Six Poems by Rebecca Watts



early road                    sombre light

may I                            would you

thanks                          continue





The surface gives no hint of June’s rain,

by dint of which

the lush country has expanded;


the city’s cows jostle under hedgerows,

unsure what to do

because you can’t sit down for a month.


The pool tells none of this. It is blue:

I enter and glow

like a cut melon, flesh amazed,


deliquescing. I soften and flow

and the water holds me

as it must hold itself, though it doesn’t know.



On Deck


The day-tripper

feels the pull, and again

and again winds in a baitless hook.


The captain

feeds the sliver of prawn

lengthways along the steel curve.


The fish

is reeled aboard and takes

to the bucket, circling unperturbed.


The grill

is hot. Silver crackling lifts

to expose an innocence of flesh.





In rooms the students talk as though

keying return






as though

hovering about us

in air code

(English naturally) is prose

till someone comes along and


it up


(O Eliot

in this you did not

help us!)


Look here:





nothing until I

go and point it


walls of white bricks

we can’t see to knock on

except in relief


these dark lines




Saving the Planet


Isn’t it glorious! said Maria

when I caught up with her beside the river

on a 15ºC December morning

in brilliant sunshine.


Let’s enjoy it!

Before the water’s risen to our knees

the Dutch will have invented

something wonderful.



Two or Three Thousand Sermons Later

Of an honest church-going man questioned by a minister on his death-bed


And being demanded what he thought of God

he answers that he was a good old man


and what of Christ

that he was a towardly young youth


and of his soul

that it was a great bone in his body


and what should become of his soul after he was dead

that if he had done well he should be put into a pleasant green meadow



Rebecca Watts’s debut poetry collection, The Met Office Advises Caution, was published by Carcanet in 2016. A Poetry Book Society Recommendation, it also featured in the Guardian and Financial Times ‘Best Books of 2016′ lists. Rebecca lives in Cambridge, where she works in a library and as a freelance editor; her website is rerebeccawatts.weebly.com.



Image credit: Catsy Pline

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