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Sojourner Kincaid Rolle (February-March)

-Poems by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle
 

  Poems by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle
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Poems

by

Sojourner Kincaid Rolle

 


In Peace and Gratitude

(Near Painted Cave)

 

In a perfect world,

trees grow straight up -

limbs lifted in perennial worship.

 

At Pulpit Rock,

beneath a solitary pew,

a tarantula resides

 

praising the round world.

A lizard, lone like me,

sunning on a solitary boulder.

 

Purple profusions grow wild here -

spawned by an invisible philanthropist.

grafted onto rocky terrain

 

Not without sound

avians flitter in solitude

above our proud wandering.

 

Centuries of ancestral footsteps

foretell our own destiny.

 

 Lo’ the sleek manzanita

apothecary to the realm -

keeper of the species.

 

Caretakers and dandelions in residence  

among the trees and rocky nooks,

‘long the meandering Marie Ignacio Creek.

 

Sojourner Kincaid

Published in “Corners of the Mouth: A Celebration of 30 years of the SLO Poetry Festival (Deer Tree Press, 2015)

 


Nojoqui
after a painting by Kt Boisse-Cossart

Dusk beckons a griot
shimmering  trees promise solace
a glittering golden pall hovers
like footmarks across the humble earth.

The wanderer's heart is sated
bathed in shadows of sycamores
roots shrouded in salty memory
holding close the secret meanderings.

Foreshadowing lends its prescience,
singeing each moment with intentionality.

Huddled in the crevices,
the matter of darkness
peers into the blurt of light
silently wailing in kindred solace.

It is difficult to disregard legend;
fertile maidens seeking consumation
tracking the  paths of ancestors
and mourned lovers in perpetuity.

Ascending the ivy-clung precipices
plummeting into the splattering abyss
filling the moss-lined grotto
watering the centuries with endless mist

Every return a renewal
the cycle of life and beyond
sacred place of beginnings
and endings.

Nojoqui.

 


River Tree

 

Grown and living by a water,

 

wise and ancestral,

 

eyeing the broad moving cargo of life;

 

its depth and its zenith.

 

Aside the slow swirling eddies,

 

Grand and spectacular, presiding over

 

the parade of rainbow trout

 

backstroking through fast-moving water

 

synchronizing the counter rhythms,

 

the fish jumping hallelujah

 

flicking braids of prayer high

 

hearing the heart-steady throat croak of bull frogs

 

the leg singing crickets

 

sensing the silent terrapin.//

/ /

An ancient tree knows springs

 

of lilies and winters of willow;

 

grass growing high as a hopper can jump

 

delicate wispy saucers of queen anne’s lace.

 

Dressed in deep verdant moss and ecru lichen

 

a platinum necklace;  beads of  dew

 

enticing tick and beetle fathom its crevices.

 

arms stretching toward the light

 

inviting squirrel and sparrow alike

 

to dwell within its refuge

 

To sup upon its nourishment.

 

To nurture generations of generations.

 

 

A tree standing by the river

 

Its own testament to itself

 

                                                                      

To history

                                                                      

To the future.

 


Where The Hum Begins

 

I am in a place
where water rolls across the stones
rippling in ranges
too high for human tones to mimic

It is a place
where mountains loom over land
so low it is almost level with the sea

In the distance
I can hear water falling fast
from a high plateau
brushing the slope of the solid earth
at sharp angles, diving
into the flow
where it falls, a continuous splash issues

It is at this place I dwell
between calm and turmoil,
between yang and yin
between memory and amnesia

between today and tomorrow
between sate and want

In the magic hour
when the tide changes
In the right moment
where each second becomes the next
in the pull of the moon
while the water ebbs and flows

In this place, I stand
on land rocky like a river
land where boulders abide
deep within the soil

It is a place of peace
even as on the billowing sea

 

Sojourner Kincaid Rolle

Published in:  The Poetry of Peace  (Capra Press – 2003)

 


ZACA
...Therefore the way of the soul...leads to the water,
to the dark mirror that lies at the bottom."

Carl Jung


The mountain  obsidian  shale
cups the green water
in the palm of its oddly shaped hand

Mountain  immovable  ageless
harboring sage and chapparal trails
where Chumash elders roam

Mountain  with sphinx gaze
watching a million tides recede
watching the endless trek and settle

The Seraphim whisper
Echoes dance among the willows
looping the angelic harmony

The lake  ancient as the runted hills
gathers the oldest secrets of the valley
close to its cleavage

Open to any soul questing
touching bottom  a costly discovery
deep in the quiet place

 

Published: Common Ancestry (Mille Grazie Press, 1999)

 


