Mam Tor

by Cheryl Pearson

3rd prize winner in the Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry 2015

(Mam Tor, whose name means “Mother Hill, and which is also known as “Shivering Mountain”, is a hill in the Peak District in the English countryside, whose summit is encircled by a late Bronze Age and early Iron Age fort.)


That one Tor, run through with bronze
and built on bones. A hundred centuries of the same sky

pouring into the same bowl. Where the grass runs like a river.
Where grudging sheep shit in steaming pats, and the heather

burns everywhere, hemming each green fold and loamy seam,
fed on old blood and wild air, wrapping its roots

in the earth-drowned hair of that settlement’s daughters,
whose ghosts are pressed in the print of our boots.

Where the light is pure and water-clear. Where once, we saw
a star blaze out of the world, a wake of flame at its back.

Where we strung our words in the dark to replace it.
Where love and grace now hang, like exclamation marks.


Cheryl Pearson

Mam Tor won 3rd prize in the Bare Fiction Prize for Poetry 2015, chosen by Jo Bell, and appeared in Issue 7 of Bare Fiction Magazine in May 2016.

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