Tuesday, December 27, 2005

122. Hurricane Zone

by Denimari - Florence, New Jersey

See me
I am naked
to the world today
As all
has been stripped away
Within hours
my life is gone
I need the strength
to carry on

Hear me
As I cry out loud
One in hundreds
of this homeless crowd
Within days
my life torn to shreds
Nowhere for us
to lay our tired heads

Feel me
As this could be you
Mother Nature takes charge
of what we do
The human element
of our lives is spent
We are lost inside
of this tragic event

Touch me
As I live in pain
So much lost
it seems insane
Doors closed
to my constant plea
Bow your heads
and pray for me

Show me
That your love is near
Or I should die
inside my fear
Within minutes
I stood alone
Among so many
in this hurricane zone

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

121. Sometimes I Cry

by Ethel Keith - Arlington, Texas

Sometimes I cry when I think of home
Wondering why everything's all gone

Sometimes I cry because some people died
Trying to escape from the rising tide

Sometimes I cry when babies had no food
The way they treated us was very cruel

Sometimes I cry from the nightmares I have
The sorrow and pain is hard to bear

Sometimes I cry when I see the death toll
So many bodies, mostly old

Sometimes I cry when nothing's wrong
Then I think about families without a home

Sometimes I cry because my sisters are gone
But with GOD'S help - He has made them strong

Sometimes I cry because it's great to be alive
Thank you GOD that I survived

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

120. My City Was Gone

by Sharon E. Chester - Slidell, Louisiana

The storm came
with a name
and a premonition
but we didn't listen, right away
cat 4, cat 5

And we ran so hard and fast
that our gas tanks, if not our lungs
were gasping

And at every stop I looked around
and recited my list of belongings -
a mantra that offered no comfort:
1 pair of jeans, 4 shirts, 2 socks,
girlfriend, car,
and one very old cat we refused
to leave behind

And when we stopped for 3 days
and flipped on the news
I sat there with my soul coming undone
as I watched my city fall apart,
and I watched my people die

Now you look at me and see
a white girl bearing no resemblence
to who you see on tv
waiting, trying and dying
for the government to end its vacation
to bring help and salvation
but we are the same, these people
and me

In my state there is a kinship.
If you're on the road and meet someone
from home
you hug like old friends
like family
because you share this dark secret
in your blood.
It flows like water, smells like salt
and clangs like The Rebirth Brass Band
upon recognition.

There is no reason
that I'm not waiting on a rooftop.
There is no reason
I'm not wading through the water
I called home.
And really, there's no reason at all,
though I keep searching for it.

And songs keep spiraling
through my brain
taunting me with repetition
and baiting me with their hooks...
The Pretenders echo, with the lyrics changed:

I went back to New Orleans
and my city was gone.

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

119. Resiliency After The Storms

by Beth Lauren Gewirtzman - Florida

Realizing your home and belongings
Were destroyed before your eyes
Enduring unwarranted hardships
While establishing community ties

Supporting one another
Strangers continue to lend a helping hand
Inspired by the internal strength
Rebuilding your precious land

Living for the moment
And appreciating the strong family connection
Individuals take comfort in numbers
Feeling warmth and protection

Each day time heals the wounded
And hope satiates our souls
Needing support, dedication, and desire
To reach our new goals

Challenges continue to arise
But will not conquer the passion to survive
Youth and elders acknowledge the greatest gift
...of being alive

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

118. Katrina...A Moment in Time

by Mary West - Hurricane Survivor, New Orleans, Louisiana

Who tried to steal this city of mine
Hurricane Katrina.....A moment in time

Why did this happen to a city so unique
We can point to and blame the Government
For being so very weak

Our levees were dismissed
Since the days of Governor Long
For the Government should've secured them
And made them big & strong

So is it any wonder
That Katrina came to be
And swallowed up the city
For the whole world to see

It destroyed our people and the culture we all love
As they scrambled & screamed for help from above
And that help came so slow, as lives & homes were lost
For as the storm grew, the city paid the cost

Where once there was Jazz and Gumbo
And dancing in the streets
The city became silent
As we wept in disbelief

The faces of the helpless
Will forever remain real clear
As the city tries to recover
And struggles from year to year

The Jazz will return to Bourbon
And the Steamboats will roll along
But Hurricane Katrina
In our hearts will live on

For when history is recorded
And New Orleans is defined
We'll always remember Katrina
More than a moment in time!

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

Thursday, November 03, 2005

117. Birth Of A City

by Rose DesRochers

Beginning of a new tomorrow
Is everyone’s dream
Rebirth of a city
Torn apart at the seams
Hope shines in the dawning of New Orleans

Thursday, October 27, 2005

116. The Deluge Of New Orleans

by Barclay Kenyon - America

"Shoot into the sky, burn the city to the ground" - Anon. N.O.

When the rains came, and the walls collapsed under
the lash of some furious tongue of hurricane song
We were left clinging to rooftops, strung up on the bridges
watching alligators accomodate those cats and corpses.
Watching the burning sun steal out our breath.
The glass streets of the Quarter, of Chartres and Bienville soaked
With muddybottom and crayfish; the harbor doomed.
The deep trombones resound beneath the water
to send along the coffins yet again
by light of a mockingbird moon.

Look-a-here, we thought, you could come and
save us from our tumultuous home-
Our home we said for all of time. Don't let us
be buried here in your imaginations. Act now.
You won't regret it; we'll give you our song...

The mystery deepens, like Gamorrah, and our town begins
to haunt the American sleep. Oh man,
we have always lived in your dreams
but now this bitch, this Katrina, this killer come on down
with her howler monkey song and broad dampening skirts
has brought us so low
that we may never make it to the table again.
We're wading now with prickly eyes to the window
just to see them X-cross an old floater. Our young are shocked
with confusion at the silence, and the lies.
Cars grow on sycamore trees. Houses flow by like fallen leaves.
You'll remember us, dreaming, you will
even if you cannot save us now.

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

115. Gulf

by yukti - India

they have their war
we have our storm
taking the innocents

whole gulfs apart
we are engulfed together
as one

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

114. And They Knew

by Melba Scott (a.k.a. Epiphany) - Riverside, California

It is a wind that blows no one some good...
but conniving treachery - the illest wind by far


“Papa Legba, ouvrier barriere por moi passer”













Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

113. How Did It Happen? And How Will It End?

by Tricia Rinkel - Defiance, Ohio

How did it happen?

It was late August when it was reported
“Leave now! Leave now!” as houses were boarded

The city of New Orleans and surrounding areas too
Were scared and nervous – what should they do?

The warnings came again that one late afternoon
“Leave your home! Leave your home! And leave it soon!”

Big or little, rich or poor
“Go now, go now, right out your door!”

Dogs, cats, disabled and black
“Leave now, leave now – there is no time to pack!”

The prediction did seem to be somewhat insane
What was expected? A category 4 hurricane!

It would be a disaster – and this time – no one to blame
For all of the suffering, heartache and pain

Most took it seriously
And headed out fiercely

Some went North, some East and some West
Staying with family they thought would be best

Many followed the orders, demanded by State
“Report to the Superdome – you cannot afford to be late!”

This was a dome – and for days, their home
Surrounded by thousands, yet all alone

Whipping winds first blew stronger and stronger
In time they knew it wouldn’t be much longer

White-peaked waves came in harder – then higher
A disaster is tragic whether wind, water or fire

The pressure from Katrina caused the levees to break
And water rushed in, the city — a lake

Believe it or not, some people did stay
To ride out Katrina on that awful, terrible day

Reality began when Katrina reached their toes
Within minutes, it was even – right with their nose

The people were stuck with just one place to go
So they climbed to the top, it was the attic they chose
Where they hammered and chiseled their worries and woes

With such disbelief as they climbed to their roof
They opened their eyes to an instant – POOF!
Blinking, rubbing and thinking -- maybe a goof

But, no, no goof, what was it that they saw
Not a city – no – not a city at all

No buildings, no churches, no stores or stations
No homes, no restaurants or a place for a vacation

And back to the stadium, it turned into violence
As our nation stood back in awe and in silence

Looting, hurting, shooting, no doubt
Surviving, living, that’s what it’s about

Everything destroyed in Katrina’s path of destruction
That only support and love to help build new construction

Even one’s pride they choose to hide
As they bury their heads to cry inside

As they must go on with what’s on their backs
They place all they own in one small sack

Now – that is how it happened...
But now, how will it end?

