(DIED IN A SIBERIAN PRISON CAMP)
I think I have lost something on the way. What it is I do not know?
Shall I turn back? It is so far off now. Yet it is a pity to let it go.
I have lost something but do not know what. Is it anything of worth?
I shall let it be for the day is short and vast is the earth.
Already the shadows fall from the trees; Long is my shadow. My heart is unquiet. It cries turn back. My loss torments me so. So I stand still in the midst of the road, tormented, doubt tossed;
I have lost something but do not know what but I know I have lost
My uncle Paddy, wrote this a pocket size green notebook along with quotations, while living in Japan, in 1985. He gave this green notebook to me and it is one of my most gifts. 2015 he has retired to the Columban Fathers home, Dalgan Park.
First they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for the communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a communist
They they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade Unionist
Then they came for me
And there was no one left to speak out for me.
Profound: This was written by Pastor Niemoeller (Victim of the Nazis)
Aoiyama Cemetery, Tokyo, January 1970
All is quiet and still in this small Toyko cemetery.
I am surrounded by graves and graves of people all unknown to me a stranger amongst the dead.
A gentle breeze touches my face, the sun brings light and warmth.
Suddenly a fly alights on my hand, a tear falls from my eye.
October 2015 I spoke with my Uncle Paddy who now resides at St Columban’s, Dalgan Park, Navan, Co. Meath. I am aware during his retirement years he writes poetry but it never dawned on me to ask him for a poem. I did and he kindly sent me this. Paddy, a Columban father, educated by the Jesuits at Belvedere College, was sent to Japan in the 1950’s as a missionary priest. In those days, you spent the first 12 years in the country designated without any opportunity even a family to return to Ireland. I now include this poem in the collection.
Another Comyn battle with the Crown in Co Clare.
The Trial of P. Arkins
Well known Ennistymon man, Michael John Glynn of ‘The Clare Champion’ procured this song of litigation following agrarian unrest from Mrs C. Meehan of Circular Road, Ennistymon. It is attributed to a Mrs Nora Considine (nee Murphy) N.T. Kilshanny and a date of 1903 is suggested for its composition. Arkins came from Ballinacarra, Kilfenora and the trial centres on the knocking of a boundary wall. Rather than an act of personal malice the wall-knocking seems to have been part of general disturbances in the area in which tenant farmers and others made their feelings known in this way to unpopular landlords and the authorities.
’Twas on a black December day,
The hills of Clare were far away,
And hirelings ready to betray
A gallant Irish boy.
Judge Dodd was robed in scarlet gown
And G. McSweeney for the crown,
While Michael Comyn won renown,
For his defence that day.
The case was called, the jury packed,
McSweeney read the Whiteboy Act,
The peeler swore it was a fact
That Arkins knocked the wall.
Then Comyn dressed the peeler down,
“Take care” says Dodd “You’ll lose the gown
At Munster Bar and Dublin Town
You have with honour worn.”
To this the Council gave no heed,
He was a man of noble breed
It warmed the heart to hear him plead
With eloquence sublime.
The jury it was badly packed
And seeing the peelers spreely hacked
Could not agree about the fact
That Arkins knocked the wall.
But Sweeney knows that rebel Cork
Has still twelve men to do his work
A jury bloody as the Turk
Young Arkins will condemn.
Then spoke the judge in accents low
“To penal servitude you go,
For I’m the judge and you the foe
Of England and the King.
“You’re doomed for seven long years to dwell
A captive lone in convict cell,
Unless your comrades names you tell
And yield them up to me.”
But Arkins was of brave men born,
From love and kindred basely torn
Cast on that judge a look of scorn
And proved himself a man.
And while his memory lives in Clare,
No cruel judge will ever dare
To ask her manly sons to wear,
The emblem of a spy.
THE BURREN, BISHOP’S QUARTER
See the sullen sweeps of Burren
Bend to meet the moody sea
Down below a stud valley
Which is always home to me.
