Poetry written by me senior year for Advanced Poetry Writing.  All original poetry by E. Sayward Anderson (That’s me by the way)

The Long Prayer


He is suspended in a dive

A pregnant pause

Fingering his clew

This careful attachment

From his core to hers

There are moments when he stirs

A foot meandering along the

Intricate grooves of her ribcage

He shudders

This is the moment before breaths

This is the moment where time does not matter

But in this moment he is here

He could not be kept

In that infinite spinning darkness

Of non-space

And soon he will feel

His lungs begin to crave something

He’s never known

And the pull will draw him down

Through this labyrinth of the female body

This is his end of wait

This is the beginning of the confusion



She is beating the ground

With a hoe

Churning up black dirt

And severed earthworms

She is sowing a garden

By hand

Seeds of squash

And corn, and sweet, sweet peas

She is writing poetry

In the earth

Nuzzling into it

Like a womb

Searching for warmth, moist security

And waters her harvest

With blood






We are sailing along

An old dirt road

Scraping our way through


“Iowa’s Little Ireland”

Singing along to

Them oldies but goodies

With all the windows rolled down


I am in the backseat

Eating a bologna sandwich

As we are late for church services

Your crinkly, just-shampooed hair

Flies into the back

And into my sandwich

And somehow into my mouth

Then later, into my throat

And I am

Stuck to you

Once again


We pull over

Next to a section of

Nationally preserved evergreens

And you are hanging out

My open car door

Yanking that long, cutting

Thread from my depths


This is what I think of

As I brush my long,

Sleek obsidian

Shining down my back

So much like yours’

At one time




The Undiscovered Poetry


Somewhere in a drawer

Lies the words

Which could caress

Your soul

Like the finger tips

And hot breath

Of a lover

But you read on

And on

Through volumes and collections

Searching out


And brought oh,

Oh, so close


The Reading


We poets have the largest egos.

Let us sit around one of us,

And praise this genius

We recognize in ourselves.

Let us politely chuckle

And nod our heads

At the things said,

Things we wish we had said,

Things we pretend we have already,

Or were about to say.


But is it politeness?


Let us stroke,

Stroke, stroke tenderly

Our egos.

I’ll show you my poem,

If you show me yours.

Oh it feels good.

It feels dirty,

This intellectual



At Twenty-eight 


At twenty-eight

She doesn’t know

Why the coffee tastes bad

Why she’s thrown out four

Good percolators

These past three months

She would never dream

Of the impossible

Thinking back to that

Painful time

When a potential son

Drifted in and out

Of her life


Except in a dream

She made peace with this

Several years ago

And now

At ninety-five pounds

Tricked by the

Measured coming of the blood

She doesn’t realize

God has placed me there






If I were standing

Naked before you

In a poem

You would probably see

Two swollen horns

A softened bowl

Lean femininity


A spike through my navel

And love tattooed on my hip

And wild thorns

Soft but, in places,


And ravaged

Peaches and cream

Night Terrors


In the darkness when

We both are quiet

And you are just entering sleep

Your silhouette heaves long

Even sighs, your breath

Is low and soft

The moon

From the window

Shadows your room

And I see how you live

How you purposefully arranged your things

And why

And in this I see

The deepest alcove of your mind

It is the feminine light

That illumines the real places

That gave me eyes

Into the ghost worlds

That lived in my bedroom walls

As a child

The torn faces of lost souls

In the shadows of dancing

Spider plants and

My mother’s potted vincas

And now clutched…trapped

In your warm, safe arms

I feel your love

Radiate through me

And I see how you’ve

Placed me in your room

In your bed

In your life

And for an instant

I’m as petrified and confused

As a little girl

Clutching her sheets to her chin

Tightening her eyes against ghosts




Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.


I know what hands can do.

I know their softness, and their strength.

I’ve known the lengths, sights, tastes, and

feel of them,

on and



I have felt the force of them,

The taking of them,

The brute slaps of them,

And the travelings of them,

up skirts,

Down pants,

In shirts


I have heard them rip things,


And seen them knit warm mittens,

And orchestrate grand concertos,

Tenderly stroking cheeks,

Writing poems,

And peeling potatoes.


I have felt the pull of them upwards

Toward equilibrium. 


I have felt my own hands

And the sharp stinging from

Slapping soft, taught skin.


I have felt my own hands do amazing things,

Naughty things,

And things that just needed to be done.


It’s the freedom of these hands,

The choices they make,

That terrify me.




Their words hung from their lips

Like sap from a tree

As if gravity alone 

Held the responsibility

Of their speech

2 thoughts on “Poetry

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