Two poems by Anna Saunders

The Wolf Speaks at the Tory Party Conference


We are tender to our own
and feed them our prey – pulverised
to a paste

a bloom of coruscating
scarlet, lumpen with gristle
on our lips.

We aren’t how the novels portray us
we are worse than that.

You could say we cower from those
who are our equals

preferring instead to track down
the weak the sick, the broken.

There we are half hidden
in the dark fir forest

panting, our lolling tongues
fat with want
glistening with cocoons of saliva.

Learn from us
seek out those you can overpower
break them down to that which your offspring can digest.

Reduce them to a quick
then let those from your blood line
eat them from you.


The Benefit Minister’s Mythological Creature of Choice


Once they had rested on a lonely shore,
the travellers laid out their food
bright fruits and berries, deep and red as the bruised lips
of the violently kissed,

plump and bold as pulvinated flesh,
largesse leaking a glitter and gleam onto stone.

How hungry they are, after weeks of travelling
how quickly the food is taken from their plates
as down she sweeps, quick beak working deftly.

She doesn’t chose to come back as a phoenix,
or Pegasus – foaled from Medusa
springing from a slashed mothers neck,

immortal winged horse
whose hooves could birth fountains.

She chooses a Harpy.

They are the Souls of the wind she says, an urge and energy
plucking the seas, forcing the grasses back in her direction.

She has forgotten they are beaked kleptomaniacs
carrying a stink of carrion.

Who we really are is occult and buried,
our egos are alchemists bedded down in the dark,
magicians – groping round to turn soiled sheets into doves.

She is half right about the word – she has harnessed the wind.

She rides the thermals
like a princess  carried on a sedan chair.


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 and Ghosting for Beginners ( Indigo Dreams), and the forthcoming Persephone Goes on Question Time.. Anna 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. 

Anna Saunders. Cheltenham Poetry Festival Founding Director. 



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