The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

My Photo
Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Sunday, May 27, 2018


Strolling in the graveyard.
Bucolic sunshine.
Not a trace of last night's storm.
It was over by about half five this morning, the last minutes replete with a dramatic crashing of thunder and a sudden downpour of rain.
The storm had continued for at least two hours of eerie silence, strange spectacular noiseless luminescences, sheet lightning, fork lightning, lightning over head, lightning low to the horizon, all in the most surealistic stillness. But the storm found its voice right at the end.
Now it's a new day and I'm in the graveyard.
The fields stretch away, golden with warmth, heavily scented with the aromas of burgeoning white thorn trees.
A lady calls me over to a bench where she's sitting.
She recognises my face from various family members but I do not know her. She says she woke up last night at 3am and sat on the edge of her bed during the storm.
I ask her how she woke.
She says she thought the dog must have woken her.
"Did you hear the storm?" I wonder.
"My kids say there must have been thunder," she says, "but I didn't hear it. There was no sound. Maybe a few rumbles."
"I watched it for an hour outside from 3am," I tell her, "and there were no rumbles until about 4am. The thing was going off all around me. There was absolute silence. Then at 5am there was heavy thunder and a sudden downpour for another half an hour. Do you think it means something?"
"Well Ireland has just legalised abortion," she answers.
Later this evening I rang Farmer Jones and asked him about the storm.
He had woken to use the toilet, knew there was a storm but hadn't watched it.
I asked him why there was no sound.
"If the storm was over Wexford you wouldn't hear it James."
"I'm telling you this thing was going off all around me."
"It might seem that way. You can see lightning from across the country."
"I think God was telling us something about the abortion vote."
"Okay. Okay. You can say that but storms happen all the time. Remember the storm of 1986 where all the farmers had to sell up. And there was a big storm in Spain and Italy only a few days ago."
"I think God is telling us we've done wrong and that it's not okay."
Still later as I brought the dogs along the river in the glorious May dusk, I ran into a local businessman.
He brought up the subject first.
"Did you ever see  anything like that storm last night? Wasn't it amazing?"
I told him I hadn't ever seen anything like it before and asked him what he thought was amazing about it.
"Well for most of the time it was silent," he answered. "And it was amazing to see the lightning going off all over the place. I was counting down waiting for the sound of thunder."
"Yes, yes, I did that too. I thought if you counted down from the lightning flashes to the sound of thunder you can work out the distance of the storm from your position."
"James maybe it was too far away."
"Billy I was standing out  in the field. The thing was all along the line of the Wicklow mountains, and in a curve past the east and south of Kilcullen. At times the flashes were nearly overhead. Closer than Urquahart's Woods."
"Actually I thought of one of our townsmen who died this week. I thought maybe he's having a party up there."
"Did you think it might have anything to do with the abortion vote?"
"Ah James, I respect you saying that. But..."
"I think God has been shouting at us for so long Billy. Last night he spoke softly and in a beautiful way. He's telling the Irish that they have done a great wrong and it will not stand."


Post a Comment

<< Home