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Location:Texas, USA Naturalized US Citizen of Irish extract -   Fixed Wing and Helo trucker.Interests: "The Absurdity of Man". I am a proud supporter of Blarney, Nonsense, and Hooey. I enjoy being a chopper jockey, and trying to figure the world, people and belief systems out. I'm just not very good at it, so it keeps me real busy. I scribble, blog, run this website, mess with rental houses, ride motorbikes, and read as much as I can. I went solo 44 years ago, and I like to say I'm gonna get me a real job one day. When I grow up. ("but not just yet, Lord, not just yet") For my aviation scribbles see www.chopperstories.com.... enjoy! I wish you Peace in your Life. May you always walk with the sun on your face, and a breeze ruffling your hair. And may you cherish a quiet wonder for our awesome Universe. Life isn't always good. But it is always fascinating. Never quit.
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The Winds of Old Ireland (for the love of rhyme and verse)




The Winds of Old Ireland

(for the love of rhyme and verse)

   
       I confess: I'm a feeling man.
Oh, such a fool... in so many ways.
At times, a fool for women.
At times, a fool for wine.
Often, a fool for myself,
      and a fool for Time.

"But of all the many fools I've been,
yes, I've been selfish, and yes, I've been mean,  
I know that I could have done a lot worse,
but for the enduring love, of rhyme and verse."


       I've worked in many different places. And labored in many different jobs. And I've often heard the wind.
I've heard it whisper, and sigh. I've heard it groan, and cry.
I've heard it howl as well. And once, when we were caught out in a fast moving typhoon, somewhere out on the Pacific Ocean, west of the Solomon Islands, north of Australia, I've heard it shriek. That was the day I wondered if I would see the morrow.
But I've never heard the wind quite like it sounded in Ireland, when I was a young man.

       I've flown through many a sky. In many different flying machines.
Flown to many different places. And I've often heard the wind.
I've heard it whisper, and sigh. I've heard it groan, and cry.
I've heard it howl as well. And once, when my biplane engine failed, somewhere in the sky, west of Cambridge, and north of Luton, I've heard it suddenly, loud and stark. That was another day I wondered if I would see the morrow.
But I've never heard the wind quite like it sounded in Ireland, when I was a young man.

          I've driven a heavy motorbike, all over Europe.
Roared, far too fast, to many different places.   And I've often felt and heard the wind. I've felt it tug at my leathers, and pull at my face. I've felt its force against my chest, as I, a dark rider, speeding and fleeting, accelerated away, a phantom, a ghost. And once, after I had crashed a Kawasaki Z-1, at over ninety, into an old Irish roadside wall, flying over the top of unyielding, solid stone, I lay, for a long time, flat on my back, listening gratefully to the sound of the wind.
And my young heart, beating...
But I've never heard the wind quite like it sounded in Ireland, when I was a young man.

      I've dived headlong out of perfectly good flying machines.
Just for the hell of it, I wish I knew why. And that's when you hear the wind in your face, as it batters you, shakes you, and rattles your jumpsuit.  And once, over Bourges, in France, at terminal velocity, doing 120 m.p.h., when I pulled the ripcord, and absolutely nothing happened, I still heard the wind, when I shouldn't have.
But I've never heard the wind quite like it sounded in Ireland, when I was a young man.

      I loved poetry in those days. As I do now.
And I would take a book, and ride my old Triumph, out of Dublin and way up into the Wicklow mountains. I would drive for miles and miles, until I found myself, alone, walking across the heather, lost in verse and time.  And I would listen to the wind, as it came to me. The wind, that caressed me, and fondly, playfully ruffled my hair.  It seemed to me always, that the ghosts of old Ireland, it being such an ancient country, with so many countless generations gone before... it seemed to me these ghosts were carried to me, somehow, on the wind. And that these self-same ghosts, benign, but full of mischief,  would come and visit for a while.  Accompany me, on my solitary walk, debating amongst themselves, pleasantly, the merit of my fresh young thoughts. I for my part, would try and pay them homage, in my own way. I would recite to them, out loud, with feeling, from the old poetry. And I would modulate my voice, and strive to serve those bygone poets well with my simple, heartfelt renderings. And, careful lest I unwittingly caused offense, I picked my way respectfully around the old houses, the tumbled down roofless cottages, with the moss clad walls, those silent tributes to lost laughter and forgotten tears. And I would imagine, vividly, the great famine, the many years of hell, the absentee English landlords, and their cruel bailiffs, evicting the impoverished Irish tenants.    

"But of all the many fools I've been,
yes, I've been selfish, and yes, I've been mean,  
I know that I could have done a lot worse,
but for the enduring love, of rhyme and verse."


      And it was on one such a Summer day, I happened upon a silent house, standing on a small hill, with little more, than one good wall, still standing, forlorn, facing the sea. And where the upstairs bedroom would have been, there was left only an opening for a window. With the wooden frame long since gone. The curtains long departed. And in the upstairs room, now floor-less, with only the opening, I fancied, a young girl standing at the last remaining window, gazing out to sea. I, struck by her beauty, paused, shyly, not wishing to disturb her rapt concentration.
     Presently, she turned, and spying me below, she smiled sweetly. I returned the smile, shyly. And, as happens in these strange, waking dreams, when Time reverses itself, as it can, I found myself, naturally, with no trace of surprise, in a rapt conversation with a girl who had died one hundred and thirty five years earlier. She spoke of the famine, and I spoke of books. She told me of her family, and I made her laugh with tales of mayhem and motorbikes. Her laugh was pleasant, like music in the still morning. She told me of her family, and I told her of my dreams. And, suddenly, we were standing upstairs, in her room, looking out that window, in perfect repair, the glass polished and shiny, out over the distant, sun bathed sea. And I sensed, through her words, her hopes for a better life, over the sea, in America. We talked for hours, we marveled at how much we had in common, and we shared our love for Life. She took my hand, and I shivered to feel the softness of her skin. There was a music in the air, a soft happiness, an innocence, and the freshness of Youth.

     The sun lowering in the sky, it became time for me to go. Reluctantly, I said goodbye to this girl from the past. She stood and watched me go, with the wind brushing her long brown curls. Her serene smile, tender and understanding, never left her face. Her last words, spoken softly, were mellow and soft, almost joyous.

"I pray you, kind Sir, never think the less of us who went before.  We are dead in this Life, but not the next. Our thoughts, our loving, our love of books, our hopes, our smiles… live on. One day, in the fullness of time, we will all be together again.  I look forward to your stories, your poetry, and more of your adventures.
Live well, Francis, and be kind."
   
I turned and walked away, reluctantly. On reaching the foot of that small hill, I turned and looked back.  She, the maid with the long brown curls, was gone. Her former home, derelict, falling down, stood framed against the eternal sky. The lone window of the upper bedroom, floorless and roofless, stood sentry. Where we had stood, together, chatting easily, there was no floor.

But the lone window of our dreams, it stood proudly, a silhouette against the eternal, timeless sky...




Francis Meyrick








Last edited by Francis Meyrick on June 19, 2013, 3:51 pm
We little humans, hurtling through the Universe on our tiny, pale blue dot, will find few answers to Life's great mysteries. But we should at least find many of the questions. To write is to ask. To seek. To grope. With humility, and humor. Peace.
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