Guest author: Mary Smith ~ Carrick Magic

Photo: Sue Vincent

Carrick Magic

She’s an enchantress,
as old as creation,
never ages, ceaselessly changes.

Golden whin skirts, coconut-scented,
sweep the rocky shoreline;
green petticoats shot through with periwinkle blue,
willow herb rose, sea-pink.

Beguiles artists with her magic light,
shows shapes, soft shadows,
sharp edges, new dimensions,
bewitches all who find her.

Under her spell we connect, feel
for a time how the world might be
and she plants memory seeds,
so we never forget her –

for she’s an enchantress
as old as creation.

About the author

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 wanted 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.
Mary loves interacting with her readers and her website is

Find and follow Mary

Mary Smith’s Place Blog    My Dad’s a Goldfish Blog

Twitter    Facebook    Amazon author page

Books by Mary Smith

For these, and all Mary’s books, please click the links or visit her Amazon author page.

Donkey Boy and Other Stories

Shot through with flashes of humour the stories here will entertain, amuse, and make you think. Mary Smith’s debut collection of short stories is a real treat, introducing the reader to a diverse range of characters in a wide range of locations. A donkey boy in Pakistan dreams of buying luxuries for his mother; a mouth artist in rural Scotland longs to leave the circus; a visually impaired man has a problem with his socks; and a woman tries to come to terms with a frightening gift – or curse.

“What a little gem this book is. There’s a super variety of stories packed with atmospheric and entertaining writing containing both pathos and humour. Mary Smith manages to convey clear and distinct voices for each of her brilliant characters, from a Pakistani boy to an elderly Scottish woman. What I liked so much about every one of them is at I felt I knew them instantly and understood them completely but without the author imposing her own judgement on them as they make their way through life… I found Donkey Boy and Other Stories a moving, engaging and beautifully written collection that has the ability to touch the reader, make them thankful for their own life and to make them think. I’m delighted to have read it.Extract of a review from Linda’s Book Bag.

No More MulberriesNo More Mulberries by [Smith, Mary]

Scottish-born midwife, Miriam loves her work at a health clinic in rural Afghanistan and the warmth and humour of her women friends in the village, but she can no longer ignore the cracks appearing in her marriage. Her doctor husband has changed from the loving, easy-going man she married and she fears he regrets taking on a widow with a young son, who seems determined to remain distant from his stepfather.
When Miriam acts as translator at a medical teaching camp she hopes time apart might help her understand the cause of their problems. Instead, she must focus on helping women desperate for medical care and has little time to think about her failing marriage. When an old friend appears, urging her to visit the village where she and her first husband had been so happy. Miriam finds herself travelling on a journey into her past, searching for answers to why her marriage is going so horribly wrong.
Her husband, too, has a past of his own – from being shunned as a child to the loss of his first love.

Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni by [Smith, Mary]Drunk Chickens and Burn Macaroni 

This book offers a remarkable insight into the lives of Afghan women both before and after Taliban’s rise to power. The reader is caught up in the day-to-day lives of women like Sharifa, Latifa and Marzia, sharing their problems, dramas, the tears and the laughter: whether enjoying a good gossip over tea and fresh nan, dealing with a husband’s desertion, battling to save the life of a one-year-old opium addict or learning how to deliver babies safely.
Mary Smith spent several years in Afghanistan working on a health project for women and children in both remote rural areas and in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Given the opportunity to participate more fully than most other foreigners in the lives of the women, many of whom became close friends, she has been able to present this unique portrayal of Afghan women – a portrayal very different from the one most often presented by the media.

Tell me a story…

If you are a writer, artist or photographer…If you have a poem, story or memoirs to share… If you have a book to promote, a character to introduce, an exhibition or event to publicise… If you have advice for writers, artists or bloggers…

If you would like to be my guest, please read the guidelines and get in touch!

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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19 Responses to Guest author: Mary Smith ~ Carrick Magic

  1. barbtaub says:

    This is wonderful!
    “green petticoats shot through with periwinkle blue,
    willow herb rose, sea-pink”

    I love the images, both visual and creative.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. A wonderful poem, Mary. Thanks for sharing, Sue.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A stunning poem from Mary. Just beautiful. Thanks, Sue.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is beautiful, Mary. I can almost feel the enchantment 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mary Smith says:

    Oh, Sue, thank you so much. I wasn’t expecting you to do all this with the poem. What a lovely surprise 🙂


  6. lizannelloyd says:

    What a stunning poem, Mary. I love the “golden whin skirts.” My Gran lived in Whinlee, a bungalow protected by lots of golden whin bushes on the hillside.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. dgkaye says:

    Wonderfully woven Mary! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this! So, powerful, Mary! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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