Vincent

A Poem by Stephen Mead

For bristles you could use dune grass, dried
pine needles, eucalyptus leaves,.
For bristles you could use anything,
your fingers themselves petals, expressive
grace & falling light…
It caught dusk & a lurid gleaming pool hall.
Then there’s the stars erupting across canvasses,
a bridge, a cypress, divine mad illumination
recorded in a portrait by your candle-brimming
hat. Glory
burns, is a toll taking creativity to the gaze
of some prostitute, sea captain, a mere bed post
& chair, the fire scratched & instilled even amid
windows, an asylum’s: barred.
How did conversion sneak in, a church seen
at sun down, soothing, lush, but
intense simultaneously?
Was it too much—
This grasp, these visions, a harbinger,
compounded, grounded out, all of it,
in that last frenzied soul cry of a sky & field

filled with crows

Railroad

A Poem by Stephen Mead

You will recognize the sky,
a night one & no
true talismans
but for willful
scars & their remembrance
of the beaten drum,
the gourd & how even
the boogeyman would be frightened…..
Still, black sheep, why else
would roots be needed
if not to route
another heritage map, a map
of tracks, of trees in veins,
the veins which spread
the only cover a soul may have
when we all need biographies
to tell the truth, our truth
when History warns,
when landscapes are faith
& faith is afraid
to ask, to hope—–
Is this a new world
& can we be?

Eyes Speak

A Poem by Stephen Mead

Only through silence
unwinding like quilt names,
bolt after bolt, a banner sail
swan-light in breezes
of haiku watercolors
that the onlookers themselves
are words in for the Memorial
Parade is a river wall-speaking
of our earth’s living tongues in
panel after panel after panel.