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White Sails, Dark Souls

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Below is the poem entitled White Sails, Dark Souls which was written by poet Daniel Cheeseman. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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White Sails, Dark Souls

In the hold tears are shackled
White eyes stare dark corners
Bare breasts hang limpid
Humanity dowsed in sewage

The slaver pitches, rolls
Each wave a fathom from home
Each trough a deeper despair
The screams and creaks in rhyme

Lost souls ghost the gloom 
Living meat on planked beds
The stench of shame fills the air
The cry for God but no one there

The slaver ponders onwards
With its holds of sins
Black gold, worth in weight
Only time holds their fate

Bilges slurp of piss and degradation
Chains chatter, implore salvation
But the lash comes quick
Skin and hearts so easily broken

White sails on waves of shame
Sullies forth in evils name
Devil smiles at man's behaviour
And fortunes gained on slave labour

On the quay in lines they stand
Commodity of a human brand
And brand they will, darkened skin
With each mark a white man's sin

Dark these pages of history
Have we travelled in our thinking
Just how far have we come
The nettle of conscience does it sting
As racism still festers in the heart
White sails still float waves of shame


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  1. Date: 1/7/2011 8:21:00 AM
    Daniel, this is wonderful dark poetry. REminds me of a line in a song "how many dark berries in the forest" something to that effect. But the forest was symbolic of the ocean and the berries are the bodies tossed out to the waves. What I like is your stark contrast here between those white sails and the darkness beneath them. VEry nicely done, Daniel, and thanks for seeing my blog. LUv, Andrea

  1. Date: 1/6/2011 8:12:00 AM
    Dark and deep, and utterly wonderful, each word profound, you have a gift for words, and you use them wisely~~