Sojourner Songs: poems

a poetic comfort for pilgrims

By turns provocative, playful, sober, and hopeful, Sojourner Songs is a long-awaited companion on life’s journey and a deep spiritual experience for pilgrims in all walks of life. Ben Palpant’s poetry debut is intensely personal, an intimate exploration of what it means to be human.

From “I Cannot Stop My Singing Heart” to “Despair Has Come,” this collection captures the range of emotions which characterize our shared experience. Reminiscent of works by Mary Oliver, T.S. Eliot, and Seamus Heaney, Sojourner Songs serves as a reminder of the rich tapestry we call everyday life.

Life and Live

Today, I celebrate language:


and the gaps between them;


and the silence in between.

I celebrate nouns and verbs.

Life is a noun, like bird.

Live is a verb

for those who look up

and read the noun in the sky

and follow it

until evening.

Fly-Fishing on the St. Joe.

All this,

cut by waters

since time immemorial–

clear, turquoise, deep–

cliffs steep,


moss and leaning



You and me,

lines curled out,

behind, and

out again;

rhythmic and





rocks piled like

loaves of bread;

this water,

like wine.


If time could stop,

freeze frame

our communion,

I think I could let go


of my dreams,

of the endless lists,

of unfulfilled hopes,

of projects,

of agenda items,


even the unresolved


of my soul.


I could leave  my questions

on the table




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    A Note To The Reader, from Sojourner Songs: poems

    This is the introduction to the book. In it I explain why poetry is still relevant, how poetry serves us best, and why I chose to write a book of poetry. Here's a snippet:

    "It’s true, poetry is sometimes ornery, peculiar, and difficult to understand, but so are most of my closest friends. And, like those friends, poetry that matters is never smug. It’s never evasive or slippery, coded or disingenuous. Poetry is more direct than most of our daily conversations, more sin- cere than the rabble noise of politicians or sitcoms, more comforting than the common cliches on our billboards and virtual spaces. Have you noticed how rare it is to hear someone offer you something from the heart? Poetry that matters always does. Good poems, like good people, are earnest. Like those people, they touch our lives in their own, unique way."