Old mother moor

is bitter –
peat is the thinnest of comforts
the bedrock is recalcitrant as teeth

moor like to throw up
what she thinks are startling images
hanks of hair, scout’s woggle
is that the boys’ voices in the tor-wind?

she is deemed map-stuff,
trespassed, plucked off oak, surly –

one moor will out-do the others
with beauty
also: child murders, eagles,
stubbed villages, ambivalence

moor is stubborn as the ovaries –
a palette – reader is the make-up artiste
affixing her self
her endeavours slip like martens

moor takes many carcasses
but doesn’t care for them
as the sea does –

moor’s roots are showing
can the coast fold
moor and all her juices – little ghosts, the holy lost,
into the wet
a saint cannot be dirty-minded

moor is filthy-rich
her streams are loaded
the farms are mean and desperate as moles

I only know her face by its outline

The features are scattered choicely
bridge, view point,
eyes too close together

and the heather is a decoy
the buzzards know this –
turn golden shoulders

towards the heraldry of bin lorries –
moor’s name running down the side,

stake-holders talk, talk of re-creation,
how to make her pay for it
how to make us pay.

Poetry Prize Competition 2017 Winner

Sarah Westcott’s collection Slant Light was published by Pavilion Poetry, an imprint of Liverpool University Press, in 2016. A poem from the book was Highly Commended in the 2017 Forward Prizes. Her debut pamphlet Inklings was a Poetry Book Society choice in 2013.Sarah’s poems have appeared in magazines including Poetry Review, POEM and Magma, on beermats, billboards and the side of buses, and in anthologies including Best British Poetry and The Forward Book of Poetry. She was a poet-in-residence at the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve in 2015 and Manchester Cathedral poet of the year in 2016.

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