Deborah Alma is The Hurst writer-in-residence in 2013, during the renovation of the Manor House, former home of playwright John Osborne. She will speak to, or read the writing of, people connected to the past, present and future of the house and create ‘found’ poems from their words.
Passing-places. Stages. Pause.There are bags in the hall,
the long-life bulb’s dim
and yellow light, getting brighter.
Spindle. Spiral. Twist.
The staircase and hallway all shining with polish
and look at it now,
heartbreaking it is.
Here is hush, and the footsteps of a stranger, far-off;
There were some huge cracks inside,
Helen would be turning in her grave.
There’s fear, then warmth,
the gush and tremor of water in pipes,
of movement, of anticipation,
Words in italics are taken from interview with Sue Mercer, housekeeper for John and Helen Osborne.
He had on these cream jeans, you know
And the statues,
they’d all been sprayed up with sheep poo
to get the moss to grow, you know
and he sat on him for the photo
and I thought
I’ll never get that out of his trousers.
Words taken from interview with Sue Mercer ,
housekeeper for John and Helen Osborne.