“In the Drowned Woods” By Anna Saunders

 

 

In the Drowned Woods

It’s not as if we were together long I tell my heart,
but it isn’t listening. 

In the drowned woods long blades of garlic 
have been crushed by the storm
and wild white flowers float like tiny water lilies.  

A bough drips ivy and clings on to another tree trunk
like a drowning man grasping his rescuer’s arm. 

The pine tree is full of Goldfinches, their high pitched song 
sounds like squabbling. There is a dove, fluttering to a settle. 

A male bird flies down and lands on the back of the female.

There’s a fury of pearl and platinum, 
a flourish of wings like sheets flapping or skirts billowing up.

The coupling is brief, but beautiful,
and in the spring light, the birds resemble angels. 

I have all the symptoms of grief. 
But oh – the memory of two creatures colliding, 
that airborne heat, 
before both creatures flew off into separate skies.

 

About the Author: Anna Saunders is the author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) Kissing the She Bear, (Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox (Indigo Dreams) and Ghosting for Beginners (Indigo Dreams, Spring 2018). Anna has had poems published in journals and anthologies, which include Ambit, The North, New Walk Magazine, Amaryllis, Iota, Caduceus, Envoi, The Wenlock Anthology, Eyeflash, and The Museum of Light. Anna is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Festival. She has been described as ‘a poet who surely can do anything’ by The North and ‘a poet of quite remarkable gifts’ by Bernard O’Donoghue.

 

Image Credit: Frederick H. Evans “Near Coldharbour” (1893) Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.

“The Delusion of Glass” By Anna Saunders

 

 

The Delusion of Glass

They write of the King who thought he was glass 
but what of the glass who thought it was king? 

We know of Charles V – gone insane
after weeks of combat in the forest, 
felling friends and allies like trees with a wild swing
of axe – afterwards running down the marbled corridors 
screaming then sitting silently, 
without moving, so he won’t shatter.

And other cases, people with 
The Glass Delusion – imagining themselves to be 
translucent forms, 
susceptible to breaking.

Like a piece of glass who imagines itself to be king
or queen.

At first imagine how beautiful –
your translucent glaze refracting light
and all your tempests sealed like storms
in a paperweight, and feeling the rain roll off you 
as if you were rock. 

Yet feeling fragile enough to split into 
at the lightest touch,  
wrapping yourself in blankets so you won’t smash
forbidding anyone to touch you or you will break to shards.

And being so glossy skinned
that a kiss leaves no sensation 
just a mouth mark,  a cloudy cherub bow
like a wax stamp on a sealed letter, that no one 
can ever open or read. 

 

About the Author: Anna Saunders is the author of Communion, (Wild Conversations Press), Struck, (Pindrop Press) Kissing the She Bear, (Wild Conversations Press), Burne Jones and the Fox (Indigo Dreams) and Ghosting for Beginners (Indigo Dreams, Spring 2018). Anna has had poems published in journals and anthologies, which include Ambit, The North, New Walk Magazine, Amaryllis, Iota, Caduceus, Envoi, The Wenlock Anthology, Eyeflash, and The Museum of Light. Anna is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Festival. She has been described as ‘a poet who surely can do anything’ by The North and ‘a poet of quite remarkable gifts’ by Bernard O’Donoghue.

 

Image Credit: “Roman glass. Copies of valuable Roman glass” from The Library of Congress