A journey through the Irish language with Des Bishop.
Posts tagged irish
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He sat on the bench staring into the sky. The clouds drifted and his eyes followed. A girl ran by, down the gray cement path snaking around the trees. Birds chirped and pruned their feathers, the lot of them sounding like raindrops. He turned to look towards the sound of a dog barking and felt the wind touch his neck. A memory from childhood sprang into his mind but he could not pinpoint it. Something with sand and a spray of water. He could hear his mother laughing. A man tugged his dog’s leash trying to lead it away. The man on the bench strained his eyes and smiled. Someone turned the page of a newspaper, possibly the Journal. The man wondered what the scores were, but had forgotten a paper of his own. It sat on the corner of the counter. He shook out the thought and relaxed his brow. He breathed a deep breath, puffing out his chest and closed his eyes. The world could melt this way. He let the breath out in a rush. He felt something on his neck again but not the wind. He opened his eyes. Staring up at him were two large eyes and they belonged to a child. The child was all pale skin and tangled hair. He had three freckles on each cheek. His legs kicked while dangling from the bench.
“Where’d you come from, child?” The child shrugged. ”That your Da?” The child shook his head. The man on the bench squinted and tapped the end of his nose with a finger. He took off his hat and set it in his lap. ”You’re a quiet lad. Didn’t see you there.” The boy was gone. The man blinked at the empty bench. He put his hat back on his head. The wind was chilling his thinning hair. He let out a single toned whistle and leaned back. HIs shoulders felt heavy. He looked back out into the sky. The clouds drifted and his eyes just followed.
Certainly I owe something tonight, though I am drained and ragged. They say this writing life is a lonely life, and I say that writing is lonely, but the life is not. Like any other job there are hours to be sacrificed to the vocation, and it is of God and for God. I wake up, wave goodbye to the family and go about my work, lunch pale in hand. This is the life, like any other, and it is lonely like any other. I know that writers tend to be the hyper-dramatic introvert, whereas an actor is the hyper-dramatic extrovert by contrast, and they love to inflate themselves with a picture painted in gray of the lonely artist walking a beat. If that is for you, then so it is, and I love that you love that. For me I take a more practical approach. I am a working man, have worked all my life in one form or another, and when I get dressed for work and look at my family sound asleep, I feel lonely. In the throws of work I feel nothing, but if I were to feel it would be lonesomeness. When I look at the clock prior to quitting time, I yearn to be home, greeted like a rock star by my Poltergeist. If the lonely life image is what turns someone away from writing then I must announced that it can be applied in many ways: The salesman’s life is a lonely life; the teacher’s life is a lonely life; the grocer’s life is a lonely life; the Soldier’s life is a lonely life; and the writer’s life is a lonely life. The men and women who work, work in a lonesome condition, separated from the one’s they love in order to harvest their crop. Again, we all sacrifice, and I hope that one day I sacrifice for my vocation. It is not less lonely to do so, only more fulfilling of a yoke.
the Wolfe Tones, “The Fighting 69th”
All around him was death. The ends of the blades of grass were on fire. He just stood frozen, like a melting statue. The air was not air but fumes and hell. The signature of the dark men was all around, bullet holes in everything. To Ernie, this must have been their masterpiece, but somewhere inside he knew that to men like those, this was but a scrap paper. At his feet the dirt was blood pudding, the life-juice spilled but never soaking into the earth. It would never soak into the earth. Red and blue lights sprinkled the scene, making colors turn to something sickening. They loaded the little body into the back of the bus draped in a sheet, a ghost upon the cart. Gun powder was still lingering, tickling Ernie’s nose hairs. The police were stringing up yellow tape, voices blurred together into incomprehensible brown tones, and the world was all a twisted circus. They would question him, maybe had questioned him already, but he only stood there. His boy was loaded into an ambulance, covered in the cloak of death, which was white, not black like in the stories. He wanted to ride with him, then didn’t want to ride with him. He wanted to run away, through the woods, dive into the lake and float until his flesh became soft and dripped to the bottom.
“Where is he?”
“He was standing right here, Sergeant.”
“No one was watching him?” The Sergeant put his hands on his hips.
“We have to get his statement. He saw everything.” He shook his head and pinched the bridge of his nose between finger and thumb. ”He saw his boy go down.” The medics rushed up, feet crunching in the ash of lawn.
“Can’t call him, but he’s not gonna pull through. We need to take off.”
“Yeah, dad is gone. Must have taken off in the chaos. Need to find him, he’s probably not in a good place right now. Need to protect him from himself.” The medics departed in a rush of slamming doors. ”Get some cars out there. Get some officers into the woods.” He climbed into his car, the old rust-bucket with paint to match its decay. Detective Sergeant de la Cruz was twisted up inside from this one. He needed sleep, but needed to find Ernie Hanrahan’s wife more. She was out of town, with her parents, and didn’t even know that her son was a flesh puddle now. Quite a drive south to Laredo, but he wasn’t going to have some pimple-faced patrol officer breaking the news sounding like a pizza delivery guy. He cranked his car up, shifted into gear and pushed the accelerator. The tires crunched over ruins. Fire still licked the yard, the house was a black smear and it smelled like a butcher shop. No, there would be little sleep tonight, for many folks in this quiet town.
The Pogues, “Fairytale of New York.”