Poetry- Mark Tarren

In Memoriam

Here lies his naked body,
like a baroque Christ.

Long pale arms at his side,
it is not Shakespeare’s Adonis.

Nor is it the carved strength
of Achilles
that sleeps in the papyrus
of the Iliad.

He wanted to have his life
marked upon his body.

To have Homer scar him somehow
with some veined memorial,

for his life’s journey.

Three birthmarks
where his children once lived.

Dark markings beneath
his eyes for the sleep

that never came.

Two ancient cuts in the thighs
for the empty pockets.

A black bruising for the wine.

A blood red discoloration,
on the chest,

for the love

that he gave, borrowed, or
sometimes stole.

A blotched tongue for
the words that he spoke.

Etched fingertips for
the unwritten words.

His body carved with
the calligraphy of his life.

His skin the parchment
of remembrance.

Like a god
on his tattooed Olympus,

a stained Prometheus.

Here lies his naked body,
in all its quiet magnificence.

Pale, cold and prone.

His words forgotten
as Keats fevered Grecian Urn.

No small villa
on the Spanish Steps in Rome.

A toe tag for the coronation
of this ordinary king,

Yet, in this new country,
Yeats’s wild swans,

swim at his feet.


She Sings The Song Of Heaven

She sings the song of heaven
as we craft our ongoing lives.

We shape our life movement
carefully, with surgical precision
in the hope that death will not

notice our quiet stoic grief.

It is time now to stop the
tomorrows.

Time to dismantle the sky,
cloak the moon
and unfasten the sun.

Time to pull down the stars
with our bare hands.

For we are immortal,
forever pressing on, moving on
with our thinglike act of living.

How brave and strange we are
to turn our faces from mortality.

Yet, still for us,

she sings the song of heaven.


Leaf Light

There is an ocean in the canopy,
wind like the sea.
These trees arch, bow and
break like hearts.
Their air, living in my lungs
cracks
with mist from my breath to part us.
There are fields of leaves
that watch me carefully
to see if I will hurt them.
They live with this intimate
knowledge as a perpetual
unseen act of grace.
I am disassembled
in their perfectly crafted
arterial design.
All at once, in a blaze of
simultaneous colour.
Green, rust, red to silver ash.
I am merely passing,
a forest shadow.
They do not die as we do,
with ceremony, memorial
and gravestones.
They simply

fall.

I have mud underfoot
upon this walk
and I am tired.
I wish to sleep now
away from the shadows.
Away from the pathed rock and stone
beneath this crisp blue sky.
After I die I want to have the earth
buried beside me
and pretend she will live forever.

About the contributor

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