Men of kindness and of courage
Sons of centuries toil
Coaxing out a narrow living
From a sparse reluctant soil
Wives and children of the Burren
Homes that show the light of love
As they grapple there with nature
The sea skies of blue above
When my years have had their living
When at last it is time to die
Bring me back to BALLYVAUGHAN
IN GOD’S HEAVEN LET ME LIE
Our dear James Peter rests in Ballyvaughan and is at peace.
Poem written by: Sir James Comyn, formerly of Belvin, Tara, Co. Meath and Cambridgeshire.
The Philistines, the Philistines, it’s close on 30 years
since Coole’s old walls were scattered….
’twas music to their ears:
“Pull down, pull down” the cry went out
Re-echoed through the land
“We must not suffer beauty in any form to stand”
For it might make men think again
Think hard and step aside
And leave the ranks of levelers
That through the tall gates spied
“What’s on in there?”, they wondered
And knowledge shut it’s mouth
While Ignorance and Greed rode by
On the Shoulders of a Lout
This was written by Rev. Jerry (Jeremiah) Kelly, Porte, Ruan, who became a missionary priest and worked for over 30 years in Korea, on behalf of the Columban Missionaries. 1916, the other side, those left behind. The O’Donnellan ffrench Blake-Forster is detailed on WordPress.com canisgallicus. Our shared family tree
It was selected by her grandniece Helen. Eileen Kelly RIP formerly Porte, Ruan, Co. Clare. Sister of Jeremiah Kelly and the origin of the aforementioned SEPT of the O’Donnellan ffrench Blake-Forster history. This makes me visualise Eileen, her person, her compassion, her listening ear, her support.
of stepping on the shore
and finding it heaven
of taking hold of a hand
and finding it – God’s hand
of breathing a new air
of feeling invigorated
and finding it – immortality
of passing from a storm and tempest
to an unknown calm;
of waking – and finding you ‘re home
THE DAYS ARE DIM, DOUR AND DARK
NOT NOW THE SONG AND LILT OF LARK
AGITATED WAKING GIVES RISE TO INNER SHAKING
SEEKING END TO ENDLESS DAY
OTHERS CAN BUT THINK THEY KNOW
THE INNER FEARS THAT WILL
DENY OUR CRY TO FREE OURSELVES
FROM THAT INCESSANT TORTURER
SELF RECRIMINATION STANDS GUARD
HELL, OUR PRISON YARD
FEAR OUR FOOD
WALLS RISE AROUND US
BUILT IN OUR SOULS
BRICKS OF ANXIETY
MORBID MORTAR MADE OF MADNESS
HOPE, VANISHED SO DEEP
SEEMS NEVER TO HAVE EXISTED
OUR EVERY VIEW OF LIFE
PRAYERS TO A GOD OF DESPERATION
ASK MERCY FOR THE UNDESERVING
EMPTY WORDS CANTED
IN VAIN GRASP AT DISTRACTION
FROM THE THROBBING SOURCE OF PAIN
THE INNER SELF
AND SO THE MERCILESS MINUTES
CLIMB THEIR CALVARY
THERE, NO SWORD WILL PUNCTURE THE TERROR
BORN ANEW EACH DAWN
Kyran Hanley, formerly Ennis Road, Limerick City, a childhood friend shared this with me. Decades later we have lost contact. Kyran moved to live in Australia in the 1980’s.
TO SWEET MICHELLE
Let no one ever hear it said
While I am alive or when I am dead
In those delightful years that I did not apply
The craft I know and love so well
To praise the charms of Sweet Michelle
Whose soothing soft caressing ways
Illuminate my darkest days
Such feelings thus are best expressed
where arms entwine and lips are pressed
But years have spanned to wide a space
For us to reach in sweet embrace
And though I love my friendships well
There is no one like sweet Michelle
‘Keep this always, as an everlasting testimony that you were once young, charming and beautiful, despite the ravages which the tyrannic pendulum of time can so mercilessly inflict on all of us’.
