INDIGO DREAMS PUBLISHING LTD

 

GEOFF STEVENS MEMORIAL POETRY PRIZE 2021

 

NOW OPEN

Poetry

 

138 x 216mm

 

52 pages

 

£9.50 + P&P UK

 

ISBN 978-1-912876-26-6

 

PUB: 04/01/2021

 

 

ORDER HERE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Saunders is the author of 'Communion', 'Struck', 'Kissing the She Bear', 'Burne Jones and the Fox' and 'Ghosting for Beginners.'

 

She has had poems published in numerous journals and anthologies.

 

Anna holds a Masters in Creative and Critical Writing from The University of Gloucestershire and is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Festival.

Feverfew

 

That night the moon – a pearl bowl in the night sky

tipped a glitter into my upturned face

and I drank it deep.

 

Now I am drunk all day,

and this morning I plucked febrifugia,

to smother my flames.

 

Surely these white stars will heal?

 

Their heady scent fills my rooms, like an animal

moulting musky fur.

 

I dreamt I pushed my petals into your mouth

to soothe your throbbing head.  

 

My realms are sky, the moon is mine.

 

I carry this lunar vessel,

cold but burning in my upturned palm –

a second offering to the gods.

 

 

I Stole a Butterfly

 

carried him home under my shirt, a second heart

fluttering.

 

In my dark rooms I stripped,

wore him as a plumy brooch against my bare breast.

 

I laid out every flower from which he could feed,

gave him ripe fruit so he guzzled and swooned

 

but when he flew towards the window and battered

against the glass I pulled down the blinds.

 

I couldn’t blame him for wanting the wild flower meadows,

beauty draws its double

 

but I wanted him

with his mirrored wings, to reflect back only me.

 

He didn’t last long without light.

I found him cold – wings flat as a fresh new page.

 

I scooped him up too easily, expected something more

than a gaudy fallen feather.

 

Who would have thought he would be so weightless

when dead?

 

No one told me quite how much he needed the sky.  

 

I still feel that extra heartbeat, hard against my chest.

 

 

Please step Aside So I can Write About the Living 

 

You need to get the dead out of your poems

 

you told me but here I am writing of how

a month before you left this earth

 

we stood together in the gallery and I saw you reflected

in the fictive space of a painting

 

your form, gleaming white, translucent

as thin frost, or a sleek gauze

 

floating on the black glass as if airborne

a premature, amorphous haunting

your ghost getting here ahead of you.

 

You, see-through, overlaying an oil sky

which takes up almost all the canvas.

 

In that huge starless heaven,

a white dwelling is as diminished

as a tooth in a cavernous mouth,

a moth flying in space.

 

Your steps are so light

as you walk nearer to me.

 

How brave to paint so much darkness, you say.

 

 

What I Learnt from the Owl

 

how to hunt in silken plumage

tooled up with talons and hooks

 

how to split the seam of the night

with saw-tooth wings

 

how to consume all I kill

yet stay hungry.

 

What I learnt from the owl

 

how to haunt sleep

my head – a phantom full moon

 

how to be outcast and avenger

spectre and seraphim, winged god and ghoul

 

bladed angel dropping from the sky.

 

What I learnt from the owl

 

how to voice my darkness

in hisses, in shrieks

 

how to drop from the heights,

heart-shaped face falling to earth

 

as if love itself were plummeting.

 

 

A Fire Art

 

A pyrotechnic prophecy – the fireworks you watched

in the middle of the day,

 

a foretelling of a combustion to come

a pre-playing, like a dream before sleep.

 

I imagined what you would have seen –

 

gold and silver blooms swelling in the sky

gilt-edged peonies, sparkling sea anemones,

 

glinting orbs opening and closing like mouths,

emitting a roar as they electrified the ether.

 

Later, in the dark alleys of the city

when the lamplight floods my face like moon glow

you turn to me – and ignite your gunpowder kiss.

 

Afterwards I remember how I had imagined our explosion

one morning, long before we set fire to the dark –

 

just if I had set off fireworks in the daytime

as a rehearsal for the main show at night.

 

 

Torn

 

After the argument

we pull apart, ripping stitches.

 

My skin, shredded where the rough thread has torn

is susceptible to further fraying.

 

The beach is prairied, the marram grass

swarthy like the cack-handed craft

of a clumsy seam smith.  

 

There's a cruel wind,

the lank cuffs of my shirt slap in the gust.

 

How do any of us,

split as we fall from heaven,

stay whole and airborne?

 

There's the answer –

in the low horizontal dart of the sparrow hawk

 

russet buffed bird

straight as a line of machined stitches

sewing the land to the sky.

 

me at poetry fest crop

Feverfew

 

Anna Saunders

 

Poetry Kit Book of the Month

April 2021

9781912876266

In Feverfew Anna Saunders weaves together personae of myth such as Phaethon, Jupiter, Pan, and Aphrodite with a clear-voiced contemporary disquiet about a planet threatened by human-led climate destruction and passionate, nakedly confessional poems. Surely these white stars will heal? the protagonist of the title poem of Feverfew asks, and the answer is proven to be 'yes' in a sparkling and powerful collection in which poetry acts as magic and medicine.

"Pertinent, nuanced, fiery, fast-paced and exhilarating, these poems possess a complex lyric palette. There is much magic here. A beautiful and necessary collection."

Penelope Shuttle

 

"These are plush and powerful poems."

Richard Skinner

 

"Anna Saunders’ poems are all fire, all earth,

all sky; are creaturely; sing vivid, sing passionate, sing barefoot. They are not afraid of the dark - they draw down the moon and drink deep of it.   Fever Few is extremely good medicine for whatever might ail you, so kick off your shoes

and wade in."

Helen Ivory