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January 04, 2005

Blood Ghosts

This is my great grandfather Cyrenus "Yank" Toothman. He was born November 30th, 1852 and he died September 20, 1937.

Blood Ghosts

blood ghosts stretch
hand in hand
back through my father
and dance into the blood of
my sons

pale ghosts
choking on the black dust
of west virginia coal mines

daring ghosts
that lick the salt of
the atlantic from their
fearful lips

and the ghosts
of countless strangers
that have lapsed into prehistory
but still spiral
inside me
and whisper wisdom
to keep me safe...

so that i too
may become a ghost
and whisper
to my children's

1 comment:

Andrew said...

I like the vivid description of the ghosts, the way that in this simple poem, I get the feel of a long line of culture and history stretching out behind you. It goes on through you to your children. Yet it is also intensely personal, and you bring this into focus well in the final stanza. It is through your words that these ghosts continue to live.

Thanks for sharing your words, your images.