VERSE / Larry Piltz : The Wound of the Gulf

The Gulf of Mexico. Photo from Nature’s Portraits.

Oil is the salt in
The wound of the Gulf

By Houma Cayenne

We have saltwater in our veins
and when it pours it biblically rains
God knows we’ve had our losses and gains
had lots of Abels and our share of Cains
but we’re open and we’re warm
and we let our love be our charm
and believe in the power of first do no harm
we believe in the power of first do no harm

There’s a Gulf within
and a Gulf out there
there’s the Gulf my friend
and a Gulf of care
a Gulf between
what we say and do
the silent Gulf we don’t mean
between me and you
the Gulf between
suffering and ease
a wide Gulf that’s bridged
like the old Rigolets

Is ours a Gulf of childhood innocence
or a Gulf of lost dream penitence
or a Gulf of ambiguity
to suffer in perpetuity

A mullet slaps the waves
in the land of the wet and the brave
in a land that cannot be paved
in a land that can still be saved

A black water snake is sunning
and a shrimper’s engine’s gunning
as the tides just keep on running
watch us run on kindness and cunning
in a land where nothing is wanting

Along a backwater mirror glass
a nursery for life from its source to the pass
where fresh and salt make fertile mishmash
the rare conditions for life in a clash
runs a rabbit through the cordgrass
with the hope this day won’t be its last
as hawk circles over the marsh
with an appetite that’s harsh
but the rabbit is hungrier still
for life with her genius stubborn will
and today there’ll be no kill
but for neither will time be standing still
and tomorrow will have its fill
from the rarest cougar to herds of krill
for those with lung and with sifting gill
and with claws and longing and vital quill
in this land without a rock or hill
digesting petroleum’s poison pill
because of a violently negligent spill

Oil is the salt in the wound of the ocean
the salt in the womb of The Gulf in motion
the Womb of Creation not some vague notion
The Gulf a womb of sacred devotion
pierced in its side its bleeding quotient
oil is the salt in the wound of the ocean
the salt in the womb of The Gulf in motion

Huoma Cayenne
As told to Larry Piltz / The Rag Blog
June 14, 2010

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