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.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Thanks to Lee Ann Ann Roripaugh for allowing me to marry her beautiful photo to a poem I wrote maybe 25-30 years ago. I have added the link to her work for you to enjoy!
My first flight from LaGuardia
was in the dark,
fireflies of freezing rain
riding the arrows
of a tightly strung wind.
Baggage handlers’ rubber soles
Men ogling the asses
of flight attendants
and hinting for early drinks.
The lungs of babies singing
over the tinny words of the pilot.
Outside, waddling figures with hoses
swaddling us with a coating.
The guy next to me grunts
something about de-icing the plane.
I was comforted,
knowing as we lifted off
that we would be slipping
from our crystal cocoon,
leaving it to melt on the runway.
Friday, January 28, 2011
I mostly write of real life events, or my interpretation of real life events.
If only I had eaten her
fresh eggroll, or asked one more question
about the sago palm in the gallon pot.
Why hadn’t I asked to see the blonde
furniture for sale inside,
or handed her a twenty
instead of exact change
for the box filled with plenty
of things she’d already kissed goodbye?
Anything for a few seconds delay
so fate would have stumbled,
cursed me for tick-tocking
with its clock.
The woman and her four friends
bled across the columns
of Sunday’s paper—
lives ended at an intersection.
What could have been done
to keep her from leaving home,
picking them up precisely when she did,
hovered in the dead space
between my eyes and the front page.
Fate, that fat fucker, tap-danced on my guilt,
gracefully bowed from the darkness of its heart.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Who will take a walk with me? We will follow a fence line about two miles. The terrain is rough and diverse, with patches of thicket, soft sand, stubble and stone. At the end there is a stream, narrow enough to jump over. We will make the easy leap, turn right, continue along the bank. Within a hundred yards it converges with another stream; the result is a larger run which quickly widens to about fifteen feet. It won’t be long, less than five minutes distance, at our brisk pace, before we hear the water tumbling over a small fall. It is by no means a roar or sound of significant turbulence, more of an active splashing, like a child in a tub. The falls has maybe a fifteen inch drop. Once there, the air will be full of a faint iron and sulfur odor. The aroma may not be appealing, to some, but it is where we will soak our feet. The cool will shrink the heat from our skin and the fatigue within. The magic of the minerals will refresh our bodies. There will be a surprising vigor wicked into us. We will feel younger. We will feel young.
While here, the only talk can be that of past times, of things that made each of us happy in those times. There can be no discussion of tarnish; a tainted tongue is turned to stone. As the talk continues you might want to swish your warm fingers in the cool bubbles, play with the sand in the shallow. Some may wish to skip stones across the slick and calm that is downstream. Others may search for fossils. Even the leaf that floats by will become something; perhaps it will be the Argonauts returning home, the canoe of Lewis and Clark or the Monitor seeking the Merrimac. The mind grows young when that kind of conversation jingles in the air. It is contagious and easily caught. Soon, everyone hangs above this denominator, for a short time, in a cycle where memory begets imagination which begets deeper memory. No person is excluded from the transformation. Very little sun shoots through the canopy overhanging the falls, so, it darkens quickly when the sun moves to late afternoon. With reluctance we’ll prepare to leave. Our shoes lighter, our legs stronger, on the silent walk back. Ponce de Leon died before he could find this. We will gather on the path and agree that this will be our secret, this place.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
The zenith sun lays no clue
to which direction the river moves.
Its glacial motion may be flowing
backwards or uphill. Certainty
is nowhere, silence is alive.
Listen. Catfish whiskers tap
the bottom in search of muddy supper.
Hear turtles breathe from rotted logs
or fern spores roll like boulders to the water.
The chopachopachopa of a rotor
is only a dragonfly’s wings as it hovers
above a bustle of reeds.
Watches and calendars are unknown here.
Around the bend, in a small orchard,
Newton watches an apple fall.
Beyond the sycamores to the left
Copernicus tells a crowd that we are not
the center of the universe.
Beneath broad oaks, over a small rise
on the right, Clemens closes his inkwell
and smiles at a stack of papers
before placing them in a leather satchel.
I hope to see him when he comes to soak
his feet in the cool water.