Joyce Parkes

Roll out Stones – Roll in Tears

Joyce Parkes

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The second-highest railroad anywhere

transports sojourners and dwellers

from Lima to Cusco where annually

aficionados of history and the arts

meet to climb, some without sandals

or shoes, a thousand steps of stone

leading to Saksuahuaman, a plateau

in the Andes where rights and rites

have been celebrated for more than

333 years. Sacrifices proffered, now

no longer dead nor alive, are carried

to a stage in waiting with cradling

cries in what was a fort built by

winners, became a forum wrought

by their ancestors — for visitors,

a space for dwellings on sameness

hosting never never ending changes.

For toilers, a stretch of grace

after a year of rolling stones out of

and tears into their place of work. 

Joyce Parkes

Joyce Parkes is published in the Best Australian Poems 2005 (UQP), Overland, Westerly, the New England Review, the Broadkill Review, Cordite, Meanjin, Axon, Plumwood Mountain Journal, foam:e, the Journal of the Irish Australian Heritage Association, Pen International and in similarly committed, to literature and the arts, literary magazines, anthologies and journals in Australia, the UK, Norway, Canada, Germany, the US, and New Zealand.