Goodnight my dear Michelle
SLEEPY RANDOM THOUGHTS
The time is close when I’ll be gone,
But life and time will still go on,
And even though I won’t be there,
To see the light and breathe the air,
The sun will set, the dawn will rise,
The clouds will gather in the skies,
The rains will fall, the winds will blow,
The ocean tides will ebb and flow,
Green leaves will dress the naked plants,
New births in spring will skip and dance,
Sounds old and new will rouse and ring,
New flowers will bloom, new birds will sing,
New girls will bare their shapely limbs,
To don the latest fashion whims,
New crops of boys will strut and boast,
of conquests won from coast to coast,
New things will crowd each busy street
With laughs and handshakes as they meet,
But seldom will a word be said,
Of those of us now cold and dead.
The cosy chats, the evening teas,
The sweetest of my memories,
Will still go on just as before,
But I’ll be gone for evermore.
New things will have replaced the old,
And old things – some will kill to hold,
For out of times long past and gone,
Come woes and ills that linger on.
But if I’m laid where beauty grows,
My dust may sprout a lip-red Rose,
For in this life some earthly power,
Deprived me of that sweetest flower,
I feel my soul would find repose
If God would let me have that Rose.
Written by: Johnnie Neylon formerly Mohermoylan, Carron, Co. Clare and Wellington Road, Dublin 4,18th September 1977
The Divine Weaver
MAN’s life is laid in a loom of time
To a pattern he does not know
While the Weaver works and shuttles fly
Till the end of eternity
Some shuttles are filled with silver thread,
And some with threads of gold;
While often the darker hue
Is all that they may hold.
But the weaver watches with skillful eye
Each shuttle fly to and fro
And sees the pattern so deftly wrought
As the loom works sure and slow
God’s surely planned that pattern
Each thread – the dark and the fair –
was chosen by his master skill
And planned in the web with care
He only knows the beauty and
guides the shuttles which hold
The threads so unattractive
As well as the threads of gold
Nor till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll a pattern
and explain the reason why
The dark threads are so needful
In the weavers skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has Planned.
Bert Doyle gave me a pocket size card of this well known poem. The day was Mum’s retirement party 20th April 2000 I noted at the back of the card that this was the day that John Carthy was shot dead in Granard – his diagnosis blurred the reality and necessitated the Barr Tribunal. Bert was a General Practitioner in Wexford. He understood the struggle I encountered with the complications of a traumatic brain injury and bipolar. Depression lurked around every corner of my living days.
It’s a War
A battle of wills
You and me.
There’s no fighting
No world coverage
No – no press
Like Cat and Mouse
Despair and Pain
No Known Cause
Like that Serpent
That first snake
Leaving Trials and Hurdles
To be Overcome
A Victory of the Heart
To Love or Trust again
Margaret, Cathy, Trish, Michelle and Fliona
An autumnal visit to the Haven, Glendalough
Fr. Michael Rodgers and Gill McCarthy
Written by Fliona Fogarty – 2002
OUR JOURNEY TO HOPE
The days were getting shorter and colder
The leaves were falling quickly from the trees;
Each day as we all passed through Stephen’s Green
We could see all these changes
Nature was going for its long sleep
but the Horizon girls were waking; waking to a new and exciting world
Our brain cells were being replenished
With lots of information
Our creativity was being nourished
With help and advice
Our bodies were being trimmed up
By physical exercise
Our personalities developed in general
Winter took its grip but we never noticed
We were busy beavers
The friendships grew with added strength
Christmas came and went
But the communication continued
Telecom made a fortune
January dawned and we returned
To Hatch Street a little sad
As there was not much time left
The days are a little sad
As there was not much time left
The days are now stretching
And Spring has sprung
And with new hope in our hearts once more
And knowledge in our heads
And most importantly lots of wonderful friends
The Horizon girls shall face the world
With heads held high in hope and glory
We hope we have blazed a trail
For Others To Follow in our Footsteps
Her Rising Publication
Trinity Horizon programme 1996/1997
When Thinking of Her
I will Remember
The Beauty of Nature
In all its splendour
Like falling leaves
Blue Green Eyes
Cool Deep Seas
Red Rose Lips
An Angel’s Smile
Small White Hands
Feet that tapped
With Sweet delight
Silken Skin so
Pure and White
LOVE HER LIFE
PEACE HER SHROUD
Dolores Symes Participant
Trinity Horizon Programme
They have been at the end of my arms for forty years,
but I have taken them for granted
They were the hands I used to cling to my mother with
They were the hands I saw and played with as a baby
These were the hands that played with my toys
At school and home they were the hand that got slapped
and made them sore
And because I am left handed, they are the hands
that made me feel
Guilty – I was called the Devil’s child.
