Mark Tarren is a poet and writer who lives on remote Norfolk Island in the South Pacific.
His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in various literary journals including The New Verse News, The Blue Nib, Poets Reading The News, Street Light Press, Spillwords Press, Tuck Magazine and Impspired Magazine. He is currently working on a collection of poetry and a novel.
Clouds Hill for T.E. Lawrence
When did things fall away from beneath your hand? Was it when love fell deeply from your brow towards the brass heaven? When all things intimate were lost, cast away in your gold. Inside your little fortress of freedom, curled around the edges of your life, your archaeology of tenderness sung the hymn of discovery. Of finding your face held in memory’s hands, inside the delicate fire of yourself. Where a book imprisoned you for such a time in the sleeping betrayal of your bed. The glorious import of such militant quietness will not escape from the shores of your sleeves. Where, once again your name must change against the relentless tide of the world. Beneath the eyes of your forgotten star you rode into the light of your last campaign — into the light of Clouds Hill, gently crafted away from man’s unkind wing. Where all your little gods died, in the fall of your last leaf away from the searching sands.
In this space between the other, where the hand holds the shape of a year is the valley and mountain folds of the kami the quiet room that sinks under palm, then springs from finger to paper to spirit to the small gods that we hold in this place of pleated white, that fall through the cherry blossoms, the petals of Sakura away from the creases in our lives. Here we are — from square to swan to rose to crane the Orizuru crafted from the air inside the folds of our shared year. In the space outside — man and woman mother and son father and child husband and wife priest and confessor. Here we are seated — safely together beneath our fragile wing The New Papyrus without words, where the silence has hands to hold us in the shapes between; the folds of love.
The Floating World
a mother’s body swims inside the womb of Fukushima the small stones of her children underwater with her circling beneath her breath and closed eyes as the waters return to itself formless and void a piano is recovered floating in the formless waters the music of a mother’s life out of tune the broken chords are the music of the wood returning to itself the first symphony of water, bark, leaf swimming in the formless waters of The Sorrowful World a trombone is drowning its throat filled and bloated dying in the arms of a child returning to itself swimming out past its mother’s body past the nuclear dreaming out past the sounds of ash and bone past the winds of Nagasaki the atomic Wound of Heaven returning to itself swept out to sea below the watermark of history, the hands of white men.