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

48. Hurrycane Katrina

by "Lingo"

"Hurrycane" Katrina
Beat the coast, "the bowl"
And unseemly gave rise for more
And the most catastrophic hot air
Gurgitating from liberals' oral hole

Naughty Katrina!
United we stand.
Divided we fall.

God bless America!

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

47. Katrina Hit

by Christina Voyles - Nokomis, Illinios

Katrina hit - what a disaster
Everyone started running faster and faster

They ran like a lion
And no their not lien'

'Bout what they say
Boy what a day

hellicane category: despair

46. O The Crescent Flows Muddy Red

by L. Ward Abel

O the crescent flows muddy red
A bend of arterial dimensions

Full to rim and over-
Filled with sins of fathers

Blowing hard without charts now
Improvised in the tradition

Of nontradition. Stiff
In a median overgrown, afloat

With other stiffs, rotting
Without turning to dust - yeah

The tide is dust anyway
Risen to the sky, wet and dry

You can blame no one
You can blame me

hellicane category: local color

45. Dead People In The Bathroom

by Susan Maree Jeavons
(Written after hearing a reporter interview a 7-year-old girl whose family were victims of hurricane Katrina. I hope that this innocent child will not be scarred for life by the shameful events that took place during the aftermath of the hurricane Katrina which hit the Gulf Coast on Monday, August 29th, 2005.)

Mama's in prison,
Why ain't she here?
There's dead people in the bathroom
And a rat over there

The water kept rising
And there's no food anywhere
There's dead people in the bathroom
and I'm scared to go there

Why are we still here
Is it cause we black, and we poor?
There's dead people in the bathroom
I can't take much more

The big folks is shouting
And there's shooting here too
There's dead people in the bathroom
Mama I'm angry at you!

Whose going to save me?
I've been here for so long
There's dead people in the bathroom
And the stink is so strong

There's dead people in the bathroom
Did you hear what I said?
Them rats in the gutter
Are eating the dead

Will they eat me next?
There's nowhere to run
There's dead people in the bathroom
Will I soon be one?

There's dead people in the bathroom
And it's so hot today
I wish that this nightmare
Would just go away . . .

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

44. Wondering

by Nathaniel A. Booker, Sr.
(Dedicated to those facing the ultimate test of the human spirit)

I wonder where the love has gone
And is there any left
I wonder where the laughter went
It haunts my every breath

I wonder where the children are
Their toys are strewn about
I wonder where the confidence is
For my heart is filled with doubt

I can't begin to express to you
The deepening pain inside my heart
For we've grown so selfish, we're so undeserving
Of the love that God imparts

I wonder where we'll be one day
When the gold comes to an end
When the water recedes but mankind still bleeds
Will the "Saints Go Marching In"?

I wonder about the elderly
Left alone to die
And why those supposed to care for them
Deny all blame and now cry out, "Why?"

I wonder all these things
And I wonder about myself
I wonder what I can do to help
Or am I no different than anyone else

I wonder where the flowers are
There's too much water for them to bloom
The birds aren't singing, the silence is ringing
And it's the sound of impending doom

I wonder what we'll do
Now that our mortality we're forced to face
Will we grow and change and stop acting deranged
Or will we spiral into chaotic disgrace

I wonder if you're wondering too
"Will we be blessed with more joyous scenes?"
Or will every picture bring back to memory
The tragedy of New Orleans . . .

I Wonder

hellicane category: despair

43. A Baby's Cry Among the Ruin

by Ellen Dubois

Sometimes the world we live in is uncertain
In a moment what's known can slip away
And we feel as we walk among the ruin
Our hopes dwindle as we greet the coming day

Faces full of tears, such pain and desperation
You can almost feel it blowing in the air
Clouds billowing, a cold and sad reminder
Of what stood, but is no longer there

Hands outreaching to soothe the broken-hearted
We can't see beyond the tears for the lost souls
Terror's wrath forever etched inside our hearts now
We question if we ever will feel whole

And then I heard a baby's cry among the ruin
As I thought about that tiny, gentle life
My heart told me that we could not let this wee one
Grow up in a world of terror, fear and strife

So we must gather 'round the waterfall of our tears
And hold each other's hearts within our own
The children of tomorrow must feel safe here
For there still is no place dearer than our home

In this great country they will never walk alone

We will dig our way through acts of pure destruction
Eyes full of tears but heads held high with pride
And though tomorrow seems like it will take forever
The sun will rise on this great country - freedom shines

When I lay my weary head upon my pillow
And pray to God to help us as we grieve
I have to know within my heart that we'll recover
If I don't, what are the young ones to believe?

