A Sky Held Captive is a collection of poetry and short fiction by an award-winning historian and author who has published over forty scholarly and general interest history works. He notes that “Sometimes stories lodge in the netherworld of the historian’s mind, waiting to emerge in a different form.” The stories included here range from an US soldier’s harrowing encounter with the Holocaust to the musings of a Death Row inmate, and a novella about a man whose life defines loneliness.
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Two millenia, nearly, after a coming of their Christ came the fathers to their foundling.
Looking at forests unknown to their fathers' lands they cut away the trees to reveal naked houses and planted fields and travel-worn roads to carry them to hidden cities.
And on their lands and in their cities grew towering crops and fattened children and an appetite for restlessness.
They came to a prairie, verdant and burnt,
A May afternoon, your new home, though a stranger's house to me,
A last embrace before a dying.
Word of your death came to me heralded by a mournful ping,
Do you know (thanks to her I now think you might) that I banished your song, hid away that melody, for over a year?
And that light, the one we spoke of, the one about which our poet sang.
I wish for you serenity, old friend.
Report to the Indian Commissioner:
I let you know when I was under Col. Sumner It was five years ago We went out west It was on the big river,
We found the chyanne Indians.
We made tracks.
Next day, I started.
I was payd.
And I was glad,
Before I left Col. Sumner he gave me a promise of land,
One year after I was under Major sedgewick.
There I told Major Sedgewick,
I arrived there,
I got word from my old friend General Fremont.
After one year I went to the south,
We played ball with them.
After that we started homeward;
After the 15 days were gone,
6 days after that,
We tried to please the government,
Yr obdt servant
Another life lived on the surface in minimalist Connecticut.
More cultured conversations without words above the mannered cutlery.
Another dancer refusing the invitation,
One more languid summer at the Vineyard after a Rite of Spring.
Another existence within the hardened bounds of privilege,
Comes the Snow
A hungry wistfulness falls with the diamonding snow,
Chalkdusted By A Fleeing Moon
Somewhere on the desultory path from Dreamgiver to cuckold in quick decline was revealed a messiah no longer wishing the burden of belief
Tired, irrevocably fatigued, from the attacks upon a fortress of silence,
Marching across newly fallow fields,
A Hellene's Children In the Province Of Adams
So far was it from his,
But how quickly the foreign children found their places to take.
White-spired Congregationalist churches,
Updike, he thought.
The Conestoga Cigar Store and Snooker Parlour
A blue-painted relic,
Among the commodities bought and sold,
Burrowing, down, down, deeper still I have fallen within myself Burrowing, dark, dark, blacker still Searching for the elusive core.
Above a shaft's lip Peering over, looking, seeking So many eyes searching for me A light haloes over their heads, faint, so faint, fainter still,
A first sense of her not yet sure, but surmised was that nearly every one of her sentences was many layered, leveled, limbed.
No, no, in reply, not quite that;
"And does she mean harm?"
Never, not malicious, surely,
It was that stillness that enveloped, enfolded, and evoked from time to time something from behind those eyes which looked out, around, across paths with a half-lidded gaze of someone lying half-hidden in wispy, billowed reeds;
Amalia's World Order
She so loves the unmet victims,
She arbitrates for those without justice,
She frets even for the victimizers,
She so loves the victim,
She so loathes the victimization,
She so loves the victims,
Amalia Swimming Against The Yule Tide
Tightly around her is drawn the Hebrew cloak,
For the first time deep brown eyes see me among the villain brigade.
They Put My Little Girl in a Cage
They put my little girl in a cage today.
"Daddy, I want my life back,"
On the phone,
What sort of HellWorld is this?
And to think some some still screed from the top of their diseased minds,
Crusaders, gird in silvery metal boxes,
New crusaders strap on the Nobel-invented raiment Scream your blood-filled screed,
You religion-seduced assassins.
My uncles hid their condoms in my bedroom,
Trickles of blood on a rusty, black Ford's fender,
Mom holding me,
A cowboy in a three -piece brown tweed suit and a tweed cap
Even a nine-year old didn't need Eric Severeid to tell him on Sunday that Bull Conner was a redneck, trogdolytic prick,
Excerpted from "A Sky Held Captive"
Copyright © 2017 Timothy Crumrin/Historiker Group.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
Report to the Indian Commissioner: The Ballad of Capt. Fallleaf, 4,
Connecticut Dance, 9,
Comes the Snow, 10,
Chalkdusted By A Fleeing Moon, 11,
A Hellene's Children In the Province Of Adams, 12,
The Conestoga Cigar Store and Snooker Parlour, 13,
Amalia's World Order, 17,
Amalia Swimming Against The Yule Tide, 18,
They Put My Little Girl in a Cage, 19,
The Waterman's Daughter, 23,
Deities Must Be Argued With, 24,
Vouchsafed Dreams, 26,
When You Sleep, 27,
Scattered Dream Ill-Recollected, 32,
Sorrows of the Selfish, 33,
The Amazin' Skateboarding Jesus, 34,
Souls Uncoupled, 35,
Rankean Villainy, 36,
Cicada Nights, 37,
Lyndsey Sue, 38,
A Sky Held Captive, 45,
A Light Beyond These Woods, 60,
An Unquiet Mind and a Feckless Soul, 78,
Constant Stranger, 95,