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One Photo: One Story; poetry of the soul

The wild birds call when the day is gone

The green sea moans its endless song

As I stand on a beach and watch the ship

Come up with the Dawn from the horizons lip.

I think perhaps it may have been

To that far off land of which I dream

In fancy I see the white gull soar

And hear once again an angry roar

Of an angry sea on a rockbound shore.

William Fulham 1930

A few years back, I stood on the Clontarf Road along the banks of the Quay. I read my grandfathers poem. I could see the wild birds and hear the green sea moan.

I looked out beyond the shipping lane that splits the North Bull Lighthouse and the Poolbeg. I thought about the ships that have a sailed a millennium through this harbor east of Dublin. The city he loved so much.

I imagined standing in his exact footprints blocks from his fathers house on Brian Boru Ave. as he crafted the poem in his mind.

I felt the kinship deep in my soul. His town, his words, his love.

I found some papers that my mom had saved after he passed away. William came to the USA in 1929. He settled in New York. I then realized he wrote the poem standing on the shore one dawn in New York. He missed Ireland. He was dreadfully homesick.

Perhaps he was disillusioned his first few years here. I found this tome he composed about Manhattan.


Where the strong survive and the strong go down

You were conceived when Hudson came

To discover the river that bears his name

You were born of deception

When the Indian sold the land of his birth for the white mans gold

Through your myriad halls they pass along

Seeking the elusive fortune of fame

If you succeed many lose all hope

And are wooed and won by the demon dope.

He ended up staying and raising his family. I miss you Grandpa. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.


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