• Lesley Saunders


Relics are material remains of saints which are venerated as signs of their continued presence in the world – The Oxford Companion to the Body


Nail parings, hairs caught

in a comb, a scurf of shed skin,

a shoe-strap or milk-tooth —


these are the room’s inhabitants,

and the sound of a fast river

running somewhere under the house


like smoke passing unnoticed

over the speckled surface of a mirror,

or the breathless cry of a child.






Romano-British brooch in the form of a hound (?)


Hedging and ditching

the length of the Ridgeway,

hiding and seeking

between ghosts of elm,


a quicksilver self — haring

and hounded — runs

in its slumber

through the old wilds


of our dreaming, a wane

of moon in its eye. Two shakes

of a tail before the kill

it’ll waken, the lickety-split of it


caught in dawn’s headlight,

pinned in mid-chase,

barely more than a glimmering;

some trickery out there in the mist.