Sharecroppers

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Lesson in Winter

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Wild Thought

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Half-Curse

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

A Beagle Roundelay

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Home On It

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

On the Fourth Day

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Unchosen

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

A Conversation with John Jeremiah Sullivan

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Waterfall

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Patient is Rallying

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Street Has Changed

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Pool Room in the Lions’ Club

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Fairy Tale with Ex-Wife

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

On the Waterfront

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

An Anatomy of Melancholy

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Chamfort

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Two Poems

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Self

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Sovereign Secrets

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Colloquy in Black Rock Connecticut

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Seven Poems from the Latin of John Owen

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Winter Remembered

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Emaciated Poetry

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Farewell to Miles

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Leaving Ireland

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Mother Ireland

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

On Obstinacy and Belief

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Townie

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Poetry

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Clearing

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Dark Waters

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Dollhouses of the Dead

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Moishe’s Horse

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Revelation

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Danzig 1932

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Loon’s Cry

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Riddle

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Return

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

A Sentimental Delusion

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Listening to the Earth

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Catch

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Coblins

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Departure of the Ghost

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Description Without Place

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

Expansion and the Philosophy of Power

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

The Legend of the One-Eyed Man

They do their work, and they are strong enough.
They pluck all morning, and all afternoon,
Prizing from thorns a blizzard of soft stuff
That brings them bread until the hunter’s moon
Calls them away from homes they’ve held on loan,
And days in fields of light they didn’t own.
 
Unknown in life, the fog of generations
Obscures my people now, dark silhouettes
Looming, enormous, in imagination’s
Unearthly fields, where what the land forgets
Persists. Faceless, they go on, the forgotten
Whose blood is mine, whose name is my own name,
In radiant ghost-light, still picking cotton.
I join them now, on whom time has no claim.

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