Anna Saunders




Blake Draws The Ghost of a Flea

Blake says the flea complains of a haunting.
He says he will draw the ghost within the flea.

From the darkness of the mahogany board,
Blake exhumes a body.

Not a pinprick creature that could be crushed under the thumb,

but a figure pulvinated with muscle,
a self- vaunting bruiser
standing between two curtain as if on stage.

it is stocky as an ox, pugnacious ,
posed menacingly under  the starry heavens
of Blake’s gold brush.

The flea’s ghost has insect eyes, piercing and hard,
a reptilian tongue
encased in a herculean form.

The ghost in the flea laps at a small bowl awash with red.

The ghost of man cannot inhabit a horse
Blake tells the critics.

Imagine the troughs of blood needed
to slake our avid thirst.

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 ( Indigo Dreams) and the forthcoming Ghosting for Beginners ( Indigo Dreams, Spring 2018).  Anna is the CEO and founder of Cheltenham Poetry Festival.  She 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.




After Williams Blake’s Painting The Ghost of a Flea – which depicts a monstrous man,  the spirit of whom, is trapped within an insect.


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