Ralvell Rogers II

Ralvell Rogers II
2 Poems

 Black Rose

I picked my rose from the streets.
It was growing black and green
from cracked concrete.

Its roots grew deep inside me.
Soil buried in my red blood,
I died and the rose revived me.

Same face, new voice,
and the rose clutched in hand.
As the black rose developed,
I became a better black man.

And now here I stand,
with my black rose.
Together we are fierce,
as our thorns grow.

So long ago.
I picked my rose from the streets,
and so long ago,
I incidentally picked me.


Journey to the Mountaintop

Look around and tell me
who you’ve seen.
I see white, black,

and everything in between.

My reflection is pivotal
when thinking on Dr. Martin Luther King,

The black man
who was blacked out
preaching love and harmony.

Who’d of thought he’d create
poetry in motion,
sailing anybody who believed
through treacherous oceans,

and he did it all
without a boat or a bus.
He did it all
with the idea of “us.”

While some shore-watched,
this black man and his brigade
carried our burdens across.

Now remnants of his legacy
trickle down from his mountaintop.
And I’m there with my bag,
like a prisoner doin’ community service.

I’m game to pickup all the shots
that make some of my peers nervous.

And the best part is
I think that we’re all worthy.

So go on
and pick up your end
of this burdensome cross,
and we’ll tread this ocean together,
all the way to the mountaintop.


Ralvell Rogers II HeadshotRalvell Rogers II is an ambitious storyteller and educator from Kansas City, Missouri, who focuses on realistic fiction and provoking poetry. He was the youth reflection speaker for the Kansas City Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Council’s 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. During his time at Emporia State University, Rogers was managing editor for The Bulletin, the school newspaper, president and founder of ESU’s Black Artists’ Club, and recipient of the 2018 Presidential Award for Distinguished Service to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Ralvell manages his own blog under pseudonym, Valeer at www.thesightofvaleer.wordpress.com.