Vincent (1890) by Steve Walter

Vincent (1890)
Art is long, life is short.

You open your heart to cypresses
as you enter the grounds

of Saint-Paul at Saint-Remy,
catch the blaze of a wheat field with crows.

I never knew such colour
could hold so many words.

Every stroke of your paintbrush, connects
you with artists in my family, living and dead.

If we were to meet
would we share a bottle

of wine together,
talk yellow, yellow and blue…and red?

Might we discuss composition, the spirit of light?
Would I put my arm around you

as we go back inside, exchange
anecdotes, talk mental health?

You are here of your own free will.
I was sectioned.

And then it hits you, like
a fracture in a pane of glass –

all the grief that ever was,
expressed through this one old man.

Steve has written poetry from an early age, inspired by his late father (Ted), who was once known as The Policeman Poet (featured on TV News-Nationwide). His mother (Hazel), was an accomplished water colour artist.

Steve first qualified with a degree in biochemistry and chemistry, then moved into commerce and industry, in health, safety and environmental management. In spite of, or because of, his scientific background, he has performed shows at the Brighton and Edinburgh Festival Fringes, based on his first book: Fast Train Approaching… a powerful, yet good humoured, account of life during and after breakdown and recovery, and later, drawing on other people’s stories in Voices: mental health survivors, carers, therapist, family and friends (both published by Chipmunkapublishing).

His second pamphlet of poetry, When the Change Came, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2016, and his long poem, Gaia 2020, is published by Making Connections Matter.

Steve continues to enjoy creative writing, has a daughter and son, stepdaughter and stepson, and lives with his wife, Liz, a physiotherapist, in Kent.

Visit: www.makingconnectionsmatter.org

1 thought on “Vincent (1890) by Steve Walter”

  1. Really enjoyed this poem. Used to love a print of Van Gogh”s painting of boats hanging in a corridor at school. Visited the hospital in St. Remy when I was fourteen . Studied his life and work as an adult. Thank you for sharing. Thank you Steve x

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