And then I heard a baby's cry among the ruin
As I thought about that tiny, gentle life
My heart told me that we could not let this wee one
Grow up in a world of terror, fear and strife

So we must gather 'round the waterfall of our tears
And hold each other's hearts within our own.
The children of tomorrow must feel safe here
For there still is no place dearer than our home.

In this great country they will never walk alone

hellicane category: hope

42. A Blue Wake For New Orleans (Villanelle)

by Lorna Dee Cervantes - Boulder, Colorado

~ dirge villanelle in september

There was a rhyming city on a blue bayoo
'Til a wicked wind laid waste
A nothing sound in a city's soul, and a nothing you can do

There was a windy will and a blue horn - you
A single name that was left in haste
There was a rhyming city on a blue bayoo

There is a wailing city, a water high - and you
Left amid the residues up to your waist
A nothing sound in a city's soul, and a nothing you can do

There was a loving city in a blue hoodoo
Through a hard-knocks school, a river's waste
There was a rhyming city on a blue bayoo

A full moon hue, a relation to dew
Jeweling on a spider's bed - so chaste
A nothing sound in a city's soul, and a nothing you can do

There is a silent city, a blue shirt crew
The yellow vest of savior waits
There was a rhyming city on a blue bayoo
A nothing sound in a city's soul, and a nothing you can do

hellicane category: local color

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

41. Essay: After the Storm

by Windmill M.

[SPECIAL NOTE: Hellicane is pretty strict about accepting only poetry regarding Hurricane Katrina, but the essay below was kindly submitted with a request to post it, with "the hope it would help someone." Though not poetry, the piece is so powerful and inspirational, Hellicane is proud to present it here in its entirety.]

September 2, 2005 - To Hurricane Katrina Survivors - After the Storm:

It is only after our basic physical needs are met, that the 'other' survival begins. The following thoughts are for those whose who are out of danger now, but who are facing uncertainty ahead:

Whatever you call the power in the universe that creates calm after chaos, call on that power now. Whether your name for that power is 'God' or 'Allah' or merely "the power of all that is good in the world," call on it. Stand still and be quiet and feel your connection with it. It is the force that unites us all. Remember that "we are the stuff that stars are made of." The same atoms and molecules that make up the universe run through us. When you connect with that force, you will have strength to endure.
Neitzche has said, "He who has a why to his existence can bear with almost any "how." Find your "why."

Know that you are merely walking through a tunnel or a dark cloud. You have survived this far. Keep walking through it. There is an end to this tunnel, an outer edge to the cloud. It is not without end. In the days ahead you will see the proverbial light coming closer and closer. Keep walking and following. You need take only one step at a time. Don't look at the big picture right now. Just keep walking through the pain, walking through the emotion, walking through the doubts, one foot in front of the other. You only have to be brave in this one moment.

Use this time to become your noblest self. For a reason that none of us can fathom, you were given this test. But know that this is a test that allows failure. Be gentle with yourself during this time. If you have already succumbed to what anyone in your position would succumb to - anger, fear, frustration, lashing out - know that that was a minute ago, or an hour ago, or yesterday. It's gone. Today, this moment, is your new chance to be noble all over again, to be honorable, to be brave.
If it is difficult to find the strength to be courageous for yourself, be courageous for someone else. Dedicate it to them. I'm doing this for my daughter...for my husband... for my friend...for my country." Make this time a time to create your legacy. You were handed a piece of clay to mold into something beautiful, perhaps spectacular. You were given the chance to leave something to theworld; and the world most certainly needs it! It needs you to show us how to be brave, how to be honorable, how to be our better selves. A great writer has said, "Life breaks everyone, and many are strong in the broken places." Be one of those many and we will learn from you.

Most importantly know that there will again be singing and laughter and joy in your life. If you have the strength, find humor in the now. This was a ridiculous thing to happen. Out of the ridiculously tragic comes the ridiculously humorous. Find humor where you can. Laugh at the outrageousness of this event. It's more than humans were meant to bear.

Be your creative self during this time. Whatever you do that carries your "signature," do it now. Compose a song, write an essay, invent a new "something." Sorrow and suffering brings you to the peak of your creativity as much as, or perhaps even more than, joy and contentment.

