‘Ophelia’ by Peter Kenny


You write your name on water
and then you sink.
A wet halo shrinks
around your face
and you sink
lips last.

why didn’t you float like the others?
Why didn’t you drift downstream with a glut
of Pre-Raphaelite flowers?

I’m terrified that you’ve stopped breathing
or that you gulp the dim, death-gladdening murk,
where everything’s refracted
bending the sticks and searching arms.

For you are not where you seem to be
and your ears are full of sand
and there’s a stone in your soul so big,
I’m not sure if you want me
to lift you up or hold you under.
(from The Nightwork (Telltale Press 2014) first published in Rogue Scholars)
Peter Kenny’s pamphlet The Nightwork is published by Telltale Press. His poems about Guernsey were collected in A Guernsey Double (2010) with Richard Fleming. UK magazine appearances include Acumen, The Frogmore Papers, Ink Sweat &Tears, Poetry London and Other Poetry. He also writes libretti, fiction and comedy plays — and he blogs at peterkenny.co.uk