Earthquakes and Religion


ST. Theresa’s, Dublin

The 1755 Cape Ann earthquake took place off the coast of the British Province of Massachusetts Bay on November 18. At between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, it remains the largest earthquake in the history of Massachusetts. Wikipedia  People thought it was God giving them their just desserts.


Cape Anne Earthquake

Strong Puritan measures
judgments against
frivolity and paganism
snaked into each household

and held on tightly to what was
regarded as God’s law
until the earth that held them could
no longer uphold this structure

earth unlaced her corset strings
untied her boots
and began to dance
unheeding of everything aside for
the need to break restrictions

earth rumbled awake
danced down chimneys
churches to the last steeple
trees swayed to the percussion

deep in their woody bones they pulled
back their roots from the searing heat
they tossed their leaves
in the scorching winds

The worshippers held on
they fell

Who has never sinned
Who has never danced




Bonadventure Cemetery, Savannah GA

About elainereardon

Poet, writer, gardener, herbalist, pottery, painting—bumping into magic, peeking around new corners.
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