chained by slavery
And endless hours of suffocating fear,
Bonds loosened as the dream and fantasy
Of freedom suddenly seemed real, so near
To where they stood above the giant lake
They were not sure they had not reached a future
Aware of who they were, the earth awake
To spirits that had passed through deadly danger.
Inside the distant swamp they’d been but slaves.
They stood upon a hill and listened to the waves.
Note: I have been working on a novel about a black fisherman community founded on Washington Island prior to the Civil War in the wilderness of Wisconsin. This is the eleventh sonnet published here that heads chapters in the novel. I have made slow progress, but the novel keeps expanding, so we’ll see if I have the energy and capability of finishing it. I am less than half way through at this point.
A drawing by Ethel Mortenson Davis for the cover of Thomas Davis’s novel for young adults, Salt Bear, which is published by Four Windows Press at our home in Continental Divide, New Mexico