Poems by Mary Guckian

Sandymount Strand

In the furrowed sand
puddles fill the hollow spaces.
the tide slowly overtakes the strollers,
wandering out into the vast expanse
of Sandymount Strand.
I recall the time we sat in the car
near Sligo —
tossing Atlantic waves bamboozling us,
the sea circling our space,
the car sinking in the sliding sand.
Working at out art, we take risks,
move out into wider horizons
and flourish,
but the surrounding tide is waiting
and swallows our masterpieces.

Furry Bees Swarming

Cracked by winter frost
the old sealed chimney
tempts swarming bees
out of the wild flowers
to locate in the tight space.
Flying in with massive loads
of pollen over several months
they keep the Queen Bee happy.
As the narrow chimney swells
with honeycombs and time
comes for the colony to escape,
moving down the chimney, they
fill the kitchen, paper the walls,
carpet the floor, seal the windows
and cover the back of the door
with a warm brown fur.
The local beekeeper visits
wearing protective clothing.
He coaxes the Queen Bee
to enter the nucleus he takes along,
the swarm follows, allowing
light enter the cottage again,
he removes two buckets of honey
from a packed chimney, and feeds
it back to the bees busy in his hives.

Sacred Tree

I love to stand in the graveyard,
underneath the hanging branches
of the old palm tree —
its broad arms sheltering
headstones that inform us —
of lives who are now at peace
At funerals, I hide from showers
under the sprawling limbs
of this majestic icon —
where earth is dry, protected
from hailstones and hot sun : below
this sacred tree tranquility reigns.
Sandymount Strand, Furry Bees Swarming , and Sacred Tree are © Mary Guckian


maryMary Guckian was born at Kiltoghert, Co. Leitrim and has lived in Dublin since 1967 leaving to live in Sydney, Tasmania, Channel Islands and Oxford in between. Mary cut poems out of the local Leitrim Observer in her teenage years and got her first poem published in Oxford in 1983, she has gone on to publish three books of poetry, Perfume of the Soil, The Road to Gowel and Walking on Snow with Swan Press.

Her books are available in most of the public libraries. She won the Leitrim Guardian Literary Award in 2003 and 2011 for her poems and has been short-listed for the Scottish Open International Poetry Award.

She was given the Golden Pen Award for a selection of her published poetry on Art Arena website. Her poems have been widely published in literary magazines and newspapers. Mary has read her poetry in numerous places over the years, last year at the William Carlton Summer School at Clogher, Co. Tyrone and recently to celebrate 100 years of the Rathmines Public Library.


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