As a writer and artist publishing for the last three decades, Stephen Mead has finally gotten around to getting links to his poetry still online at various zines available in one place: stephenmead.weebly.com/links-to/poetry-on-the-line-stephen-mead. His latest Amazon release is titled Our Spirit Life, a poetry/art meditation on family heritage, love, and the evanescence of time.
This is gauze
& it goes about the face
& it is slowly unwound.
There’s a slight wind,
& little lights shining
As if the wind carries them.
Breath from curtains-----
The unveiled skin-----
Eyes open as headlights.
Dream the beams on.
Dream the beams
We are becoming-----
Hands pulling gauze back
For the night, the lips
Your moth is gone, your moth that
All night I felt turning, with its pulse,
The pages of my dreams. Did you send it
As guardian, some symbolic chimera?
That’s the breathing I’ve been moving with
While you are away.
The moth’s softness was a fond thing &
Against it I nestled, petted, for luck,
Nearly expecting larvae, bright as mist,
To unfold, twirl through the air…
I was some silkworm collector
Housing a chrysalis myself. That’s what you
Planted & do not know how a thousand balloons
Might have happened, small launches
For the morning.
Today I pass windows & think they’ll fly out,
Mirror sky, a sort of heat lending wings to stars…
If, where you are, you can see what’s in my mind,
Then follow follow the firmament contained
In my face.
It is also moth white & o-mouthed
‘til your homecoming.
These are bells.
These are candles, & hands
Play their part, hands from the library,
Hands from the garden.
They have much work, much work:
A laying on.
Something’s to be rung, lit.
Something’s to be kneaded, consoled:
A flesh summons.
What is it they want?
For nothing have they come?
I have seen them in brass, in ivory slopes.
I have seen them painted & in close up, unnamed.
Saints have so many transformations
From which light emanates, ready to show
A white potato to someone who’s been flogged.
Out of darkness, roots, the febrile streams.
They dig ditches, brew tea, make beds.
They are dignified as wood.
What circle are they joining?
What songfest on the lawn?
Are they tending to a ritual, cutting swathes,
There’s a sort of bird catching up to them,
A sort of dragon wheeling over, baring sound,
Winds of wings ‘til the pitch is overwhelming
& they reel in a fury of radiant slow motion.
Look up. Look up.
The terror of it, the glory.