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Sherry Gail Heim

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Goodnight Sweet Blues (Katrina)
by Sherry Gail Heim
Saturday, September 03, 2005
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Photo By: Edward Clark from "The Best of Life"

If the music doesn’t start automatically, and you wish to hear it, please click on the link above the title of the poem below.

Goodnight Sweet Blues

A blue note lingers in the hazy smoke over New Orleans
Echoing above this devastated city
That was "The Birth of the Blues”

I have heard it said that you must know deep sadness
To be able to sing the blues, that the heart must weep
Or the feelings won’t come through

I have heard lots of blues in “The Big Easy”
But now the music is sung by those who never knew
That there was such a song in their heart

A lone dark streetlamp stands somewhere in the French Quarter
Recalling the sounds of wild music in the streets
Of Mardi-Gras and old men laughing out loud

Recalling the mighty howls of the spirits
That hovered in the town and lived within her aging walls
Remembering the songs of the “Greats” that echoed there

“Gimme a pig foot and a bottle of beer…”
“My mama done tol' me, when I was in kneepants…”
“Nobody knows you, when you’re down and out….”

I can still recall the wild riffs of Dixieland Jazz
And the children dancing in the streets
Trumpets and saxophones screaming through the foggy mist

A plate of red beans and rice piled high beside a crawfish or two
That was food for the soul and inspiration to make music
Played to the painted-faced tourists for some pocket change and a smile

What will become of her, our sweet New Orleans?
How do you rebuild an atmosphere, replace a thousand spirits
How do you paint the streets with the footsteps that once walked there

I hear a dirge played by a hundred cornets and trombones
The slow and sad tinkling of piano keys sighing a last mournful note
Goodnight New Orleans; our dreams are sweetened by having known you

Sherry Gail Heim
September 3, 2005


Copyright © Sherry Gail Heim 2005







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Reviewed by Phyllis Jean Green 3/11/2006
Oh, Sherry. This kills me. You have done too good a job! As soon as I saw the photo {what an inspired and intelligent and compassionate choice}, I started to fall apart. This is SO good. . .your talent and artistry sing, and that is what saves. That and watching Mardi Gras revelers cavort and. . .She will never be quite the same, but she is comin' baaaaaaaaaack!! Not surprising, but. . .unreal?? Merci, mon ami, merci, 'Pea' <3
Reviewed by Poetess of The Soul Sheila G 9/25/2005
Wow! Sherry- this is pleasantly written and I enjoyed the music along with it-- As I read I could pict. the mimes speaking their song to the sad sites among--- I am keeping this one too in my Sherry folder- This is deeply touching and felt within! I hope their is someway to put back what once was- OUr memories are all we will have! adn our true blues music to bring back thier flavor - May your light shine ever so bright to many more--- WArmly,Sheee
Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper 9/10/2005
hello Sherry, touching piece, hopefully it will be rebuilt soon . They really have the blues now
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 9/7/2005
A tribute that is most timely and à propos, Sherry. Thank you for sharing this gift. Love and peace.

Reviewed by Sandie Angel 9/6/2005

This is EXCELLENT! New Orleans can be rebuilt, but nothing will be the same though. The people will always miss the old New Orleans before the storm.

So much is now being done to give assistance, which I think is good; but it is nothing in compare to giving help and free rides when it was crucial and really needed to evacuate so the lives wouldn't have been lost.

There will always be sadness and resentments.

Wonderful write, Sherry!

Sandie May Angel a.k.a. Sandie Angel
Reviewed by Richard Christopher Suarez 9/6/2005
Sherry, I read this again and I am very glad I did because There's so much that this Great Piece Made me Feel! New Orleans has always reminded me of a Caribbean Island,...Like my Parents Cuba, but isn't about Cuba at all. New Orleans is a Great Place where people really feel and create and it's expressed in the music and in your excellent
poem! I believe that Yes', It does take pain ,...unwarranted though, and it's experience to express such incredibly powerful music and art ,...and You my dear lady are significantly showing Creativity at it's peak with this one!!! Your spirit is shining too as a bright inspiration to many and right through this devastation's
impact. Powerful Expression is Beautifully Expressed here and shining in the face of adversity!!! Shine on!!!!!
Peace and Healathy Happyness to you Sherry!!!
Love and blessings I am sending your way'....,';
Rich Criso Suraez
Reviewed by Abdi-Noor Mohamed 9/5/2005
This is adds a drop in the already filled cup of sorrow. The
spill-over from the cup is the tear drop rolling down the eyes and minds of millions who loved New Orleans. Thanks Sherry I deeply share sadnes with you and the rest of the Aericans and the world at large.
Reviewed by L. Figgins 9/5/2005
Beauty, Sherry! Those spirits of New Orleans may have departed with the poor souls now in procession, but they still live in the hearts of those who love her. That grand spirit of endurance and the celebration of life in spite of its misery and a heart bigger than life or death. It will transcend! Peace to you and Ty...Lin
Reviewed by Paul Williams 9/5/2005
Superb write Sherry,outstanding poetry.

