Fairhope: A Poet’s Dream

Born of progress and poverty

they took root in the pines

along Mobile Bay shedding

a beneficent light to all the world,

knowing they might have

a fair hope of succeeding.

They owned the land,

they shared the land

and everyone paid a single tax.

The poets came first, slides,

tourists and Shakespeareans later.

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The land is so creative and fertile

that flowers bloom all year:

petunias in the summer,

snapdragons in the winter.

Fairhope has a school

of organic education

near the winter home

Clarence Darrow discussed

monkey business with Scopes,

close to the summer tent

where Upton Sinclair

penned his worst work.

The scent of

fried green tomatoes

is everywhere.

Its population

a little over 15,000:

13k writers, 2k readers,

all of them dreamers.

The walkable downtown

can be stepped in the time

it takes to read 10 great poems,

a medium New Yorker short story,

and scan the beauty

of an Ansel Adam’s bluff—

not including stops

for when inspiration hits.

Every porch rocking chair

has the creak of well told tales,

some of them true.

The restaurants serve

good meals wavering

between pretentious and grass fed.

Fairhope is a town where the owner

of the biggest bookshop is also its mayor.

The seasons blend into art shows,

sunset concerts, film festivals

and arts and crafts cross pollinations.

Fairhope is a well-read,

clean and well lighted place.

The moment you leave

you hit your head

and then remember

that everyone you met

had writer’s block.

It’s small secret:

everything is plagiarized.

There is an actual Fairhope in Alabama. The details for this poem where taken from a New York Times article about the town. This poem is no more plagiarized than Shakespeare’s great plays were culled from lesser known sources.

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