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Ghost Sonnet 1

by Kathryn Hinds

An old, mad man still climbing in his ghost,
My fathers’ ghost is climbing in the rain.
          — Dylan Thomas, “I Fellowed Sleep”

I would fellow sleep but for the ghosts
That chide at me and tally all the costs
Of wastrel effort and of all my lost
Occasions. Ghosts that laugh and scorn the tossed
And tempest seas whose drowning strength I fear
Though they would wash me clean, and cleanly clear
My guilty vision and betide my ear
With songs of death and depth, more worth to hear
Than prating conscience. O unholy ghosts
And holy, mothers having gone before,
I fear my stair climbs to a different door
Than you would open, for you know the boast
Of all I dream and deem and hold most dear....
No dreams bring easy sleep when ghosts are near.


Kathryn Hinds’s most recent poetry has appeared in The Lyric and is forthcoming in Canary. Kathryn has also coauthored a book on Celtic mythology and written more than fifty nonfiction books for young people. Along with reading, writing, and researching, she teaches bellydance and tries to coax a garden out of Georgia’s red clay soil. Find her online at http://www.kathrynhinds.com/.

Pat Jones
Published 29 March 2011