Loved ones are gone, and people left bare
But no time is given for grief and despair

There is no time to sit back on your lazy chair
Let’s embrace our nation and show that we care

What can we do? Where should we start?
It doesn’t really matter, just give from the heart

If you have that desire to help and pitch in
Maybe you can start in your very own kitchen

Search high, search low
Maybe send them some “dough”

Look in, look out, you can look all around
Let’s get this message flowing through our town

Love and prayers is what we can send
And anything we find, we are willing to lend

Because working together in helping things mend
That in itself – is how it will end

Friday, October 21, 2005

112. Why Are You Here?

by Susan Miller - Hollywood, Florida

Katrina or Rita - what’s in a name
Preparing for any is one and the same
Continuous storms threaten some Florida town
One may huff, one may puff, one may blow your house down

Trim a tree. Hang holly. Thanksgiving turkey
Halloween costumes and decorations you see

Everywhere, just look up your street
The ghosts and the goblins cannot compete

With Hurricane Wilma - now that’s what I fear
Enough is enough - we don’t want you here

Sunday, October 16, 2005

111. Golden Door

by Dominique - Los Angeles, California

But in the dream, you do not leave us
Instead as we are sinking, sinking
You dive down to us in the mournful black
Water, and pull us up into sweet air, up to the rising sun
Up to America

In this dream, you cannot leave us
Something holds you and keeps you there
Until all souls, all souls are remembered
Until finally love, love
Only love

Brings us all the way back home

Friday, October 14, 2005

110. The Unexpected

by E. - 9th grader - Harrison, Arkansas

People thought Katrina
would miss her mark

When she was over
Most people were in difficult positions

People went out to see what damage
She left behind for them to clean

A boy lost his home he didn’t know what to do
without his mother, sister, brother, or father

A woman wouldn’t have anyone to keep her company
Her husband died of cancer, with flies and people to smell the
death of him and others that died as well

Why couldn’t some of the people leave when they had a chance to, instead of 710 people to die for a total?

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

109. Katrina

by T. - 9th grader - Harrison, Arkansas

Winds a howlin’ people dyin’ rain drops a droppin’
Make waves filling up the city and killing people

Lifting casino motels off the ground and throwin’ them across town
Killin’ everyone in its path

Cars floatin’ around with people still inside them
Breakin’ the walls that held in the sea

I watched the news and saw the tide of death and destruction left by Katrina
The worst hurricane ever

hellicane category: despair

108. The Unspeakable

by J. - 9th grader - Harrison, Arkansas

Savage winds powerful rain making lives joyless
People feeling Godforsaken
Young ones frightened
Aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, all devastated
Unusual things have happened, unspeakable things
Everyone trying to help, being reliant, but panic-stricken
Lives are broken into pieces smaller than an atom
Everyone bewildered and loved ones lost
Many lonely, many dead
Some weak like they can’t carry on
But there comes a time in every person’s life
Where they need to forget what happened
And never underestimate Mother Nature

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

107. Untitled

by K. - 9th grader - Harrison, Arkansas

Frightened Katrina victims
Homes are destroyed, broken into pieces

Devastated Katrina victims
Families split up by death
Leaden spirits roam around looking for their families

Fear swims through the people as they look for loved ones

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

106. Hurricane Katrina

By S. - 9th grader - Harrison, Arkansas

Lives were destroyed
Houses were demolished
Will there ever be hope?
Will New Orleans ever be again?

Children were terrified
Many people are upset
People, children, and pets are homeless
Will this crisis come to an end?

Deceased people laying everywhere
In the debris from Hurricane Katrina
Shocking news that no one can believe
Why has this happened to these people?

People acting foolishly
But rescuing people as well
But is this gonna help,
Or are more going to die?

People were cold-cocked by Katrina
Left moneyless, homeless, and hopeless
The people are depressed and very emotional
Thinking, Why did this happen to me?

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

105. Hurricane Victims

by S. - 9th grader - Harrison, Arkansas

A sea of heartbroken faces
Grief and sorrow filled the watery streets
People’s worried voices and cries filled the town
Muddled cries of babies could be heard through the frightened voices
People roamed the streets defenseless and low
Some were grateful to have found their family and friends
A lot lost everything they ever had
Hopeless and sleepy, Katrina’s victims searched for families
And abandoned their old lives and everything they ever knew
Some wished that it was just a nightmare
And will wake up and they will still have their loved ones right beside them
Lives ruined, hope for starting a new life swam through their hearts

hellicane category: despair

104. Katrina

by K. - 9th grader - Harrison, Arkansas

Kids hopeless and homeless
All feel misplaced and neglected
Terror, fright, and horror surround
Restless, spiritless, helpless
Ignored, struggling families
New Orleans, never forgotten
Anxiety and depression fill the air

hellicane category: despair

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

103. Seen

by K.

Boats sailing on land
Bodies floating like dead fish
Houses bulldozed over by Mother Nature


An enclosed field of imitation dwellings
Staircases leading to nothing
Horizontal trees

An endless river of motionless cars breaking away from obliteration
Only to come back to desolation

Monday, October 10, 2005

102. Rita Is Her Name

by Roland R. Ruiz - San Antonio, Texas

There is an old saying I truly believe
That says God moves in mysterious ways
I always wondered why
How true the saying has evolved today
As nature reaps its wretched ways
Upon our troubled times
So now we have another storm
The gulf has brewed again
Her name this time is Rita
And death does ride her wake
Is this God's way of testing souls
Only he knows for sure
So prepare yourself, for what's to come
When Rita comes ashore
If it's his will that I should die
I ask dear God to forgive the sins
That reside so deep within
For when I enter my home in heaven
As God has washed me clean
Then I'll know the answer
To the old saying, I truly believe

hellicane category: faith

Sunday, October 09, 2005

101. With You In Mind

by Katie Lazette

If I had legs that were very strong
If I had some youth to push me along

If I had the means to feed a lot
If I had a boat to get me to that spot

I would go to the people in distress
I would help do my part in this mess

I would listen to the people who are around
I would give a big hug as I sat me down

A great big smile to go with that hug
I'd bring fresh water free from bugs

I'd bring a batch of brownies too
A yummie gift from me to you

But since I am unable to do these things
I sent a check that will help bring

Food, medicine, hugs and smiles
That will travel across the miles

Little by little the work will get done
Our Military will help till the Victory is won

Our President and Leaders, local people too
Are hard at work just for you

You are not forgotten, you are on our mind
You are in our prayers, you won't be left behind

As a Nation we have all opened our heart
As a Nation, that's the place to start

hellicane category: hope

Saturday, October 08, 2005

100. Katrina

by Rebecca L. Moyers

You took away my memories
You took away my past
You took away the old oak trees
You drown them in your path

I used to play at Ponchatrain
Building castles in the sand
And watched the dancers in the street
Holding onto Daddy's hand

But you took away my childhood
And covered it in mud
You took away my happy days
And tainted them with blood

You took away my memories
You washed them from my sight
You took away my happy dreams
And turned them into fright

Give it all back to me
Build it like before
Make it like it used to be
So I can dream some more

hellicane category: local color

99. The Day The Levee Broke

by Dawn Matley Maselli

August 2005
Hurricane Katrina
Wanted no man alive

The Good Ol Boys
Said Head to the Dome
For those who can't get out on your own...
And they left us here all alone

And we are prayin'

We are the United States
We will brave the wind, the storm
Ann the man-made mistakes

The storm stole all our material things
But we're grateful
For the hope that life brings
Yes, we are grateful for the hope that life brings

And now we're waitin'

August 2005
Levee gave way
Wanted no man alive

Water rising all around us
Who has got a cell phone?
Man, they left us here all alone
They left us here on our own.

