Tag Archives: sonnet sequence

Cover for In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams

All Things That Matter Press (ATTMP) has just sent me the cover for In the Unsettled Homeland of Dreams, my new novel about the black fisherman community that settled on Washington Island off Door County before passage of the Fugitive Slave Act. ATTMP is shooting for an early August release. After better than sixteen drafts, I’m ready!
Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 1.56.09 PM


Filed under poems, Poetry, Published Books, Thomas Davis

Chicago on the Road to Freedom

a terza rima sonnet

By Thomas Davis

Cacophony, noise, horses, people, smells,
A raging restlessness and energy
Unbounded from the places spirit dwells,
Infected them and made them want to flee
Their fleeing even as Chicago seethed
And made them wonder if their slavery
Was more than whips and white men wreathed
In arrogance, but something in their souls,
Their consciousness, the very air they breathed
That filled their lives with loss and empty holes
Where dreams should live and let life soar in skies
Removed from fear and all the deadly shoals
That, hidden, suddenly materialize
And snatch away a slave’s most longed-for prize.

Note: This continues the sonnet sequence I am writing. The sonnets, all of them different kind of sonnets, head each chapter in a novel that is giving me endless trouble. In the novel a large group of slaves from different plantations, led by a fiery Preacher, escape southern Missouri and head north toward Washington Island in Wisconsin. At this point in their escape they have reached Chicago.


Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis

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.


Filed under poems, Poetry, Thomas Davis