30 May 2010

VERSE / Larry Piltz : New Atlantis and Banglateche

"Earth could not answer; nor the Seas that mourn..."
Illustration by Adelaide Hanscom and Blanche Cumming (1905) for “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam,” tr. Edward Fitzgerald / Wikimedia Commons.

New Atlantis and Banglateche

By Houma Cayenne

Here beside my breathing Bayou Teche
true lifeblood of our Acadian creche
my second sight so easily stretches
oer the realm of the fishermen's catch
and the damage caused by greed and its wretches
I mourn for the view that's meant us
for the floating early grave that's sent us
the oncoming waters of New Atlantis

I see your sea birds' desperate flailing
overwhelmed, hopes frail and lean
and our skimmers' regretful sailing
while retching toxins oer the railing
dreading more each year's new gale e'en
as I ponder night and daily
the meaning of the mighty pirates failing
as mon amis must keep on bailing

To the inland coast of Banglateche
come the lapping waves of New Atlantis
through the heaving booms of helpless mesh
by the isles of decaying detritus
carrying bodies of beings you'd have to guess
a tide of mayhem, murder, and mindless mess
witnessed by your humble Cajun Cervantes
tilting seaward like a mantis
raging with a sacred wailing
for a time of great white whaling
a catch of mighty pirates failing
their lies and sad excuses trailing
all the way to their righteous jailing
as mon amis must keep on bailing

New Atlantis and Banglateche
our refuge now becomes the depths
our solid ground eternally wet
yet wonder where to throw our nets
and how we'll throw each jour de fete
Oh Evangeline you sweet coquette
we thought we'd somehow save you yet
your marshes and heron, chenier and egret
the sheltering cypress, the saltgrass carpet
the oyster and crab and shrimp we've met
Oh all of life, we are in your debt
as heart to heart and tete to tete
we grieve for the diet of poison you'll get
for your suffering we've more than our share of regret
as the years roll by a la morte de roulette
le bon temps au revoir et allons Banglateche
we pray that somehow we can all start afresh
as out in New Atlantis the pirates keep failing
and mon amis still keep on bailing

Houma Cayenne
As told to Larry Piltz / The Rag Blog
May 30, 2010

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