Category Archives: Poetry

“Don’t, The Pastor Said (You’ll Go To Hell)”

I grew up attending a Southern Baptist church in south Louisiana. Both my parents were ordained Southern Baptist ministers, though they long since switched denominations. I ate from a buffet of fundamentalist hatred and bigotry each Sunday morning for 12 to 15 years. No surprise, then, I have issues with organized religion. Today, I’m reading a book about Iraq’s people called Night Draws Near. Some of the fundamentalist clerics author Anthony Shadid described within remind me of Southern Baptist ministers I have encountered. I don’t need to meet anymore fundamentalist holy men — whether Christian or Muslim.

NOTE: This is a composite sketch of Southern Baptist ministers I heard preach — I did not include my parents in the composite because they always struck me as moderate, even left-leaning (oh no!). The worst offenders were the revivalists. They would scream and stomp and work themselves into striking distance of a heart attack. All to rescue sinners like me. Also: I upped the tithe amount most pastors request. Call it artistic liberties.

Click below for “Don’t, The Pastor Said (You’ll Go To Hell)”.
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Thoughts: “A Whole Lot of What Ifs”

The term “what if” was a negative force in my life the past two months, as I wrestled with illness and the anxiety associated with it. Questioning yourself and the path you are on does not need to be negative thing though. It can be a freeing experience.

I jotted this down a few minutes ago. The genesis was “what if I reached my potential?” I told my dad the other day I felt afraid to reach my potential. My logic, if there was any: “What if I reach my potential and it is not all that great?” You see? A perfect example of the term being negative. The flip side: What if I reach my potential and it IS great?

Anyway here’s my stream of consciousness piece, “A Whole Lot Of What Ifs.” Dig it!

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Poetry: “Retirement City Misses Her Children So” (For G-Ratt)

Retirement City. I coined the phrase to describe Thibodaux, La., the town where I went to college. The name is not meant to be flattering. The city suffers from an identity crisis. On one hand, it has a small university with 7,000 students. Yet, the city’s leadership seeks to turn it into a retirement community.

In related news: I turned 27 last week. Yes! One year closer to the new retirement age — death!

My friend G-Ratt joked on my Facebook wall — I think he was joking — my birthday meant nothing while I lived away from the “bayou land.” He concluded with a line that stuck with me: “Retirement city misses her children so (song title?).”

I promised him I would turn his line into something. Here’s what I penned tonight. It’s a tad melancholy. The first verse is me talking. The second verse is Retirement City speaking to me. Yes, I gave Retirement City a voice. Enjoy!

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Poetry: “Even The Tallest Wave Breaks”

I wanna breeze, instant gratification, no pain
I wanna go auto pilot, cruise control, instant fame
I want drama free, head on straight, no complaints
I want it all, this minute, don’t wanna wait

Yet, I know my wants are not the game’s name
Life is a wave; even the tallest wave breaks
Better to ride it than run for the nearest cave
Hiding in the dark won’t illuminate

The bad days exist to teach us how to relate
Walking a mile in others’ shoes is underrated
My wants are not my needs, and that brings shame
But I am human and not without blame

Poetry: "These Days Even The Sun Feels Cold"

These days even the sun feels cold
It hides behind clouds of woe
Waiting for a flight to somewhere remote
But distance is no antidote
Like warmth is no substitute for growth
Just an excuse to remain in the mold
And then what do you have to show
When your clock reads all zeroes

Poetry: "Tell Me There Is More To America"

Old Glory at the Oregon coast

NOTE: I wrote this tonight while burning the midnight oil. I considered topping it off with a hopeful resolution but I am feeling a shade grayer than optimistic right now about America’s prospects. Blame the Pacific Northwest fall and its ceaseless rain!

Tell me there is more to America
Than an idolic image on a screen and a photoshopped picture in a magazine
Tell me there is more to America
Than a market built to feed the needs of the ones with the most greed
Tell me there is more to America
Than our neverending battles overseas and blind obedience to the war machine
Tell me there is more to America
Than vanishing industries and shrinking companies plunging so many into poverty
Tell me there is more to America
Than American flags made by the Chinese, a disgrace to the men who stormed Normandy
Tell me there is more to America
Than charlatans posing as dignitaries, who instead do the bidding of corporate lobbies
Tell me there is more to America
Than a desire to eat, drink, and be merry, and leave nothing for our progenies
Tell me there is more to America
Tell me, please!

Hurricane Katrina, Six Years Later

Hurricane Katrina

NOTE: As a native of south Louisiana, I will never forget how Hurricane Katrina impacted my home state. On the sixth anniversary of the deadly storm’s landfall, I summed up my thoughts in haiku form.

Ugly Katrina/I wish we had never met/Your horror lingers

One Dead In Attic/From Danzinger to the Dome/Millions of lives changed

It’s been six years/New Orleans spirit lives on/No thanks to FEMA

Were any lessons learned?/Will next time be different?/Make levees not war