Poetry by Stephen Mead
a dial, a number, memory calling 3092.
For years the same memory, home in a code,
the heart's area, those digits & finger by finger
love turning it, love, a rolling drum.
I know this as I know an old farmhouse,
every inch a goose bump coming down, going up-----
Winters of Hans Brinker, Huck Finn Summers,
Mann's Mountain Springs & Falls golden with corn
fritters in Eudora's deep pot.
Its oil was rainbow-swirled, & Eden, the seasons,
the growth of bittersweet. Those rooms amid that weather
were good as dove wings tucked over a breast.
Quick, bring me back awhile to that grand family of five.
Bring me doors for the kissing & walls of windows,
the curtain-dance, a twirl with dreams looking on.
I gaze out still &, still dreaming, am taken straight back,
back even now as radiation is zapping my father
five times a week for forty-five seconds.
His neck is meeting a microwave at the point of a pen
& my pen point's a compass tracking his recovery
in good speed, tracking my brother in pine paper,
my sister as the wind's bride, & all of us being letters,
being receivers alive with light
in the locket
of my mom's hand.
The sun in that sky is a husk
of grey-yellow dim yearning-----
Is this Paris? Czechoslovakia?
Time's icing passes
to meld hemispheres
clear in the attributes
of their own given location.
My old letters, yours', whisper as specks throughout
the burning squall.
With a fingernail I trace February's frost
on these panes--
Sensations sizzle, ring
in ears, set the skull
abuzz with love's
wholly touching touch.
Are you thinking of me
at this moment now too?
I know what weather
is not so much a base
than an angling between.
Still, caught, windy currents about buildings, trees
lift up, suspend distance, become voices,
a duet, streamline
all that silence
hearts long to break.
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. Recent publications include Swifts & Slows, Visibility Magazine and Tourniquet. 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