But, we're still prayin'

We are the United states
We braved the storm, the levee
And the man-made mistakes

Can't let child see dome - horrible things
But I'm grateful for the hope
That life brings
Yes, I'm hopeful for the hope that life brings

And now we're waitin'

The Dome is dark and all are scared so
Mama's gettin' weak cuz her sugar is low
Whispers don't let child see me go
But child knows when mama goes
A child always knows when Mama goes

And now we're grieving

Sorrow that washes despair
Tears sheddin' natural wash - mama here
All the reasons to US are unknown
Father, take her to your heavenly home
Father take her to you heavenly home

And now we're reeling

Next day no water supply
Child looks up to me with searchin' eyes
"Daddy I'm thirsty" in a weak voice
To a papa - I don't have no choice
The Good Ol Boys can't her her voice

And now I'm looting

I survived the tragedy
Now I got to do right by my family
How exactly grateful do you want me to be?
Life's force caused my destiny
And I'm gonna do right by baby

And now I'm fightin'

Child lost mama, her strength and her home
Plans out there made but we're all alone
Mama's not here no more in the Dome
This shelter is her resting stone
Babies Blanket is her resting stone
Baby stroking the resting stone

And now we're prayin'

September 2005
We're doin' our best just to survive
Please cry baby so I know your alive
This is changing me deep down inside
We're all changing way deep down inside

And now I'm angry

Takin' babies and wives from the man
Never thought this could happen in Our Free Land
Can't get my head around it to understand
Chaos everywhere here for the man
Just gotta do the best that I can

They say I'm looting

Cameraman and the news on TV
Film me taking supplies for baby
How exactly grateful do you want me to be?
While your watchin' me on your TV
They call me looter and Refugee
Darlin, looter and a Refugee

But I'm still prayin'

Bad water surrounds little ones
I know New Orleans has mightier sons
We're takin' water, food and some meds
Surviving in this homestead
My shoulder now is baby's bed
Strong shoulders now for baby's bed

And I'm still hopeful

Go ahead and call me Refugee
A looter, a black man that you see on TV
But I'm no Good Ole Boy judging from a safe place
I'm a papa lookin' in baby's face
A widowed papa lookin' in baby's face

And now I'm prayin'

We are the United States
Braved wind, water, and the man-made mistakes
Katrina came and slapped the Dome's nose
We survived, then filthy water rose
At least we're together I suppose
I need strength God only Knows

And now I'm hopeful

Baby clinging to me for life
Got to hang on cuz I promised my wife
I'm a good Papa and a God-lovin' man
And I'm a damn good American
Yes, I'm a damn good American

So we sit here in this filth for awhile
Don't judge US - cuz we're all God's child
I lived through this tragedy
With what's left of my family

I'm grateful for the life of baby

And now I'm thankful
Those who saw the reality
Of people caught up in this tragedy
Forced the country with stategy
Forced the help to come for my baby
I'm as grateful as a man can be

And now I'm grateful

Neighbor forced them to get up and DO!
Showed the Good Ol Boy what I already knew
Said if TV can get in so can you
Not just a good TV crew
If one can get in so can you
What one man can do
Another can do

We are the United states
Neighbors prayin' and angry bout man-made mistakes
Got to save the child for God sakes
To save my family this is what it takes
Thank you lord and the United States

I thank you neighbor

Pray for me and the child
I'll be grateful for your love for awhile
Remember I'm the writer
And the reader will sound
And in this we're forever bound
Yes, in this we are forever bound

And we're still prayin'...

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

98. New Orleans: A Vow Can't Laugh

by Dan Cuddy - Baltimore, Maryland

wind has taken the roof
the house is a boat
the TV is out
the neighbors are logs floating away

can't laugh

gods, demons, one and the same
howling indifference
as children stare
from out of a cocoon of blankets
the auditorium restrooms have lines
and rest? there is none
and room? there is none

can't laugh

no jokes in the wind
a child turns pages of Dumbo The Flying Elephant
the Governor declares disaster
the waters of life drown the jazz

Mardi Gras?
t-shirts, naked tits, drunks, songs
Lent will be longer than 40 days, 40 nights

but we'll celebrate
we'll celebrate

like the waters will recede
we'll laugh again

tell us something funny

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

Friday, October 07, 2005

97. Kat

by Shirley K. Campbell - Shreveport, Louisiana

Kat komme
Krazy kat
Kick Kween
Off map

King Kreole
Say skat Kat
Kween krawlin’
Rat back, say

Where y’at
Now meow
Kitty kitty

hellicane category: abstract

Thursday, October 06, 2005

96. All We Can Keep Is Hope

by Andrea Spence (age 15)

Late August, 2005 a storm stirs up in the ocean blue
It happened so fast, nobody knew

The winds strong, and bold
The humidity no longer hot, but cold

Waves as high as homes
People were scarred, all bunched up in Domes

Water flooding left to right
Saviors chanting your ok just sit tight

She calls her self Katrina, striking fear in many
Everything was gone, nothing left - not even a single penny

Some had died and got their wings
Left this world as if their feet had springs

Children crying themselves to sleep
They have no Teddies to help count the sheep

New Orleans will never forget this - nobody will
God, we only ask that You take their empty cups, and fill

What's that you ask?

Do these people have food? Water? Nope
All we must keep is Hope

hellicane category: survival

95. New Orleans

by Amy P. - Destin

Flooded New Orleans means
No more good rice and red beans

Fewer feet
On Bourbon street

Stuff happens to make the blues
Maybe not what we choose
Don't want to lose

All our stuff
And see the neighbors getting tough

Those who survived
Got out alive
Could drive

While superman loses his cape

Rape, murder and looting
Taxpayers shooting
Uncle Sam rooting

For the war

I mean the Gulf Coast
While drinking champagne and offering a toast

To all those cats on hot tin roofs
What more proof

Do we need
You know greed

Is starring in this arena
Executive powers co-produced, directed by Hurricane Katrina

hellicane category: political

94. The American Spirit - Katrina

by Darren Sardelli - Smithtown, New York
(Note from the author: "Many Americans have done extraordinary things to help the victims of Katrina. Katrina may have knocked us down, but she won't keep us down. Americans from all across the country have been deeply affected by this tragedy. I am proud of every American for their help and support. Please share this poem with family and friends.")

Katrina brought disaster
She caused a lot of grief
She showed the world destruction
And pain beyond belief

Katrina split up families
She knocked their houses down
She took all their possessions
And pulverized their town

Some women lost their husbands
Some husbands lost their wives
Some people lost their neighbors
Some children lost their lives

Katrina's winds were massive
They took some heavy tolls
She may have caused catastrophe
But deeply touched our souls

She brought us all together
United, here we stand!
Our people heard a cry for help
And lent a helping hand

We reassured the victims
That help was on the way
We're doing all that we can do
To brighten up your day

Katrina may have knocked you down
But we will pick you up
She may have taken all your food
But we will fill your cup

You know you can rely on us
We'll be your shining sun
We Are One Nation Under God
United We Are One!

hellicane category: hope

93. Death...Katrina

by Sajid Ghazi - Pakistan
(Note from the poet: "I would feel pleasure to post my poem, as it would convey the sentimental message our nation has, on a humanitarian basis, for our bros and sis's in New Orleans and the affected states of the USA.")

I am death, destroyer of worlds -

I raged gravely through New Orleans
And shattered everyone alike
From magnate to pauper
Regardless of race and age
And invaded like a caravan
Of screaming winds
Torrential rain
And crushing waves
By the name of Katrina

92. The Corpse On Union Street

by Anonymous

The corpse on Union Street
Has lain there long enough to petrify
Knees under tarp & naked feet

National Guard on the looter beat
Cross themselves when they go by
The corpse on Union Street

One took a picture: there is no delete
No do-over, for this poor guy -
Knees under tarp & naked feet

Four days left just like the meat
Stinking up the market nearby
The corpse on Union Street

Is the flag of its, his own defeat:
A gun, not the storm, made him lie
Knees under tarp & naked feet.

