Grant Tarbard – 2 poems

Vase of Caged Birds

after Flock of Paper Birds by John McCullough

I hurt for the father of my childhood to be gone.

I enamelled the thunder of his anger

into a vase of caged birds. They scratch out

alphabets with their keratin nibs, 

writing chainmail into my flesh, trailing        

like a dropping feather from the sky


into this poem, retching ribbons of nouns

as morning robins. A blackbird


makes its presence known, settling

on my tongue as an empty house


of dove-white words, making my father        

as translucent as the stem of a feather.



The Uterus Encyclopaedic 

She felt the grim maul of a cheap suited 

surgeon’s thumbs inside her birth canal,

nodding the plum feathers of gas and air

she felt the downy hush of a needle 

going into her spine, riddling across

the dispatches of her skin. We held hands 

as the likeliness of witnessing a 

transfiguration occurrence became 

Lilliputian. The point we joked about,

that you couldn’t award vital existence,

is acquiesced. Exquisitely grotesque,

your pink tissue origami stretches 

like an open encyclopaedia,

all the bawling world does a belly flop.


Grant Tarbard is the author of ‘Loneliness is the Machine that Drives the World’ (Platypus Press) and ‘Rosary of Ghosts’ (Indigo Dreams). His new pamphlet ‘This is the Carousel Mother Warned You About’ (Three Drops Press) and new collection ‘dog’ (Gatehouse Press) will be out this year.

By Heavenly Flower Publishing

Bindweed Magazine publishes two anthologies each year: Midsummer Madness and Winter Wonderland. Bindweed is run as a not for profit, labour of love endeavour by an author/poet couple: Leilanie Stewart and Joseph Robert. Bindweed can be found at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s