Foot of Our Stairs

Folk carrying their lore

drop words, seeding stories

breathing new life 

into ancient yarns,

transporting tales mixing

Scandinavian mythos

with Celtic mysticism

of heart-stopping quests,

painted through verbal

images, marks

mapped on manuscripts

wood whittled

riven into rock

carried on canvas by

travelling troubadours

across realms real

and fantastic,

stirring spirits

mystery and magic

recipes that

compass the world

migrating one into

another, swallowed

sloughed, re-birthed

blown, flown fiery

across skies

inspiring Northern

humour in adversity

as pragmatic workers

sweat smog

smuttily escaping to hills,

inhaling scents

filling lungs with

moorland air

haunted curlew and

kites cries resonating,

finding foot of stairs

to nowhere

in crumbled cabins,

carrying home 

legends of boggarts

fables of fairies

exhilaration and


of laughter


Sue and I share similarities in our backgrounds, as well as our creative work. We’re inspired by our Northern working-class upbringing, social history, use of language, storytelling and humour – sometimes black, sometimes perplexing – that denotes it*. Both can trace our roots further in time to Celts and Vikings through our historical names, as well as more recently through parental/grand-parent (?) migrations. Seems to us that we have a large and lively DNA stream floating ideas of secret stories, flowing from the blood of our antecedant makers and makars that keeps the child within us ever curious and creative.

* An expression used by folk oop t’North on receiving surprising news:

‘By ek, ah’ll go t’foot of are stairs!’

Writer: Irene Lofthouse


TW: @irene_lofthouse Instagram:@irenelofthousewriter

Visual Artist: Sue Dewhurst


TW: @thepopupgaller1

Instagram: @suedewhurst



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