Friday, September 26, 2014

Laguna Part 3 - A Double Sonnet on The Llano de Santa Rosa

Here is another draft of a section from Laguna de Santa Rosa.  This one, a double-American sonnet focuses on the first land grant to Joaquin Carillo (son of Maria Carrillo and brother-in-law of General Vallejo) called Llano de Santa Rosa Rancho.  The map pictured here is from Calispehere - an amazing resource for historic photographs and documents.  This is a survey map of the Llano de Santa Rosa Rancho (which did run out near what is now Llano road). 

Llano de Santa Rosa Rancho, 1843

Joaquin Carrillo was granted three
leagues of forested delta or llano
thanks to his brother-in-law, General
Vallejo. Soon, acres of oak forests
that seemed to breathe light into dark were gone.
Land cleared. Lakes drained. Crops replaced sedge with corn,
wheat, and barley. Trees were burned for charcoal.
An adobe home was built near Analy township.
But even as the trees thinned the plain still
teemed with large game: great herds of elk forged lakes,
mountain lions paced their territories
and grizzly bears roamed at will.  One day when
Joaquin rode across the eastern edge
of his rancho, one such bear followed him.

His horse, wild with fear, stumbled into
one of the many sink holes that had opened
up from the changed land and it was in that
dark hole that the three tangled into a story.
From which a bear would emerge unharmed.
From which the man and his horse would follow
what dark commerce was executed to
obtain this outcome is unknowable.

When settlers arrived after the Gold Rush,
Carillo began to sell off pieces
of his land.  Farmlets of 100 or
so acres of hops or cattle.  Trading
post went up. Whatever was in the way –
water, or animal, decimated.

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