Gordon Meade: 5 Poems

Amur Leopard, France, 2016
Beauty is truth, truth beauty.
…………………… John Keats.

It looks as if I take
too good a shot
to be taken seriously.

It looks as if I take
too good a shot
to be taken seriously
here, in France.

It looks as if I take
too good a shot
to be taken seriously.
Here, in France,
beauty is not truth.

It looks as if I take
too good a shot
to be taken seriously.
Here, in France,
beauty is not truth,
and truth is nothing.

It looks as if I take
too good a shot
to be taken seriously.
Here, in France,
beauty is not truth,
and truth has nothing
to do with beauty.

It looks as if I take
too good a shot
to be taken seriously.
Here, in France,
beauty is not truth,
and truth has nothing
to do with beauty.
Beauty often hides.

It looks as if I take
too good a shot
to be taken seriously.
Here, in France,
beauty is not truth,
and truth has nothing
to do with beauty.
Beauty often hides
the pain of truth.

**

Humboldt Penguin, Thailand, 2009

What was once being a part
of a cast of thousands, is now my own
reflection in a wall of glass.

What was once being a part
of a cast of thousands, is now my own
reflection in a wall of glass;
that was once a backdrop of islands.

What was once being a part
of a cast of thousands, is now my own
reflection in a wall of glass.
What was once a backdrop of islands,
is now a diorama of tropical plants.

What was once being a part
of a cast of thousands, is now my own
reflection in a wall of glass.
What was once a backdrop of islands,
is now a diorama of tropical plants;
that was once a plunge into the South Pacific.

What was once being a part
of a cast of thousands, is now my own
reflection in a wall of glass.
What was once a backdrop of islands,
is now a diorama of tropical plants.
What was once a plunge into the South Pacific,
is now a paddle in a man-made pool.

What was once being a part
of a cast of thousands, is now my own
reflection in a wall of glass.
What was once a backdrop of islands,
is now a diorama of tropical plants.
What was once a plunge into the South Pacific,
is now a paddle in a man-made pool.
What was once, is no longer.

What was once being a part
of a cast of thousands, is now my own
reflection in a wall of glass.
What was once a backdrop of islands,
is now a diorama of tropical plants.
What was once a plunge into the South Pacific,
is now a paddle in a man-made pool.
What was once, is no longer:
what remains, no more than what it is.

**

Sand Tiger Shark, Canada, 2016

Mine is a portrait, not
a landscape and, also, a tad
surreal. I am a shadow.

Mine is a portrait, not
a landscape and, also, a tad
surreal. I am a shadow,
suspended overhead, moving.

Mine is a portrait, not
a landscape and, also, a tad
surreal. I am a shadow,
suspended overhead, moving
so slow as to be almost imperceptible.

Mine is a portrait, not
a landscape and, also, a tad
surreal. I am a shadow,
suspended overhead, moving
so slow as to be almost imperceptible.
You are in a tunnel underneath me.

Mine is a portrait, not
a landscape and, also, a tad
surreal. I am a shadow,
suspended overhead, moving
so slow as to be almost imperceptible.
You are in a tunnel underneath me,
and straining to look up at me.

Mine is a portrait, not
a landscape and, also, a tad
surreal. I am a shadow,
suspended overhead, moving
so slow as to be almost imperceptible.
You are in a tunnel underneath me,
and straining to look up at me,
so that you can take another snap.

Mine is a portrait, not
a landscape and, also, a tad
surreal. I am a shadow,
suspended overhead, moving
so slow as to be almost imperceptible.
You are in a tunnel underneath me,
and straining to look up at me,
so that you can take another snap.
I, however, an staring straight ahead.

**

Red Panda, Canada, 2008

There are only so many times
that you can walk upon the same patch
of snow before it turns to solid ice.

There are only so many times
that you can walk upon the same patch
of snow before it turns to solid ice
or melts; I have walked that path.

There are only so many times
that you can walk upon the same patch
of snow before it turns to solid ice
or melts. I have walked that path
too many times; of course I have.

There are only so many times
that you can walk upon the same patch
of snow before it turns to solid ice
or melts. I have walked that path
too many times. Of course I have
access to a slightly higher plane.

There are only so many times
that you can walk upon the same patch
of snow before it turns to solid ice
or melts. I have walked that path
too many times. Of course I have
access to a slightly higher plane,
from where I am able to look.

There are only so many times
that you can walk upon the same patch
of snow before it turns to solid ice
or melts. I have walked that path
too many times. Of course I have
access to a slightly higher plane,
from where I am able to look
into another section of the zoo.

There are only so many times
that you can walk upon the same patch
of snow before it turns to solid ice
or melts. I have walked that path
too many times. Of course I have
access to a slightly higher plane,
from where I am able to look
into another section of the zoo;
the one the humans call Eurasia.

**

Unknown Animal, Lithuania, 2016

I am what I am
and what I am is
unknown; no matter.

I am what I am
and what I am is
unknown, no matter
how hard you look.

I am what I am
and what I am is
unknown. No matter
how hard you look
you will never know.

I am what I am
and what I am is
unknown. No matter
how hard you look
you will never know
what I really am.

I am what I am
and what I am is
unknown. No matter
how hard you look
you will never know
what I really am;
being as I am.

I am what I am
and what I am is
unknown. No matter
how hard you look
you will never know
what I really am;
being, as I am,
the unknown.

I am what I am
and what I am is
unknown. No matter
how hard you look
you will never know
what I really am;
being, as I am,
the unknown
and the unknowable.

**

Gordon Meade is a Scottish poet based in the East Neuk of Fife. He divides his time between his own writing and developing creative writing courses for vulnerable people in a variety of settings. At present, he is also a Royal Literary Fund Bridge Fellow, working in schools in Fife. His most recent collection of poems, The Year of the Crab, a poetic exploration of the diagnosis and early treatment of cancer, was published in 2017 by the Cultured Llama Press in Kent, England.

 

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