Russell Thornton


Griffin Poetry Prize 2015
Canadian Shortlist

Book: The Hundred Lives

Poet: Russell Thornton

Publisher: Quattro Books

Click here to read and listen to an excerpt.

Russell Thornton reads Lemon Groves

Lemon Groves

The horizon a burnt-out eye socket,
the sea a throng of mouths wounding themselves against sand –
the only shelter was inside the car,
so we drove down the peninsula just to drive,
until we came to a tract of green trees
running inland from the road and to the land’s end.
We parked and went in amongst lemon groves,
vast, flowering lemon groves releasing fragrance for miles –
where we walked as if under the spell of the scent,
and where nothing could have been so apparent, so destined as this:
that within the scent-abounding white flowers
and the shade-giving leaves, lay the ripe lemons, the pert yellow spheres;
that within the fruit, within the sudden dream
arriving at the end of the way through the bewildering black
glare of the sun, shone the light of the lemon,
and we would stand finally in the bliss-shedding ray.
There, clasped beyond burning sight, we could dwell
in each other as in a cool sanctuary
where whatever we knew of bitterness and hurt
could become the pure decision in us, nourishing and healing,
the secret, in the midst of burning change,
which would make us clear, clean-edged, purged of doubt.


From The Hundred Lives by Russell Thornton
Copyright © Russell Thornton 2014

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