Manor Farm, Gotherington  by Bernard Pearson

Second place in Aurora Prize for Writing 2019 – Poetry Category


The walls stooped

Under the weight of age.

Windows frowned

From gables

  Out towards

Wicked , old, Cleeve hill


At the front, a cote,

Devoid of dove and egg,

Stood sentry and I, a child

  Inside its bell,

Hushed by such anatomy,

Wondering at

The innards of the past.


In one barn, an old

Gig, crippled and wheelless

Carried no one to prayer now.


I remember

To the side, a pond,

Rich of reed and birds

Translating the summer

  Into song.

Then recall

My father talking of the coracle

That used to teacup him to the

Other side.

While older boys in France now,

Not their village, left

Mothers for the mud


All this memory arrives

  In response to a photograph

Of my great aunt

A thin-tendrilled beauty

In black velvet and fox fur

Walking up the drive

Into her widowhood.