Photo by T Senette

Louisiana Pines


Gentle rolling highways through

Northwest corner, from the toes of the Ozark foothills

To the marshy toes of the boot-shaped state,

Host to cultures with unexpected wonders.


Acres of standing pines

Singing a river song in soft breeze,

The pounding of mechanical pumps on gulf waters

Pulling oil from primordial depths,

Singing a different song than those

Who fish the salty waters and

Chank-a-chank in a different language.


Pining for the old days

Before those sounds were known.

When pelicans filled the sky and

Seagulls shouted joyful finds of

Fish schools too vast to measure,


When Grand Isle’s shoreline was

Not yet dotted with platforms,

Christmas tree lights, and natural gas torches

Reaching thirty feet above the horizon,


When marshland covered itself in

Vibrant colors of migrating flocks,

Wings slapping salty humid air,

When my father and his father before

Had only one care — that day’s catch.


Catching now the scent of pine,

I remember his face as he retold

From childhood memory how

Plentiful our cadie once was

Before Louisianians pined.

© 2016 Bessie Adams Senette

Published by

Bessie Senette

Bessie Senette is nine and a half months pregnant waiting on the birth of Cutting the Clouds: a Bayou Mystic’s Poems, Musings, and Imaginings – an autobiographical collection of poems and essays about the life and culture of her bayou upbringing and the spirituality that informs her traditional healing gifts. 
A high-spirited, creative, solemn, and above all joyous woman, she celebrates her birthday for the entire month of August, otherwise known as the Besstival. Anyone born in August is welcomed as a Besstivite. The High Feast day of the Besstival (Bessie’s actual birthday) is known as the Besstiva. 

When her Muse is not in the mood to muse, she cooks. Bessie’s home is an oasis of hospitality, and yet her husband, Tom, calls it a fortress of solitude. Somehow it works. She works as a supplemental grandmother and primary Mimsie to Eden and Noah, five grand pups and one cat. 
As an ordained minister, she officiates an ecumenical liturgy for a small congregation of like-minded and just “slightly” wacky folk who are lovingly referred to as the Bessbyterians. 
Bessie is a polydactyl poet, born with six toes on her left foot. Some of her friends think she should have a reality TV show but she insists that it would have to be an UnReality show. All are certain the ratings would be astronomical.

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