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Tarquin Landseer
Tarquin Landseer

Tarquin Landseer is the recipient of a Keats-Shelley Prize and was shortlisted in the Bradford on Avon Fringe Festival Poetry Competition. His poetry tends to focus on invisible boundaries and treads a fine line between different states of being and consciousness. His concern with liminal zones of perception is one of the features of his work. He makes pointillist pen and ink drawings and likes to analyze and articulate the world around him, real and imagined, through words and images. His poetry has appeared in The Keats-Shelley Review, Staple, The Frogmore Papers, and the Templar Anthology - Peloton.

Tarquin Landseer Poetry

Music Lovers


Her best friend was instrumental in bringing us together.

A friendly overture at an impromptu soirée did not go unnoticed.


On a caprice I asked her out by way of Chopin.

Yes, I'm fond of him, she'd said.

There's no need to polonaise for being late, I replied.

So we got Brahms and Liszt at a bar in Soho where she brazenly


I think you're a horn player. And on that score we cut short

the evening while my heart beat in syncopated time all the way

to her place. With a catchy jingle of keys in the door of her Chelsea flat,

she made a melodic line for the drinks cabinet

and the super tonic that she poured was a prelude to our

casual coupling.


I savoured the pause and noticed her slight blush

as she sipped on a pink gin. Unable to stave off our desire,

I played follow-the-lieder along the passage to her boudoir grand.


On a crush note, she pulled the chord on the festoon blind

and I thought it would be a no strings attached affair and acted blasé.

She altered the timbre of her voice and with a nice turn of phrase she


Back in a minuet, before vanishing into the en suite bathroom,

(She always made a concerted effort to look good),

while I loomed like a figured bass at the end of the bed.

An arrangement of lilies trumpeted her reappearance as she

returned in double sharp time, kicking off her peep-toed shoes.


When I got to know her better she said she liked to be layed by the heels —

the rumpus room games we would play and the fettered rituals.


Having fiddled about with my shoe laces she slipped under the sheets,

so well composed, and in the intermezzo she rang my set of bells.

Finely tuned, she played me with her fluted fingers. Such aural

                                                                                                           pleasure —

a mouth music that filled the room with organ tremors.

At a blow, I went up an octave or two while she continued

without a rest.


Time to wield the baton, and building to a jaunty allegro

with a pitch perfect final flourish, we bore each other no antiphony.


Vivace vivacissimo, treble-Bob, she intoned,

my fingering, as on a virginal, and she came in harmonic quavers.

Not a dreamy fiction of my making or a vicarious pleasure, but real,

my Viola d'amore.        



A shrill cry like hurting, this eerie bark

from out of the dark repository of her soul,

voiced like the wail of someone violated.

It sets my hairs on end and peering through the curtains,

a shape shifted and shrank into the shadows.


All night she preyed on my mind; all week she set me on edge,

hiding behind the privet hedge; leaving her streaky menses

up the garden path amidst the entrails of ripened fig fallings

and love-lies-bleeding.


I saw her skulking suitor snuffling through the begonias,

cocking his hindleg on my purple berry bushes.

One night I left the door ajar and soon she came calling.

Alive between the times of dusk and dawn,

nosing about with brazen eyes — a fiery fox-girl in disguise.


All those yawling yelps which I surmised as cries for help,

a ruse as she arrowed a message, tightly aimed at my desire.

Hopping onto the sofa in her diamanté coat,

diamond-damp with rain, I poured her half a measure and

said: 'You smell velvety, of Amaranthus'.


In front of the hearth she became a flame, a totem bringing favours,

dispensing fire; her twitchy ears filled with a language of signs.

She curled up her loamy feet under the brush of her tail,

leaving a blood be-spotted trail. Nuzzling in beside me,

wilful waif, stark and pliant with wildness, her wine-dark

tongue tasted my sapid skin.


With kindled sparklers I stroked the ache within,

taking in her flaring fur and her vixen's vitreous gaze.

All around us the room seemed to flicker ablaze

as we sought a sympathetic magic — between the rainfall and libations.

Bella Donna


Beauté du diable with such charm and sparkle,

though stained in your Tyrian bell-shaped dress;

before my bedevilled mind begins to darkle,

slough off my itching skin with your caress.

And soon the ruptured night has many shades,

all of your delirious parts, a twisting narcotic.

So I take flight while my soundness fades,

into the rattled dreams of the frenzied hypnotic.

Dilate the glistening pupil of my dark dying eye;

now mutely smitten with the love that's blind.

Your tinctured droplet and the affected sigh,

and all for the incarnate fiends that I shall find.

Licked and bitten, it's the berried devil I dread;

and the Fate that succinctly snips life's thread.



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