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  • Stephen Mead

Waiting for the Storm: Stephen Mead

A resident of NY, Stephen Mead is a published outsider artist, writer, maker of short-collage films and sound-collage downloads. If you are at all interested please place his name in any search engine in conjunction with any one of these genres for links to his work or merchandise. After 30 years of being published in small zines and eventually on the web, he is thankful that he has managed to keep a day job for the health insurance.

Stephen about his writing: "Writing since my teenage years, poetry has always been a conduit for me, an "axe to release the frozen river within". In this sense I believe my writing is emotionally and spiritually autobiographical. However, sometimes I write from a fragment, a phrase, even one word, and then just see where my consciousness takes me from there. This has included writing in voices other than my own but by putting myself in another's place. Sometimes that "other" is not necessarily a person, but an animal or a plant. If we look at poetry as a way of connecting with something larger than ourselves in order to know ourselves (and others), while, thanks to the internet, learning how millions of others are doing the same, there really can be a sense of belonging beyond the isolation, the solitary act. On good days I remember that is a blessing. Thank you."


Waiting for the Storm

Locusts stir, propulsion of wings whirring

as small helicopters passing in the upturned

leaves, their silver shivering in gun metal blue

sky whetting its appetite on cloud swirls whiter

with winds

gusting for the yellow

anticipated through indigo & thunderous claps…

Soon, soon…

Will Ra come by this? Hecate?

Michelangelo’s great painted finger of God?

Hooves, chariot wheels, the excitations

of a lover all heavens trek

the dial of

via our hearts needles?

Rain comes at last, that starry descent streaming

brilliant in streets, the teeming trees, the running

feet, the umbrellas as lotuses between the beach



Arc of my spirit,

a floating rock near the shelter of yours’,

what Arcadia islands we are here

in the Weather’s blessings.

Today our drought parched gardens are quenched.

Today, mid summer, this dream is real

& does not signify monsoons.

Later you will collect, weave leaves

to parchment, & I will transfuse this experience

through the intimacy of glazes…

Oh, living Gods, artistry all in the work of mysteries,

let our gratitude rejoice, small voice by smaller,

for the great chorus of senses given unto us

as Nike flight when we correspond.


Boy with bruised eyes,

split lips,

the wounds of hands,

but in a Baptist church,

Gospel willing

the rising of his voice…

Maybe this here is Alabama

& the bus boycotts have re-begun.

Maybe this is you,

the black kid in me, the kid really

of any nation, sexuality, street…

Bleeding heart, open fists

& face the throng of bats

since anger’s stance is

a right not to be victimized.

Lies, lies:

To say pride can entirely forgive

when no one has said, "Sorry."

Instead, eras of rage

grope for justice as tolerance,

& humanity as spirit

just to understand.

That’s how it is with struggle,

its kite flight flag made

from some blood stained cloth.

Moments, the same day, the overcome,

The we shall overcome some day

moments sail, but only when for all

Shall the planet truly be civil,

truly humane.

For A Moment

You read my face like a blind man, fingers

finding a smile, the specifics of lips proceeding

upward, cheeks, bony slopes, then the eyes, closed

glowing almonds reading as well the prints of your touch,

each digit intricately looped, particular, indigenous

to nobody else, sort of a passport, a chimerical sort of

will 'o the wisp, lights flickering as if in a thunder

storm on flesh, flesh reflecting, as though off of

water, shimmering crescents, colors, each of us

disintegrating yet re-merging, foghorns for light

houses, other vessels, ships cannoning distant

throughout this hovering

Casablanca mist.

Some Are More


a certain luminous

stained glass shade,

that hue of the pulse,

all of empathy’s blood

running marble carved

beneath the mouth,

the veined lids

of the gaze & those

full eyes, round,

pinning down pain

before a blow…

It is too much lightness

breathlessness, heavy

as a thousand candles

in the calm still

that pours its hair

as tears through your hands,

pours its love to this absolute

benediction that will not save

any one of us though,

by clarity, grace, we may know

what that glowing means.

When the Moon Was Comfort

Light would call,

light dialing the blinds

with the most accessible rays…

By them pathways shone

in the parting fields

teeming the secrets of silver,

the dew whose crystals

whispered of brooks…

Sailing, sailing-----

White tent billowing

with the streams

truest escape

on a raft in mid-wave-----

All hearts opened with eyes

and one’s very soul could breathe…

Yes, breathing, one’s

very gaze

alive in the tender dance

shivering with thirst

for mercy to satiate-----

That was hope

meeting its dream

and the sweeping moon,


for all to come

full as fruit

from the night’s deep belly,

the night’s blanket of sky.


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The image of Quasimodo is by French artist Louis Steinheil, which appeared in  the 1844 edition of Victor Hugo's "Notre-Dame de Paris" published by Perrotin of Paris.


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