I am delighted to welcome Mary Smith today with her poem Water God from her collection Thousands Pass here Every Day. The poem is dedicated to her son and a reminder of his childhood.
Sun-gleam on wet bronze limbs,
seal sleek you slip
into the deepest pool.
From the rocks I watch,
afraid of your fearlessness,
breath held as brown water
closes over you.
Surfacing, you laugh,
a careless toss of your head
scattering miniature rainbows –
my water god of the Otter Pool.
Other children splash,
in sun-warmed shallows.
Their mothers silently question
my carelessness of you.
They do not know
how deep the fear,
the mother of a deity
who believes he’s indestructible –
my water god of the Otter Pool.
Two reviews for the collection
This is a poetry collection you will want to keep going back to. Mary Smith’s work is subtle and delicate, possessing a quiet, sure strength. The poems are well crafted but never over-written, a difficult balance to get right. Many of the poems have a quiet magic with wonderfully understated effects. The book also has a wide range of subjects, moods and forms so there is much variety and the reader is continually stimulated with fresh insights and discoveries. Highly recommended.
This is a wonderful first collection by Mary Smith. I know her work as a novelist through her novel No More Mulberries and I was delighted to find she has included several poems about Afghanistan. These poems provide vivid snapshots of life and landscapes and of a people who come across as resilient and life affirming despite the war.
She writes, too, about her native Scotland, in particular the wonderful wild landscape of Dumfries & Galloway and she explores themes of memory and identity, drawing on her own childhood experiences. Whether writing about the small boys in Afghanistan who, with their flocks of sheep, `helter-skelter down a mountainside/in a cloud of dust’; losing a parent to dementia; Afghan women laughing at her lack of education; or Glasgow’s Ramshorn Kirkyard where `the dead draw us in, entice the living/to consider past lives’ Mary Smith brings a warmth and compassion to her work.
Some of the poems, like the very amusing `Erratic’ and `Smeddum’ are in Scots, though most are in English, in this collection which readers will want to dip into time and time again.
Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thousands-Pass-Here-Every-Day/dp/1907401911
Other books by Mary Smith
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0
Read more reviews and follow Mary Smith on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith
About Mary Smith
Mary Smith has always loved writing. As a child she wrote stories in homemade books made from wallpaper trimmings – but she never thought people could grow up and become real writers. She spent a year working in a bank, which she hated – all numbers, very few words – ten years with Oxfam in the UK, followed by ten years working in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She longed to allow others to share her amazing, life-changing experiences so she wrote about them – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and journalism. And she discovered the little girl who wrote stories had become a real writer after all.
Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women is an account of her time in Afghanistan and her debut novel No More Mulberries is also set in Afghanistan.
Connect to Mary on her blogs and social media.
Facebook address: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000934032543
My thanks to Mary for her contribution to the poetry posts and if you would like to share one of your poems then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org