Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Rougarou



image borrowed from bing


Rougarou

“All of us are God’s creatures, but some of us
are more creature than others.”--Anonymous

Its legend crawled down from the Laurention Mountains,
and its folklore materialized in Cajun Bayou speak,
as twenty deep descendants of Acacia, 

those French-Canadian peoples from the Maritimes 
who fled south following the French & Indian Wars, 
way south, all the way to Southern Louisiana,

where some traditionalist parents still frighten their
children with wild tales about the Boogie-Wolf,
the Loup-Garou, the wolfman of mythos.

It was written that it would hunt down and slay
misbehaving offspring, and errant Catholics
who refused to follow Church edicts & mandates;

and that the Bitten ones, those afflicted, were always
living amongst them, that they remained under
the Rougarou spell for seven years, and each

flare up, or bloody incident, lasted 101 days.
During daylight the shape-shifters returned to
human form, completely oblivious to their

dark night persona. When its evil conscription
lapsed, it would transfer the lupine duties
through its last bite to some other person. 

In the deepest swamps of Louisiana where
folks live far from urban centers, speaking
only Cajun, killing alligators and catching fish

for their meager subsistence, they know for a fact
that actual Rougarou haunt the hours after midnight,
and its death-rot stench and ungodly howls keep

them barricaded tightly within 
their spindly heron-legged cabins, 
keeping their hounds inside with them, 

knowing that in the morning they would find 
their chained up gator yard-dogs torn to pieces. 
For them legends have actual teeth. 


Glenn Buttkus

March 2013


Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?


13 comments:

thecourseofourseasons.com said...

Scary stuff - what a great story and that last line - Perfection! K

Laurie Kolp said...

Now I'm scared to go to Baton Rouge this weekend.

rumoursofrhyme said...

Those werewolf stories are still really popular. Nice write.

In the second-last stanza, did you mean spinally, which seems a bit odd to me, or spindly?

Glenn Buttkus said...

Thanks, "spindly" in my mind; slipped right past me to spinally.

Brian Miller said...

whew...scary stuff indeed....there are creatures of the night surely....probably kin to the wolfman...i do love a good werewolf story though...smiles....did you see wolfman with anthony hopkins?

Claudia said...

oh my..that brought back memories of my granddad who used to tell us kids stories of the nachtkrabb...and oh i was so afraid.. a creature of the night as well..

Grace said...

That last stanza certainly bites ~ A scary tale or myth, but I think some of them have a glimmer of reality ~

Nilanjana Bose said...

Legends grow from small seeds of truth. Enjoy listening to you read the poetry. Thank you.

Stan Ski said...

It would make me think twice about a visit...

Fred Rutherford said...

just love this piece Glenn. The cultural/folk lore mix of explanation and myth is great, so well used here. And I have to say, I think the reading is fantastic, great pacing in the speech, the tone of voice, such an outstanding storyteller vibe, I can, in my mind, see a group set up huddled close beside some flickering campfires or torches near a cave entrance, and the traditional storyteller is telling a much anticipated tale. Really nicely done here. Thanks

Susan said...

Of the atmosphere and tale you weave can come another scary/great movie like "Beasts of the Southern Wild." Something more supernatural, our own vampire-like legends.

Anna Graham said...

Perfect atmosphere, I now have the chills. I am glad to be atop my frozen mountain where the black bears are in hibernation so nothing goes bump in the night. Yikes!

Anonymous said...

Excellent