In a shorter time than you think, you will feel better. You will be hopeful again. You will be joyous again. Soon you'll be able to say, as the author Louisa Mae Alcott has written, I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning to sail my ship.รข€? May the force of all that is good in this world touch you now and fill the sails of your ship with a gentle, guiding wind.


hellicane category: hope

40. peOple cRying, peOple dyiNg

by sAvanhA c 'vAna'- CalifOrnia

peOple cRying, peOple dyiNg
blOod is shEdiNg wEn rAin wUz fAlliNg
lOts of hOusEs, lOts of lOved onEs
mOst of thEir cRisIs wUz endEd by wAter

hAviNg nO brEath tO sAy agAin
nOt mOving aN iNch of thEir bOdy
bEcAuse of thE wEeknEs of thEir bOdy
nO gOodbyEs wEre sAid

hAd nO timE
tO spEak whAt thEy rEally wAnted sAid
jUst likE thE deAth of twiN tOwers
it dAmagEd hEarts of the uNsAid

bUt thiS timE it wUz wAter nOt by plAne of thE rAce of anOther
thEse tWo thiNgs wiLl alwAys stAy iN oUR hEarts
aND oNE dAy we'Ll wAke up tO a frEsh nEw stArt

hellicane category: despair

39. September List

by E. R.

Leaves to rake, grass to cut, weeds to pull
New Orleans, Biloxi, Waveland
Books to read, plans to write, groups to lead
St. Bernard Parish, Slidell, Gulfport

House to clean, clothes to wash, dog to groom
Hattiesburg, Pascagoula, Metairie
Arrange stuff: food, possessions, family pictures
Chalmette, Kenner, Ocean Springs

Volunteer time, donate food, give money
Pass Christian, Long Beach, Bay St. Louis
Homeless, displaced, misplaced
Life goes on, life goes on, life goes on,
Houston, Memphis, Baton Rouge

Shelter, food, clothes, care
Nashville, Selma, Tillman's Corner
Shelter, food, clothes, care
Not enough, not enough, not enough
Calling back, calling back, calling back

New Orleans, Biloxi, Waveland
St. Bernard Parish, Slidell, Gulfport
Hattiesburg, Pascagoula, Metairie
Chalmette, Kenner, Ocean Springs
Pass Christian, Long Beach, Bay St. Louis

Calling back, calling back, calling back
The lost, the abandoned, the bereft
New Orleans, Biloxi, Waveland

hellicane category: local color

38. Dirge for New Orleans (excerpt #1)

by Martin Bento

1. Nathan's Story

The hammerhead cruises Bourbon Street at night
Its blunt head abruptly shifts
With no regard for rhythm
It sniffs cantankerous at saxophones
Swallows whole the fast-food meals
Gumbo and rice in styrofoam

The delicate feet of the alligators
Grope downwards through the water
Quickly learn the crevices of awnings
The gators accumulate on the larger buildings
And gather new rumors of food

Nathan Tillman has seen no alligators
Sharks in the waters are still
Dark rumors
Nathan's aerobed® lies soft against his skin
So soft it threatens to give in
And release him to the bottom

His body is wrenching for water
He's had none in almost two days
And water surrounds him
Water surrounds him, but it reeks
Of gasoline and sewage
Cadavers, alcohol and chemical spills

Its skin is a patina of dead chickens and cooking grease
Christmas tree balls, bubble wrap, plastic bottles, voodoo baubles
Popsicle sticks, puffed rice cereal -
Cereal, my God, food -
Human or dog feces
And the endlessly breeding mosquitos

The arches of McDonald's® are visible
Above the water
The grocery store, he knows, is about 40 feet away
Through the water he can see the top of the building
Maybe three feet down

He clenches his face and unloads himself
How can he keep the mattress from floating off?
He must deflate it, knowing that means
He must blow it up again, by mouth
As he did this morning
When it is time to escape

Hellicane category: SURVIVORS' Tales

Monday, September 12, 2005

37. Katrina's Nightmare

by Sharon Jans - Innisfail, Alberta, Canada

Where were you when I had tears in my eyes
No one there to hear my pleading cries

Where were you after Katrina came
When I was trapped on my roof in the pouring rain

Where were you when the levee broke
And destroyed what was left for all our folks

Where were you when the sun went down
And shots were fired all through the town

You finally came, one week late
But now Katrina has sealed our fate

Some stayed behind by choice and others with no means or plan
But we will rebuild our lives as soon as we can

No one realized that it would be this bad
And the sights and sounds have made the world sad

We are all pitching in with relief work to do
But we still need to know, Where were you?

