Category 4 or 5 hurricanes like Hurricane Ida have a way of commanding your attention whether you want them to or not. Right now, Ida’s unforgiving fury is forcing me to recall the destruction wreaked upon the Gulf Coast area 16 years ago when hurricanes Katrina and Rita tore through the area. At that time, I was posting work regularly on Authors Den and the poem An Angel for New Orleans was written in response to the historic disaster. Poet and educator created the above video from my spoken word recording of the poem:
An Angel for New Orleans
O’ echoes of marching saints
drum loud your songs of healing.
The improvised wings
of your feathered blue notes and neon blood
spread wide now
like the sacred myth
and swaggering hips
of your heart pulsing reserves of strength
through traumatized veins.
Holy jazzmen of small mystic hours
blow ye furious the rainbow of hope.
French Quarter of elegant mystique, Monica Blache,
Canal Street, Gustave Brother to My Visions,
Super Dome battered humble,
Jerry Bolton and Mississippi and Alabama,
beloved kins-people of Nordette Adams,
abused children all of the wind-goddess Katrina,
from our souls to your spirits
a halo like a world to embrace your trembling.
Sons and daughters of the Christ fire burning,
burn a perfect peace precisely where you stand.
O’ Tap-dance Kings of Better Days,
O’ Gospel Queens of Prophetic Ways,
Princes of Tears and Princesses of Prayers,
feel these weeping arms lifting your arms,
feel these raging hearts beating inside your hearts,
welcome this hope-filled breath to increase your breath,
feel these determined legs carrying your legs.
Scent and shadow of a bitch’s brew fade like lies rescinded.
Light of angelic eyes: shine faith, speak compassion, bring love.
(from The River of Winged Dreams and “The Goddess and the Skylark, Dancing through the Word Labyrinth” CD)
Contemporary award-winning author of classically-styled works in history, poetry, creative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and journalism.