honey love (3 poems from mhari's upcoming book)
by Mhari Grace
As the second book in my ‘In Bloom’ series, ‘She’s Honey Love’ explores the nostalgic memories of growing up. It’s filled with moments from my own past over the last two years that I have experienced with my friends as well as my own personal growth as a poet, a sister, a friend, a daughter etc. I wanted it to encapsulate the possibilities that summer brings, and all of the special times I have had throughout those summer months across these years. It is like a scrapbook filled with people, lessons, the sad times, the good times, art that I’ve created and collected, and art that was given to me. As this is an important milestone for me, and it was important I recorded it, I hope others will be able to relate to the excitement of possibilities and the heartbreak of moving on. Whether you’ve been through it, are going through it or will be going through it, ‘she’s honey love’ is a bittersweet depiction of teenagedom and saying goodbye.
This is actually one of my favourite poems in the whole book because it has such a clear memory behind it. Over the summer of 2018, I traveled all over Europe with my sister for three weeks and there was one night where I really started to feel homesick. We had just gotten up at 4:30 am, walked to the nearest train station to catch a train to go to a completely new city. This became routine after time, and more often than not I actually had no idea where we would end up.
I wrote this on a warmly lit empty train platform at 5AM, waiting for the next train to take us to the next place and all I could think about was my friends. I wrote this, half asleep, for my friends and it really encapsulates how much I missed them in that moment. I didn’t realize until that moment how many moments we shared over the weeks leading up to my trip and how I hated the feeling of leaving them in case things changed while I was gone.
The more I thought about it, I began to pin it down as a very normal feeling. I realized that, like myself, so many other people my age could be experiencing these feelings of leaving their friends because of university or travelling or new jobs or moving away etc, Summer to me was defined that moment as a bittersweet slowed down version of time where everyone had space to breathe without life catching up to them.
This poem was a very unexpected one for me, actually. When I was writing it I was thinking about the vibrancy of life in those summer months, how even the most bleakest views are somehow beautiful. I was reminded of some of the time I spent in Prague, where all the colours were so bright and I constantly felt surrounded by music and warmth. In this poem, I tried to link it back to guitar picking, which to me is a very summery sound.
There’s almost an undertone of an otherworld-like beauty, like this memory was immortalized in my mind as a forest nymph because of its mesmerizing features that really defined that visit to Prague for me. It was a daydream.
She’s Honey Love
I’ve always been mesmerized by the depiction of women in books, film, photography and music. It’s a very interesting topic to me as overtime views on sexualization and body image have changed, but in my opinion, one thing has always remained and that is the romanticisation of women.
The definition of a honey love is a sweet little-sister type girl who you love but you’d never date. She’s almost the definition of entrapment. The ‘honey love’ is this impossible woman and because of that, I thought it was the best poem to have in the book as well as the title. Much like summer, which this collection is themed around, she’s an enigma that is full of possibilities. Despite this, when you step back, you realize that actually she;s not what you built her up to be and she’s just this normal woman.
I just wanted to explore this more, I guess. To me, it made sense to pair a ‘honey love’ to summer because of the dream-like parallels I saw between them.