Hellicane category: 4-POLITICAL

36. Katrina Took Its Toll

by Davina Prill - Tennessee

The tears they flowed like the rain as the TV began to show
The devastation and the havoc of the world that you once did know

The waters covering your cities and taking the ones you love
The cries in anger went out to the one above

The shadows and the darkness that swept in the sea
The underlurking thoughts and the definite misery

So many thought they could make it and they took a chance
Others didn't want to but now lay aside without a second glance

Some were spared while others lay afloat
Some were scared and others they did boast

The anger overwhelmed me as I saw the statement our leader made
Of how he came back early from a vacation our people surely paid

How can he be so bold to say such, when all those tears are being shed
How could he be so bold when, because he delayed, so many now are dead

The photos struck me just like a brick
Here I was safe at home feeling guilty and sick

I wanted to help them and save them from their misery
But I had no way and with our leaders grew so angry

I saw a woman on the news with a baby in her arms
Crying out for help because he was too warm

He couldn't wake from his sleep, and in me I just died
I wanted so much to help them but only cried

This storm it took so many, and for them and their loved ones I feel so
much pain
But, I know I can't even begin to imagine what they must have felt was
in vain

I gave what I could and started a group to reunite
But sadly some passed through that day in its darkened light

I wanted to say something beautiful to touch each and every soul
But I find it so hard when you have taken such a toll

I wish you peace and comfort as you start anew
Please know I am thinking daily of every one of you

In your sorrows know I too shed my tear
For those you lost and held oh so dear

hellicane category: despair

35. Something In You

by Kelci - Kansas

Hello my friend
I can see by the look in your eyes you're tired
Tired of trying
Tired of this world

The pain and suffering is too deep
Tied up to my knees to my head in worries
Full of trouble I cannot see

You are no different than I my friend
And, you see, though we aren't the same
We are
We're bound not by choice but by chance to this universe
This planet we call home
And the countries and states of great escape
Cannot quit under pain alone

There's nothing with out someone and something in you
There's life inside love and it's beautiful too
Can you make me want to see this world through?

There's nothing with out someone and something in you
How he wished he could say he already knew
Though from time he'll tire of stretching the truth
If we don't unite we'll drown in life too

There's nothing with out someone and something in you

So many of our people are crying
Don't turn around
They're lying dying from heat
A cold cold death
If you listen in silence you'll hear their last breath
Louder than New Orleans could ever sing
'Take care of everything'

And my friend if you try not to cry
It won't help this world come together at all
For each tear is a voice
A scream of suffering that makes a wearry heart fall

The only way to show the man
Who seems to have time on his hands
To wait and watch as our homes crumble at our feet
Is to wake while he sleeps and creep deep deep

Into the heart of the worry and pray
Because God knows
And it shows
When He's mad or proud
And it changes each day
Help us take that man away

There's nothing with out someone and something in you
There's life inside love and it's beautiful too
Can you make me want to see this world through?

There's nothing with out someone and something in you
How he wished he could say he already knew
Our 'leader' must tire of stretching the truth
If we don't unite we'll drown in life too

There's nothing with out someone and something in you

If we bond together we can make it through
This natural disaster that 'nobody knew'
There's nothing with out someone
But I know there's something - in you

hellicane category: hope

Sunday, September 11, 2005

34. I Hear Music...

by David

Parade of instruments going by
Such melancholy as I've e'er heard
Not a word, just slowed gestures
And slurred music, sadness bestirred

I think I'll stand nigh and cry a tear
And watch the mourners mourn
As goes by the funeral I hear
New Orleans style, sadly forlorn

It's tradition, for this town of parades
To mourn the dead with music
And followers, slowly played...
Till come we now upon graveside

And when they've been laid to rest
The music begins again, followers
Now returning home to attest
Tradition brought us home, riposte

hellicane category: local color

Saturday, September 10, 2005

33. You Think You Are In Charge

by Lashawn Lofton - Louisville, Kentucky

You think you are in charge
You don't even have a clue
Walking around here full of sin
Doing whatever it is you want to do

But, ahhhh, now your eyes have been opened
And now you finally see
That with a stroke of his hands
GOD took away a whole city

A city yes, that was definetly full of sin
And you think this is the end and have no where to run
GOD told me to mention this in my poem
He said "My wrath has just begun"

You can't run from it or even try to hide
Because when you look around you'll see
That your sins are being televised
I pray for the young and elderly

They are the innocent victims here
As a matter of fact I pray for you all
It's not the looters or the rapists
You need to be afraid of

It is GOD you need to fear

So this is your last warning
After this there will be no more
GOD said evacuate to His Superdome
...Or be left standing at the door

hellicane category: faith

32. Sometimes

by C. M. - Lafayette, Louisiana

Sometimes things happen
That totally change our life
But the Lord is with us
In these times of strife

He feels our pain
As we grope to understand
Yesterday we thought as a child
Today we must grow to be a man

Life isn't always easy
We all have our trials to bare
It's hard to understand
Things don't always seem fair

His grace and his love is with us
Just open your eyes to see
He sent help from all walks of life
He opened the hearts of both you and me

People have opened their homes
Kids giving all that they can
He is with us always
Check the footprints in the sand

He listens to our hearts
And feels each and every tear
Only God has the power to heal us
His grace and love so much bigger than our fear

