As if the Commandments set the scene
Not even the birds sing on the Hebridean
island of Eriskay, C. MacKenzie say
is Todday —
Fiction and fact destined to blend
In ways which heaven send
Low spirits high, there ceasing to cry,
“I hope to die,”;
For there’s proof in the tale that’ll store
Delights just below whiskey galore —
“Sabbath Sunday!” the priest did sway
Sending all to pray.
In the church the sermon begged note
Of the 7th or 8th, depending who wrote,
Not to steal, and ’twas said with zeal
Unlikely to appeal
To throats too dry in a drought
To swallow such while just out
Upon the rocks as ruinous docks
A ship of Scotch stocks
Lay pierced and destined for Davy Jones
Abandoned full of whiskey to sooth dry bones.
Oh, the Lord’s mysterious, and certainly serious,
But’ll pity those delirious,
Sober so long they see the world with clarity
Absolute that strikes some dead; it’s severity
A threat, and promise of regret
While salvation is yet
A stone’s throw from shores —
Water of life cures as it pours.
So a thieving flotilla went to snatch a scintilla —
An elephant that’s been a
Pleasure all would always be happy to know,
Though never confess who made the uisge-beatha flow,
While joy erases the guilt tint to faces
Who stole 200 cases.
J. Rohr is a Chicago native with a taste for history, and wandering the city at odd hours. In order to deal with the more corrosive aspects of everyday life he writes the blog http://www.honestyisnotcontagious.com and makes music in the band Beerfinger. His Twitter babble can be found @JackBlankHSH.