Friday, June 22, 2012

Reflections of the Quarter                photo by elizabeth gordon
When I took this photo I did not notice the wooden boat with posed people until later.  I was so busy walking and snapping photo's so my attention was a bit distracted.  However, later when I looked at my shots and noticed this photo with the other images it all became clear.  The imagery and symbology resonated within me later.  The people in the boat standing with heads bowed in morning or resignation to their fate in this ghostly pale blueish white seems to stand for the historic flooding of New Orleans when the relentless storm broke down the levees and this huge immense city of hundreds of thousands flooded.  Lives were lost, bodies floated bumping up to the interstate bridges, spay painted symbols on housing speaking in codes of how many resided and how many died....a city lost, a way of life lost, memories and entire childhoods washed away....the ghostly boat drifts away with the lost souls into the mist of the bayou, the fog closes in and they are gone drifting on, drifting on. The metal water cover on the bottom right calls our to the problem, water...too much water, the sewers flooded, water bubbled up from underneath, Earth was not longer firm, the ground upon which one stood.  The crime warning tape wrapped like a decoration and a stop light all say stop, caution, the shame of a crime by levees not maintained that broke...corruption that finally gave way and betrayed, but in the background are the ever present wroth iron balconies and lush flora bursting forth...a promise of renewal.  Art and galleries, new commerce is hope, hope for the city that doesn't die.  


REFLECTIONS  NIGHT THE LEVEES BROKE


A MISTED NIGHT 
FOG ENGULFS ALL IN ITS WHITE CLOAK
THE BAYOU CLAIMS THEM BACK 
THE WATERS FLOODED 
 OVER THE BANKS INTO THE CITY
ETCHING, ERODING, ERASING 
GATHERING SOULS IN SHROUDED HANDS
CRIES FOR HELP, PLEAS FOR RESCUE UNHEEDED
FROM ROOF TOP A THOUSAND CALLS ECHO ACROSS
CANALS, STREETS, AND NEIGHBORHOODS,
SOME WERE HEARD, MANY NOT
AS SHE GATHERED HER CHILDREN SHE MARKED X'S ON DOORWAYS WITH LONG BLUISH WHITE BONEY FINGERS, NOTING HER BOUNTY FOR ALL TO REMEMBER
THEIR SPIRITS STAND IN THE BOAT AND DRIFT, SLOWLY, SURELY INTO HER REALM...MOTHER DEATH, QUEEN OF GRIEF AND SORROW
AS SHE TURNED LOOKING BACK OVER HER SHOULDER, SHE SAW A LIGHT, A SMALL LIGHT THAT SEEMED TO GROW BRIGHTER AND BRIGHTER
SHE HAD NOT CONQUERED ALL, 
HOPE LIVED IN THE HEARTS OF THOSE
SHE COULD NOT CLAIM
SHE DRIFTED ON INTO THE BAYOU WITH THE REALIZATION
HER POWERS WERE NOT ENOUGH TO OVERCOME LOVE


BY ELIZABETH GORDON

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