Grant Tarbard is the former editor of The Screech Owl, co-founder of Resurgant Press, a reviewer, and currently an editorial assistant for Three Drops From A Cauldron.  


He lives in Laindon, Essex where he writes in a ramshackle fashion. He is the author of the collection As I Was Pulled Under the Earth (Lapwing Publications), as well as the chapbook Yellow Wolf (Writing Knights Press) and his well received pamphlet Loneliness is the Machine that Drives the World (Platypus Press), released 2016.


He has worked as a computer games journalist, a script and poetry editor and a football magazine contributor amongst other sous

chef-esque writing jobs. His poetry has appeared in several anthologies and many magazines.


Grant has a two act play published. His work has featured in a number of compendiums, including Dogma Publishing's Miracle at St. Bede's. Also, he has had poems exhibited at his local gallery a number of times as well as at the Quayside gallery in Maldon, Essex.


Previously, he was the first runner-up (at the age of sixteen) in Ottakar’s / Faber National Poetry Competition; a finalist for a Pushcart Prize nomination; and winner of ‘The Sinister Poetry Award’ in the May 2014 issue of Dark & Horror Poetry (The Poetry Box Magazine).














138 x 216mm


36 pages


£6.00 + P&P UK


ISBN 978-1-910834-47-3












Dealing with the trauma of a stroke on the poet this book deals with the rising tide of subsequence through life, pain and love, a fight for breath amid synapses that fire out a beehive of fibrous tissue and delusion. What is real and unreal, and is there a clear distinction between this?





‘These are visceral poems of the body and of breath high on bottle oxygen and morphine. They come cloaked in ash, and dust; their peculiar imagination and dark wit lift them above the clay.  They are threaded through with pain; the gentle and abiding love in them carries us through.’  

Martin Figura







Rosary of Ghosts


Grant Tarbard

Underneath the Covers


The night is black and draped with marigolds,

one hundred thousand shining lighthouses


raised and drowned on my crown

as distant ships are dashed on the back wall.


The nightjar’s nocturnal song

pounds like typewriter keys.


In the flares of passing cars I bask,

with lucent fingertips I stretch to touch your arse.


You do not wake and I content myself

with making dirty horoscopes.


I begin counting all the little lamps

until dawn breaks its voice on the gravel


of spouting cockcrows, whistling like a red head.

The sky of butane blue rushes past the curtains


knocking over furniture like Rock & Roll.

I see through the mons Venus cranny in the covers,


I see through your cashmere night dress,

the definition is breath-taking, maybe we did it.



How to Be Air


I am from nothing, a beak’s whistle of cloud,

a piece of November intended to be oxygen.


What lies within the salt white rhythm of gravity?

Compartments of a feather, insubstantial as blown ash.


Imagine buoyancy with a flushed cheek,

a red faced huff of air above the light of the room,


the smoke of a terrace of spent cigarettes,

ribbons of silk spooning in the ventilation.


The problems arise when one wants to land-

will my melodramatic body come apart,


mistrusting finger joints and the arm’s gristle

to tighten – snatching out at aerials on rooftops.


I latch on to the rusting shed of tobacco tins,

my grandfather’s loose nails fasten me down.



The Stranger in Bed Four



I've never seen a person dead before,

there he was, an illusory stranger

at the end of the box ward in bed four.

There was no ceremony, no clangour

of grief in a bell's wail, no dignity

‘cept the vomit green curtains half hearted

draw so I could still spy the willow tree

of grey pubic hair sprouting unguarded

from the kettle spout zip of life within

death. The lack of vanity in a corpse

is understood and with his rictus grin

he sneers at the living in our goose skin,

hushing against our shell ears; you are flawed.

The boundary in my last breath was God.

Rosary of Ghosts


My skeleton is a ramshackle tin,

a coal burner billowing out black fumes,

my body is no place to be stuck in.


Death whispers, he sings like a violin

I won't go easy smelling Death's perfumes,

my skeleton is a ramshackle tin.


Tumbledown alleyways draped with goose skin,

a gargoyle in elaborate costumes,

my body is no place to be stuck in.


Rosary of ghosts in the bony shin

take possession of my streets playing spoons,

my skeleton is a ramshackle tin.


My heart is a feather, a bundled pin

that sticks in my chest and no more balloons,

my body is no place to be stuck in.


Spindrift pale night suspended like my sin,

made of in-flight mist in a steamed breath tomb.

My skeleton is a ramshackle tin,

my body is no place to be stuck in.



Chest of Drawers


This body is a chest of drawers,

at the centre is a Mason jar of hearts,


a stripped carcass in between feathers.

The top drawer is a mind tangled with a snarl of socks


and a labyrinth of missed sex,

kissing every part of every shadow.


This drawer is where the birth of ideas poach

in a field where light bulbs grow on the vine


of loose threads and forgotten tissues.

In the shirt drawer are hurt memories


with lollipop splints on their wings.

When the drawer is open they fly away


as paper aeroplanes scattering the seed

of my scent and the disorder of thought.


This body is a hand-me-down song

that whistles into knicker elastic.