They were clumsy hands at times
and when I am nervous they shake
I can never or could never carry a tray without a shake
And when I have a hangover, they really shake;
and remind me that I have had too much to drink
They are the hands that do so many things.
And only now – I realize so much
My hands let me write, to express myself so I can write.
They work from morning to night
Once the alarm is turned off in the morning:they are washing, dressing, cooking, cleaning, eating, drinking, ironing, gardening.
To the hour of night when it is time to put the alarm on.
They help me to communicate from
shaking hands to hugging friends
To caressing my loved on;
to tickling my nephews and petting the cat.
To writing to friends and using the phone –
I even use them to say hello to God
The saddest thing they have to do is wave goodbye
to family and friends.
So thank you hands – sorry for taking you for granted.
I shall cherish you now and do more things you would like – perhaps some writing, some painting.
I will give you more handcream that you sometimes cry out for.
And I will most of all appreciate you more
AND NOW THANK YOU FOR BEING MY FRIENDS.
Ann O Riain
Trinity Horizon Programme 1996-1997
LOST AND CONFUSED
IN A COLD BLEAK WORLD
SILENTLY SHE SITS THERE
STARING HOPELESSLY INTO SPACE
SADLY SHE REMEMBERS
HAPPY DAYS – THOUGH NO LONGER HERE
PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEMORIES
NO ONE TO WIPE AWAY HER TEARS
THE ROAD AHEAD SEEMS VERY LONG
THE WAY IS NOT SO CLEAR
WHICH PATH SHOULD SHE TAKE?
What choice will she make?
How much longer does she have to wait?
For the Brighter day,
When clouds will lift,
And the sun can warm her frozen heart.
Trinity Horizon Programme 1996-1997
As darkness fell and gloom filled the air
You were there beside me
To listen, to Love, to Comfort, to Care
And as I reached out
From the Depths of my pain
You showed me how to love
You helped me to live again.
Written by: Maura Buckley
Trinity Horizon Programme – 1996/97
You can’t bulldoze me
I want to be free
You won’t give me a chance
It takes a long time
To learn how to dance
I go to the edge sixty miles up,
To the border with space
Where I am drawn by force
To the Horizon Course
And with one small step for womankind
A GIANT LEAP FOR MY MIND
Trinity Horizon Programme 1996/97
Traits – a trait that ranks high with the 15 participants of the Trinity Horizon Programme is Perfection. Perfection imposes high standards and leads to odious comparisons. If one’s mood level is low, there is self-criticism to depend on. Cognitively, this needs to be addressed and a change of attitude is a good start.
Quotation: Carl Rogers – Psychologist
He was about to commence his seminar on ‘Unconditional Positive Regard’ during a therapeutic Session. Before starting, Carl Rogers stated the following:-
‘I realize there is something I do before I start a session.
I let myself know that I AM ENOUGH
PERFECT would not be good.
There is nothing a man can say or do or feel that I can’t feel in myself.
