early road sombre light
may I would you
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.
feels the pull, and again
and again winds in a baitless hook.
feeds the sliver of prawn
lengthways along the steel curve.
is reeled aboard and takes
to the bucket, circling unperturbed.
is hot. Silver crackling lifts
to expose an innocence of flesh.
In rooms the students talk as though
hovering about us
in air code
(English naturally) is prose
till someone comes along and
in this you did not
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
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