Rebecca Lowe is a journalist, poet and poetry events organiser, based in Wales, UK. Her climate emergency poem ‘Tick,Tick’ was a Bread and Roses Spoken Word 2020 Award winner. Her poetry has been featured on BBC Bristol, BBC Radio 4’s Poetry Workshop and BBC Radio 3 and featured in many anthologies including Black Bough, Three Drops from A Cauldron, Merrimac Mic: The River Widens (Massachusetts, USA), Red Poets, Blackheath Countercultural Review, and Ymlaen/Onward! anthology of radical Welsh poetry (Culture Matters, 2019). Her first collection of poetry, Blood and Water, was published by The Seventh Quarry in November 2020. A further collection, Our Father Eclipse, is due for publication with Culture Matters in April 2021.
About Blood and Water
Blood and Water is Rebecca Lowe's first full-length poetry collection. With poems spanning more than a decade, change and identity form an overarching theme, from the title poem describing the wonderment and bewilderment that comes with having a new baby to the later, more self-assured work which encompasses themes of empowerment and vulnerability. Tender and searingly honest, her work takes in Celtic folktales, mythology, climate and the natural landscape to create a celebration of life in all its rich variety, pain and beauty.
Writing about her work, Rebecca says: “We can fall into despair, or we can dare to hope. Those really are our only options. The future is a blank page, and it’s up to us to choose how we fill it. We need to speak up boldly and wisely, with radical passion and revolutionary compassion. We need to write new, better words into the world—words like equality, peace, sustainability, and justice. Because words create worlds.”
You can find Blood and Water on the publisher's website here.
Below, you can read three sample poems from the collection.
From Blood and Water
Soft, white hands caressed me into being,
Moulded and patted, arms marbled with cold,
Lips parted, snowflakes caught them, as she
hunkered down against the weight of my bulk,
Rolled me downhill to where I stood, anchored
by the efforts of her love.
She ground me rocks for a smile, jagged,
Coal eyes burned pinprick memories
of dead pines needled against white clouds,
Her breath blew a frosted trail, as she
laughed at my comical carrot nose,
My scarf which slid beneath her grip,
Whispered wings through the snow.
We posed for selfies, her arm around my
pristine waist, I grinned, the words frozen
on my lips, stupid in love – when she left
in search of warmth, my branch-arms reached
to claw her back, twig-tangled and wretched.
Through the snow, her footsteps carve
her distance; I stand, implacable, stiffly smiling
to please her – what else can I do?
And when she sleeps, under a silvered moon
I cry soft, wet tears to the immaculate stars,
My ice-heart melts.
A bowling green mapped incongruously upon the scrub,
Weeds subdued to stubble; cigarette ends, glass bottles,
A broken mannequin lies abandoned behind boarded-up shops
Above which the sky hangs long and heavy,
Weltering rain through purple bruises,
The sun closes her eyes through streaks of silver,
The sound of a river
Crying itself to sleep.
But a beating of wings,
A heart’s flutter,
Not a shouting into being
But a murmur, a whisper
On the screen
She is grainy, grey,
Her fingers translucent,
Clasped, in prayer,
Her pixelated face
Stares back through
Layers of time,
Of threads, still weaving
To vein, corpuscle,
Tender fontanelle –
An ocean’s distance,
Farther than we
Have ever travelled,
Closer than we
Will ever be again.