The Atchafalaya Basin by RL Brown

“This was written as a haiku, but I trashed it and started over. The haiku may have captured the essence of Louisiana’s swampland but missed its vibrancy.” on April 2, 2023

The Atchafalaya Basin by RL Brown

Across the boot parishes, a vast swampland exists where the Cypress reign as keepers of the river forest. 

Underneath a feathery dome, robed in reddish-bark with shields of twisted branches, resides the age-old kings. 

Gators serve as sentries guarding the murky waters below, instilling respect for life and doom for the ignorant.

Sinkholes, shifting sand, watchful eyes always stare, ever mindful of a changing landscape.

A river basin teams with bass, crappie, and crawfish, full of beauty and wonder. Its esse seeps into a Cajun's soul. 

Stagnant water breeds relentless mosquitoes. Yet, the yellow warbles and purple martins feast. 

Host to mink, otters, muskrats, bears, deer, and bobcats, this bayou exists for life and shares in its hardships.  

Standing between worlds is a glimpse of immortality, a time passage that remains under the Cypress' rule. 

essential nature or essence.
"two traditions, each of whose esse is opposition to the central tenets of the other"

Across fourteen parishes, the longest swamp river flows, the Atchafalaya River. The Cypress tree reigns as king in the sleepy waters of the Atchafalaya and Chitimacha rivers. They stand tall and proud, robed in a reddish-bark, untouched by time. Adorn with delicate leaves that sparkle in the sunlight, branches stretch to cover their domain.

If the Cypress is king, gators stand guard in murky waters beneath, keeping unwanted or unaware at bay.

This ecologically rich heritage is as diverse as the cultural peoples who have come to make it their home. European, African, Caribbean, and Native American descendants dug their roots deep into the bayou. The bayou blends them all into a cajun or creole cultural mix.


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