Steve Meador

Steve Meador’s book Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, released by D-N Publishing in 2008, was an entrant for a National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize for poetry. He has been widely published, in print and online, resulting in multiple Pushcart and other nominations. Pudding House released two of his chapbooks in 2007.

Deconstructing The Farmer

Love of the dirt cannot be
half-hearted or fickle. Fear
of hardship and hard work
gets sown in an unknown
galaxy. If what you plant
grows and goes to harvest,
you do it again. If it burns,
freezes, withers or floods,
you do it again. Every day
you wake you do it again,
because it is no more than
a roll of the dice, crossed
fingers or a prayer to not
fail, all which are equally
useless against the high
viscosities of nature. But,
moreover, there’s volcanic
excitement when a pre-
ponderance of luck lifts
you from being your own
man to being your own god.
Then you will say, “Be gone
harsh sun, wind and killing
frost. Come rain, soften these
hands, remove these calluses.”

.22 Caliber Long Rifle

In a way it was the Wounded Knee
of 3 Acre Woods, only there was a bed
of colored leaves instead of snow and our
dead was not grotesque, but lined up
in a row. The twenty seven red-headed
woodpeckers had not feared us.

Limestone in the creek, beyond a maze
of rotting trunks, gurgled and hissed beneath
rapid water, called for a return to sanity.
“Pretend I am flint in a flammable pool, cast
your rust upon me. I will ignite and deliver
your last sins in a scroll of flames.”

Spring Ride in the NE 1/4 of Section 6

A recent freeze left flaxen stacks
of waste and scrub. Our pasto verde
now a musky tan with limp stems
mushy under hoof. To the west
the Rockies and sky clash
like Civil War armies,
retire daily under a bleeding sun.
To the east a white line,
picket fencing of the suburbanites.
They have no taste for untamed,
detest ranchland bland yet worship
the sameness of rough stucco boxes.
None know a bay from a palomino
or a pinto from an appaloosa,
but they brag how their wild horses
graze on gas and melt rubber hooves.
Few could find the North Star,
keep a fire burning all night
or find pleasure sleeping with rain.
To them I am the Marlboro man,
a stale smoke dangling from my lips
and a tip of a dusty hat. Once, their land
was mine. To me, they’re a roundup
of well-placed zeros on bank accounts.

Hell On Wheels

442 T-top, Trans Am, GTO, Roadrunner.
Those were the cars we wanted to drive.
Vehicles endowed with clear skin,
cool clothes and the ripest cheerleaders.
Eyeball magnets that forced the corn
to take a bow as they sped past, then blew
the stalks straight again with blast
from cherry bomb glass packs.

Even after we saw chunks of brain sizzled
on a mangled hood, visited a friend in prison—
for back seat pussy “he never had”—and watched
another stumble around town like Quasimodo
as he grunted loud sounds, those were the wheels
we wanted to take us to places we never wanted
to go, and take us there fast.

Copyright © 2010 Steve Meador