The Farmhouse in Calderdale
Stott Hall Farm
For many generations your white-washed walls stood
facing the worst of the bare-faced Lancashire moors.
Lonely you must have seemed standing in the valley
beneath wide wild skies, your harsh companion,
looking down at the distant industry of Blackburn.
A long time since all you heard on dark December mornings
was the crow of the frigid cockerel, the bleat of hardy sheep,
the crack of wind blown snow battering your frozen stone.
And on a rare balmy August day songs of a hovering skylark
splitting the shimmering silence over sheep cropped meadows.
A generation ago they came bringing modernity to the moor,
but you blocked the path progress had chosen.
Your hand-dressed stones walls would tumble into memory.
The restless grass churned into a quagmired base for asphalt.
But luck — if you call it that –prevailed. Nature lent a hand.
Boggy turf and bubbling becks saved you from the hammer.
You are spared — and trapped — by the land beneath you.
Imprisoned in a hangman’s noose of black ribbon.
Lonelier than before surrounded by endless thunder.
Never short of company to awe at your crowded isolation.