splendid in his sailor suit standing outside time.
He will not survive Ypres.
There is no photograph to show him as a soldier.
Mother couldn't bear them. Burned them.
She forever talking to him in her head
loving his Devonshire accent.
A thrush is singing from behind enemy lines.
Spring can't understand humans and their ways
dresses the trees in their freshest green.
"Jack...Jack Jack!" she cries to the wind from the south.
A Ghaoth Aneas! ( O South Wind )
"Sin chugaibh mo phóg ar rith ins an ród Leigim le seol gaoithe í."
( Here goes my kiss to you rushing along the road I send it on the wings of the wind.)
South Wind was written in the 1700s by Domhnall Meir-geach Mac Con Mara( "Freckled Donal Macnamara" )in homesickness for his homeland( after he was banished for some 'misdoings' )in County Mayo. This sublime melody has a very Carolan-ish air about it...essence of my Irish childhood. I used to hum it to myself for comfort when my sister Junie was killed in a bus crash back in the world of '67.
A Ghaoth Aneas!
A Ghaoth Aneas na mbraon mbog glas A ní gach faiche féarmhar Bheir iasc ar eas is grian i dteas Is líon is meas ar ghéagaibh
Más síos ar fad mar mbínn féin seal Is mianach leat-sa séide Cuirim Rí na bhFeart dhod chaomhaint ar neart ‘S túir don tír sin blas mo bhéil-se!
Sínim aneas ag díonamh cleas Nach ndíonann neach san saol so Mar íslím gaimh is scaoilim leac Is díbrim sneachta as sléibhte
Ó taoi tú ar lear go bhfuí tú mo neart ‘S gur mian liom do leas a dhéanamh Go bhfúigfe mé mo bheannacht ins gach aon tslí ar mhaith leat Is choíche i gCathair Éamoinn!
A Chonnachta an tseoid, an tsuilt ‘s an spóirt I n-imirt ‘s i n-ól an fhíona Sin chugaibh mo phóg ar rith ins an ród Leigim le seol gaoithe í
Tá mise beo i mboige na seod Mar a mbrúitear gach sórt bídh dhom Ach is mian liom fós tarraing d’bhur gcomhair Muna gcluine mé ach ceól píopa!
O South Wind!
O South Wind with the soft clear drops You that make every sword grassy Bring the fish to the waterfall, give heat to the sun And abundance of fruit to the branches
If it is far to the north where I once lived That you are minded to blow May the King of Power preserve your strength And give the taste of my mouth to that country!
I blow from the south, performing feats Which no one else on earth can do For I lay winter low and scatter the ice And banish the snow from the mountains
Since you are in need you shall have my strength And I want nothing more than to help you I shall leave my blessing in every place you choose And always in Cathair Éamoinn!
O blissful, joyous, sporting Connacht Home of gaming and of wine-drinking Here goes my kiss to you rushing along the road I send it on the wings of the wind
I am living in splendid luxury Where every kind of food is dressed for me But yet I am fain to draw towards you If I should hear but the music of the pipes!