Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Watering’ and other poems by Stephen Mead

By: Stephen Mead 




invites you to become all things littlest:
Grub tongues, star-nosed moles, avid
Aphids & missionary bees…
Butterflies also, the fluttering migrations
pass on, resemble the sun, shade, scent…
So we are ephemera lasting gigantic
as we stand, hose-holders, nozzle-eyed,
bearers of the watering can’s spray.

Our own souls are the spout,
feeding, being fed by
the return of petals through leafy
beddings of green.
Thus, inside of me, you blossom,
all tendril vines & tight knots
of ripeness unfurling as fertile.

I root in this, dissolute, faithful
& febrile in delights of fluidity’s creed.



To be a bird in that hand
catching hues from your pallor…
What will forges such purple twists
throughout the pearl knots of blood& tenacity
labors eloquence often softens?
Make the stone speak, the chisel dig
its riddle: slave song, prophesy
from pain, ecstasy in a seizure
free to freeze anguish for all time
in eyes
& long past the grace, the strain

of those visions seen

The Secret Language of Silence
I am your airmail, this letter enveloped the way
hems of certain garments once hid hummingbirds
like flares.

This is how you too are carried:
In wraps, seams of secrecy, heart clasps.

From an amulet, wings beat
and I cherish that enchantment—-

Night flight, a pirate’s cargo, this
witchy passion, this cat of stealth.

Dress the familiar. Give it a coat.
Underneath, music flutters.

Let cloth mum the tongues, tribal, starting to surge.

As rounds captive sounds gather.

Later, anonymous wavelengths boom boomerang love
where it can safely be open
and spoken aloud.

The Precognitive Knitter

Her hands sting a little
when lotion’s applied, the knuckles
crackling, a couple of burnt bas reliefs.
To touch them is to touch time, the mortal
immemorial ablaze from day one.
The bones within fingers, the tendons
and vessels shape the spine of some bird
testing its wing span against a sun splay
of shadows. If held up to light
they’d be ruddy and translucent, warm
as an embryo ultrasound traced.
If held up in darkness
they’d be an x ray of palm fronds,
not withered, impervious.
Sure, she feels the cold easily,
yet can also forecast a rainstorm,
such telepathy an ache, her namesake,
bright needles pulsing yarn
through the blackest of fabric,
a flower, firm and lovely. Later
the creation, even though stuck
in a closet, will brushfire bristle.
She knows this and knits gently.



This landscape is a Chinese screen:
mountains of mist, the trees as twigs
soft in autumn distance.

Their shed leaves are the colour of comfort
where grey-blue pauses on the tongue
of God, & horizons, steppe-like,
fleece that profile.

This is the swathe of a cut sleeve,
the kimono silk draping with wrap around
possibilities the further one drives—–
Boxes, baggage, furnishings schooner-curved
for the faith of prairies, latter day.

I lean to you, brother homeless pioneer,
housing apartments of transition to match
our lack of cash, our get-away pluck,
& galaxies entire spin with these wheels,
pushing the way to be free
through fear

like a needle where
we cling to each stitch,
wind-threaded & tenuous

but moving nonetheless.


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