Strandhill Beach in May by M.J. Iuppa

Ireland sligo Michael Walsh licensed

Strandhill Beach in May
                                  ~  Sligo, 2019
by M.J. Iuppa

Instantly my breath is lost in this Atlantic air, in
its steady wind swirling around my figure as if
I could be worn down to bits of sand whispering

off the dunes —I look back over my shoulder
to see the Irish Sea, muscular and taut, rising
in its infantry of waves, ready to sweep this

expanse of beach— its 15,000 years
of privacy— of barnacles and cockle shells
and God’s tears unearthed—those black stones

I pick one by one, only to lose them, with-
out knowing how they fell back to the hard-packed
sand and disappear behind me as if they were

meant to stay here, in my lack of knowledge
of who God is and the impossibility of
keeping what no one else sees.

Previously appeared in The Blue Nib (Ireland) December, 2019

PHOTO: Strandhill Beach, County Sligo, Ireland. Photo by Michael Walsh, used by permission. 


NOTE: Strandhill is a coastal town and townland in County Sligo, Ireland. With a vast beach break capable of holding huge waves in the right conditions, Strandhill Beach is renowned for surfing, but not safe for swimming.

PHOTO: Strandhill Beach, County Sligo, Ireland. Photo

MJ Mais Oui copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: M. J. Iuppa’s fourth poetry collection is This Thirst (Kelsay Books, 2017). For the past 31 years, she has lived on a small farm near the shores of Lake Ontario. Visit her at for musings on writing, sustainability, and life’s stew.

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