unearthed:

a long year

(running ghazals)

Gazelles running in Serengeti

read a summary of the project in progress

what’s a ghazal? By John Thompson, from Stilt Jack

A selection of Karl Meade ghazals published in literary magazines in Canada and the US:

Tree Fall

 

The steps you once made, I once loved:

renaissance arch, two-tiered cupola, your neck’s delft

 

perfection. My heart is full of acts

I cannot speak the name of. Confession,

 

fretwork, your drawer of broken watches. I study those hands,

dream silversmith guilds, clay-layered fossil: is this what love is?

 

We prayed for the sea, you gave us

the water’s weight, here

 

behind half-shut doors I watch half-sunk

ships sail goods up streets alive with

 

one scale, two swords, crossed: is that you cradling wisdom in your lap?

Death is no accident, you said: time, water, the walls,

 

trees I have missed:

this is where we’ll meet.

 

(published in Event magazine)

Down Fall

 

What is left of me: stubble, pain, and this staged

indifference. The game is up, you said. Up.

 

Humiliation, humility, all this

and the hills. Show me where to dig, where began my swift

 

descent. What I dared dream? What I am:

pyrhite imposter.

 

I want your heart, your hand. I never learned

who created who here. Why give me such

 

rage? Such love and four girls

suffering, I dig up

 

your nature, your half-healed carcass, your glorious shit, all this

you left to me

 

(published in Event magazine)

Group of red Impala

Stone Winter

 

Now it is just you and me: blood on a midnight table.

My cup, your hands. I can’t escape your

 

even listening: yes, the morning cries, but then what?

I ask you: are there hills ahead

 

or just more strummed lines of guitar,

psalms of night wilderness, flashing past?

 

This is winter: stone, pockets, my breath on your hands.

You can’t take it with you, you said. Time is just

 

silence, flashing past. I wake old and emptied

of the stones you took, with you, the weight

 

is what I want: your damn near

impossible memory.

 

(published in the Literary Review of Canada)

Spring Bone

 

Evens and odds: chance laughter in the street.

I watch you growing, hopscotch and bone, such hope

 

my mouth circles the song you can’t stop: oh

the sudden, breakable you. Who said we were all

 

odds and ends? This is where it starts. Four,

always this damned four: season, limb, wall.

 

I remember, even at five

that first tear in my misaligned

 

cartilage. Let’s circle, you say. I can deal

with wagons, the past, rising, tensely: chance it

 

even with your laughter

the oh I dare not fathom.

 

(published in Chronogram magazine)

Spring Tide

 

Your young volcanic mouth: river, milk, honey.

This heat wave, consumed and consuming

 

your first knot: a heart unraveling, bravely

into the ocean. You spawn stones of geodetic lust, bright and brief,

 

your great adventures: swing, teeter, slide.

They said it was no small hole

 

in your heart stopped mightily that day

the dim voice entered.

 

Spitback of ash.

The high bar you fell from, back up again:

 

you are the love wave, breaking

through seaweed and bivalves, the golden seismic

 

tremors we devour.

Sleep, my love, sleep.

 

(published in CV2 magazine)

Masai Mara Grant's Gazelle