Mark Tarren

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.

Mrs Waterson’s Dream

Inside the edges of her dream 

in the stone — walled world 
across the sea of sheets,

she stands beside her.

She has fallen away from 
the branch in the moon

and lives beneath the face of sleep
where she holds the shape of light,

within the silent migration of her heart.


Her journey is now complete.

She has come from 
The Border of Passing Clouds

to inherit the kingdom prepared 
for her,
from the foundation of the world.

When her small hands were water,
when sleep was a prayer,

when her hair was a spiral staircase 
that cascaded over the night sky —

between the stars.

Inside the edges of her dream,
from the foundation of the world,

she stands beside her.

Beneath her bare feet
are pine needles and basalt —

dark pebbles underwater,
those incomplete stones

of the past
and the beginning.

This is the curtain
raised in her theatre of memory —

in the eye of
Mrs Watersons Dream.


Rachel’s face is now framed 
by her unrelenting purity,
the innocence of

The Journeying One —

the lamb that 
The Norfolk Winds

has guided home.

Her hair, 
now the night sky,
her eyes, 
now the white terns,

her hands returning now as water,
her grief —

now — as ours.

This is how Mrs Waterson found her,
seated on the steps of the convict hospital, 

at the Father’s right hand.

They shared soft, unbidden words,
of the memory of things we destroy


A small shared sacrament,
never to return 
to that part of us —

inside the edges of her dream, 
from the foundation of the world —

before our hearts were broken.

The Temple Song

(For Ryuichi Sakamoto)

Rain falls against
the skin of a tree,
the bark-water flows 

against, upwards and away
from time

towards the now 
and flows through the chorus of —

be well, be well.

Small smooth stones
are rubbed together.

When placed against a cymbal 

they hum the quiet hymn 
of transcendence, 

that speaks —

be well, be well.

Bach, Satie, Chopin —

break bread at your table
and say — here, take and eat

hear this sound, take this chord 
it says —

be well, be well.

Kakinomoto no Hitomaro, Matsuo Bashō, Fujiwara no Teika —

lean forward into the now 

and scribe these words 
on the score of your body —

be well, be well.

Now, outside the temple song,
in the shape of the master,

a leaf has fallen inside your 
graceful hands.

It plays the notes it sings,

it prays forever —

be well, be well.

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