Bethany Rivers – three poems

Persephone Awakes

We stand in circle,
holding hands,
and listen.

Echoing within
the bodies of trees,
from beneath the grass,

deep in Earth’s caverns,
we think we can hear

or the song of seeds,
like a faint flute
in the distance,

she is no longer
her mother’s daughter.

deep cut

you show me the deep cut
on your left forefinger
a transparent plaster
hangs from it

and like a telepath
with empathic powers
I feel the pain
rise through my body

I have to sit down
the world is shaky
suddenly my knees don’t work
and my temperature is rising

the swirled pattern
of the Chinese rug
in front of the hearth
zig-zags under my feet

the leather armchair
holds my trembles
the window blurs
and the sun is too bright

I heard what your cut said
all the messages you ignored
over three decades
and I want to save you

but I can’t
and you don’t recognise
that even though you were alone
he was the one holding the knife

Door of My Heart
(After Thich Nhat Hanh)

if the door of my heart
remains open to the dark within:
the fears of sweat-drenched three a.m.
the doubts of early morning rising
the insecurities of a rocky-road future
and the regrets of a rose-tinted past
greying to monochrome photos

then the door of my heart
can remain open to the light within:
the beauty of dew drops spilling from butter-cups
the elation of a painting or poem
moving through my body
the oneness of sharing a silent moment
of moonrise over a still pond with a dear friend
the river of acceptance as it runs
its course through the land and hearts
mouths and bodies of every creature

if the door of my heart remains open

Bethany Rivers, when not obsessing over writing poetry about Ophelia or Persephone, teaches Creative Writing and runs poetry healing retreats. She’s previously had poems published by Bare Fiction, Envoi, Blithe Spirit, Cinnamon Press, Ink Sweat & Tears, Three Drops from a Cauldron. Bethany’s debut pamphlet, Off the Wall, is due out later this year, with Indigo Dreams Publishing.


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