Tag Archives: preacher

A Force Inside the Dream of God

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.

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In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams

The Preacher sat upon a rocky hill
Above a cave where waters from the lake
Crashed angrily above the soaring shrill
Of gulls excited by a splashing wake
Of fish caught by the afternoon’s harsh light
Flashed back into the early Fall’s blue sky.

He sat upon the hill, his second sight
Unmoored and wild, and listened as the lie
He’d told himself when struggling to find
The island where his people could be free
Wrapped round reality, the awful bind
Of white men, dark men in the company
Of humankind, their kind, the hunger spun
From dreams once dreamed beneath a noonday sun.

Note: The title paraphrases a line from Pablo Neruda. This is the fourth sonnet in the series I am writing about the black community that existed for a short while on Washington Island off the tip of Door County. It was developed during a workshop led by Ralph Murre.

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Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis