Stephen Mead

Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer.  Since the 1990s he’s been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online.  He is also grateful to have managed to keep various day jobs for the Health Insurance. Currently he is resident artist/curator for The Chroma Museum, artistic renderings of LGBTQI historical figures, organizations and allies predominantly before Stonewall, The Chroma Museum  

Down to Zero

 
 The china sky shatters and goes 
 clattering against pavement. 
 I sweep up the shards, mine 
 the hard feathers bright. 
 It's a river sharply winking. 
 Of resignation, of loss-----
 how can gestures of light soften the old blows? 
 Is this how love ends: 
 with a scavenging that resembles 
 some mundane procedure called clean up? 
 Broom in hand, an enlarged paintbrush, I look 
 up: maintaining. There is your likeness 
 in all these jagged 
 leftover particles. 
 As clumps of rock candy 
 they melt,
 ker-plunk,
 from the trees. 

Snow Fell

 White on yellow petals,
 chrysanthemums
 market-fresh, chrysanthemums
 in gold foil above the canned cat food.
 Look.  They seem to carry themselves
 as suns aloft in this night street of flurries.
 Listen.  They are heartbeats, but do not
 flicker, being steady as an all-over-quiet,
 a glow of certain substance.
  
 So you have such substance,
 such quiet, & find yourself open
 as a turned out shell
 who hours ago howled with the sea…
  
 Know the dream of the seed leaving,
 the life shaped from your life
 & that pain real as your own birth
 is this squall from the world’s womb
 showering through the dark
 as light meeting light…
  
 So you hold light still
 even with the others’ passing
 & mums are what radiance
 we each come to pause at:
 such yellow petals, such gold foil,
 such wrap-around-hands
 in a squall of white
  
 for loss, for remembrance,
 an offering, 
 an offering. 

Thinking of Opus 40

  Here is one man's monolith, little known elsewhere perhaps,
 that hands built the wonder of, slate upon slate...
  
 Crop circles have such mystery,
 but this was not fashioned overnight, this a Don Quixote
 vision quest labored to the age of 72, the laborious love
 not lost, just incomplete, & what
 of how the Bard Scholar died?
 Did a wall befall him or the tractor tumble,
 & he, a plunging Ganymede, he crushed
 by what his passion sculpted & laid to rest
 on those very grounds...
  
 Of such accidents only Sphinx slaves must know,
 & those ghosts of Easter Islands,
 the Stonehenge quarries themselves
 dusty pestle star-grounds...
 Still, what lasts, flint-flecked,
 has a magnet's call, the Earth's poles a pull
 under these archways here, those cool corridors there,
 & the breezy steps down to the goldfish still living,
 so what if the Higher Power is chaos, is randomness?
  
 What if what goes around comes around
 is just another saying comfort conceives
 & the reason that everything happens for
 is senseless simply?
  
 Suppose it is all the opposite, unknown to us
 in our vicissitudes occupied by survival & what weather
 is out of our hands?
  
 Look at how this architect went on anyway,
 laying shale like a Jerusalem, & his wife,
 perhaps watching from the kitchen, wishing
 he'd come in & fix the television reception instead.
  
 Come in from the cold, from the ice-fire of rocks.
  
 Still, under one, beside him, her bones too bare testament
 & that is
              that is
                       enough
                                  say both. 

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