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.

The Leather Maker

When you remove the skin from
the body of a beast it is transformed.

It is now something new and tender
that is suspended outside of time.

The heart and lungs are removed 
from the old ways.

They are now organs of life and breath
in the eviscerating of all former loves.

The Leather Maker 
places oak, sumac and hemlock upon this

new skin.

This strengthens
the bond between the fibres. 

Like his beast, 
he is something new and tender — eternal.

Outside of time he crafts gifts of life, breath
and sometimes — 


He has made highly prized leathers 
in Morocco and Cordoba,

his scrolls have been stored in earthen jars 
in caves along the Dead Sea for centuries.

In the dark universe of 
The Corium

his stars have fallen before 

Pharaohs and Queens,

crafted sandals for Homer —

formed the curve around the back of
an ankle of many lovers —

bound books for Dickens and Wilde.

Now, at the beginning and end of 
a broken heart,

he has completed his last work —

a small journal made from 
Japanese leather,

carved and stamped with 
the inscription —
Norfolk Island , 29.04S 167.95E.

His last dark star 
from the master of Rezākurafuto

falls into the hands of two lovers,
something new and tender —

a skin to protect 
the fragility of love.

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