As part of NolaVie’s Yeah you write! campaign, we are inviting readers to submit New Orleans-related content for an opportunity to have their work featured on our site. Whether it’s a personal essay about moving from New Orleans, a photo of French Quarter Fest, or a video of a second line, we want to know: What’s your New Orleans story?
Today’s featured submission, a poem about the magnetic appeal of the Big Easy, comes from California-born Talva Burnette, who writes:
I moved to New Orleans in July of 2013 from Los Angeles. My entire family is from New Orleans originally, but in the ’60s some of them moved to Los Angeles after Hurricane Betsy. My mother and father were in that number and I was raised in Los Angeles, but my great-grand parents maintain a house on Jackson and Baronne, where most of my summers were spent. Even though we lived in California, New Orleans is and was our home.
So when the time came in my life that allowed me to make a change, I did. I moved back to New Orleans to share our family home with my aunt and uncle, who now continue to give love to the house that four generations have grown up in and adore as a member of the family.
Upon my return to New Orleans, my heart felt at rest and these words came to me.
Invisible limbs of lore and legends cradle and rock you rhythmically
in the swampy, sweet breeze from its rooted oaks to a jazzy pulsation.
Yesterday’s culture and today’s vibes crash passionately together
Moist and warm and fierce.
In the shadows lurks its mysteries and darkness,
Yet the seduction of all its parts embraces and holds you tight;
even when it hurts a little,
you don’t want to be let go ‘cause it feels so good.
You yearn to explore and learn its small and hidden crevices, it’s murky corners and smooth curves.
It hide some of itself from you, behind old Antebellums and dark shuttles.
Yet stands fully exposed, naked and dancing in the street — all for you.
Its majesty is boundless, its personality limitless.
Boldly and unrelentingly it gazes directly into your mind’s-eye and heart’s-soul, sees your starving desires… and feeds them.
It wants you to feel it, and it will not be denied.
It has romanced your spirit, uplifted your heart and filled your body, bewitched you are….say Yes.
Throw your head back and release yourself into the waiting luxurious liquid arms of