John Saunders reading his own work, ‘Neurons’

John Saunders is a founder member of the Hibernian Writers’ Group. His collections are After the Accident (Lapwing Press, 2010) and Chance (New Binary Press, 2013). He is one of three featured poets in Measuring, Dedalus New Writers, 2012.



Machine guns

that shoot bullets down the road 

of the dendrite to land at the tiny shore of a synapse,

join the army of pulses that cross the strait 

loaded with precious thoughts. 

Of what?  Anything.  

The pleasures of the day, damnations of night, 

the beauty of life, a shopping list. 

Sub atomic Trojan horses carry their cargo of ideas, 

plans and plots that transform into actions.

So much potential bound in parcels of ions to kick-start 

all of life’s nefarious activities or bring ecstasy. 

Explosions of knowledge and emotion that penetrate,

leave their permanent mark on someone else,

the innocents, the accidentals, the criminals, 

the young girl picking a flower, 

a blind beggar playing a violin; 

all victims of the intended and unintended.

So much creation and disaster wrapped

in the quantum of energy. 

And we think and we think and sometimes we don’t 

and always they strafe into the jungle of muscle, 

bombard wake and sleep time,

a thunder and lightning storm, 

sensuous showers of touch, taste and smell, 

the suspicion of intuition. 

There is more, lands as yet unexplored, 

new oceans to sail,

wells to be emptied. 

We know nothing.

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