OLN #182

Today is Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub.  I couldn’t resist posting this spooky haibun I wrote a couple of years ago….Marie Leveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans during the 1830s – 1850s.  A tignon is a scarf women of color had to wear over their hair in public.  Some of the ladies worked the various scarves into confections or topped with standard stylish millinery.  A loa is a spirit of the voodoo gods. Offerings are often given to thank the loas for favors or to ask for one.  Offerings frequently include sweets, coins, rum, cigars, pound cake.  I cheated and did a double haiku. http://dversepoets.com/2016/10/20/open-link-night-182/

Graveyard Dust
In the cemetery St. Louis in Nawlins I wandered at night.Under a summer sky the cemetery reeked as only a cemetery in Nawlins can reek In hot wet summer. Resurrection ferns sprouted from the crumbling soft bricks and a fresh tomb
lurked, bright white in the full moon. Wreaths of flowers -some fresh and Others faded decorated the various tombs. I wandered seeking the tomb of the one, the one with the tignon of flame twisted into seven points. Other tombs showed signs of dirt being scraped from beside – graveyard dust – or plates Of pound cake, coins, the smell of rum and tafia spilled and unsmoked cigars, offerings laid out. The voodoos had been busy this past full moon,  seeking the spirits of the loas. A footstep behind me…I turned and my tongue clove to the roof of my mouth. The hair prickled on my arms and at the nape of my neck. In the moonlight, in the shadows stood she of the seven pointed tignon with her giant king snake coiled about her. In a voice like frost killed weeds and granite she asked,  What seek ye here Child? And reached out to me. I awoke with a start…The smell of the cemetery, the moist dirt,  the smell of burned rum in my nose; the bottom of my feet coated with graveyard dust and cut from the broken bricks  along the path.

under the moonlight
stood she of the flame pointed
tignon – Marie Laveau

seeking I found her
and the night buzzed with the sound
of cicadas

public domain photo St. Louis Cemetaery No. 1

public domain photo St. Louis Cemetaery No. 1

dVerse Poetics

Today Lillian is our host prompter.  She has given us several pictures of statues and asked us to write either as the statue, the sculptor, or other perspective.  Come visit us at:        .  I think you all will enjoy so please come and visit!


image courtesy L. Hallberg

image courtesy L. Hallberg

Mother and Daughter

My name is Isaak Metoyer son of Berthe Metoyer,
placee’ of Benjamin Janvier, vice president of
the Bank of Louisiana.
I am a free man of color and was apprenticed to the
stone cutter, Rene’ Dubonnet
when I was 10. It is now the year of our Lord, 1835,
and I have been doing the fancy work
for the last 10 years. I married
Clothilde Jumon. Our only daughter
died in the cholera plague two summers ago.
I have not been able to finish the statue of her
although I work when I can.
Rene’ has become older and clumsy
although he is still a master of design
and his last statue, a woman perched on the wall
in the Cemetaire St. Louis, is without peer.
I only want to finish this statue of my daughter
before her face fades from my memory.
Business is brisk due to yet another plague of Yellow John.
Our family tomb holds the body of my daughter
but there is no statue, no carving as to her birthdate
and date of death..
I pray to all the saints to finish the statue
before I die. My beloved daughter’s dear mother
is ill and I fear she will soon join our daughter
in that unadorned tomb.
I have stayed awake the last two weeks
working feverishly – the statue:
Irene sitting in her favorite pose
waiting for me to return home.
I begin to put the finishing touches onto the statue
of my daughter when Rene’ comes into the room
with tears in his eyes.  My beloved Clothilde has
succumbed to the cholera.  I polish the marble
of my daughter’s statue, emery the folds of her
little dress and pay especial attention to her
cheeks and hair.
I wonder if I will live long enough to complete
the statue of Clothilde, beloved wife and heartbroken mother,
dead at the age of 28 years.  God rest her sweet soul.
Now my two lovely butterflies shall rest together
– Irene and Clothilde – mother and daughter.
God save us all.

St. Louis Cemetery public domain

St. Louis Cemetery public domain

11/16 Society: Happy Birthday!

By the time we got home from Woodstock……Thank you all for showing up for the 11/16 Birthday party. Please don’t swim in the nishikigoi pond. Thank you. and still watch out for the brown acid.

Happy birthday to my dear ones:  to you who have gone one ahead, to those in Virginia, Durham, Hakone, Israel, Knightsbridge,  Noo Yawk City, and N’awlins.  May the year ahead be good to you:  “we few, we happy few”.  I raise my can of Coke to you in salute and wish I could give you all a big birthday hug and kiss. 

Songs today reminding me of you and the years  keep weaving through my head and heart:  a tapestry of light, shadows, tears, laughter, faith, redemption, wildness and peace, but especially of love.  I hear “Seven Bridges Road”, “Born to Run”, “Disco Inferno”, “Also Sprach Zarathustra” Handel’s Water Music, “Jolie Blonde”, …but especially I hear Seven Bridges Road.  

I remember the night we introduced that song to Masashi and how it captured him.  He sat at the piano and the five of us present wove that song for it seems like forever:  alto recorder, violin, guitar, tenor sax, voices.  We wove it until the stars went to sleep and the last note quivered in dying silver. 



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