There is a hell

November 1, 2011

One of the first images I had of sheer terror was a dream I had as a child. A man is thrown off a boat. In the middle of the ocean. It is a beautiful day. Blue sky. Sea calm. Warm light breeze. And the man alone. The ship sailing away.

And then I read about the slave ships. Packed in like… I was going to say sardines. But there is no like anything here. Because you cannot imagine human beings being treated like this. The smell. Corpses. Rotting. Rats. Sea sick. The cries of death. Corpses thrown overboard. Brought up from these holes to the fresh air. Small groups. Some would jump overboard. Most would breath in deeply. Then return to their hell.

I read that the wealth of America was built on the backs of slaves. Africans. The indebted serfs of Irish immigrants. The Chinese labor.

There is a hell. For some it is on earth.

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the drums of deepest africa

clang in the darkening city

– the muffled stacato of expectant sleep.

the sea slaps the side of the ship

echoes pulsing through the hull

– mumbled utterings and insomniac spasms of energy.

history and consciousness wed in the nebulous drift

where we lay under ransom, prisoners of neither

illusion nor reality, straddling the fringe of our sanity.

the savage beatings and curses

and the skin strangled ribs

– the serenity of cunning nightmare.

metal clanging and the scurry of tiny feet on the rafters

a woman moans,

flesh is born and seperated

– the tap is sweating.

2 Responses to “There is a hell”

  1. Thanks for taking the time to express such a horrible moment, among many in our human history. What a tragedy for man to treat is fellow man as if he meaningless.

    Your poem is so well written…it goes deep.

  2. finance said

    Tumblr article…

    I saw someone writing about this on Tumblr and it linked to…

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