Three poems by Ginny Saunders

Without Trying

Although without trying
we are in step in the sunken lane
I walk with the green-veined butterfly
and you are alone
at my side. My friend flies ahead,
explores wild honeysuckle
but returns and circles us
like a sheepdog sensing a stray.
You stare at the ground.
Without realising I’ve stopped
remarking on thrush-battered shells,
the chiffchaff creak of a closing door,
the hummingbird moth
you thought a huge, dirty fly.
Look! you say, stopping dead,
your arm flung at me as if to lessen
a jolt, You said you never see those any more.
At my feet a hairy caterpillar
humps and hauls across our path.
You remember that hot day
we walked for hours over the moor,
the day I said the ice-cream van
you saw from the top of the tor
was, without doubt, a mirage.
A great day, so much sky, such steady ground.
Extra-large ninety-nines
with sprinkles
, we say together.
Your eyes, very nearly, almost, imago blue.

Charcoal Self Portrait
(after Anita Taylor: Witness series)

Take a
of coppiced
life dense
dead wood
bury and starve
of oxygen
in a slow
flameless fire
let it crystallise
into a scorched
carbon memory.
Apply pressure
to dust
a negative
and search.
Look again
from one acute
or another till
you find it
there in the
recess of
of the eyes
now leave a
speck of clean
canvas to capture
the white
dwarf, the
of my life.

Vitruvian Man’s Teenage Daughter does Work Experience

For Minerva’s sake, Papa, put your golden proportions away,
I couldn’t care less. Hello? I said I was sorry
I messed up my half of the build:
that the symmetry was wonky and the walls didn’t meet
but this man-measured world is so unfair.
It’s not my fault my cubits fall short. And anyway Papa,
I prefer the rotund Pantheon to your right-angled rule.
This August Republic has golden-ratio temples galore.

Please Jove, no more. Why must the circle be squared—
because its kernel winks to all womankind?
My buildings will borrow from honeycomb cells, or urchin shells,
be as cosy as a hummingbird’s nest and erratic, not systematic.
I will prevail by my own two feet, a
petite nine
inches each.

Ginny Saunders lives in Wiltshire amongst the white horses and is a member of Trowbridge Stanza. Formerly a molecular biologist she is currently editing her first novel, Three Well-Situated Stars. Poems have been published or are forthcoming in The Poetry Shed, Mixed Border Anthology 2017 (published by the Poetry School), Magma, The Bangor Literary Journal and Antiphon. Mario Lizides made a mesmerising film of her poem Pegasus in the Lab. Twitter @GinnyCSaunders