Sometimes bad things happen
And we feel we've lost our way
If we'd all open our hearts to God
We would hear what He has to say

hellicane category: faith

31. Her Name is Katrina

by Rennie Helder - Sacramento, California

So what remains of us
When nothing remains
Who are we after all
After all the strong rain

Who are we when frightened
When down on our knees
Is it only then that we
Say, "God help me, please"

Yes, people are dying
As a baby was born
And those that survive
Say they've been ripped, torn

Some angry, some sad
Some grateful for the old sports arena
But, the girl born today
Won't care if her name is Katrina

hellicane category: abstract


by Preeti - Detroit, Michigan

Oh Katrina...
A storm which we feared
You came to us and conquered
Your fury was magnificent
But your scorn left us deficient

Oh Katrina...
You filled the bowl up
Left us no grub to sup
Devastated many lives,
Husbands, children and wives

Oh Katrina...
Took away our home
On the streets the orphans roam
You filled my streets with water
Poor grew thin and rich fatter

Oh Katrina...
Their land they had to leave
But you taught us how to give
You left us humans warned
Results of nature scorned

Oh Katrina...
Left Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama bereft
In a retribution so swift
Your violent fury made me see
How much more powerful nature is than me

Oh Katrina...
At 7, at a scale of 5, you hit land
Filled my home with sea and sand
I have no school and no home
I am now living in a leaky dome

Oh Katrina...
I know nature commands, u serve
But this devastation did I deserve
Our elders told us this was a test
But was it survival of the fittest

Oh Katrina...
You who our land sullies
Leaving hoards of displaced families
There is no water to drink,
Though my town is filled with it to the brink

Oh Katrina...
There is debris everywhere
My life is a muddy layer
My neighbor, at you she raves
Her family in watery graves

Oh Katrina...
Don't you worry for me
For I will survive you latest spree
I have help and now will rebuild
For with kindness my people are filled

Oh Katrina...
I don't want you or your siblings back
For all left of my life is a sack
You tried to shake our core
But we are survivors...and you are not welcome here anymore

hellicane category: despair

29. Special Little Ones

by Shara Royer - Beaumont, Alberta, Canada
(I am a mother and wife, and my heart goes out to all the people affected by hurricane Katrina. I wish to dedicate these poems especially for them, hoping that the words may give some comfort to those in need.)

Small and Precious
Special in every way
And all loved so much

Your bright eyes that shine and twinkle
Like the stars
Your smiles that brighten each day
Like the sun

Ever so little that you seem
You're all courageous and brave

The joys of all of you are so great
The angels above watch over you
To comfort you in times of need
Now and forever
May all your dreams and wishes come true

Because you're all special little ones

hellicane category: tribute

28. The People Left Behind

by Shara Royer - Beaumont, Alberta, Canada

Signs of the hurt and pain
In the eyes of the beloved people left alive

Tears that flow, like rushing rivers
Cries that are heard, like wolfs howling

So much is lost
The loss of loved ones, life especially
Seeming like all is lost, and can't go on

But watch, the sun rises
A new day that follows brightly
The sun that shines
Giving hope that there can be light
At the end of this dark despair

Rebuilding on what life is left
To remember all what was
And those that fell

Hope to a new life
New beginning, courage, strength
And standing together as one united

As the sun shines on us
The light of hope to greater things

As our hearts beat on
And hearts go out
Life lives on
Stronger than ever

We can go on!
We will!

hellicane category: hope

27. Lives Have Been Destroyed

by Saundra McFarland - Kentucky

Dear Lord in Heaven
Be with all the victims of the hurricane
Their lives have been destroyed
And they are in so much pain
They don't have
A place to call home
They have been separated from their loved ones
And feel so alone

The victims have no where
To lay their head
They are hungry, they are thirsty -
Lord I pray let them be fed

Everything that they owned
Is gone
Oh the images of the children and the elderly and all the victims
Chill me to the bone

Dear God in Heaven
All these people need your help so bad
Their lives have been destroyed -
It is so sad

After all they have been through
Lord I pray they will turn to you
Besides the storm, violence surrounds the streets on which they walk -
And residue

Dear God in Heaven
People are shooting guns
And robbing your children
They have no place to hide

Dear God those horrible monsters
That are causing so much violence
Are molesting little children -
Don't let this situation be kept in silence

Dear Lord I pray
Help these people today
Give them food and shelter
And a place to stay

Dear Lord be with the sick
And weary
Heal their bodies and spirits
So their life won't be so dreary

hellicane category: faith

Friday, September 09, 2005

26. Welcome To John Edwards' Two Americas

by Tony Peyser - Studio City, California

William Rehnquist passed away peacefully
Surrounded by his children at home
As neglected seniors died in wheelchairs
In the hell of New Orleans' Superdome

As this time of horrific upheaval
Sweeps all across our wounded nation
I mourn poor blacks, not this white guy who
Opposed Brown v. Board of Education

hellicane category: political

25. Katrina Blues

by John N. Leach

Well, I've been washed out, washed up
Anything but good luck
Isn't anybody looking over me?