I AM ENOUGH
Contribution: Michelle Clarke
Trinity Horizon Programme 1996/97
Quotation given to me by Sean Collins, Psychologist, who I was attending at that time.
We shall not cease from exploration
And at the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we have started
and know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot – 4 Quartets
Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet
Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…
Do not seek the answers,
that cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it,
live along some distant day into the answer’.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
You are a child of God
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that
other people won’t feel insecure around you
We are born to make manifest the glory of God
that is within us
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
give other people permission to do the same
AS WE ARE LIBERATED FROM OUR OWN FEAR,
OUR PRESENCE AUTOMATICALLY LIBERATES OTHERS
Last year, 1999, Nelson Mandela received an honorary doctorate at Trinity College. The students stood in the rain to greet this great man. I was unable to stand in the crowds, fear had once again taken over my personality. However, I was meant to see him and I did as he walked down the steps accompanied by Tony O’Reilly to the car that was waiting to take him away from Trinity. Hopefully, this will form a lasting memory. There were no crowds just droplets of rain…………………
Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace
The soul that knows it not
Knows no release from little things:
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear
The sound of wings
How can life grant us the boon of living, compensate
For dull grey ugliness and pregnant hate?
Unless we dare the soul’s dominion
Each time we make a choice, we pay
with courage to behold the restless day,
And count it fair.
By Amelia Earhart.
Sent by Liesl, my South African Anam Cara: June 2002
THE ORIGINAL CHILD
Cistercian Monk Thomas Merton
I found this poem in 2001 in search of personal inner peace. Each year I try to remember to circulate it; joining Twitter ensures that my canisgallicus followers receive the links too; alongside those on my email address list.
This poem should be on every school/college curriculum to prepare children to enable children to think and explore the present war conflicts that leave us vulnerable again to nuclear devastation.
1: In the year 1945 an Original Child was born. The name Original Child was given to it by the Japanese people, who recognized that it was the first of its kind.
2: On April 12th, 1945, Mr. Harry Truman became the President of the United States, which was then fighting the second world war. Mr. Truman was a vice president who became president by accident when his predecessor died of a cerebral hemorrhage. He did not know as much about the war as the president before him did. He knew a lot less about the war than many people did.
About one hour after Mr. Truman became president, his aides told him about a new bomb which was being developed by atomic scientists. They called it the “atomic bomb”. They said scientists had been working on it for six years and that it had so far cost two billion dollars. They added that its power was equal to that of twenty thousand tons of TNT. A single bomb could destroy a city. One of those present added, in a reverent tone, that the new explosive might eventually destroy the whole world.
But Admiral Leahy told the president the bomb would never work.
3: President Truman formed a committee of men to tell him if this bomb would work, and if so, what he should do with it. Some members of this committee felt that the bomb would jeopardize the future of civilization. They were against its use. Others wanted it to be used in demonstrations on a forest of cryptomeria trees, but not against a civil or military target. Many atomic scientists warned that the use of atomic power in war would be difficult and even impossible to control. The danger would be very great. Finally, there were others who believed that if the bomb were used just once or twice, on one or two Japanese cities, there would be no more war. They believed the new bomb would product eternal peace.
4: In June 1945 the Japanese government was taking steps to negotiate for peace. On one hand the Japanese ambassador tried to interest the Russian government in acting as a go-between with the United States. On the other hand, an unofficial approach was made secretly through Mr. Allen Dulles in Switzerland. The Russians said they were not interested and that they would not negotiate. Nothing was done about the other proposal which was not official. The Japanese High Command was not in favor of asking for peace, but wanted to continue the war, even if the Japanese mainland were invaded. The generals believed that the war should continue until everybody was dead. The Japanese generals were professional soldiers.
