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Mardi Gras – We’re Still Here (Poem)

flambeau new orleans mardi gras

Flambeau carrier – New Orleans Mardi Gras

Western sky, out there somewhere.
Here in the city it calls me, the soul of it the crying of it
like a lost soul suspended over the river.
The cry goes up from the ancient soil, the soul will,
the pale moon suspended over the rooftops and lawns
and palm trees swaying from the Caribbean breeze.
Smell of the islands and the sea and shore.

Muddy river churning itself, plying the waters,
plying the souls that wash ashore during the night,
carrying the message of the ancient sound.

Here in the city by the river
where people secretly mask throughout the year,
bent sasparillas and sazeracs,
smoky doorsteps and bright Sundays in the coffee shop,
the smell of the ancient brew mingle with the ancient air,
the muddy air the smoky air,
the air mixed from the wilds of Timbuktu
across the dark continent wafted on the air of the Atlantic,
passed the Sargasso Sea, through mountains of the Cuban island
and passing over the surface of the Gulf of Mexico,
up the mighty river Mississippi
and plying and playing itself through the homes and rooftops,
the raintops, the stormthrusts, the wildwinds.
the fasting people in their churches,
the celebrations of life and death, to where they are one,
no life no death just beingness,
the happy faces and crying smiles, stumbling home from a night out,
tumbling home from the soul filled music,
from the air of the coffee bean and the alcohol
and the mixed number that brought the thunder,
the stewed beans and meat and the bay leaves
and trinity garlic mixed all in one, the thunder,
the plunder of the thunder, number and number.
One and one. Ona and ona.

Hefty carvings, leavings, heavings as the heavens open
and the almighty stove shoves its bright food stuffs
and french cuffs and tuxedos in the damp air.
Nonsense spills out of the poet, mixed words and metaphors,
and images all rolled like a beignet in apple sauce,
like a beignet in sugar powder,
like a beignet in a rolling midnight marching soul parade.
While folks sleep the ghosts of the city parade through the streets
sending out dreams and schemes and ideas and crazy notions,
the images of people from the past,
the images of those who have not moved on.

This is New Orleans, why move even after death,
they stay and enjoy the revelry into the night,
the parade the music the celebration of all existence.
Here we hold the party for the world,
the never ending everlasting celebration.
While the nuns in their cloisters pray for the world
the city by the crescent in the river turns and turns,
runs north while flowing south, and holds the world in celebration.
By us being insane we keep the rest of the world sane.
We hold the gratitude and celebration of life
for those who are afraid to do it, we do it day in and day out.
We are the souls who celebrate,
who hold the notion of God close to our breast
and sigh and scream and wail and laugh and cry
and christen each new day: Gratitude to the Universe.


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Posted in New Orleans Culture, New Orleans Festivals, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Poetry.

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