Posts Tagged ‘traiteurs’

Poetry Friday round up is hosted by Buffy today.

Poetry Friday round up is hosted by Buffy today.

Elderberry growing in the healer's garden.

Elderberry growing in the healer’s garden.

Last weekend I attended a presentation at Vermilionville, a historic Cajun/Creole Village. The speaker was a Creole traiteur or healer, Rebecca Henry. I created this poem from my notes.

Advice from a healer:

Always think positive.
Eat an odd number of pumpkin seeds, 3, 5, 7 for back ache.
Don’t search for roots if you don’t know them.

We had our own names for stuff.
We were never poor.
We had a momma, a daddy, our brothers, our sisters.
We had everything we needed.

Every leaf, every plant, every flower is for food.
For croup, wear the flannel collar soaked in goose grease until Easter.
Use mud from the mud dauber nest for diaper rash.
Those mud daubers know the best dirt.

We never measure.
Treat the whole person.
Clean out in August.
Grease your machine real good.

Say why not me instead of why me.
If you believe, you will be healed.

Lizard's Tail: "You put some lizard's tail to soak in water, and you make the little baby drink it."

Lizard’s Tail: “You put some lizard’s tail to soak in water, and you make the little baby drink it.”

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Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

Me with Sandy Sarr at a local restaurant.

Me with Sandy Sarr at a local restaurant.

I enjoy connecting with new people online. I met Sandy Sarr through a mutual friend. Our friend thought we would like each other because we are both authors. So I friended Sandy on Facebook, and we read each others’ blogs. But meeting someone face to face, the old fashioned way, is so much better.

Sandy has spent the month of May in Louisiana for the last three years. She comes to meet people and to work on her novel, The Road to Indigo ( her working title). We had brunch together on Saturday. Jen was right; we connected easily and immediately. Sandy is about to complete an MFA program and has been writing her novel for 3 years. This project led her to Louisiana to meet many different people. She has some wonderful stories, some of which give you the goosebumps because they are so full of connectedness and coincidence, the do-do-do-do-twilight effect. Please visit her blog The Road to Indigo to read about her process of writing.

I wrote a poem for Sandy. I am attempting to post the Soundcloud recording of it.

The Road to Indigo
The traiteur says the stories are yours to tell.

For Sandra Sarr

The traveler arrives from Puget Sound
to paddle a pirogue on the bayou.
She sees the black alligator on the bank
dive deep, barely rustling the burnished water.

She knows there are stories hiding here.
No longer alone, the train’s whistle
awakens her as it weaves
in and out of her mind
leading her on a journey.

Tracks cross as if joined for a greater purpose.
An artist,
a poet,
a healer,
a plantation proprietor
all tell their stories—
tell her to make them live again.

The steam trumpet pierces her skin,
opens blood vessels to bleed
something new of something old—
something profound,
something healing,
something eternal
–Margaret Simon, all rights reserved

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