Steve Meador is the author of Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, a poetry book that was an entrant for a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He is widely published in online and print journals. He has been a real estate broker since the early 1980s and currently lives and practices in the Tampa, FL, area.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I was never a fan of rhymed, metered poetry. It seems like during our young lives it is rained upon us, nursery rhymes, Dr. Seuss, the poets from long ago, Shakespeare, etc. So, by the time I was ready to embark on the writing journey, I puttered with that style a little, a very little, but found it held no grip on me. And, to be honest, they were bad:

Touches of Red

Most poets write of roses
and I guess so must I.
But I'll not compare my roses
to love, or the evening
color of the sky.
On my roses
I'll use hoes and hoses.
I'll hoe my rows
and hose my roses,
to make them pretty
for someone to buy.

My subject matter was mostly things of nature, the world around me and current events. But it was the outdoors, animals, plants, the wind, the water and such that kept my mind full. I chucked out the old rhyming thoughts and jotted down free verse, although at the time I did not know what it was called. Also, I was never into the teen angst thing. I did not have a great childhood, but it seemed better to forge ahead, rather than dwell. The first piece I ever had published was in the early 1970s in a small Kentucky literary journal, Wind.

I remember the ecstasy when I opened the letter from Quentin Howard, the editor.


The white cat runs down the mountain
to meet the bell at dinnertime.
I watch with eyes
from a darkened forest while
the cat drinks from a silver dish.
A reaching plant in a rusted pot
doesn't attract much attention,
but to the cat, a palm tree
in West Virginia isn't ordinary.

Anyway, not sure what it all meant. But it was published! I dug it out about a year ago and rewrote it. The rewrite was published in Quicksilver, a journal at the Univ. of Texas El Paso:

Beyond this Field

minnows shimmy in a quicksilver creek
and fossils sleep in layers of cracked shale.

mottled shards of sycamore bark
fall silent on magenta flowers.

a berry thicket hides the amber eyes
of a feral cat, a calico we named Pyewacket.

the focus is on a small potted palm
which will be ordinary once the frost comes.

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