Copyright © 28 September 2011 by Bob Hurt. All rights reserved.
We left in dark of night from Tipperary,
Three of the girls I could, but two I couldn’t, carry.
The wee ones I nestled warmly in a potato sack.
Faith, I heaved my bag of treasures o’er my back,
The bigger girls took bundles under arm.
We skittered from our loft at Widow’s farm.
I had tried to save my wife Oh Lord I tried,
But she worsened in that terrible winter and died.
I couldn’t pay the fees for inn or car,
So we stole out before dawn to go afar.
We slid down the rooftop, covered in soot,
And betook our torturous journey on foot.
The wind howled at our departure from the town.
We trekked the hills and woods; rain poured down.
We warmed us beside fires of sticks and peat,
And sucked cows’ milk fresh from the teat.
The girls smiled with my tales of elf and fairy,
To forget their dead, cold mum in Tipperary.
Now and then we’d stop; I’d dry their tears;
Give hope for better lives; calm their fears.
In a week and more our travel finally ended;
The girls’ aching, broken hearts eventually mended.
I found stevedore work in Cleggan, by the sea
And a cottage on a farm for my girls and me.
Though they grew up happy, fine men did marry,
Sure, we miss her still who stayed in Tipperary.
Yes, I woke in the wee morn with these words aborn. I won’t fret their lack of meter and clumsy rhyme. This morn well before nine (no clue what brought it to mind) I gave them the best of my daily time.
I don’t know how I saw those pictures in the wake of my sleep. Did I labor over them as I tossed and turned? Did I dream them in a flash just before I woke? I don’t know.
I just knew I must set them from my keyboard, or they wouldn’t keep.
I’d lose them like I did that vision of printed circuit etching of the matrix grid of pyramids, layer upon layer of find gold, 50 thousandths of an inch each, each connected at base and apex, to become radiated magnetically as well as with high-frequency current, the matrices lain layer upon layer near one another to fracture water between them and produce hydrogen-oxygen gas. I saw the energy in my sleep, and the mass of bubbles rising in the water.
Yes, I saw that in a dream and somehow the wake of it lingered in my thoughts when I awoke. Though I had forgotten it, I now remember.
So, I try to learn to write what wakes me. Though it may mean nothing, the Journey from Tipperary did precisely that. It woke me with an urgency to write. I have no clue why a vision from a rented loft in a farmhouse on the edge of town in a dank and dreary winter’s end in old Ireland, and a family with a sick and dying wife and a passel of small daughters would grace my dreams. But it did.
And now I have forever set it free.