Leave him under that blue pastic sheet
Let the living leave the dead to die:
The corpse on Union Steet
Knees under tarp & naked feet

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

91. September Storms

by Roland R. Ruiz - San Antonio, Texas

Moments of thankfulness sometimes go unnoticed
When times of terror grip our land

In September of this year
Storms have battered our beautiful shore
Along the western gulf

So many people have lost their homes
Or even worst their souls

Storms will mar this calendar year
For all time to come

Now what's left is hope and prayer
Dear God we ask of you

Please help the souls that have survived
To find another life and home
Within your gracious land

With help from the flock you left untouched
Who still have home and soul
Make this moment of thankfulness last forever more

hellicane category: hope

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

90. Mississippi Gulf Coast: The True Victim of Katrina

Pictured: Beauvoir - the historic last home of Jefferson Davis on the Gulf Coast in Biloxi, Mississippi - before & after Katrina

by Cheli Strumila - Gulf Port, Mississippi

My heart is deeply saddened
As I read poems from this site
And listen to the news coverage
On the tv night after night

They all talk of New Orleans
The story's tragic this is true

But New Orleans was a victim
Not of Katrina and her wrath
But of bad decisions in their state government
Who did not put their levees as their Top Priority and task!!

The true victims of Katrina
Lie just to the northeast
Where the entire coastline of the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Has been leveled and destroyed

Beautiful Antebellum homes
Thriving businesses and elaborate casinos
Are nothing but debris and slabs
Or they've floated up the beach
And now call land their home

Lives shattered, loved ones killed
Dreams put on hold as they try to figure out
How will I feed my family, how will I pay the bills!!

We have no one here to help pay our bills for months on end
No one is giving us $2000 just to help get by
If we stayed to help rebuild our coast
We must depend on each other, family and friends!!

Oh but let us not forget, New Orleans evacuees have been given money freely
Set up in housing to help them through
We here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast are told we can take out an SBA loan
Which will help keep us even more in debt
Are you getting the picture of who the true victims are yet?

Only parts of New Orleans were flooded
Our entire Mississippi Gulf Coast coastline is destroyed
The French Quarter is back up and running
Our Beautiful Casinos are no more

It will take us years to rebuild
Everything we all worked so hard to build
Over the last 14 years!!

We were the ones hit by Katrina!!
Katrina did not HIT New Orleans!!
Waveland, Pass Christian, Long Beach, Gulfport
Biloxi, Ocean Springs, Gautier and Pascagoula

Remember that those of the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Were the Victims of Hurricane Katrina!!
And of the Media who put more emphasis on a levee
Than the destruction of a Hurricane!!

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

89. Troubled Times

by Barbara Ann Smith

In these troubled times
I reach out to You to grant strength
Comfort and guidance to those left
Abandoned, helpless and feeling doubt
Almighty One, You came as a light
Into the world, that whosoever believes
Should not abide in darkness
Let Your light shine
Like the brightness of a midday sun
Enveloping Your people
Under Your mighty arms
And lift them up to see Your light
And to feel Your presence

hellicane category: faith

88. Love Letter To Nagin

by Joanna Parsons - San Jose, California

Mayor, come outside
Eyes wide, collapse to your knees in sobs
Of the background you once called your city
Dreaming of prophecy – pages in Scripture
Speak of desolation
“Everything is desolate and displaced – widows
Mourn and children weep!”
Desolation, not of Jerusalem or Judah
But of New Orleans

Mayor, sank to the ground in racking cries
Heard from the radio –
“My city’s gone!”
Woken in the wraith of fury
Of a bi-polar wicked woman named Katrina

Mayor, pray to the Almighty
Anger in the form of blame –
Toward a bush who can only do so much
Rages of the displaced and starved
Judgement. Tribulation. Justice. Trial

Mayor cries, black and proud
This is now an infamous memory of an African-
American generation – a story to be told
And passed down to generations:

“My child,” they’ll say to little ones not yet born
“I remember those days, when dogs whined and
Our town sank like the Titanic
A judgment from God? I say, a judgment of the sin
In the French quarters...or maybe we experienced the
Power of evil
Or wraith in the form of a hurricane!”

Mayor weeps, 'cause all things desolate, and the ground
Wallows under sludge and debris, and all hope is dashed –
For now

Cry to the Almighty and wonder
Why this? Why now? How could this be?!
He sobs
As New Orleans lies underwater
Disasters everywhere are getting larger
An incomprehensible sign of things to come
Fear and the burden of those hurting weigh like brick
On your heart, and tears fall like rain
For those scorned by her fury

And then He says to you
“Let your heart not be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me.”
In My Father’s house are many rooms, if it weren’t so, I would tell you
Mayor, be humble, seek God, repent and he’ll lift you
I will go and prepare a place for you
Hope will rise

Images of trueness of bureaucracy
Which alienated them for their dark skin
Beautiful black faces full of fear and trepidation
In a hellhole called the Superdome
But rescued by the colorful people of the rainbow

Mayor, rise to your knees
Like prophecy in the bible, it will rise again
And be bathed in God’s righteousness like a warm sun

Mayor, rebuilding will begin!
“My city is emerging!”
Lessons learned in the form of hundreds saved by Him
Salvation came through tragedy
Love given through wrath
Warning given in love –
Shake them now, to keep them from something
Eternally more horrid than a city submerged
In bleak water

Mayor cries before the sign of his cherished city
And nations rushed to your side
And there you see restoration, spiritual salvation, Christ’s body
In action – love in action
And rejuvenation on the brink of horizon

See, mayor, see
Beyond those deceitful levees and your trust in man
See into the eyes of the Risen One who can save you
See the rejuvenation
Of your cherished city
On the brink of horizon

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

87. Prayer For The Evacuees

by Agatha Weeks

I can see at a distance - heartaches, city ruins
Devastations of good times once had - but yet
I choose to gaze into the distant future
Where I envision busy sidewalks, renovated buildings
Smiling faces, instead

As I look into the barren streets
Where now instead the stagnant waters flow
I hear the moaning cries of people hurting so
But yet, I choose to think about the day when
Rescue comes my way, mending hurts
Reuniting families again someday

As I see the helping hands of Angels mend
The hurting hearts of those who've lost family and friends
But yet, I can't help but wonder why
Our Almighty Father allows his children to suffer and die
But then I look into the past of years gone by
Seeing how God, our Heavenly Father
Allowed his very own son to die

So God, grant me the faith to better understand
That my heartaches are a part of your great plan
Help me be thankful of angels sent
To aid me in my time of need, and not resent them
Help me not blame others for my pain
But rather give me the courage to accept what I can't change

Do not allow evil to devour me from within
Leaving my doubting, weary soul darkened to sin
For Satan preys on the weakened soul
As it wallows in self-pity and grows cold
So God, grant me the strength I need to carry on
And the faith I need to mend
So that I can take up my cross and follow you

In God's name I ask...


hellicane category: faith

86. Katrina & Her Sister Rita

by Carol Vanpell - Fort Worth, Texas

Sister Katrina what have you done?
You rolled over New Orleans like Attilla the Hun

They knew you were coming, but some did not heed
And now that you're done, they wish they could leave

Your mother, Ms. Nature, your brother the sea
Both helped you destroy New Orleans

One thousand are dead and more are dying
The suffering is immense and children are crying

Although your eye was on Biloxi and Mobile
The nation's eye was our New Orleans

As your victims gathered for relief
The world watched in disbelief

Fingers pointed and searched for blame
Our enemies gloated and yelled “shame!”

Our people responded with love and care
And showed the world that we are there

Now your sister Rita follows in your wake
But you taught us lessons of precautions to take

Millions will flee your sister's path
Now they understand your Mother's wrath

hellicane category: hope

85. Through A Child's Eye: Hurricane Katrina

by Jodi & son Trevor (age 8) - California

In the calm before the storm
How were we to know
Hurricane Katrina
The wrath of all storms

With the wind and the rain
The flooding and the pain
It happened so fast
Many passed
Hurricane Katrina
The wrath of all storms

Children were crying
People were dying
Water flooding left and right
Saviors chanting just sit tight

She called herself Katrina
Passing not fast
New Orleans will never forget
Hurrican Katrina
The wrath of all storms

hellicane category: despair

84. True Colors

by Eve Hall - Atlanta, Georgia

Our lives have changed because of terrorism
Some changes have been for the good, some for the bad
Why does it always take a tragedy like this
For ones to come together in unity and peace?

