Archive for the ‘Literary’ Category

Summer Girl

by on Sunday, August 2nd, 2015


Bayou haiku

by on Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Photograph taken with a spirit camera, somewhere in New Toulouse Bayou

Photograph taken with a spirit camera, somewhere in New Toulouse Bayou

little swamp spirit
no catnip here, say the cats
why are you asking

Gigi Lapin

The winning poem

by on Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

My House on the Bayou

I try to keep a proper house, but the bayou encroaches;
The waters rise up, then draw back,
Climbing the house stilts like fire poles.
And in the morning, the dampness hovers about,
Warping the wood and coating the porch with dew.
I wake to the horn of a passing barge,
And the low croaking of the frogs in the cattails.
I cradle a warm mug of chicory and boiled milk,
And step from the kitchen out into the soft morning light;
The chickens at the step cluck and strut toward the cordgrass.
Across the river, a faint mist blurs the steeples of the city.
A soaring egret, white as a cloud, in a cloudless sky,
Glides to the treetops, carrying twigs for its nest.
But the laundry is barely washed and hung,
Before the heat begins to pour down from the furnace sun,
Frying the tin roof and parching the clapboards,
Till they creak, and curl, and crack.
So I scrape the blistered surfaces,
And paint them fresh—to keep a proper house.
When the chores are done, there are fish to catch,
And a bend along the creek, where the tupelo trees,
Arch out over a ramshackle wooden dock.
Kneeling on the weathered planks, I drop a line into the lazy stream,
To snare an unseen catfish or perch,
Watchful of the gators and copperheads.
Or there are books to read, and languid hours
To sip warm tea and fill the mind with delicious imaginings:
The snow-covered Himalayas, or the trends of Parisian fashion.
All while rocking on my porch!
The evenings always seem cooler;
As the light begins to fade, I curl onto the bench swing
And gaze out on the river, serenaded by a chorus of crickets.
Far away, from the sea, a buoy bell clangs.
The moon peers through the cypresses,
And its pale light ripples on the inky water.
The outline of the city melts into darkness,
For I am far from it now,
Far from its mad contentions and bubble vanities;
Here there are fewer illusions.
I may hope the creek won’t rise, or hope the winds won’t shred the roof,
But the bayou has its own plans;
It will do what it does, in its own time, for its own reasons.
And here, at the water’s edge, I know I am not the center of things,
Any more than the egret in its nest.
But as night falls on my house on the bayou,
I shut my eyes in calm joy and quiet thankfulness.

—Marnie Gras