Linda Saunders


It’s knowing what to look for. Where
and the fleeting when.
Getting your eye in
for a silvery flicker when the sun comes out.

Wings the size of my fingernail,
a sailboat sail when folded, freckled with light.
Then opening on darkness
beady-bordered with scarlet.

You’d never spot it but for the blink –
dark/light dark/light flash-fast-here-and-there
low over grass, leafage, rock roses –
of flight:

northern brown argus.

To know it for myself. Not the sight only,
but to hold in mind like breath
the quick air, all the fragrance and keep
of the day’s gift:

beyond storm and loss.

As a child, I longed through a shop window
for a ship in a bottle, sails bellied
by mystery, doubly dispossessed
by glass.

Enough and more now to wait for the sun.
To follow a flicker
and wait for it to settle:

Linda Saunders retired from arts journalism to find more time for poetry.
She has a keen interest in natural history and loves wild places. Her poems have been widely published in magazines and anthologies, including New Women Poets from Bloodaxe. Her first full length book was short-listed forthe Jerwood Aldeburgh first collection prize. Her most recent book is A Touch on the Remote from Worple Press. She has won several poetry prizes, with three in the last year: first prize at the Teignmouth Poetry Festival, March 2019, first in the Second Light competition and third at Wells, both autumn 2018.