The Espirito Santo

Red sky and tall ship.

Barquentine riggings cobweb

on slender mast.


Dark hull on maudlin sea,

haunts against the current

up the narrow bay.


Shades fall in carrion dust

from bodies bound hand and foot

in iron, heavy, grey.


Many faces line like headstones,

cluttered on the brow of broken dawn,

above the bulwark.


Behind the rail, or bars,

they wait to disembark in herds

beneath the whip.



Another Holy Ghost

lit once on unbound waters;

before men made slaves.


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