Mary Irvine – Poetry

A Break from Greece for a Poetic Interlude

culture mongolion horseNot a Poet

I don’t consider myself a poet in any respect but the first piece I had published was a poem. I don’t have a TV – too afraid of day-time television although I tell people I can’t afford the licence. However, I do trawl through the iplayers for good drama and documentaries. One of the latter I watched came from a series about horses round the world. It explored the life of the Kasaks of Mongolia and their reliance on horses. One fact kept nagging at me. It forms the first four lines of the poem. It made me think about labels, recalling one of my early lives when I worked with disadvantaged people of all ages, and of the one and only time I was on a horse – giving a credible representation of a Thelwell character.

I wrote the poem on the train between Partick and Dumbarton, entered it for the Welsh International Poetry Competition and received an especially commended. Since then I have reconsidered changing some ‘things’ but I decided I would share the original.

Photograph courtesy of

I have booked a slot at Rio’s open mike, Hyndland Street, Partick, on bank holiday Monday 30th September and am reading these two poems there.

The Kasaks of Mongolia

The Kasaks of Mongolia
do not name their horses
yet have six hundred words
for the colour of horses

Once I was on a horse
not riding
staying on
the boy leading the horse
was called maladjusted
I was maladjusted

All the children are labelled
the evacuees on the platform
the children in their special schools

Sometimes the labels get confused
and the children lose their identity

The Kasaks think more of their horses

Further Success

A second poem was written in just ten minutes and was never altered in any way.
I belong to the Helensburgh Writers’ Group. One of the meetings was a poetry workshop led by Loch Lomond poet, Ann McKinnon. After a most interesting and informative insight into the writing of poetry we were given twenty minutes in which to produce a poem!! After ten minutes, during which I disproved the belief that it is impossible to empty the mind totally, I came up with the following. It was subsequently published in the debut edition of Octavius Magazine.

For DS

It was snowing as we went down the mole
The blizzard obscured the departing ship

The sun was shining strongly
The day you returned to me

Our last walk together was short
My walk away from you is long

It’s a very personal poem and the piece of writing that means most to me.

Next Time: The Classical Tour, Part the Second

Mary Irvine: Another Musical Interlude
Mary Irvine's Classical Tour of Greece – Part One

This section: Mary Irvine: Writer and Philhellene

Written by :

Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

2 responses to “Mary Irvine – Poetry”

  1. Diane Earl says:

    These poems are wonderful Mary. Keep it up and write some more. You ARE a poet.

    Love Di x

  2. Mary Irvine says:

    An apology for not replying. I honestly thought very few people actually read my writing so never check back for people who may have taken the trouble to comment. Thank you for your kind words!

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