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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Bragging Rights!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Shantybellum Too Invites You

It's been nearly eleven years since Shantybellum Guesthouse opened.  And it suddenly dawned on me that I've never posted about our newest guesthouse:  Shantybellum Too!  It's half a block from the bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi River, and only a one-block walk to Steampunk Coffee Roasters and Natchez's newest Blues Club, Smoot's Grocery on the bluff.

Downtown Natchez is a short walk where you can shop, eat at fine restaurants or visit the historic homes and landmarks that make Natchez one of the best small-town tourist destinations in the country.

You get the whole cottage, and it's supplied for all your needs from TV and internet to cooking and laundry.  And it's a relaxed atmosphere.  No worrying about being careful with the furniture.  It's got a Bluesy, laid-back vibe you'll enjoy.  Check us out on for rates and availability.  And be sure to read our reviews on Airbnb.  We'd love to see you.

I've said enough.  I'll let the photos tell you the rest.

Related link:  Smoot's Grocery -- Bringing the Blues Back Home

Friday, March 2, 2018

The Reckoning

In the pictures 
we seldom smiled.

Stubborn children 
forced to pause
and pose before the hearth 
in the cabin 
in the woods
in the childhood
in the life
he'd built 
in the 
happy time.

He pulls the tattered box
From under the bed,
studies each fading moment 
for clues.

The lamp sheds no new light
On the mystery of us. 

The smell of dust, 
the screen door’s slam,
the island in the pond
saddles in the shed,
the boat, the chill,
the sweat, the water,
the shadow and the light
the silence of a Sunday
night waiting 
while he locked the gate.

Turned the key 
On another memory.

The sandbar, 
Alligator gar and
Busch beer in a pull-tab can.
Dinosaurs, all gone
like the sound of a horn on a barge,
first large then drifting away.

He puts the pictures back,
Hopes the phone won’t ring,
bringing something new 
to grieve.
Lying back, he sighs,
Closes his eyes and waits
for the reckoning

~ March 3, 2010

Monday, February 26, 2018

Woodville Wildlife Festival

Woodville Courthouse

All the artists set up
around the courthouse square
beneath the oaks,
the resurrection fern
swollen and green with last night's rain.

The morning misty and damp
and strewn with color,
the smell of barbeque mingles with
hay. A skinny Catahoula hangs
around the cooking trailers,
hoping for a handout.

I buy pulled-pork sandwiches for
two -- one for the dog, one for me.
I watch her bolt it down as
a friendly cattle farmer stops
to tell me he'd bought her a hot dog
a few minutes before.

Camouflage is definitely in
at the Deer and Wildlife festival.
Don't be caught dead without it.

Didn't know what to expect,
but the dead moose being
draped over a form for mounting,
his lips hanging loosely off the side,
is a shock.

The air is filled with the sounds
of turkeys and ducks, made with
wooden calls by craftsmen
next to artists painting
things from life.

And the people....
The obese Black woman
with a blooming onion
the size of a football on
a plate, all for her.

The little girl in cowboy boots
and shorts, skinny legs so cute
it breaks your heart,

just because.
She has a puppy on a leash.
tied in her hair,
her face painted like a cat.

The baby in the stroller,
leaning in to snag
whatever is in reach.

The friends sitting on the
corner, the same conversation
they've been having for
40 years.

Doctors, bums, wives, bankers,
lawyers, maids, babysitters, boyfriends,
girlfriends, children, vendors
all in motion as the band
plays the 70s greatest hits,
going round and round
and round.

A wonderful sound.

~ Elodie  Pritchartt

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Before Gollum had tasted
the power of The Ring,
when he still had family with whom
to sing in the Gladden Fields, when
things like friendship, honor, love
and joy would bring
all the happiness of spring, 

do you suppose he considered how a
ring – a small, pretty, shining
thing could change a man?
Did he think his first
drink of power would be
a thing so easily imbibed,
how it changed
a man inside
from what he’d been
to something he despised?

Before it split his soul in two,
before his craving really grew
into a wolf howling at
the moon in the darkness
of the Misty Mountains,
did he think he might
one day loathe the light?
Did he consider
wrong from right
or did he only ask for more?

Did he grieve his own lost soul
as his father surely did when
he crawled into his hole
to find that bloody ring?

And when he clawed his way
over friends and good intentions,
and he claimed The Ring his own,
he’d lost what really mattered
and died in flames alone.

Do you think as he lay dying,
precious ring clutched in his hand,
he wished he’d never seen it?
Did he ever understand?

Monday, February 12, 2018

Poor Monster

In the quiet morning,
beneath the cashmere calm,
behind the dog's soft snoring
and the purring knead
of pink-ed flesh,

a chill threatens
from the door
that won't quite close.
The wind
teases the cracks
around the casement,

searches for purchase
on the slippery ledge,
its sucking need just

The winter sky
has gone dull white,
a rictus that sucks
the color from the earth,
and no thousand trees'
brown fingers can
pull it back.

It is the season
that signals death,
when the weak tire
of waiting and the strong
grow tired.

It perches on the sill,
spies through the shutters
ruffles it feathers
and waits for the shattering.

Poor Monster.

It is consumed with lonely
and it wants only you.
Wrap yourself in dread
and wait for the
final signal bell.

The last train leaves at dusk.

~ Elodie Pritchartt
August 12, 2007

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Weight of Water

The wind whispers secrets soon to
be revealed.  Pushes him along.
There is no cure.
He shuffles. Small steps. Unsure
for the first time
in forever
whether he can make the hill.

Pail in hand, he bends, turns
the spigot, spends 
precious minutes.
Watches water fall. Rinses
out the larvae and the slime.
Fills the pail and after
a time convinces himself to stand.

Physics is cruel. And a body at
rest remains. He moves forward.
Pours water for the cats,
seed for the birds, feed for the possums
and raccoons. Corn for the deer.
Meat for the dogs.

They need. They all need to live, he says.
Everything is creation or calamity
and he the only thing between the two.
What will they do when he is gone?

It is hunger that drives him
though he does not eat. He is shrinking
and I think he may shrink into the earth
when his credits and balances are due.

He is winded, his time near its end.
He passes me the pail. I bend.
Turn the spigot.     Water falls.

~ Elodie Pritchartt
March 9, 2012