Stepford Strangers

Belly to the bar

this is the place i could go

dancing in destiny’s afterglow

in a forest of folk and lore

cardboard sayings for a cure

no race to be won in the land of papered, big, book, restraint

in this dance life strolls with a limp

sobering how i get around…when drink is down

iron seats bequeathing intimate strangers

all making calls…24 hours a day…to other confidential visitors

each of us with our own bumper sticker philosophy

Hell Have No Fury…

Who is Hannah Jumper…

July 8, 1856, is an important date in the history of Rockport. On that summer morning, 200 wives, mothers, daughters and assorted supporters gathered in Dock Square to take part in an event that would have repercussions to this very day.

Brandishing hatchets, led by Hannah Jumper, they began their raid. In the words of Ebenezer Pool. an eyewitness. “…On finding any keg, jug, or cask having spirituous liquor in it…with their hatchets broke or otherways destroyed it…” Who was Hannah Jumper? How did so many law abiding. homemakers find the courage to follow her’?

Hannah Jumper, a tall, redheaded, 31 year old seamstress, left her family’s farm in Joppa and came to Rockport in 1812. Her talent with a needle and thread, along with her abilities to grow herbs and make medicinal brews from them, helped her to build a pleasant life in the small fishing community. Thus established, Hannah began to form lasting friendships with many of the women who would later join her in the rebellion against “demon rum”.

Fishing was the mainstay of Rockport. However, the weather only permitted this activity for nine months of the year. Instead of finding other employment during their enforced three month “vacation.” the men idled away their time and consumed enormous amounts of liquor.

Year after year, the economic deprivation caused by those periods of inactivity was worsened by the money spent on spirits. The women of the town grew increasingly frustrated and their patience wore thin. Hannah Jumper not only shared their feeling and their concerns, but she also became very outspoken on the subject.

Finally, in 1856. with the rise of the. temperance movement and the early rumblings of women’s rights being heard, the women of Rockport met secretly to plot their historic raid. Only three men were considered trustworthy enough to be taken into their confidence.

On the morning of July 8, 1856 women from every corner of Rockport rallied around Hannah and five other women who had assumed leadership roles. Even at age 75, Hannah Jumper was still a formidable figure!

Secreting their weapons beneath lacy shawls, the protesters set out to destroy every drop of alcohol located in places they had marked (under cover of darkness) with a small white cross. Howls of outrage and threats of recriminations followed the progress of the “hatchet gang”.

Five hours later. the weary but victorious women ended their revolt and went home to fix supper for their families.

One disgruntled target of the raid, Jim Brown, took the matter to court. The verdict, in favor of the women, was appealed time and time again. In the end, the original verdict was upheld and Brown was ordered to pay the court costs of $346.25 to the defendants.

Subsequently, Rockport became a ‘dry’ town, and remained so until 2005, when voters approved the sale of alcoholic beverages in local restaurants.

Hell have no fury like a sober woman…scorned!

Twist in My Sobriety

Twist in my Sobriety?

All God’s children need traveling shoes.  Drive your problems from here.  All good people read good books.

Now your conscience is clear…

I hear you talk, girl!imageedit_4_8301598671

Now that your conscience is clear!

In the morning I wipe my brow.  Wipe the miles away.  I like to I can be so willed.

And, never do what you say.  I’ll never hear you!  And, never do what you say!

Look my eyes are just holograms.  Look your love has drawn red from my hands.  From my hands you know you’ll never be…more than a twist in my sobriety!  We just poked a little pie.  For the fun people had at night.

Late at night don’t need hostility…the timid smile and pause to free.  I don’t care about their different thoughts.  Different thoughts are good for me.  Up in arms chaste and whole…All God’s children took their toll.

From my hands you’ll never be more than a twist in my sobriety.

Cup of tea, take time to think…yea!  Time to risk a life…a life…a life.  Sweet and handsome, soft and porky.  You’ll pig out until you’ve seen the light.  Pig out until you’ve seen the light.  Half the people read the papers.  Read them good and well.  Pretty people, nervous people.  People have got to sell.  News you have to sell.

You will never be more than a twist in my sobriety!

Tanita Tikaram

 

Rancor’s Spectral Tune

 

Propagate, procrastinate, appropriate, me.

For I am so… easily misled.

To the voices in my head.

Mine is a town of vast wonder.

But the needle and the spoon plunder.

The incarceration has begun for some.

And, so with the moment of morn’s blue sky…

It has begun.

I lack in luster what others call muster.

Only an ambiguous soul.

Life has taken its toll.

Yet, I will sit and wait over fields of green.

Holding fast to all the beauty I have seen.

Hand me your rake and I will deserve.

All that inebriates have heard.

Beyond the bottle, the needle, the spoon.

An artificial high on top of rancor’s spectral tune.

Tomorrow I Climb

imageedit_8_3802343696

Rolled out like a towel in the sand.

Just enough to get the feet wet.

The past soon washed up and took away my capacious plans.

Tears still covering the pages of my amends.

 

Epic are the steps to a book…

Prefaced with ‘always ask to be forgiven.’

And, with just a few words…

‘that is no way to make a living.’

 

The stairs up from the discomfort of mistakes deep and wide.

Beached and alone could not regain my pride.

First step, a love letter to self.

Then tomorrow, I climb.imageedit_4_4865301426