Some make changes for a day, a week, a month
Then they go back to their true colors
Of being unkind, uncaring, unloving
What is wrong with this picture?

Are we part of the problem or the solution?
Let's look into our hearts and souls
Root out all the evil - it's not too late
Do it while there is still time

Do it...now

hellicane category: hope

Monday, October 03, 2005

83. Shelter With Love

by Debbie Stevens - Australia

For every heartache
Let love have a say
For every lost soul
Let love find its way

For all tears cried
Let love wipe dry
For every plea for help
Let love not hide

If love is all we have to give
Let it go
Let love be the helping hand
Let your love show

Let it reach the heavens
Let it lighten the load
Love is a shelter
Let us build it a home

hellicane category: hope

82. Hurricane Katrina Update

by Tony Peyser - Studio City, California

Over eleven hundred dead
More than one million displaced
The frail in wheelchairs abandoned
FEMA did not act in haste

The writing wasn’t on the wall
But on the roofs of the people stranded
Will there be a real probe into this?
Bush still remains less than candid

The man once in charge testified
And his answers were emphatic:
He blamed each and every problem
On politicians Democratic

Cheney’s pals all got contracts
A license to steal and to rob
Yeah, Brownie, Bush was right:
You did a heckuva job

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

Friday, September 30, 2005

81. Treason

by Nathanial West

You turn your back
and burn the ties
to all thats right
that you defile
but stand despite
the bleeding truth
washed out in trash
so mad with image
and hollow with soul
so stylized and grinning


Get the cards & phones & debt
fuel the fiend that hurls its lead
where the money shines beneath the sand
when faith aligns with bastard plans
when his designs mean our demands
& sacred seats are $old in sham
the aftermath - alarming, now double the bodies
on the global market of hard luck & big profits
when most plow the course & a few fill their pockets.


Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

80. dirty raincoat

by mould_jesus - Baton Rouge, Louisiana

hung to dry or drip
blood, the collected
effort of twenty thousand dead
floating down the street past
fast food and last call
looters. bullet in the head of
an entire city, fired forth
from the belly of a beast.

fire on top, water on bottom.
buildings burn down while the
sour smell of bodies traces its way
to aerial photographers.

ammonia eats away at already
rotted flesh as one lonely
wanderer wades through all
the blasphemy searching for shelter
or a new home.

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

79. The South Shall Rise Again

by Mary Kellis - North Carolina

One of the most beautiful places on Earth
Totally devastated by the devil's breath
The Gulf Coast, not devastated by just one storm, but two
On the news, I sit glued, as I watch, mass devastation, and even death
But the devastation won't keep us down
We shall rise again stronger, better, and brand new

Was there a lesson to be learned here?
Of course, we learned we can endure
And this tragedy will never keep us down
The devil's breath, total chaos and devastation
This remains very clear
Total devastation and destruction, everywhere as I look around

People made to evacuate from the familiar things that they love
I think no one wanted to make that kind of choice
Looking around, all we can do is pray to the man up above
Men, women, children crying for help
SSSHHHH! Listen! And you too can hear their pitiful voice

Materialistic things, these can all be replaced
But a human life, no amount can pay for such a loss
Among the devastation, look up to the sky, so clear and blue
Containing clouds as white as lace
I can see a ray of hope, for everything that was a loss

We held it together in the time of the Civil War
The south arose, weak, but in our hearts we were strong
No more storms, please, dear God, please send no more
Maybe in time, those displaced can go back to where they belong

Wind, rain, flood waters devastated such a beautiful place
Leaving many devastated, frustrated and lost
Look at the survivors - no more smiling faces
Why were we cosen to pay such a tremendous cost?

We will overcome, and take our rightful place, among the human race
The devastation, we will mend
We shall again see the sun, causing us all to smile again
We can endure and overcome this awful hand dealt to us
All this devastation should be a sin

But never fret! The South shall rise again!

hellicane category: tribute

Friday, September 23, 2005

78. Put Those Cameras Down

by Maximus Parthas

For a while I thought that media circus should close tents
And take it all down
They were treacherous and treading on sacred ground

My righteous anger flared
Tears appeared
I was sickened and wishing they would just
Put that camera down

Stop showing me these images and sounds which abound
Revealing the hypocrisy of the factors before the disasters
Don't let
The slow...sad...pan
Of somebody' damn reality-cam
Make me examine my standing on the days before the tomorrows
Just leave me
To my sorrows
Of the days after

Yes, put that camera down, you must
Do not let us discuss our disgust in the spin being spun
From among the wicked web some have strung in their mixtures of pictures
Nor shall we speak on the fulfillment of the 66 books of scriptures

There's too much truth to be seen
Too much proof to be screened
So put that damn camera down
And let all sleuths be loosed from the scene
We really don't want to know what it all means

Let us slide our sins back under the carpet
We don't need nor want to know when this all started
Or how its all going end
Not when so many of our family and friends are recently departed
Can't you see we're broken-hearted?
Put that camera down
Don't let these etched echoes of N'awlins blues
Be used to confuse the issues and tragedies we've grown to know so well
That racism, oppression, class-ism and poverty are killing us daily
And it seems
We've already gone to hell
Witnesses are always the last to know
Always the last to go or the first to be sacrificed and die so
I shall no longer subscribe to what you provide in this sly genocide slideshow

Put those cameras down
I don't need to see his story through your minion of eyes
Or through your legion of lies like some lord of the flies
My Lord is certainly willing.
And Yes, Jesus is Able
And any kind of Cain you may raise

Or Pilots you may praise can't kill him
Any Job you take won't shake his foundation of faith
And if there were but one righteous soul in the whole doomed Lot
It would be his face above all others
Paint him my Savior, my Maker, my Brother

My Father, King and Caretaker
The Shepherd who leads mine blind eyes to see
Beyond the tainted images you would keep sending unto me

So put that damn camera down

hellicane category: faith

77. Between Hurricanes

by Belinda Subraman - El Paso, Texas

As we slide into the 3rd World we have created
Running from hurricanes
With our SS# indelibly inked on our arms
Storms swell and swallow our control

I am flooded with life
Review the beliefs of my youth
I reach for my first Bible
Which has survived every move
I am mystified by Revelation’s hallucinations again

I would like to clutch an answer close
Bury myself in a father’s love
But that’s not how it goes
There is only process synthesizing experience toward wisdom
Almost getting there
Like hanging onto a tree in a hurricane
Before being swept out to sea

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

76. She's Running On The Levee

by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

She's running on the levee
She used to run every day
But it’s been weeks

Even angels spreading wings
To hold the waters back
When her path failed
Never could’ve shined
Like her ponytail
Against the air

They didn’t
Spread their wings

And I can’t now, can’t even talk like this
You see, she saw me floating by
On her way out of state

hellicane category: survival

Thursday, September 22, 2005

75. Beneath The Painted Cloudy Sky

by Roland R. Ruiz - San Antonio, Texas

Beneath the painted cloudy sky
Burnt by sun rays shining high

Lies a wicked killer storm
Comes by day or night no matter

Evil in its sinister waves
Gives no quarter either way

This wicked, wicked killer storm
Has brought the gulf to bay

Insidious in its crooked ways
Cares not if souls are lost today

It brought a city to its knees
In death and carnage it knows the way

To this we owe to precious few
Who dared to stare its evil eye

And brought the wrath to bay
Now the time to pray has come

To fill the shining painted sky
With love and hope we ask dear God

To heal our loss
And take our pain away

hellicane category: hope

74. He Who Cares...Wins

by Anthony Turner - Sheffield, UK

Sordid suffering
Sunk in sewage
Porch-less houses
Wrecks and ruins
Bloated bodies
Flesh be stewing
Left to rot
In New Orleans

Social bedlam
Riotous looting
Cops and robbers
All getting their boot in
Left five days
No wonder they're fuming
Government lost
If it ain't shooting

The bottom rung
Couldn't get out
Left to fend
In flood and drought
Just got to get on
No use to shout
Whilst wealthy ears
F*ck about

Fires burning
Under water
Broken fathers
Search for daughters
Rescue crews
With guns so thoughtless
Still living dead
Like lambs to slaughter

Aimless wading
Dreams fast fading
Hopeless homeless
Survival scathing
Drags them under
Darkness waiting

Man at top
Clueless fool
Checking wreckage
Sat on a stool
Soulless sorrow
Cucumber cool
Flesh and blood
Just not a jewel

Excuses fall
Like autumn leaves
To clarify thoughts
Of the bereaved
Floods and tears
Anger breathes
This the freedom
They all seized

Power charges
Into the ring
Box them ears
Make them sing
They've got the fear
You've got the things
You're deep, they're shallow
They hear only ch-ching!

