Citizen Ship 2013. Nos 9. Wind Caught off Slemish. In this wee series of arti…

Citizen Ship 2013. Nos 9. Wind Caught off Slemish.

In this wee series of articles, generated by the current “Flag Issue” in Belfast, I thought I would include some poems from 1998, roughly the same time period when I presented my flag idea, “The Talking Flag”, to the City fathers. These poems are as relevant today as the flag design. All things are possible. I was just on my way back from a Swedish Festival when I noticed something from the plane . . .

Windmills at Slemish.

In flying from Gothenburg,
And then from Amsterdam,
Land of the windmill,
My plane flew over Slemish.
Solid bump in the land.
Still casting it’s deep shadow
Across history, towards
Fortress of Unionism.

And as I watched the green
Counterpane, beneath me,
I was startled to see,
Like Patrick and his priests,
The white windmills, set out against
That beautiful green undulation,
Walking towards Slemish,
With arms raised up in praise
Of God.

Those windmills,
Their white blades, driven by
His breath.
Turning, changing a sometimes,
Violent wind.
Creating a new current.
A different energy.
Catching the wind,
Instead of just letting the opportunity pass.
Harnessing the rushing pull and push,
That drives the clouds, to plough for us.

And as I landed once again,
Travelling in Europe, after
Thirteen years of containment,
I thought upon this vision.
These symbols of hope.
The windmills that catch his breath
Off Slemish.

If they can catch the wind
And change it into something
More useful,
More positive,
Why can’t we ?

Written by
Randall Stephen Hall.
9th March, 1997. © Copyright.