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Laissez les bons temps roule

For Hurricane Katrina’s Victims

Katrina’s torrent barely touched Vieux Carré.
It endures on high ground where the
Café Du Monte stands like a citadel,
Issues dark roasted Chicory Coffee 24/7,
Dusts powdered sugar on Beignet loving patrons;
No swampland crypt, the French Quarter presents
Pedestrians a sanctuary to suck down safe hurricanes
Chased with “Harry’s Huge Beers.”

Voodoo lovers slap legs together
Like alligator tails in brackish marshes;
Balcony flirts, evening ladies wear delicate masks
Fat Tuesday, last day before Lent’s forty day fast;
Mardi Gras magic exudes from every pore,
Elaborately costumed krewes toss beads off floats,
Give rise to fanciful celebrations of the dead,
Historic carnival steeped in Catholic doctrine.

Haitian halos encircle heads,
Bend minds, create
Sober motley moments among
Tarot card readings, psychic oracles
Jostling Bourbon Street crowds—
Backdrop for parading ramblers,
Mischievous, Puckish vagabonds,
Ragged marching saints.

Shuffling along as
Jazz bands blow Dixieland
Zydeco singers scrape wash boards, and
Street musicians mutter the blues,
Encouraged by two hands clapping,
Living dreams off guitar case offerings:
Copper tokens, silver coins,
Green paper gratitude.

Gris, Gris in my pocket, still
Scaling steps in New Orleans
Looking down Toulouse Street
Finding JAX Brewery gone
Replaced by Planet Hollywood. No
Mississippi miracle could heal Katrina survivors
Cleanse the river, recover such culture—
Foreboding yet enticing Gothic glamour.
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Submitted on July 24, 2019

1:06 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic pentameter
Characters 1,486
Words 220
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 1, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8

Sterling Warner

A Pushcart Prize Nominee, Sterling Warner’s poems and short fiction have appeared in dozens of international literary magazines, journals, and anthologies such as FLATBUSH REVIEW, SCARLET LEAF REVIEW, and STREET LIT: REPRESENTING THE URBAN LANDSCAPE. Additionally, Warner also has written SIX (6) collections of poetry: WITHOUT WHEELS, SHADOWCAT, EDGES, MEMENTO MORI: A CHAPBOOK REDUX, RAGS & FEATHERS and SERPENT'S TOOTH: POEMS (2021). In August of 2020, he published MASQUES: FLASH FICTION & SHORT STORIES. more…

All Sterling Warner poems | Sterling Warner Books

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    "Laissez les bons temps roule" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 31 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/49073/laissez-les-bons-temps-roule>.

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