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

73. My God, George

by L. Shicklgrueber - New Orleans

"My God, George -
All the people suffering and dying!"
"Hey, it's not like they're white people."

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

72. Come & Soar With Me

by Pam

My Precious Child

Come and soar over the storm with Me
You do not have to be touched by life's storms
When you are in Me
Put your faith in Me
And you will be like an eagle flying over the storm clouds
Untouched by life's storms


When the storm has swept by
The wicked are gone
But the righteous stand firm forever
Proverbs 1:27

You have been a refuge for the poor
A refuge for the needy in his distress
A shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat
Isaiah 25:4

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength
They will soar on wings like eagles
They will run and not grow weary
They will walk and not be faint
Isaiah 40:31

hellicane category: faith

71. You Locked 'Em In & Let 'Em Rot For Five Days

by Larry Winfield - Los Angeles

you locked 'em in and let 'em rot for five days
who knew you could use FEMA to keep help away...
you've finally graduated
from President Lionel Hutz
to third world Emperor
(can't call you what i'd like
cause it's your n-word
and makes you get all blood in the face - yavoll!)

you've just become Baby Doc and Mobutu
become the worst combination of
Nixon, Harding and Andrew Jackson -
strumming that guitar
a Texas Nero still on vacation
and what about your pirate band?
Condi can't be bothered
she's painting the big apple red
Cheney's away at a secluded spot
getting his light saber readjusted...
Rove is back in the shadows, spinning...

you can tell me...
it was a business decision, wasn't it?
an impulsive stroke of short-term genius
icing on the vacation cake
to take the taste of Cindy Sheehan's
anger and grief
out of your mouth...
let's let mother nature do over here
what Mugabe's doing to his shanty towns -
clearing brush
and hey, rumors of looting darkies works for us...
Osama must be laughing -
these guys are doing a better job
than any Al Quida sleeper cell...

some of your smirking
repent america
christian patriot rapture rangers
no doubt smiled at the spectacle
"when the rapture comes
all you heathens will be just like that..."
uh huh...and god is a klansman, right?
this ain't the apocalypse, you sheep's clothing Jesus-boys
merely incompetence of biblical proportions

hope you enjoy the ride
cause hey, the jig is up:
the drive-by photo-ops will no longer do
the webs you've been spinning obscured your view
and when Fox starts kicking your ass
you oughta get a clue!
but then
you lied us into a war you're fighting on the cheap
an expensive campaign
where parents scrape together
to buy their kids' body armor...
why wouldn't the cavalry be half-assed and late
but thanks for giving all us locals a heads up:
we can't depend on you at all
if the crap hits the fan wherever 'right here' is
unless you're a card-carrying member of the country club

hey, numbnuts!
your vacation is over
your next two as well -
as the recession ripples slowly fan out
as things get more expensive and may start to run out
as the military is slowly burned out
as we follow the Soviets into a slow collapse...
if the rabble gets too uppity
you can always declare martial law
but whose troops would you use...
Hey, China holds our busted IOU's
and they believe in profits now...
they'll do

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

70. Anyone Know How I Feel?

by David
(Note: this poem was inspired by the heartbreaking photograph below from the
Los Angeles Times showing a young boy surrounded by the devastation of Hurricane Katrina along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.)

A child sits atop a roof
No one else in sight
And wonders where his parents went
(When the storm subsided)
In total fright
Debris nipping at his heels

He puts his mind in his hand
Atop an elbow resting on a knee
Such weights upon a little man
Teddy bear lain at his feet
Asking himself, "Why me?!"
And, "Has the storm gone away?"

The rubble around him
Screams out at his solitude
His mind overwhelmed
Wishing it were all a dream
But sight attests the magnitude
Of his LOSSES, and the losses

Even a voice would sooth
However distant away
Could it be they're gone forever
Carried away by the wind
So many things needed to say
With no one there, to listen

"I'm hungry, now, I think"
But where's his food
In all this mess?
Who'd bless it for a meal?
"No matter, I've lost the mood"
"Does anyone know how I feel?"

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

69. The Katrina Promise

by Sir Charles - Middletown, Pennsylvania

Stand-alone figure of a man
Who has a reputation of winning

Always rises to the circumstance
Man to call when in a clutch

Drumroll and the heartbeat of a trumpet blast!
Sound of the wind, hurricanes of the past

This time the man doesn't come through
The flood swept everything away
Mama said 'Forget it son - it's another day'

Stiff upper lip and tears well up in the eyes
Careful to be silent, and careful not to cry

The hurt is a burden, and the anger is a flame
What can be said, and what can be done?

To say everything will be alright sounds absurd
What is important is the try
Win, lose or draw - he has nothing to hide

The world might seem against him and all might seem lost
But a survivor always says
'I'm a fighter, and I have God on my side!!!'

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

68. We're Not Only Afraid Of The Rising Water

by Jeff Wietor - San Francisco, California

We're not only afraid of the rising water
But now the looters

I asked them where they were goin'
They didn't know
They didn't know
They have no place to go

They were on rooftops for days
It's gonna be a long time, a very long time

They don't know

It's something you can't imagine
It's close to home
It's Home

You feel bad for them
This is us
Did you think this would happen to you?

I don't want to get caught in no water
Just keep walkin'
Just keep walkin'

I don't know what to say
If I'd know'd it'd be this bad
I'd a just kept on goin'

They don't know where they're goin'
They know they don't have the means to get there

Everything's devastation &
It's been a nightmare
Holy holy hell
I thought they'd have more boats

Lost in your own City
Nails, 2-by-4s, splinters
Stacks of bloated bodies
Block the bridge

The Wauter
Patois: Creole

We thought we was gonna die
We thought everybody was gonna die

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

67. City Built Below The Sea

by Chris Dixon - Kennedale, Texas

They built a city below the sea
They watched it drown in misery
They never planned for such tragedy
The leaders as lost as those in the sea

Such violence, and chaos, and rage and crime
And no one is getting them out in time

Godspeed to the soldiers and buses and boats
God grant all these desperate some peace and some hope

Pray for the the victims, so many to heal
Pray only generosity and kindness they feel

Such suffering and horror, far too much to bear
All alone in darkness, and no one seems to care

Each day the death toll grows
How many missing, no one knows

Too many to evacuate, so no one wants to speculate
Everyone sees too little, too late
Without food or water how long can they wait

Trapped in what once was their safety net
Nothing to drink but everything's wet
Why did the city leaders forget
Their own old and poor without a regret

Surrounded by darkness...hopeless and lost
Poor city planning, and they paid the cost

Losing their homes and their lives and their loves
Praying for angels to lift them above

As we all look for someone to blame
Someone should pay, its all such a shame

They said too much the levee would cost
We'd have rather paid with money than with the lives that were lost

And so, they did not fix the levee
Knowing the threat, they still were not ready

No sirens to be heard as the levees fell
No warning of the impending hell

No way out and no way in
Yet they say they will rebuild again

Rebuild again, below the sea
Finally fix the old levee
That idea just seems crazy

All those souls beneath the rubble
And those left behind in trouble

Through the sespool they must wade
Because of mistakes the leaders made

Yet not one leader has apologized
For reckless abandon of so many lives

The worst disaster to hit the States
And no one really knows their fates

As part of our country and history lie sinking
We must open our eyes and do our own thinking

Using our votes for accountability
Taking individual responsibility
To prevent another preventable catastrophe

hellicane category: despair

Monday, September 19, 2005

66. Katrina's Wrath

by Susan Maree Jeavons

'Twas an ill wind blowing on that August day
'Twas a portent of what was headed that way
All saints and sinners, aye ye better take heed
Of the storm they called Katrina