But, I'm still kicking around
So I'll fight another round
There must be something else to see

This world is so rough
And I'm really not all that tough.
Why don't they let me be?

They say be strong
But there's always something wrong
Sometimes I just want to flee

I know there's a reason for everything
But I'm about to go insane
Lord, what have you planned for me?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

24. I'm Still Alive Down In New Orleans

by Sir Charles - Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

It might hurt today
But the pain will go away
And for now all might seem lost
But a fighter always finds the way

Even when your back is against the wall
Chained and tormented, beyond belief!
Take what God's given you and yell

Clearly it might seem
Like you are crawling in the dust
Down for the count, strike out, and thrown overboard
A bad luck sign

But you keep coming back
Saying I have Jesus
And then you give
The sky a kiss!

Yes it hurts, and the pain is deep
But I see your face is etched with determination
And besides, the step-down to hell is deep

Thank God I'm still alive down in New Orleans

23. Garden Tour Cancelled

by Dr. Charles Frederickson

Last day before everlasting fast
Shrove Tuesday excessive indulgent gourmandise
Masked ball carnival tarnished doubloons
Bourbon Streetwise jazz foregone conclusion

Congealed sacrificial voodoo bloodstream staining
Gingerbread palm whitewashed mansion gables
Strewn windswept blossoms premature wilt
Pitiless magnolias rejecting timeless mercy

Tin cup of graciousness empty
Flipped coin faces wiped clean
Indecipherable heads versus tails dichotomies
Picked pockets turned inside out

22. Aftermath Of Katrina

by Sherry Tillman

When Mother Nature wreaks havoc
Nothing we can do
Feeling so helpless and useless
My heart just breaks in two

Destruction is horrendous
Homes washed or blown away
Death count is climbing
Each and every day!

Things we take for granted
In our daily routine
Such as bathing in water
Keeping our bodies clean

Thousands of people are homeless
Lost everything they owned
Homes and personal belongings
They'll have to be rezoned

My heartfelt thoughts and prayers
Go out to the families
They lost many loved ones
In the Gulf Coast boundaries

21. Proverb

contributed by anonymous

Serenity isn't
Freedom from the storm
But peace
Within the storm


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

20. The Annotated Bob Dylan, Katrina Edition

contributed by Daniel Rubin - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall by Bob Dylan)

BushkatrinaOh, what did you see, my blue-eyed son?
And what did you see, my darling young one?
I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it

Stranded_1_2I saw a highway of diamonds with nobody on it

I saw a black branch with blood that kept drippin'

I saw a room full of men with their hammers a-bleedin',

I saw a white ladder all covered with water,

Katrina_1I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

19. Artiste - New Orleans Woman

by cynthmala

cashmere swirls over worn faille
and madras and taffeta float
chests spill over with second-hand satin
and hats top the bedposts
all this - her raiment for a life
she isn't living - finery
for places she doesn't visit
all of it - draping a room
she didn't plan to inhabit

saturdays, near sundown
the Quarter ignites, and the bars
smoulder on Bourbon...
Artiste works in what she sleeps -
a sheet, with a bit more
to make it seem less -
but on early Sunday morning
on spring and sunny mornings
she wears a heavy green robe
and pulls the sash tightly
- a massive knot on this day of rest

hostage of habit
she wears it all day
sips cafe au lait
until her tongue is chicory dark
and can't taste anymore
she leans on the broad frame
of a hole - two centuries now a window -
she rests, folds arms...
lazy ears receive
the prayers and murmurs of Mammas
wafting in with the heat

she sees her Drunk
walking up-street against the masses
whom she throws a daily five to
then, she draws back elbows and eyes
Artiste covers closely
her full breast with green
and under the white-hot sky
in a pillow of humid curls
she dozes
in a future that's easy

(hope the hole - two centuries now a window - is still there)

18. The Rain Falls So Hard

by wamblicante
(This poem is dedicated to the people of New Orleans, especially the police and armed forces, most especially my niece and nephew, who are police there. They risked everything and lost a lot to stay and help others, as is the duty that they took on.)

