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dVerse — Resurrection — ” ‘Tis I, Marie” –mature audience warning

MarieLaveau (Frank Schneider).png
1920 painting of Marie Laveau (1794–1881) by Frank Schneider, based on an 1835 painting (now lost?) by George Catlin. –in Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans

OK, this one needs a WARNING.  Adults only and not for the faint of heart. 

“Tis I, Marie, you come to see
You there so prim on marble bench
What brings you here week after week
I’m now a charred and crumbling wretch

You heard the tales and need advice
In one of many hundred ways
I’ve seen your kind, oh once or twice
A mouse without, but heart ablaze

What spells I cast to make them beg
What teas they drank, their tongues turned black
Complexion clear to mottled egg
From man to toad, sweet jumping jack

You bring to me black rose’ first bud
That blooms in yonder mistress’ crypt
You’ll let its thorns spill midnight’s blood
To drip down where dust’s lips may sip.”

She brought the bud and spilled her blood
Unholy screeches filled the air
Ravenous flames held tight, she stood
Her face to face with devil’s heir

“They tried to send me back to hell
With fire, prayer, and amulets
I struck a deal with God, oh yes!
To stay and net you devilettes.

Come now my love, it’s time to go
A special place awaits you there
You’ll burn and twist back to and fro
While pitchforks poke you ev’rywhere.”

Laura Bloomsbury is today’s host of dVerse.  Laura says:
So for this prompt we must rely totally on our imagination. We are reconstituting a deceased person, one that is unknown to us, neither family nor famous. By way of poetic resurrection, we see them live again.  

  • choose the character from the Norris or the Longfellow poem or even one of Captain Cat’s old seasalts (follow the link above to the text – its near the beginning)
  • OR find a similar poem that introduces a deceased character for you to fill in or posit the details
  • OR pick a name from a headstone in any churchyard or cemetery
  • bring the deceased to life by letting them speak (first person) or speak with them (2nd person) or speak about them (3rd person)
  • it is NOT the whole life story that is required but the essence of the person’s character and life
  • meter and rhyme is entirely your own choice

41 thoughts on “dVerse — Resurrection — ” ‘Tis I, Marie” –mature audience warning

  1. well this was a hell fire poem for sure with some fabulously vibrant lines
    “I’ve seen your kind, oh once or twice
    A mouse without, but heart ablaze”

    [err -with reference to the prompt she was famous enough to be painted!]

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I, too, in search of the perfect headstone, picked one, only to discover the occupant was famous. So I charged ahead regardless. Your poem has epic edges, and lovely dialogue and cadence. I have a fondness for Louisiana lore anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You chose the right form for this one, Lisa, it had to be a ballad, and the voice is perfect! Marie was a proper firecracker, so confident she struck a deal with God. My favourite stanza is vivid and deliciously nasty:
    ‘What spells I cast to make them beg
    What teas they drank, their tongues turned black
    Complexion clear to mottled egg
    From man to toad, sweet jumping jack’.
    Your poem reminds me of Robert Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess’ and ‘The Laboratory’.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. kaykuala

    You’ll burn and twist back to and fro
    While pitchforks poke you ev’rywhere.”

    Beautifully set, Jade! You opened up the caution that many may ignore of the horrors of answering in the afterlife for one’s ‘mistakes’

    Hank

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d never heard of her so enjoyed looking her up. Not exactly someone you’d want for a friend and even less for an enemy.
    I think I’d be a little scare the words wrote themselves, too! However it happened – really powerful words.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dark as this tries to be – your glee does come shining through, but you also managed to catch that sadness and anger that arises from being forced to make a living catering to people’s worst natures- it embitters and grieves and exhausts. Policing, prostitution, social work, sorcery, etc. can take a bitter toll on ones’ soul.
    I’m glad you wrote about her, she was by all accounts an amazing woman. One of the few from that time whose name survives.

    Liked by 1 person

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