Tuesday, March 17, 2015



Utopia existed in Oglethorpe's mind -
no slavery, no liquor, no Catholics;
a southern Eden of mulberry trees,
potash, and grapes atop Yamacraw Bluff.

Never blossomed, this vision of his.
Shanghaied; another innocent victim
drunk and spirited away upon pirate ship
via tavern's secret tunnels.

Pull up a chair and celebrate what might have been.
Toast a botanical experiment lost in the swagger 
of Britain's newly minted port hosting salty sailors,
soldiers, and feminine charms.  

Yet, the Herb House remains, 
innocently nestled beside past debauchery 
and piratical scandals; a reminder of gentler visions 
where profit wasn't king. 

by Margaret Bednar, March 17, 2015

Savannah, GA, the thirteenth American colony.  General Oglethorpe and 120 passengers landed on a bluff high along the Savannah River and were greeted by the Yamacraw Indian chief, Tomochichi.  The General's plans really were of a utopian quality - the only reason he banned Catholics was he was afraid of "Spanish sympathies" with nearby St. Augustine, FL.    (Early Savannah history)  (Oglethorpe the utopian)

I was away for seven days celebrating 25 years of marriage - we stayed in St. Augustine, FL and Savannah, GA.  I have eaten in both rooms of the Herb House and it also has an upstairs which is not open to the public.  It has a tiny footprint, but quite a history.  The Tavern Inn next door, now called the "Pirate House," has a cellar with secret tunnels that lead to the Savannah River.   Both places are reportedly haunted.

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Weekend Mini Challenge Poeticizing Out" and "The Tuesday Platform".  


TexWisGirl said...

happy anniversary to you! awesome!

Fireblossom said...

No Catlicks, huh? I'd so have messed him up.

Marian said...

Hope you had a great celebration, Margaret. Did you happen to visit Cumberland Island? I believe the ferry is from St. Mary's, Georgia. That place is idyllic!

Anonymous said...

My niece lives in Savannah. I think I'm going to have to plan a visit.

Björn Rudberg said...

Happy celebration.. actually we visited Savannah a few years ago.. a friend's daughter studied at SCAD in Savannah, and she showed us the town.. that i found very interesting..

Jim said...

Happy Anniversary, Margaret!!! Half a century is quite long, and a treasured marker place.

I like the Herb house, Thank you for the report. I was tempted to ask about Herb. But I won't.
Our neighbor is from there and last year she was busy remodeling old homes and selling them. But she got burned on one and that was he end for her.

M. A. S. said...

I loved the poem before i understood anything about it. The history makes it more beautiful. Thank you.

Outlawyer said...

Many congratulations, Margaret! It sounds like you had a really lovely time and I enjoyed seeing your pictures. You tell an interesting little snatch of history here--I am always a little afraid Utopian envisagers! That said, it is a fun poem and a really fascinating story. Thanks. k .

hedgewitch said...

Our country began as various mifits' and rebels' ideas of utopia--we often forget that, I think, but it is really an important part of who we are, as you show here. Thanks for this tale of the (for you, lucky!)13th colony, and many congratulations on 25 years. I love both words and photos here.

Susmit said...

Time flies, Happy 25 years! So effortlessly, you bring up the Savannah story in such a different, captivating way.

Laura said...

I enjoyed your poem and the history behind it as well Margaret. Happy Anniversary!!! We will celebrate 27 years this June… time is such an odd thing is it not?

grapeling said...

I once visited Savannah and a shop full of hot sauces. Hope your visit was equally spicy :) ~

Susan said...

I love this! I have pulled up my chair! Thanks, Margaret.

Wolfsrosebud said...

what a sweet treasure to bring back from vacation

Gail said...

I absolutely love this. Savannah is dear to my heart. The history enveloped me. I long to return.

Happy Anniversary and what a special way to celebrate.

rallentanda said...

Interesting history to Savannah which is quite a popular new age name for girls now.
Like the reference to Catholics being banned from utopia...can understand this..they have an intrinsic habit of calling out the elephant in the room ...inconvenient truths are rarely welcomed ! :)