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Dixieland Wordpad
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Dixieland Wordpad

Way down here
In the swamps of Dixie,
Where I learned to dance
With gators grinning,
There’s music like none
You’ve ever heard.
It laces the bayous
In passionate tones,
Enough to make you
Want to move your feet.

There’s more history
In this place
Than you might imagine,
Alive and burning
On the edges
Of modern civility.
It refuses to die,
Won’t settle for living
In the past,
As though it didn’t matter.

This is where
I studied life and love,
Knowing my neighbor,
Sharing the burden
Of cottonmouth dreams
And moss-hidden nights
Beneath sweltering pines.
This is who I am,
As salty as the sweat
Upon your brow.

But the music
Has been silenced,
My people no longer sway
In the humid breeze,
Muted by ravaging winds
And torrent tides.
Drowning in the madness
Of hopelessness,
We don’t feel
Our narrated past anymore.

Now we count
The changes of hours
Marked by saturating grief;
There is only today.
No human should have to bear
These ravages
Polluting our memory,
Yet we are helpless
To prevent
The scars for generations.

Credence Clearwater Revival,
Tennessee Williams,
Affects my blood,
And I cannot forget
Louis Armstrong
Or B.B. King.
Jimmy Buffett,
Harry Connick, Jr.,
And scores of others
Will help them survive.

Till I once again
Find myself
In the House of the Rising Sun,
Until a Streetcar Named Desire
Fills my senses,
I shall mourn,
My tears flooding
The mighty Mississippi River,
To overflowing.

Way down here
In the swamps of Dixie,
Where I learned to dance
With voodoo grinning,
I remember the music,
Taste the brackish waters,
Before Katrina knew me,
And standing below an American Flag,
I think the South
Shall rise again.

User Rating: 4,5 / 5 ( 1 votes ) 3

Comments (3)

Magnificent, Pamela. I was there with you, Thanks, Jerry
Dear Pamela, I can feel your passion, your intimacy with the stricken region, where you 'learned about life and love.' Lines like 'Alive and burning/On the edges/Of modern civility express that in a direct way that a St. Louis/New York/Californian like me couldn't do. I found my emotions also swelling to crescendo with the cadence of 'Till I once again/Find myself/In the House of the Rising Sun, /Until a Streetcar Named Desire/Fills my senses...'. The grief you express enables you to access the affirmation you end with. That seems to be one of the functions of the poetic process. Your poem toched me.
Very beautiful and moving. The imagery is subtle, yet vivid. It's hard to put the feelings into words without sounding cliche. The best poem I have read about the devastation to date.