All the anchors were down and the sails were moored
Every shutter was nailed, every treasure was stored
The warning went out, but some would ne'er concede
To the storm they called Katrina

Through the dark of night you could hear her roar
And the water kept rising past the reservoir
As every saint and sinner prayed for relief
From the storm they called Katrina

The blues never abandoned New Orleans
By the light of day you could hear the screams
And each day brought new devastation and grief
From the storm they called Katrina

Days went by and no one came to the aid
Of the helpless souls who were so afraid
Still, some looted and raped and paid no heed
To the storm they called Katrina

The swells have fallen but there still remains
The toxic sludge, and the shameful stains
On those who turned their backs that day
On the victims of Katrina

'Twas an ill wind blowing on that August day
'Twas a portent of the dame headed that way
All saints and sinners, aye ye should have taken heed
Of the storm they called Katrina

Of the storm they called Katrina. . .

hellicane category: despair

65. I Taste Consumers Lodged In The Esophogus Of Collective Us

by alias queen

I taste consumers
lodged in the esophogus
of collective us,
vomit slicks ensue,
urging the children
to remark
"mommy, look at all
the pretty colours"
just as a vagrant
dog smells and then
urinates in our
energy reserves
as confidently
as an oil CEO
4th quarter earnings
at a news conference
followed by
terminally ill
questions all
over the front
of the oily
man dress
followed by a
sense of dissapointment
when the consumers
learn that they
could have paid
to witness it.

The puddles turn
into lakes, the
past participle of
urbanization, and
dilute our reserves
until the nation
faints, the collective bloodless
drain another victim dry.

hellicane category: political

64. The Jezebel Katrina

by Susan Maree Jeavons

It was a nasty wind that blew
Upon the shore that day
She howled and hissed, but she would not desist
She had to have her way

She was a lady of the night
And she was dressed to kill
She blared and she glared, and she even dared
To do the devil's will

She made her way into the bay
Upon that fateful eve
Inside New Orleans you could hear the screams
Of those who were naive

She ranted, raved and misbehaved
Way past the midnight hour
With her hips swaying and the town folk praying
For the harlot to lose her power

Katrina left the bay at last
Cackling on her way
All that remains are the ungodly stains
Of a lady who went astray. . .

hellicane category: abstract

63. Humanity St. Is Under Water

by Alex Gildzen - Santa Fe, New Mexico

while the president
is on vacation
from compassion

his mother
fingering the wattles
under her pearls
fears not the corpses
but the poor
evacuated too close
to her country club

the secretary of state
is off
on a shopping spree

the emergency manager
never learned to manage

so children
plead for help
husbands watch
wives swept under
pets drown

& the president
consults his hacks
about the dive
in his approval ratings

there's poison
in the water
that floods
Humanity St.

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

62. Your Memory Lives In New Orleans

by Rose DesRochers - Canada

Oh where are you now
All I have left of you are these memories
You couldn't find a way out of here
A lost soul drowned in the rising waters of the tide
A city swept away
God was supposed to conquer the mighty storm
That took your life that day

The heavens opened up with rain
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
Your memory remains
Muddy water fills the streets
Night falls, death shadows over humanity
I stand alone, in the midst of New Orleans
Holding on to your memory
For all that remains within the fears and tears

A ghost town comes to life
Somewhere among the clouds above
You will reign in glory
My loss is surely heaven's gain

Your spirit is still here
It will always be near
Somewhere amongst the war zone
Of a frightening site left seen
Someday in my memory
You will walk amongst rebuilt streets
Of New Orleans

hellicane category: despair

Sunday, September 18, 2005

61. The Evening News. . .

by William August Kobs - Poetry In A Cup

(Aftermath Of Hurricane Katrina)

The Evening News brought this tragedy home
All the way up from Louisiana's Superdome

The countless people trapped and alone
With nothing to eat, not even a bone

With more on the highway walking for miles
Their homes washed away along with their smiles

How could the authorities allow this to happen
The images of which cause my heart to sadden

And though I was not directly affected
The Evening News put it in perspective

With cries for help and pleas for assistance
Their voices were heard in the far off distance

Many people volunteered from around the globe
To aid in the relief and offer some hope

To those who survived, their lives now stripped bare
Our thoughts and prayers let them know that we care

The Evening News called it a shame
That so many people felt need to place blame

On the Federal Government for taking their time
To some the slow response was seen as a crime

Which can't be forgiven unless we get tough
The rebuilding has begun but may not be enough

To ensure that authorities take into consideration
Those most affected by this dreadful devastation

There's nothing we can do now except prepare for the future
And stop blaming everyone for the wrath of Mother Nature

hellicane category: survival

Saturday, September 17, 2005

60. The Body Count

by Werner Lange - Ohio

They will not be listed as casualties of war
Their photos will not appear in the newspapers among the war dead
Their names will not be engraved
Upon monuments in small towns across America
Honoring those who made the supreme sacrifice

They will not be called American Heroes

No, those poor folk lying dead
In the polluted waters of New Orleans
Will be remembered as those poor folks
Maybe even those poor Black folks
Or, more likely, those poor victims of a natural disaster

Masters of deceit don't want us to connect the dots or deaths

Isn't it just too bad what happened to them?!
How tragic! How awful! But what can you do?
How can you help people who won't help themselves?
Why didn't they leave
Like they were ordered to do
Before the hurricane hit?
Gotta shoot those looters!
Besides, since when do Black citizens have any rights
That Government is bound to respect?
Gotta kill those terrorists!
We need to fight them over there before they hit us over here

Ad nauseum

In New Orleans, it was the old ordeal:
Racism was delivered, and racism was denied
In Baghdad, it was more body bags:
Rich man's war, and a poor man's fight

In both, truth became the first casualty
In both, the invisible in life became visible in death:
The cannon fodder became heroes
And the nobodies became statistics

Now, in death, they count
That is at least something
But it is not enough, not by a long shot

The count that would really make a difference
Between life and death
Is yet to be taken

It is that long list of counts on an indictment
Against those responsible for this organized murder
And those masters of disasters
Who left the penniless in New Orleans defenseless
And who wage war without end and without truth in Iraq

Your numbers are up -

Counts 1-2000:
You lied, and some 2000 Americans in uniforms died in Iraq
Counts 2000-4000+:
You lied, and some 2000 Americans in rags died in New Orleans

Your time is up -

A storm of righteous anger is brewing in the hearts of Americans
And this time those below contempt
Not below sea level and the poverty line
Will be swept from power

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

Friday, September 16, 2005

59. Blind Obtuse Money Kills Like A Gun . . . Just Quieter

by Roger Drowne EC - Earth

The Cu$h / Bheney / love USA
Sick government stolen gangsters...

Killers...and buds lie in the shit...

Meanwhile on the far side of Turd Blossom Street...
Creative people are Given hidden tools...
Out of the Earth to pry lose truths from the Gods...
To slay the lie-fire smoking muck...
Foaming from the death-dragon's forked tongue...
Singing their Happy Motto...

