Fives poems by Harry Thurston, a greengrocer from Bristol, UK.
I write poetry on all and any subjects and these in particular are about my personal experiences around mental health and relationships.
And then, before I could guess,
you had crawled back. Silent, strong,
you've been resilient, I’ll give you that.
First, a smudge, jet black, spreading,
smokey, to an ink stain, which unfurled, erupted
to a bloom of thick cloud, ill and dense.
The uncertainty in myself returned,
mind and body, and while I was glad
to have you gone, there was something beautiful
in your return, and how secret you’ve become,
like a rush of starlings, folding, enveloping
upon themselves hidden before a clean slate of night sky.
Save The Girl
Throw a rope for the girl
whose heels have already fallen
into the mass gravity swirl circulating
above the coffee table. Her hands
unable to hold onto the tendrils everyone else
seems so familiar with.
Don’t save the saucepans, the candles,
the fruit bowl, the coasters, the curtains;
the bookcase has already disintegrated and the drawers are flying
out the cabinet at a million miles an hour, all of it
hurtling towards the spinning star well.
Anchor your foot in the roots you made,
lean and reach for her hand
before the ceiling caves in
and the glassware turns to sand.
I Know Whitecaps
I know whitecaps,
night skies splintered
white with lightning.
Imagine: amongst the thrash
a keel splitting waves,
the full-bellied sail.
Do you remember our fires?
Do you remember our fires?
The days we set fields alight,
fed embers to forests,
sent cities to smoulder,
how sweet kindling whispered
to each hungry blaze,
bloomed to flames of fervour?
Do you remember those days?
It’s February. Powdered snow
settles to thickness overnight,
sedates country, suburbs, all alike.
Time is young, ruthless,
and before you know it,
you’re snowed in,
digging for the ashes beneath.
Your smarting hands against the cold.
I’ve become the walking man at midnight,
meandering streets in spectral silence,
slow steps to pace a racing heart.
Count the trees, count the doors,
count the cars,
Sometimes, I cross your path, familiar fox.
You pause, one hesitant foot, head turned,
ears up, and then you smooth and slink
yourself into the dark.
It swallows you whole.
Count the stars.
The fog is thick, clouding golden lampposts
in capsuled breath, blurred fireflies,
muting their electrical buzz
Count the lampposts.
I hope for a fresh encounter. Not the fox
or late drunken straggler, but a giant,
whose grace I could meet on the streets
in soft, gigantic peace,
a behemoth of modest pride, metre strides,
polite in presence to soothe a mind,
to mend a heart of glass,
fractured and warped.
If you would kindly point me in the right direction,
if you would kindly tell me which way I should be going,
I’d feel a lot better,
and maybe that will stop me walking at midnight.
This last poem is the product of the midnight walks I took during the darker years of having anxiety, to the dozens of nights when it stirred. I lost a lot of sleep to it.