Under A Sea Blue Sky
>
>  Imagine the fisherman thick with sleep,
>  a lifetime of  dawns
    aboard his treasured vessel
>  easing slowly from the harbor
>  slipping into the silent waters.
>
>  Each embark tinged with hope,
>  the quest for what the day may bring
>  the welcome slosh full against the hull
>  the rhythm of  the broached
>
    sometimes bold in the blue of a cloud-free day
>  sometimes faint in the opaque fog grey light
    with a hook to secure the mooring buoy
>  a braille to scoop the occasional off-deck catch
>
>  a gentle way so not to disperse the sought,
>  a lone man sets out to the open sea.
>  He knows he is not her master.
>  How could that ever be?
>
>  His secret is to cipher her ways;
>  to tango with the undulating waves;
>  Countering the pelting mist
>  steadying the whirling eddy
>  plunging into the foam.
>
>  It is the weighed down well-sunk nets
>  plumbing the depth off the Channel Isles
>  and the strategic traps precisely set
>  where Yellow Rock crab prowl the crevices
>  that feeds this livelihood.
>
>  Four hundred years in the marrow
>  this is his life; his chosen way.
>  With a closed-mouth prayer for return.
>  It is the dive that fuels his passion.
>
    Ultimately, it is the swells that taunt his fate
>  deep down where the urchin bed
>  silk walls of water lift and fold
>  the billow and wallow.
>
>  Long after the last descent
>  wistful for the daily communion
>  to be as  one with the great undersea,
>  he dreams of the mariner's life.
>
>  Remembering the squalls of yesterday
>  relishing the hard-won bounty -
>  to live and not die off silver beaches,
>  he sings a song of faith and gratitude.
>
>  These are the memories of a fisherman
>  under a sea blue sky.

 


Rock
 

moss-covered

green and moist

solid and stoic within

 

burst loose

from a granite facade

high in the hills

 

Who knows the eons

the seasons, the reasons

Here I lay

 

well-traveled gneiss

indistinct yet unlike

any other

 

Shapeshifter pebble

heartstone, boulder

I am strength

 

I have rolled far and farther

absorbing the flicks

and sticks

 

Snuggling into niche after niche

Random accomodations

among the multitude

 

surviving storm and sun

gathering like riches

whatever presents itself

 

All the stuff of you is with me

 

As I grow older, I roll less

my years on the earth

have been long

 

No vault to other climes

no transport to a distant horizon

I am at the call iof destiny

 

My future is not mine to know

I move at the whim and will

 

of other travelers other forces

 

I can only stay strong within

 

Barnacles cling

to my succulent body

slaked and content

something of wet

assurance

 

desire my nemesis

want  a distant

memory

 

Here I hold the stillness

I bask in the intermittent sun

Its warmth my solace.

 


I’ve Often Sat
 

I’ve often sat 

near softly

rippling-by-me brooks

amidst sweet-smelling clover

and bee-kissed blossoms

wildly growing in safety –

our own sacred place

where only our being mattered

not to be plucked or cut

nor trod underfoot.

 

I’ve gazed for hours

in time-suspended thought

upon these wondrous blues,

yellows, and sometimes, purples

lovingly caressing 

every breath of honeysuckle

or night-blooming jasmine –

our essence shared in every inch of air;

our sparks inextricably mingled,

forever redeemed.

 

 Lament

 

Desire decorates the road to rainbow's end. 

What we seek there draws us

as if it were attainable. 

I seek solitude.  That place

far off from the crowd -

its pace in counterpoint

to the din of everyday. 

The way hidden

in the underbrush. 

 

In search of such,

I have followed false spirits

down beaten paths

where tender trees

once slight and proud

now lay slain

upon their own roots' breast . 

 

In my jealous seeking,

I, too, have broken

virgin grass and budding twigs

which might have lived

 - and died -

untouched and whole.

 Standing on the Place    

Where Langston's Ashes Reside

 

In humble apropros

Standing within the circle

That holds in loving care

All that lies between-

 

All the tellings

 

All the signifyings

 

All the ironies

 

All the justifyings.

 

In silent repose,

A boundless legacy.

Threads in the fabric

Of all that cloaks us -

 

A variable perfume

A mutable augur.

 

 Minds Linked In Brotherhood

 

Hats set at attention

White coats pristine

Shoes shining like obsidian

 

Trousers creased razor-sharp

Men thin as rails

extended their hands in service

 

Mouths filled with manners

Hearts set on overcome

Minds linked in brotherhood 

 

An overground army

Against the grand difficulty

 

Along the eastern corridor

traveling to territorial limits

following tracks of pioneers

 

Moving across the great divide

 

 The Rising

Second wind is a mysterious force -- like second light.

-- Galway Kinnell

At the rounding of each plateau,

insinuations of greatness

ennoble the bounding ascent.

Volumes of gentle air

 

without imposition, ripple the

ambiance.

Legions of lodge-pole pines,

evergreen, ever faithful,

lift their arms in perennial salute.

 

Rimming the majestic plane,

a coronet of mountains.

Above the high sierras,

the silence of light reigns.

 

 When Utopia Was A Dream

 

When she was young

she didn’t know

 

when she was old

she couldn’t remember

 

when it was light

she couldn’t see

 

when it was dark

she was cold

 

she just wanted to die

 

when there was music

she couldn’t hear

 

nothing was funny

she couldn’t laugh

 

when she was sad

she couldn’t cry

 

when there was food

she couldn’t eat

 

when there was wine

she couldn’t drink

 

when there was wealth

she was poor

 

Plenty of clothes

she couldn’t wear

 

a garden

with no flowers

 

barren trees

 

a fountain with no flume

 

a sparrow with no song

 

where there was love

she could only long

 

what she wanted wasn’t there

 

she wanted to be

 

where money didn’t matter

 

where love was not elusive

 

where cold was a stranger

 

where war was taboo

 

where fear was obsolete

 

where groundwater

irrigated the vegetation

 

making rain unnecessary

 

where the sun kissed

everyday

and didn’t burn
 


 

 

 

 

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