Posts Tagged ‘Vampire Jet’

Engine of AVRO XIX – Michael J. Whelan



(Baldonnel – home of Irish aviation)


Every year in the museum where I work,

the place where old aeroplanes long to fly,

blackbirds build nests

in the wheel wells of a Vampire Jet,

the engines of an Avro Anson.

It’s very difficult to prevent

but once they get in

my mission is to protect the chicks.

Sometimes we photograph them

from a safe distance – zoom lenses.

Sometimes they sing outside my office door,

their yellow bills and fine dark plumage gliding down

to perch upon the framed pictures of vintage aircraft

standing on top of tall display cases

full of plastic models.

Now and then I’m allowed to get close,

as if they appreciate my words of gratitude.

One morning a fledgling collided with my window,

got my heart racing, a tragedy for the parents,

new feathers blowing everywhere.

Now and then a sparrow hawk

flies into the hangar to prey

and I watch it in the rafters

where it has the best views of a historic collection

alive in my imagination,

no flesh, no blood, no vibration in their wings

but once they roamed the skies majestic.


Michael J. Whelan


Vintage Aircraft (Irish Air Corps Museum collection) – Michael J. Whelan



Published in The Galway Review on 27 June 2017, see https://thegalwayreview.com/2017/06/28/michael-j-whelan-now-and-then/


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