Evocative words by Randy Diamond
Beneath Sunset in hidden cunning coves,
tracing through darking leafy groves,
Cullasaja rises new wakened, running clear and chill.
From quiet Whiteside springs, narrow rills join and fill
sky-silvered, still Highlands pools,
where mirrored there, Lord Sky rules.
But as lovers hoard a beloved’s touch,
Sequoyah holds Cullasaja in his clutch.
Cold, dammed deep, held from peace
till breaking free in wild release,
Cullaseja now may unfettered run,
to seek Lord Sky beyond the sun.
Rippling, roaring waters pouring
down dappled dark green ways,
threading quick through a rocky maze,
Cullasaja now meets his veiled bride.
Embracing, racing side-by-side,
through pallid hell of tangled laurel
where blue-gray jays sharply quarrel,
Cullasaja gathers strength before his passion fades
from Cliffside waters skittering through ashen glades,
to leap, pounding, resounding booming thunder,
a Dry tumult rushing, gushing over and under.
His reckless descent ends sudden spent, flows
to placid pools wetly licking mountain toes
slowly as a sleepy blue tick hound.
Black water lies, a new Styx found.
From lowing mists, round each slow twist,
barren hemlock spires stand fallen from grace.
Flowing in stately pace, till new ripples race
as Cullasaja bounds wildly, down through
steep defiles, sliding, hiding from passing view.
Entering narrow chutes, shoots through cascading,
in plunging steps, fervour fading
to tarry sun-sparkling through lazy bends
until his brief respite too soon ends.
Through darkling woods Cullasaja strays
downward winding, finding secret ways
to follow, impatient to be free from mountain walls.
Swifter he runs, racing to a final falls.
Narrowing, arrowing through a rocky flume,
Cullasaja and Lord Sky meet midst a froth of spume.
White water leaping, deeping down an ancient cleft
torn into the mountain heart, Cullasaja falls alone, bereft,
crashing, dashing over jagged cliffs to grief,
his soaring sojourn all too brief.
From the rock walled rift begins his tired retreat.
Spirit broken, he wanders awhile, shadow shaded in defeat.
Then roaming, foaming proud in fury, tears asunder
deep vales rent in flashing flares of thunder;
fervour spent, resumes descent through gentle dells,
past maize filled fields as his anger quells.
Free, Cullasaja runs in richer lands than those he fled;
Tiffany fire and ice hidden lie beneath his bed.
Soul sun-warmed, he meanders wide in quiet content.
His youthful rage, in light of age, he must repent.
Slower, older, Cullasaja again wanders west.
At last flowing, knowing of yet another quest,
Cullasaja joins his brother, Tennessee
to journey together toward the endless sea.
by Randall Wyatt Diamond
*Cherokee for “Honey locust place”