A wall of water bearing down on the city
High, so high that it can't be kept at bay

The masses pull together for strength and comfort
Behind their shield of blue and green clad warriors

Protecting and serving as they're sworn to do
Pitting their courage and lives against the storm

Daring it to do it's worst, defiantly proud
Sheltering those they serve with iron wills

Standing tall, smiling against the odds
As the wind howls on and the rain falls so hard

17. To Snowball And All The Dogs And Their Owners

contributed by jennalynn2
(This poem is dedicated to all the dogs from the Hurricane who were affected and their owners. You will always be in my thoughts...)

When God had made the earth and sky, the flowers and the trees
He then made all the animals, the fish, the birds, and bees

And when at last He'd finished, not one was quite the same
He said, "I'll walk this world of Mine and give each one a name."

And so He traveled far and wide, and everywhere He went
A little creature followed him, until its strength was spent

When all were named upon the earth and in the sky and sea
The little creature said, "Dear Lord, there's not one left for me."

Kindly, the Father said to him, "I've left you to the end.
I've turned my own name back to front and called you dog, My friend."

-Author Unknown

16. Hot Water

by Temple Stark - Arizona
(I have for many years now for at least half the time I'm in the shower, thought how lucky I am to have hot or cold water at my fingertips. Until I moved to Arizona, it was always hot water I cherished.The past nine days of seeing all that dirty water in New Orleans doing no one any good, has only reinforced that idea and I finally put it down in writing.)

I pull the curtain
So I can hide
I feel certain
Once inside

Under the shower head
Hot water steams
My skin turns red
And brings day dreams

I'm the luckiest damned
Person on this planet
I turn the tap
Get my climate

Too hot? Too hot?
I can turn it cold
Too cold? Too cold?
I can twist it bold

Water drops hit
Flow down my limbs
The splash sounds off
My anger dims

Here I stand in the shower
Hour after hour
after hour
after hour
No need to complain
I have the power

I know people
With no lights
With no food
They get in fights

I know people
High on the drug
Life hits hard
They just shrug

I'm in a desert
I feel fine
Yet in Nairobi and Sahara
People are dyin'
People are dyin'

I see people
poor and black
poor and black
See white brothers
Think they'll never make it back
Never make it back

Here I stand in the shower
Hour after hour
after hour
after hour
No need to complain
I have the power

I'm the luckiest damned
Person here on Earth
I have my water
I have mirth

This inside rain
Crashes through my brain
Water drains
Eases my pains

Soothing, cooling
Feeling great
Running, cleansing
Dark dirt and hate

I have hot water

Monday, September 05, 2005

15. Katrina

by Nelson Ramos

Today; I watched in horror, as my world fell apart
Today; I witnessed the death, of both my father and my mother
Today; I experienced the agony, of having my baby sister ripped from my arms
Today; my entire family was washed away, along with everyone I have ever known or loved.

Today; I died, as the entire world looked on in morbid fascination
Today; the world and I learned how to spell the word Katrina

Katrina; a solid wall of salty water (a massive tear) crashed down upon my world Katrina; will never equal the tears that have been shed, by all of us who have died or of those left behind (the living dead) to bury (us) their dead

14. Katrina's Wake

by Cheryl B. Sellers

The rain it came, softly falling
Then came the wind, the voice of Mother Nature
She screamed and howled out her pain
Giving birth to the hurricane
Called Katrina

The people did not believe or take heed
Her wetland birth canal had been ripped, sloth off
Gone, no longer able to protect her body shore
Katrina, Oh Katrina exploded in a breached gush

Mother was proud of her new infant Katrina
Moving her north for the rest of the coast to view
Then the people found out, of the sunshine she left -
Came the dark and creeping, bleeding onto the land

Mother nature was still bleeding from her birth
The dark liquid spilled over the levees, isolating and killing
There seemed no escape for the people left behind
No voice had they to be heard, hunger and thirst excelled

Desperation, dirty, hungry and tired, they cried helpless
Shots rang out and still no place could they go to hide
For where Mother Nature left off, evil man took over
Hell fires burn in murky waters as floating corpses rise

Is this my country
Is this my America?

13. Katrina Katrina

from VAL'sWriting.Com

Katrina Katrina what will we see
The catastrophic damage you possess
My prayers are continual for all in your path
Dear Lord grasp those put through this test

Each moment goes by as they flee for their lives
Taking all of their loved ones to safety
Your winds extend with vicious bands
Oh Lord help them through this travesty

Know sweet souls that we pray for you
Across our nation in prayer we unite
Katrina a name on many in prayer
God grant us the will for this fight

Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons
Families scurry for safety and security
Grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins
God please guide them with Your purity

If they must go, gently take them in Your arms
Please Lord don't let them suffer undo pain
They are our friends and relatives
With them numerous angels you'll gain

I pray Dear Lord with all of my heart
Katrina please calm down
Lord please watch over all in her path
As Katrina touches ground

12. K a t r i n a - The Hurricane

adaptation by Frank Cannings - Cheltenham, England
(to the tune of Corrina, Corrina by Bob Dylan)

Katrina, Katrina
Gal, what have you done?

