Mary Irvine – Poetry
A Break from Greece for a Poetic Interlude
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.
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
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
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.
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
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