Tag Archives: superstition

The magic of old New Orleans

The heart of New Orleans is the French Quarter
and at its center is Jackson Square.
There on the steps of the Basilica,
for the shuck of us rubes,
goes on the spirited commerce in lost souls:
tarot dealers and voodoo cursers,
faith healers and crystal readers,
they all vie for the right to sell you
the sweetest of illusions, control.
God here, the devil there—
in New Orleans you’d be crazy
not to deal the One without the other.

Built in the middle of a swamp, New Orleans’ original district, the French Quarter was once a city of canals, like modern day Venice. From the 1600s and through the 1900s, New Orleans had one of the highest death rates in the world. Combined with the large number of slaves that were brought in from the West Indies and Africa, this second misery of enslavement added to the first of location to gave birth to the Death Cult/black arts/voodoo worship/deep Catholicism aura that still haunts the city. Walk around there, you’ll feel it.

Thank you for reading The magic of old New Orleans. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.

The photo is a copyright free image of Jackson Square. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem, and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Work 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is © John Etheridge,  https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.

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Pray

She wept the river that runs to the sea
to bring the fishermen home, says one.

And when, says another, the sun would not rise,
it was she who swallowed the night.

Yes, yes, says a third, the world had grown wicked
and no wind was strong enough to break it.
With one exhale, she cleansed the town,
so the bread of the poor could leaven.

They nod as one, We’ve heard this too,
surely it must be true!

What would we do without her?

Recently, I reviewed and archived all my poems on the Book of Pain. This poem grew out of a discarded portion of a draft for It’s theirs, after all, and paid for. In re-reading that early version, I realized it could stand on its own. I hope you like it…

Thank you for reading Pray. I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain, and as always, I look forward to your comments.

The photograph was taken at the Musée de la Mer on the Île Sainte-Marguerite, the largest of the Lérins Islands, just off the coast from Cannes, France. To see my photography blog, please visit the Book of Bokeh.

john

Photograph, poem and notes © John Etheridge; all rights reserved. The poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original written work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © John Etheridge,  https://bookofpain.wordpress.com. The photograph is not licensed for use in any way without the expressed consent of its creator.

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Filed under Poetry