With the sun
hot springs, these
seeds of life streaming
beneath an oil spill's hemorrhage.
the purple heather
Thunder claps, cracks of veined
neon yellow bright
in this dry drought
the militia slashed
like a pregnant rain forest.
That too is
is it not
Big Daddy War Bucks,
the pockets dropping
coins like bombs
while some (in the book
of many) Plain Jane
Old Maid saves the day,
mindful, eyes on news,
in a crusade of watering,
We are centrifugal, impelled with the inward faith of a tree.
Can you believe it, that these leaves shaping space
Are really rooms filled with furniture, air open
Here we are
Either five years old or one thousand,
All ages overlapping, lost tracks of meaning
Still resonant as a church.
What voice is calling” “Follow, follow,”
As though the mind’s eye must be guided
Through both memory & the real?
Do I see, hear as I think, or is each sense simply
Made up along the way?
A café now, or, no, just our old kitchen,
Two lovers glimpsed between summer
Breathed curtains, your lit candle, my cigarette,
Our faces read by that imperceptible
The light cups
Like a moth.
My darling, I haven’t been as centered since,
Though the contentment which brimmed is an ocean
Moments, motionless, still carry.
Testaments (for Anna Akhmatova)
Beyond misery and madness, beyond
blitzes, tartars & prayers
for death, my life
along time's constant zeitgeist, the radium
of amnesia killing memory until, by surprise,
posthumous breaths again stoke the vision,
refute evidence of destruction:
TB, blacklisting, the beloveds taken away...
What is this, this something
which twitches like a cat
or snow slowly fanning to reveal,
in clear moments, Leningrad rooftops?
Hands, gazes, embrace chocolate earth,
the rich silt massaged and tossed forth
toward a sky bursting titanium.
Dark flakes hit the whiter,
a mixed squall against blue——
Knowledge, experience outlasting all which sought
to drive spirits down,
& succeeding in part
with the encampment of skin...
Here survival is not virtuous, but a fact
which nearly refrains from rejoicing
yet does not does not
for the soul is an oath swearing to witness
the sting of strife
(in the lungs)
(with whatever voice is left)
A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published artist, writer, maker of short-collage films and sound-collage downloads. His latest P.O.D. amazon release is an art-text hybrid, "According to the Order of Nature (We too are Cosmos Made)", a work which takes to task the words which have been used against LGBT folks from time immemorial. In 2014 he began a webpage to gather links of his poetry being published in such zines as Great Works, Unlikely Stories, Quill & Parchment, etc., in one place: Poetry on the Line, Stephen Mead