5: In the same month of June, the President’s committee decided that the new bomb should be dropped on a Japanese city. This would be a demonstration of the bomb on a civil and military target. As “demonstration” it would be a kind of a “show”. “Civilians” all over the world love a good “show”. The “destructive” aspect of the bomb would be “military”.
6: The same committee also asked if America’s friendly ally, the Soviet Union, should be informed of the atomic bomb. Someone suggested that this information would make the Soviet Union even more friendly than it was already. But all finally agreed that the Soviet Union was now friendly enough.
7: There was discussion about which city should be selected as the first target. Some wanted it to be Kyoto, an ancient capital of Japan and a center of the Buddhist religion. Others said no, this would cause bitterness. As a result of a chance conversation, Mr. Stimson, the Secretary of War, had recently read up on the history and beauties of Kyoto. He insisted that this city should be left untouched. Some wanted Tokyo to be the first target, but others argued that Tokyo had already been practically destroyed by fire raids and could no longer be considered a “target.” So it was decided Hiroshima was the most opportune target, as it had not yet been bombed at all. Lucky Hiroshima!
What others had experienced over a period of four years would happen to Hiroshima in a single day!
Much time would be saved, and “time is money!”
8: When they bombed Hiroshima they would put the following out of business: The Ube Nitrogen Fertilizer Company; the Ube Soda Company; the Nippon Motor Oil Company; the Sumitoma Chemical Company; and most of the inhabitants.
9: At this time some atomic scientists protested again, warning that the use of the bomb in war would tend to make the United States unpopular. But the President’s committee was by now fully convinced that the bomb had to be used. Its use would arouse the attention of the Japanese military class and give them food for thought.
Admiral Leahy renewed his declaration that the bomb would not explode.
On the 4th of July, when the United States in displays of fireworks celebrates its independence from British rule, the British and Americans agreed together that the bomb ought to be used against Japan.
On July 7th the Emperor of Japan pleaded with the Soviet Government to act as a mediator for peace between Japan and the Allies. Molotov said the question would be “studied”. In order to facilitate this “Study” Soviet troops in Siberia prepared to attack the Japanese. The Allies had, in any case, been urging Russia to join the war against Japan. However, now that the atomic bomb was nearly ready, some thought it would be better if the Russians took a rest.
The time was coming for the new bomb to be tested, in the new Mexico desert. A name was chosen to designate this secret operation. It was called “TRINITY”
At 5.30 a.m. on July 16th, 1945, a plutonium bomb was successfully exploded in the desert of Alamogordo, New Mexico. It was suspended from a nine hundred-foot steel tower which evaporated. There was a fireball a mile wide. The great flash could be seen for a radius of 250 miles. A blind woman miles away said she perceived light. There was a cloud of smoke 40,000 feet, high. It was shaped like a toadstool.
Many who saw the experiment expressed their satisfaction in religious terms. A semi-official report even quoted a religious book – the New Testament – “Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief”. There was an atmosphere of devotion. It was a great act of faith. They believed the explosion was exceptionally powerful.
Admiral Leahy, still a “doubting Thomas”, said that the bomb would not explode when dropped from a plane over a city. Others may have had faith, but he had his own variety of “HOPE”.
On July 21st a full written report of the explosion reached President Truman at Potsdam. The report was documented by pictures. President Truman read the report and looked at the pictures before starting out for the conference. When he left his mood was jaunty and his step was light.
That afternoon Mr. Stimson called on Mr. Churchill, and laid before him a sheet of paper bearing a code message about the successful test. This message read “Babies satisfactorily born”. Mr. Churchill was quick to realize that there was more in this than met the eye. Mr. Stimson satisfied his legitimate curiosity.
On this same day sixty atomic scientists who knew of the test signed a petition that the bomb should not be used against Japan without a convincing warning and an opportunity to surrender.
