Monday, 24 July 2017

2 poems by Siegfried Baber

A Tiger Skin In Connemara

There are no wild cats on the west coast of Ireland.
Except one, shot dead and skinned,
a full-grown tiger, faded black on amber,
spread-eagle, flying the flag of her own extinction
from your stark, whitewashed walls.
After half a century of cold and damp
her stuffed head has gone sour. Too dumb,
too domesticated, all prehistory now tamed
to a sabre-toothed tapestry, the dulled crush of her eyes
fixed on the front door, she waits for you
to come in and pour a saucer of milk.
Mere decoration. Her body ransacked, jaws jacked-open.
No sound where that paralysing, black-mouthed cry
should be, tearing through your cottage
near the old bog road, scattering sheep and rain.

Siegfried Baber was born in Barnstaple, Devon in 1989. Since graduating from Bath Spa University with a degree in Creative Writing, he lives and works in the city as a freelance writer, and as a barman in Bath’s finest pub, The Star Inn.

Siegfried’s poetry has featured in a variety of publications including Under The Radar, The Interpreter’s House, Butcher’s Dog Magazine, online with The Compass Magazine and Ink, Sweat and Tears, and as part of the Bath Literature Festival. His debut pamphlet When Love Came To The Cartoon Kid is published by Telltale Press, with its title poem nominated for the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem.

Follow Siegfried on Twitter: @SiegfriedBaber

First published on 20/10/2015

The Melon

I gave you a melon.
Bright yellow, a real beauty –
you took it home,

parading through the streets
like the woman
who'd bagged herself the Sun.

We dismantled the double-bed,
took apart the wardrobe
and cleaned out the kitchen.

I gave a few bits and pieces
to the charity shop down the road.
Then we came back to the melon.

You cradled it in your arms.
There were no knives,
we'd given all our cutlery away,

so I used the puzzle-piece edge
of your spare key
to divide the whole thing

into a pair of half-moons.
Fifty-fifty. Right down the middle.
Yours and mine.

The Melon was first published in the 2013 Templar Poetry Anthology

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