They are already Dead a long time ago

It's time for
The obtuse W one
To go
Never play the boss

Old and young

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

58. Look For Grace

by Alice C. Bateman - Canada

When the world has just gone crazy
And all our minds are numb
We have to still remember
Think the Best
Do not succumb

When we see all the images
Devastation, death, more grief
We have to still remember
Peace and Light
The world's relief

When our thoughts are inundated
By the sadness of these days
We have to still remember
Look for Grace
See better ways

When there's horror all around us
Don't get caught up in its shadow
We need to still remember
Picture Peace
A new tomorrow

hellicane category: hope

57. The Saga Of Hurricane Katrina: August 25, 2005

by Susan Miller - Hollywood, Florida

Torrential rain, hurricanes, storms in the night
Natural disasters we're unable to fight
South Florida withstood a catagory 1 hurricane
A mild storm turned hostile, Katrina's her name

She uprooted trees, flying every which way
Power was lost here for many a day
Fuel, ice and water were hard to be found
Batteries fading, TVs silent of sound

This same day in August, thirteen years ago
Andrew hit Florida, we watched his winds blow
Destroying whatever crossed his violent path
Is this date a coincidence or God's vengeful wrath

Katrina left the Atlantic and continued to thrive
Gaining speed in the gulf she reached catagory 5
The worst hurricane the USA's ever seen
Landing predicted to be in New Orleans

Evacuate, leave the state, don't stick around
By any means possible travel to higher ground
The gulf coast is in for a horrible fate
Take your loved ones and go before it's too late

Katrina's winds violently struck the gulf coast
The eye hit Biloxi which seemed damaged the most
New Orleans' French Quarter at first seemed okay
Until the three levees breached later that day

Eight feet of water soon flooded the town
Folks climbed to their attics so not to drown
The poor, sick or elderly who could not stay at home
Were told to seek shelter in the Superdome

Days following Katrina, FEMA had still not arrived
There was no food or fresh water, causing many to die
The ill and the elderly needed something to eat
Others passed out from the unbearable heat

New Orleans should have been prepared for the worst
But nobody thought that the levees would burst
Despite reports stating that the dams weren't equipped
It's hard to barricade a storm as enormous as this

Our citizens' welfare should be priority one
Why dwell on or question what should have been done
Mistakes of the past make us stronger and wise
But blaming each other won't bring back lives

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

56. Tears

by Pam H. Murray - Canada

In this calm before the storm, how could we know
As the rolling trombone notes began to flow
And laughter rose like flighty chorus lines?
How darkly, now, our memory defines

That scarce is laughter once the dark descends
The trouble is that no one comprehends
How veritably the fear destroys the hope
As water coils its smooth and deadly rope

How compact is a mother's world until
Her loudly beating heart becomes quite still
An extra blessing fills her with delight
She gasps, afraid it's just a trick of light

Then, children gather 'round and through her tears
She knows that God responded to her fears
He kept them safe and brought them to her side
Her heart is full and tears of joy are cried

hellicane category: survival

55. Will It Be You?

by Lanaia Lee - North Carolina

I am from a city that used to be
    A city that was famous for Mardi Gras, jazz and blues
A city three centuries old - my choices are few, all I can do now is flee
    A city where it's citizens had to pay tremendous dues

Being a child of ten, I am very terrified and scared
    Separated from my parents, I don't know if they are alive or dead
Looting, shooting, fire - all this some people had the gall to dare
    Leaving those like me to survive on their own - I just want some clean water and to be fed

Where do I go? What do I do?
    Being held prisoner, by the water that is so toxic and lethal
Please, tell me what to do - to this question, the answer I have no clue
    Life is gone in this great city, now that it is nothing but a hull

I see people below, as I watched from the second story of a devastated house
    Plain people, I am scared, where oh where is my helping hand?
I am trembling, like a timid little mouse
    This once beautiful place is no more - please someone, to me extend a helping hand

No food or clean water - will I die from this overpowering hunger?
    For days on end, I have watched unthinkable things as they are done
A place, where tons of people used to come, but now today they must deter
    People are desperate, some are even carrying guns.

So see I am very scared during this time - I am completely alone
    But I am just a child - I really don't know what to do
This once beautiful city, the aftermath - life as we knew it is no more, it is totally gone
    Someone help me please, I am so sad and blue

I extend my hand for help - will it be you?
    Giving me a second chance to live?
My parents, I fear they are dead - someone help me start a new life, I feel I have paid my dues
    So to all the survivors that need help - will it be you?

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

54. True Colors

by Eve Hall - Atlanta, Georgia

Our lives have changed because of world disasters
Some changes for the good, some for the bad
Why does it take a tragedy for ones to
Come together in unity and peace?

Some make changes for a day, a week, a month
Then they go back to their true colors
Of being unkind, uncaring, unloving

What is wrong with this picture -
Are we part of the problem or the solution?

Let's look into our hearts and souls
Give ourselves a self-examination
Do it while there is still time
Do it NOW

hellicane category: hope

53. Put God In Charge

by Saundra McFarland - Kentucky

Many lives have been shattered
Many are alive by the grace of God and to Him they are thankful
And to them material things don't matter

God's hand will provide them food, shelter, clothing and shoes to wear
And all their heartaches and sorrows He will bare

There is hope when you give God complete control
He will take care of all your needs and save your soul

Many hearts have been broken and many have been reunited with the ones they love
During and after the hurricane many only had hope through prayer to God above

God is there when all other hope is gone
God will take care of you - He won't make you stand alone

When everything else in life fails
Put God in charge - His power will prevail

In good times and bad, in pain and sorrow
God will take care of you, today and tomorrow

I pray that you have accepted Jesus into your heart
And that in every day of your life He plays a part

God will help you to find a place to live
He has many blessings he will give

Just pray God will carry through the darkest storm
Many miracles He has already performed

So in God place all your trust
Give it all to Him - that is a must

hellicane category: faith

52. Is It Love Or Death

by bluelacepoems
(~God Be with All in the path of Katrina~)

Is it Love or Death
Another named for Mother nature's wind

She comes in crying - she's hurting again
Will we ever learn Katrina's message she sends?

She's a Mommie Dearest - run, swallow your pride
If you don't, she'll give you a deadly ride!!!

hellicane category: abstract

51. I Need To Write

by Sarah Ciarciuk - Utica, New York

I need to write
'Cause I can't hold this all inside
I've recently realized

I'm not just a poet, but a poet with a mission
When God made me he gave me vision

Blessed to make it, I survive
Wish I could pay with love to fly
To the disaster area underneath God's new angels in the sky
My oh my

Oh my soul
My soul feels like it could explode
I need, NO I want to be there
I would gather all the people I could possibly hold
Hold them in my arms and never let go

Sing them songs of poetry
Sing their tears away
Yearning to pray
I feel like dropping to my knees

I have no funds to send -
My son, 5 years old
Has offered his pennies to send

It's us poor
Who wish we could pour
Out our hearts of gold and strengh of steal
To help them heal

. . . but instead we kneel

hellicane category: hope

Thursday, September 15, 2005

50. Vogue La Galere

by W. B.

Under lowering dawn skies like winegrapes
     shot with veins of hot yellow
A high Crescent City moon could not distend
     her beams on the town below

No helpful light shone inside
     the dark storm circle whose scything edge
Sickled flat the swamp tupelos
     sunk the fisher's bateau neath the sedge

A water Hell that blew out well baffles
     bent float derricks at the knees
Hurled hundred-year-cypress over drowned bayous
     at a city of fleur-de-lis

In the Big and Too Easy, voodoo dolls bob
     in a flooded church celestory
And those sad caught on rooftops watch
     the ghastly parade of memento mori

Only wondering why

Why? Where big rivers conflux the sea
     there will always be a port of call
So too if deepwater energy is to be found
     jackknife rigs reek of methanol

Life ebbs and flows where the wet brown land
     of Evangeline meets Gulf surge
Acadian man and immutable economics
     uneasy forgather just upon that verge

Each forgetting that ever anon the restless foam
     driven by searching wind
Roars up from Barataria across The Quarter
     measuring alike foe and friend

Who yesterday gaily bedecked for Fat Tuesday
     gamboled on the trolley ground
Now thinking on this, the wisest on their housetop peak
     waiting to be found

Only wonder when

hellicane category: local color

49. As Dead Innocents Depart

by Kevin Raymond - London, England

As dead innocents depart
To Hades in shopping carts
Everything will look alright to thee
Put silver dollars o'er yer eyes
So yer don't have to criticize
Then yeeze can all make out
Yer didn't see!

We beg you, don't ignore us
Was painted on their doors
Will anybody help them
With their plight?

'When you need our sons to fight a war
On a far off foreign shore
Even when our conscience
Says it's not right
Then, you would move quick
To climb over dying, old and sick
To ferry young boys out sharpish, at first light'!

As a city with no soul
Starts to stumble, then to roll
Like a boxer who has lost the will to fight
Like two lovers who must part
With such sad, despairing hearts
Will this city and its people e're re-unite?

As the sickness and disease
Is floating like a breeze
A thought keeps re-occurring in my head
For two weeks, this has gone on
Is two weeks too much, too long
To deny some sort of dignity to the dead?

In the city of New Orleans
As the darkness turns to black
There are people leaving
Who are never coming back!

hellicane category: political