. Remembering Ophelia His scathing tongue had thrust her to the edge. It nudged her through the willow’s sunless fringe. She teetered on that petal-littered ledge Where Hades howls and bluest moons unhinge The violet thoughts of agitated minds. The breath of death, it wreathed her in a kiss Of fennel fronds and fragrant columbines. It drew her gasps as surging waves claimed flesh. She thrashed and then she drowned within a deep Swirling pool of turbulence and grief. A prince awash with tears that lovers weep Stood clouded in a shroud of disbelief. A shower of flowers rained upon her grave... Sweets to the stricken heart no soul could save. . . Like Portia I want her poise. I want her grace. I want her flair to light my face. I want her cool, her zest and fuel. I want her pluck to bend each rule, Her wit to conquer fiend or fool. I want to be like Portia. I want a plop of heaven’s rain to drop its mercy on my plain--- A gentle kiss of tenderness, a soft caress that will address All strain and stress. I must confess I crave the calm of Portia. I want to shun the sceptered sway and rise above the earthly fray To thwart ill will as justice should. I want to garner all that’s good. I want to join the sisterhood of could-be, would-be Portias. I want a sweetheart’s hand to hold, a suitor with his eye on gold. Its glister goads my heart and head---what wooer’s lured by lumps of lead? In her fair shoes I’ll never tread. I’m falling short of Portia. All mercy has eluded me. My lack of grace and dignity Befouls each day and blights each night. I’m burning for a barbarous fight--- To pummel pounds of flesh in spite. I’ll never be like Portia. . . Desdemona’s Doppelgänger a villanelle He loved her with the passion of Othello. A spark of darkness flickered in his eye. He turned her firm and fevered flesh to jello. He plucked her zinging heartstrings like a cello Till moonstruck musings made her swoon and sigh. He loved her with the passion of Othello. She served him juicy lips of ripe morello Beneath a blushing cherry-blossom sky. He turned her firm and fevered flesh to jello. Her brooding dude eschewed the meek and mellow To bellow, strut and rut and signify He loved her with the passion of Othello. She melted to his whim like soft marshmallow, All gooey in her gratifying high. He turned her firm and fevered flesh to jello. One night a green-eyed beast bit her bedfellow Who (with a pillow) smothered her last cry. He loved her with the passion of Othello. He turned her firm and fevered flesh to jello. . . Cauldron By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes. By my warty nose’s twitch Something dismal leaves the ditch. By the ticking of my brain Something poxy writhes in pain. By the clicking of my jaw Evil sharpens tooth and claw. By the tail of newt and shrew Double trouble’s gonna brew. By the bubbling of my pot I foresee a gory plot. . . Susan Jarvis Bryant has poetry published on Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, Light, Sparks of Calliope, and Expansive Poetry Online. She also has poetry published in TRINACRIA, Beth Houston’s Extreme Formal Poems anthology, and in Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets in the UK). Susan is the winner of the 2020 International SCP Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize.