Ophelia’s Dreaming – by Bethany Rivers


She has, what we imagine is, peace
on her lips, sperm on her leg,
the river washing, baptising her,
lapping away all sinfulness.

Ophelia’s dreaming with too much
sunlight, too much lipstick on their faces:
every dead woman is a portrait of
stillness the robin sings to.

There is something not being said
in all of Ophelia’s dreaming, an oracle
unspoken, but talks in bubbles,
only the fish understand how Death
crafted her a thousand thousand times.

It wasn’t peace, wasn’t sperm, but the sting
of truth on her lips, truth leaking down her legs.




Bethany Rivers’ pamphlet, ‘Off the wall’, published by Indigo Dreams.  Previous publications include: Envoi, Obsessed with Pipework, The Ofi Press, Picaroon, Bare Fiction, and Tears in the Fence. She mentors the writing of memoir, novels and poetry: www.writingyourvoice.org.uk

sometimes it’s winter in the middle of summer – by Bethany Rivers


sometimes friends / sunglasses / slapped on lotion / sand stinging summer /
it’s not time / for hibernation / curling in on yourself like a hedgehog of
winter trying to keep ice outside / a tsunami of grief frozen in middle /
in deep centre of your landscape / where no-one can see the missing the /
sometimes it’s not time / curling in sometimes / where no-one can see in
deep centre of your landscape / sometimes slapped on lotion stinging summer /
sometimes hibernation missing / summer missing / like a hedgehog of winter /
a tsunami of grief frozen / it’s not time / no-one can see / keep ice out / friends
              in deep centre / landscape friends in deep




Bethany Rivers’ pamphlet, Off the wall, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2016. She mentors writers and teaches creative writing. She loves the accumulating poetry books on her shelves, reading by the fire with a cat in her lap, and running poetry inspiration/healing days.