At this time the U.S.S. Indianapolis, which had left San Francisco on the 18th, was sailing toward the Island of Tinian, with some U 235 in a lead bucket. The fissionable material was about the size of a softball, but there was enough for one atomic bomb. Instructions were that if the ship sank, the uranium was to be SAVED FIRST BEFORE ANY LIFE. The mechanism of the bomb was on board the U.S.S. Indianapolis, but it was not yet assembled.
On July 26th the Potsdam declaration was issued. An ultimatum was given to Japan: “Surrender unconditionally or be destroyed”. Nothing was said about the new bomb. But pamphlets dropped all over Japan threatened “an enormous bombardment”, if the army would not surrender. On July 26th the U.S.S. Indianapolis arrived at Tinian and the bomb was delivered.
On July 28th, since the Japanese High Command wished to continue the war, the ultimatum was rejected. A censored version of the ultimatum appeared in the Japanese press with the comment that it was “an attempt to drive a wedge between the military and the Japanese people”. But the Emperor continued to hope that the Russians, after “studying” his proposal, would help to negotiate a peace. On July 30th Mr. Stimson revised a draft of the announcement that was to be made after the bomb was dropped on the Japanese target. The statement was much better than the original draft.
On August 1st the bomb was assembled in an air conditioned hut on Tinian. Those who handled the bomb referred to it as “Little Boy”. THEIR CARE FOR THE ORIGINAL CHILD WAS DEVOTED AND TENDER.
On August 2nd President Truman was the guest of His Majesty King George VI on board the H.M.S. Renown in Plymouth Harbor. The atomic bomb was praised. Admiral Leahy, who was present, declared that the bomb would not work. His Majesty George VI offered a small WAGER TO THE CONTRARY.
On August 2nd a special message from the Japanese Foreign Minister was sent to the Japanese Minister in Moscow. “It is requested that further efforts be exerted….Since the loss of one day may result in a thousand years of regret, it is requested that you immediately have a talk with Molotov”. But Molotov did not return from Potsdam until the day the bomb fell.
On the 4th the bombing crew on Tinian watched a movie of “Trinity” (the Alamogordo Test). August 5th was a Sunday but there was little time for formal worship. They said a quick prayer that the war might end “very soon”. On that day, Col. Tibbetts, who was in command of the B-29 that was to drop the bomb, felt that his bomber ought to have a name. He baptized it ENOLA GAY, AFTER HIS MOTHER IN IOWA. Col. Tibbetts was a well balanced man, and not sentimental. He did not have a nervous break-down after the bombing, LIKE SOME OF THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CREW.
On Sunday afternoon “Little Boy” was brought out in procession and devoutly tucked away in the womb of Enola Gay. That evening few were able to sleep. THEY WERE AS EXCITED AS LITTLE BOYS ON CHRISTMAS EVE.
At 1.37 a.m. August 6th the weather scout plane took off. It was named the Straight Flush, in reference to the mechanical action of a water closet. There was picture of one, to make this evident.
At the last minute before taking off, Col. Tibbetts changed the secret radio call sign from “Visitor” to “Dimples”. The bombing Mission would be a kind of FLYING SMILE.
At 2.45 a.m. Enola Gay got off the ground with difficulty. Over Iwo Jima she met her escort, two more B-29’s, one which was called the Great Artiste. Together they proceeded to Japan.
At 6.40 they climbed to 31,000 feet, the bombing altitude. The sky was clear. It was a perfect morning.
At. 3.09 they reached Hiroshima and started the bomb run. The city was full of sun. The fliers could see the green grass in the gardens. No fighters rose up to meet them. There was no flak. NO-ONE IN THE CITY BOTHERED TO TAKE COVER.
The bomb exploded within 100,000 feet of the aiming point. The fireball was 18,000 feet across. The temperature at the centre of the fireball was 100,000,000 degrees. The people who were near the centre became nothing. The whole city was blown to bits and the ruins all caught fire instantly everywhere burning briskly. 70,000 people were killed right away or died within a few hours. Those who did not die at once suffered great pain. Few of them were soldiers.
