My Great Grandfather's Ghost
Fresh-fallen snow, untouched by man, tops bushes fence and tree.
It sauntered down in the silence of night; leaving a scenic view.
The strong, gusty wind, whirling it 'round,
while you took shelter in that lonely cabin.
What memories swirled around in your mind?
Your family; simply a miner's lamp, or a remembrance from the past.
My grandfather's ghost; the knuckles of his hands
spotted blue by tiny pieces of coal.
Short of stature, long of stride ... pride in claustrophobic surroundings.
Powder-black face, a bucket of bitters quenches repressed desires.
Thirty-two years of age ... how long can a lifetime be?
The angel's voice echoes in spider-sized corridors ... alone ...
dreams turn into embers which ignite into a flame
that all too soon withers and dies.
He leaves a mark etched in my heart whenever winter comes.
by Roger C. Simmons
revised & enhanced by sbt
from The Collected Poems of Jean ToomerTo those fixed on white,White is white,To those fixed on black,It is the same,And red is red,Yellow, yellow-Surely there are such sightsIn the many colored world,Or in the mind.The strange thingis that These people never see themselvesOr you,or me.Are they not in their minds?Are we not in the world?This is a curious blindnessFor those that are color blind.What queer beliefsThat men who believe in sightsDisbelieve in seers.O people, if you but usedYour other eyesYou would see beings.
The Lives of Jean Toomer: A Hungar for Wholeness