The Story of a Life – Poetry by Stephen Mead

Untitled – Luciano Bartolini 

A moon silhouettes the cornflowers’ bloom,
a the pane of this window leaks cold air in,
and, on the bed, is the eternal figure caught
dreaming the recurring dream…

Why has it come back again, this ancient
snake nightmare?  With that usual undulating
rhythm it slithers through the garden, causing
softness to withdraw.  It could be named familiar

but would ignore the identity.  It could be engraved
larger than life on baked plains, but what researcher
would look at it and not concoct his own concepts?

Yes, the reptile’s personal, and yet a stranger
centuries-old.  Its story is that of a woman
sold into prostitution.  Its story is that
of an Indian reservation tore up for ore.

Clouds cloak the moon.  The cornflower is
eclipsed.  The clear pane aches with the stillness
of that chill.  Even in slumber the dreamer feels it,
the evasive snake closing in.

Shadows recoil in the glint of those fangs.

About the Poet

Stephen Mead is an Outsider multi-media artist and writer.  Since the 1990s he’s been grateful to many editors for publishing his work in print zines and eventually online.  He is also grateful to have managed to keep various day jobs for the Health Insurance. Currently he is resident artist/curator for The Chroma Museum, artistic renderings of LGBTQI historical figures, organizations and allies predominantly before Stonewall, The Chroma Museum.

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

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