The men in the plane perceived that the raid had been successful, but they thought of the people in the city and they were not perfectly happy. Some felt they had done wrong. But in any case they had obeyed orders “IT WAS WAR”
Over the radio went the code message that the bomb had been successful: “Visible effects greater than Trinity…Proceeding to Papacy.
“PAPACY WAS A CODE NAME FOR TINIAN
It took a little while for the rest of Japan to find out what had happened to Hiroshima. Papers were forbidden to publish any news of the new bomb. A four-line item said that Hiroshima had been hit by incendiary bombs and added: “It seems that some damage was caused to the city and its vicinity”.
Then the military governor of the Prefecture of Hiroshima issued a proclamation full of martial spirit. To all the people without hands, without feet, with their faces falling off, with their intestines hanging out, with their whole bodies full of radiation, he declared: “We must not rest a single day in our war effort….We must bear in mind that annihilation of the stubborn enemy is our road to revenge”. HE WAS A PROFESSIONAL SOLDIER.
On August 8th Molotov finally summoned the Japanese Ambassador. At last neutral Russia would give an answer to the Emperor’s inquiry. Molotov said coldly that the Soviet Union was declaring WAR ON JAPAN.
On August 9th another bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, though Hiroshima was still burning. On August 11th the Emperor overruled his high command and accepted the peace terms dictated at Potsdam. Yet for three days discussion continued, until on August 14th the surrender was made public and final.
Even then the Soviet troops thought they ought to fight in Manchuria “just a little longer”. They felt that even though they could not, at this time, be of help in Japan, it would be worthwhile if they displayed their goodwill in Manchuria, or even in Korea.
As the Original Child that was born, President Truman summed up the philosophy of the situation in a few words.
“WE FOUND THE BOMB, he said, AND WE USED IT”
Since that summer many other bombs have been “FOUND”.
WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?
AT THE TIME OF WRITING (1960’S), AFTER A SEASON OF BRISK SPECULATION, MEN SEEM TO BE FATIGUED BY THE WHOLE QUESTION.
Thomas Merton – Cistercian Monk
Today’s Irish Independent newspaper reports the tensions relating to IRA and the accusation that PIRA still exist. Stormont could be in jeopardy. We forget that Prime Minister Cameron talks about changing the Human Rights legislation that is the origin of the Good Friday Agreement.
This poem was published in the Irish Times Tuesday 12th March 2015 titled ‘Schoolgirls’ ode to the good side of Belfast. A 13 year old school girl, Taylor Blackstock and her year 9 classmates at Ashfield Girls’ School wrote this poem. Article written by Gerry Moriarty, Irish Times.
“Pretty in the rain: Belfast’s treasures invoked in the poem, including from top right the Albert Clock, George Best and Cyprus Avenue”.
Song of Ashfield
I am the school bell that peals in Avoniel
I am CS Lewis exploring my wardrobe
I am the crepes in St George’s Market on Saturday morning
I am the ghost in the Scrabo Tower
I am a tick-tock in the Albert Clock
I am the fireworks display in the Odyssey
I am the gills on the Salmon of Knowledge in the Lagan
I am the Cavehill, where the harsh winds blow
I am the oil dripping on to the boats in the shipyard
I am the granite in the Mourne Mountains, covered in haunting mist
I am a neighbour of Van the Man’s on Cyprus Avenue
I am Madam George going south on North Street
I am the club swung by Rory McIlroy on Sunday afternoon
I am the lace on the boot of George Best
I am the lost suitcase at George Best’s Airport
I am the bird following the plane’s vapour trail
I am the smell of cinnamon at Christmas at the City Hall
I am a mashed Comber spud with gravy
I am the unsolved mystery in Mount Stewart
I am the Titanic slipping down the April sea
I am an iceberg floating in my memory
We are Samson and Goliath
The yellow cranes waiting for our ship to return
I AM BELFAST
BELFAST IS ME