I’ve just written a short story… it might be a futuristic piece set in a distant world, or a fantasy piece in a world which has never existed… I’m not sure what it is. It is for my Friday writing group, and our subject for this month was the wind, or air… or something… I’m not actually sure I have done the right topic! I will share it with you over the weekend.

I was intrigued when I was researching it, that there are so many names of different winds… not just typhoons and hurricanes, and not even things I’d heard of before like Mistral and Sirocco…

I also came across a poet I had never heard of before, Burt Franklin Jenness. He was born in New Hampshire in 1895 and became a doctor,  serving as a medical officer in the U.S. Navy during World War 1.

The Roaring Forties

Let me sail to the southward and follow once more
Down the great circle course where the latitudes roar;
Where the wind-breasted seas take the lurching bows under,
And giant swells break with the pealing of thunder;
Where the Southern Cross hangs like a pendant of gold
In a sky of black velvet, star studded and cold;
Let me dip to the forties that whimper and whine,
As the winds from the Horn whip the seas into line.

Let me sail to the southward until I can feel
The long pull of the trades, and the tug of the wheel;
Let me bring up the helm where the albatross swings,
And skirts the gray seas on his spume spattered wings;
Let me watch the star flowers sway down in the night,
And sprinkle the waves with a pollen of light;
Let me dip to the forties that whimper and whine,
As the winds from the Horn whip the seas into line.

Let me sense the deep swells that roll under the keel,
As the driving winds whistle the billows to heel;
Let me lean to the cross-seas that sputter and fume,
Let me watch the wet orb of the cold setting sun,
Through the mist laden air when the long day is done;
Let me dip to the forties that whimper and whine,
As the winds from the Horn whip the seas into line.

Let me sail to a place off the tame beaten track,
Where the seas follow up like a blood thirsty pack;
Where the reeling horizon cavorts with the sea,
And the surges play tag with the mastheads a-lee;
O, the wail of the halyards, the croon of the stays,
The clamorous nights and monotonous days;
O, the lure of the forties that whimper and whine,
As the winds from the Horn whip the seas into line.

Burt Franklin Jenness
So winds… just in case you’re interested, a brief sample…
  • Abroholos
  • Austru
  • Barat
  • Bayamo
  • Bentu de Soli
  • Borasco
  • Boreas
  • Brickfielder
  • Briza
  • Brisote Th
  • Brubu
  • Chubasco
  • Churada
  • Coromell
  • Elephanta
  • Etesian
  • Euros
  • Foehn
  • Gregale
  • Haboob
  • Harmattan
  • Knik Wind
  • Kona Storm
  • Leste
  • Leveche
  • Matanuska
  • N’aschi
  • Ostria
  • Pali
  • Pampero
  • Papagayo
  • Shamal
  • Sharki
  • Squamish
  • Suestado
  • Taku Wind
  • Tehuantepecer
  • Tramontana
  • Vardar
  • Williwaw
  • Willy-willy

2 thoughts on “The long pull of the trades

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