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Stephen Mead

World fall, world to hold & take my hand,

the whispered plea & take my hand,

the assurance said.  Simple.  It is so simple.

Find yourself a Banyan by becoming one.

Find yourself as limbs outstretched,

clasping sky.  Also, there's the lying,

being the stream beside, being the bank.

Also, there's the carving, the flesh itself

a porous clay cup, kiln-resilient yet giving heat.

Also find yourself perhaps as a sun-umbrella

issuing the right shade, the right light.

Offer now.  Here, take, for what are we

but the planet's wafers?  And what are we

but the future's roots going seed, seed, seed?

So earth greets the universe & faith shapes time.

So your fingers are your own & my fingers, the same.


Stephen Mead

Mustn't mention it.

There's no mass appeal.

Reveal the reviled

and the underground turns

sour, vomits toadstools, grubs.

How humorless are such

adornments, dipped pearls

for a choker.  Wear the sores

then, oh leprous one!

Cafes close their doors,

haven't any vacant tables,

(or so swears the maitre de').

Beaches roll up the ocean.

Cinemas hang notes, "Sold

Out!"  Move along you, you,

never a critic's darling, never

falling out of favor.

There's something else

choosing you, a scrawl of initials

on locker room walls joined only

to blank space starting to rust.

Other sophomoric graffiti surrounds

that, desperate couplets one day

painted over as you stand,

a birch with bark nearly bare

except for the curve of this

heart, half-carved.

Stephen is a retired Civil Servant, having worked two decades for three state agencies. Before that, his more personally fulfilling career was fifteen years in healthcare. Throughout all these day jobs he was able to find time for writing poetry/essays and creating art. Occasionally he even got paid for this work. 
Currently, he is a resident artist/curator for The Chroma Museum, showcasing artistic renderings of LGBTQI historical figures, and organizations/allies predominantly before Stonewall.
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