John Saunders – Two poems

John Saunders’ first collection ‘After the Accident’ was published in 2010 by Lapwing Press, Belfast. His poems have appeared in Revival, The Moth Magazine, Crannog, Prairie Schooner Literary Journal, the Irish Times, Sharp Review, The Stony Thursday Book, Boyne Berries, The New Binary Press Anthology of Poetry, Poetry Bus and Riposte, and on line; The Smoking Poet, Minus Nine Squared, The First Cut, The Weary Blues, Burning Bush 2, Weekenders, Spinoza Blue, The Linnet’s Wing, In Other Words and poetry 24.
John is one of three featured poets in Measuring,  Dedalus New Writers published by Dedalus Press in May 2012. He is a member of the Hibernian Poetry Workshop and a graduate of the Faber Becoming a Poet 2010 course. He was shortlisted in the 2012 inaugural Desmond O’Grady Poetry Competition. His second full collection Chance was published in April 2013 by New Binary Press.


A Bird in Jack’s Bedroom

Late twenties and windows opened
to drop the captured heat.
We stumble into circles of frightened
flight, a mindless scurry for safe exit.

Dumb-bird knows nothing of wall and door,
window and glass, only instinct, light
as hope of escape from danger.
It couldn’t have been there long, one shite

stain on the bed, no straggled feathers.
It crashed the glass, then rested on the sill
long enough for him to cup the shivered creature,
fold its tired wings and move to the lintel.

He uncupped and for a second it basked,
looked back at us and flew to freedom.
Its body was soft, heartbeat in my hands,
its eyes spoke to me, as if to say, Come .



The ones I remember;
poles sunk deep,
march in single file
into the water.
I imagined they travelled
as far as the Welsh coast –
a wooden wall on the sea bed
uniformed in the slimy
green algae thrown up
on the beach at high tide.
They were strapped
with coat hanger wire
to stand the force of nature.
I never knew what they were,
spaced along the beach,
sliding under the waves.
Someone told me
they are gone now,
eroded by the sand ,
sea and wind,
victims of what they were defending.


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