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New Orleans at Night: A Deep History — Part Deux et Trois

New Orleans French Quarter alley

New Orleans History: The Moon Calls to Me

Part Deux

Here it is to be in the this place,
of pleasure and misery, and joy and pain.
Of the sighing in the night
as the oaks in the distance call and sway in the breeze.
The smell of the air, the night jasmine,
and the roofline and the lamps lighting the way
casting their yellow shadows on the long form.
It is the norm of it all.

Against the night sky,
the moon bright and full in its glory
above the gingerbread rooftops,
trying to catch the essence of this city,
of the Quarter.

It is the moon in all its mystery and beauty
casting its brilliance and art down on us below
and filling us like a frame of life
and art and love and being.

Here in this ancient town,
the deep history of it, the swaying of it, the calling of it.
The long last line of it.
The howling of the wolf in the forest,
we are the wolves howling at the moon.

We are the lunatics who drink ourselves silly,
who party like no tomorrow,
who bed the women in the upstairs bungalow
while the fountains play in the courtyard
and the cries of ecstasy are sent up to heaven.

We know about pleasure here and we know about sin
and we know about redemption.
And we know about the spirits
who have lined this place with the sweat of their backs.

Now things are quiet as the night settles down.
The sound of piano in the ancient bar,
the candlelit tables,
the quiet sound of conversation,
the exchanging of ideas and the laughter
and reminisces of the day.
Away and away and away.

Part Trois

Look down that alley, and you’ll see history
in the bricks and mortar,
the tropical plants that line the wall,
the lamplight casting its yellow shimmer into the shadows,
the spot and pool of light
and the dark New Orleans sky above.

Yesterday I took a photo in Jackson Square,
a man and his dog crossed the camera view
as I trained the lens to catch the moon
and the lighted lampposts against the night sky.

As I pressed the button the camera held a second or two
and afterward revealed in the viewer
a ghost image of a man and his dog,
transparent like ghosts they were crossing in front of the square
echoing the ghosts that have crossed here by the thousands.
In the fog and the night dew.

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Posted in New Orleans Art, New Orleans Culture, New Orleans History, New Orleans Life, New Orleans Poetry.

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