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One Upon A Bayou January 23, 2015

Posted by The Typist in History, New Orleans, NOLA, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Once upon a bayou an old man and woman came down Esplanade almost daily to the shore. Under the watchful eyes of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard (C.S.A) the man sat beneath an unravelling straw hat with a cane pole, fishing. The woman in an apron bent and picked dandelion greens in the ancient posture of the plantation. She placed them in an old, plastic ice cream bucket on which the plastic handle had been replaced by a string of twine.

Once upon a time there were such people? There are no lard-fried bream and dandelion green dinners preserved in the freezer aisle at Winn-Dixie. On my way home, turning north at the General’s statue–the direction of his resentful gaze–on the bank a small tractor pulls a spray tank, scarecrow arms extended. Dandelions no longer mar the view of park lawns from the high-rise apartment building on the opposite shore.

Once upon a time there were such people.

Introduction to a longer poem, and a parable for New Orleans. If you chose someday not to publish the poem because of this post, fine. Return to munching leaves or carrion, after your scaly fashion. Your time will come, too.

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Spirit Vessels June 27, 2010

Posted by The Typist in 504, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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Activist and poet Dennis Formento reading “Spirit Vessels” at the spirit vessel launching ceremony at Bayou St. John in New Orleans, Sunday, June 27 2010. There are photos here of the small unfired clay vessels bearing beeswax and olive oil tapers, flowers and representations of Gulf of Mexico wildlife, built by volunteers under the guidance of local artist and educator Jane Hill. I no longer know how to pray but to be there, to help light the candles, was enough. The sweltering stillness was broken by a fresh breeze from the south as they launched the first of the spirit vessels. I’ll let Formento’s eloquence and the pictures tell the rest.