Katrina, Katrina
Gal, What have you done?
I been worr'in' 'bout my baby
Since you took my home

I got a mom that's injured
I got a pa that's dead
I got a child that's missing
I got a man that's dead

But I ain't a-got New Orleans
Life don't mean a thing
Katrina, Katrina
Gal, you're on my mind

Katrina, Katrina
Gal, you've done me wrong
I'm a-thinkin' 'bout you, baby
I just can't keep from crying

11. Until We Meet Again

by Valeta S. Moore

Life just won't be the same
But it will go on
The New Orleans that we knew
Will forever be in our hearts

Snowballs, Poboys, Crawfish Etoufee
Shrimp Creole, Gumbo
And a little Casino Play

Going uptown to see family
Driving downtown
To see Tyler Perry

Oh, what a change, what a heartache
To wake and see
Our precious city washed away

St. Aug, Brother Martin, Redeemer --
Seton and Xavier Prep, St. Mary's, Fortier
Kennedy, Carver and Warren Easton, X.U., Dillard
Tulane, Loyola, UNO, SUNO and Street Academy

Life on the porch
Talking 'bout scenes on the street
While children play B-Ball
And chill on the corner

Monday night Redbeans
And Friday night games
"Who Let The Dogs Out"
Our Saints will never be the same (we hope)

Lundi Gras, Zulu meets Rex, Mardi Gras
"Throw me something Mister"

Ash Wednesday, going get ashes
Wash our sins away
Big Chief, Eh La Bah, Super Sunday
Second Line in the hood

NOPD, NOFD, school teachers, professors, S&WB
Entergy, let me pay half this month
Gotta pay Bell South
Girl, don't forget Cox Cable
Got to catch the school board meetings
And Hester's mouth

Going to Barrow's
Friday night Fish Fry
Suppers sold 'round the city -
Going on a bus ride?

They now call us refugees
Evacuees of Katrina
Hell, just call us New Orleanians
'Cause that's who and what
We will forever be

God Bless the tens of thousands
Who couldn't get out
Who saw family washed away
And float about

God Bless my family members
That I cannot find
I can only pray for the best
And rely on time

The flooding stopped
In New Orleans
But the tears from our eyes
Will continue to rise

And New Orleans will forever be in our hearts
...until we meet again

10. In The Midst Of The Storm, He Is There

by Donna Perry

"Here I sit, water all around
No help in site
The cries of the hurting abound

All I can see, for miles on end
Is destruction, devastation
Around every corner and bend

I just can't believe it, my mind has gone blank,
How could this happen?
The entire city has sank!

What did I do to deserve such a fate?
To be left out in the cold
To be left in such a state?

I've lost everything, all of it, not a penny to my name
And I sit here alone, and wonder
'Is this just a game?'

How could my Father in Heaven above,
Leave me here in this agony
Where is His love?

My body is limp, my head to the floor
I've lost all hope
I can't handle much more...

What is that over there in the corner I see
A glimmer of light
Shining right next to me

It's pointing at something, a piece of wood, maybe a book
Floating over in the corner
I think I'll go take a look...

It's wet, and heavy, a little torn on the cover
but it appears to be the Bible
Given to me by my Mother...

I'll open it up and see what I find
God will you please tell me
Why I have been left behind?

Am I really alone, left destitute in this place?
Where is Your help?
Where is Your Grace?

"My child, My child, put your hand in Mine
Do you trust Me sweet child
To turn the water into wine?

"I love you so much, I want you to know
That when it seems hopeless
My care for you I'll show

"But you have to trust Me, give your life entirely to Me
Let Me be your Provider
Protector, and Healer, I'll be...

"The things of this earth will not go with you when you die
Live your life for the treasures
That will last all eternity by

"Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness and Gentleness
Let these be your clothing
In the midst of this mess

"As you draw near to Me, I'll draw near to you
To conform you to My image
That My love will shine through

"You're not abandoned, sweet child, I'm here at all times
Will you trust Me in this
Let Me be your guide?

"I know what you need, where you are to go
Just Trust Me my child
Until in My presence, you go...

"I love you so much, that I gave My life for you
To show you the depth
Of My heart's concern for you...

"When I was on the cross, taking on your sins
I felt alone and abandoned
Forsaken by Him

"But I rose from the dead, victorious and alive
And so will you my child
With Me by your side....

Trust Me, My child, Trust Me..."