Reviewed by Handsum Hart 9/5/2005
Maybe the new New Orleans will be just as unique as the old New Orleans but in a different way.

Excellent penning, now pass the red beans and rice please
Thanks for sharing

Reviewed by Gwen Dickerson 9/4/2005
A masterpiece! Sherry, your poem took me in its arms and gently rocked me while I wept! Bravo, poet!
Reviewed by Retta (Reindeer) Mckenzie 9/4/2005
Ah Sherry, this was just outstanding, that picture just so deeply poignant and your poetry, just got to me today, so deeply moving,

Reviewed by Joni Stewart-Hague 9/4/2005
Hail poet ! This has to be one of the most touching pieces ever written. The last line shall echo throughout eternity. I'm truly at a loss for words to convey the feeling this poem has wrought, so let me just say, once again....... HAIL POET !

Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU 9/4/2005

In the spirit of the Blues a Flower is releasing its scent
through the lines of "Goodnight Sweet Blues".

I salute You, Sublime Poet!

Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU
Reviewed by Kate Clifford 9/4/2005
They will rebuild as they have the spirit that created this atmosphere in the first place. Materail things can be blown away but they know the spirit stays. Great write.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes 9/4/2005
Definitly one of your best...even Though born out of a deep sadness!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by Lisa Hilbers 9/4/2005
This is the best!
I'm not going to ruin it by adding a bunch of 'descriptive' words. I'll just save it and re-read it, as I need it.

Reviewed by Mark Mahoney 9/4/2005
An amazing write, thanks for sharing this and may God help those that need it, take care...Mark x
Reviewed by Andy Turner (Reader) 9/3/2005
Blimey this hits the reality of what has happened in a powerfully lump in throat way.

Has a haunting feeling that's alive.
Maybe were/I'm coming out of the shock of the situation into the reality. And don't it hurt.

Great yet heartwrenching.
Reviewed by Lori Moore 9/3/2005
A fine write! Simply awesome.
Reviewed by jude forese 9/3/2005
a sad lament but one inscribed with beauty and endowed with the reality of moments that are gone forever ... excellent poem, Sherry ...
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 9/3/2005
Goodnight, indeed. I sense a resolve to restore that feeling again with a new layer of down and out to generate a greater city tomorrow. The French Quarter still stands. It will rise from the muck and sing. Love your music.

Reviewed by George Carroll 9/3/2005
I grew up in the Blues and Jazz age and I think as long as people have memories and pass along the history of those days their will always be soul music. Great write and music to go with it. Perfect.
Reviewed by Felix Perry 9/3/2005
This is so sadly sentimental but I hope with all my heart that it is not over yet, as NY rose from the ashes of sep 11 so too will New Orleans one day be reborn.

Reviewed by Jerry Bolton (Reader) 9/3/2005
Sigh. Yes, a beautiful poem. Too bad the rest of the world seems to want to play the race card. I am done with anything concerning the storm. Unbelievable.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 9/3/2005

You and I were on the same page today...sort of...the music leaving the city. Yours is a powerful, poignant song--very well done!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla. :(
Reviewed by Huda Orfali 9/3/2005
Wonderful poem, Sherry
I felt the sadness of the blues music singing in your peom
It's such a great loss the poets would lament forever
love and peace
Reviewed by E T Waldron 9/3/2005
Sherry this is a classic! You have done the big easy proud, and brought tears to my eyes and I'm sure to many others.Splendid
poem beautifully expressed! The images are akin to a master artists painting!

Reviewed by Sara Coslett 9/3/2005
I think the New Orleans we all knew may never be again. So the more memories that can be written down about her, the better the world will be. ~ Sara
Reviewed by Dawn Richerson 9/3/2005
Sherry, this has the feel of a poem that will stand the test of time. And it has inspired me to play a little of those blues right now. Thanks, Dawn
Reviewed by Michelle Mills 9/3/2005
You said it best in your last stanza...our dreams are sweetened having known New Orleans in her hey day, and by losing a thousand souls, the sadness that brings such incredible music to light will make it sweeter, deeper, richer than ever before. The city will rebuild...hopefully it's government fathers will be smarter, better prepared, and more prudent in their engineering choices as they rebuild, so the music can play once again...and keep playing. This is a gorgeous offering Sherry. Simply the best I've read in memorial to a fascinating place, culture, and people. Blessings, Michelle
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