Read introduction


Moving on emotionally following a prison sentence may seem quite simplistic, but the reality is ... well, this is what the reality is.

Writing Circles.

Me_at_lleisiau_2by SJ Alexanderson05 Nov 2013

Here we are, once again, sat down smiling …
As we all lounge around and tell tales
Of the highs and the lows of our lifetimes
Whilst we saunter along on the rails.

And we listen with awe and with wonder
As the words that we hear leave their mark
And we picture ourselves in that story
In the rain, on that street, in the dark.

For we’re lost in a moment of rapture
And it’s good to escape now and then
From a place where we chill in our comfort,
To the world of a dear colleagues’ pen.

And there’s so much to hear if you listen,
And there so many places to go …
For the mind is a wonderful carriage
To travel along with this show.

And the talent amassed is astounding
And the skills of the writers are clear
As they conjure up every emotion
Retelling their tales – some with cheer.

And I’m lost in the moments of silence
In a time and a place far away
When bars shaded light from my window
And bells were the sound of the day.

Where men were just boys needing guidance,
Where men were locked up in a cage …
Where men cried like sweet, little babies
Subduing their true inner rage.

For the meting of justice is painful …
I can tell you in truth that it’s base
There’s no joy when you’re locked up in prison
When you’re part of a sub-human race.

For you’re treated with scorn and with hatred
And you’re viewed as the lowest of low …
And your life as you knew it is over
Though it’s hard to accept that it’s so.

You fear for the loss of your loved ones
As they lurch throughout meaningless days
And you pray for your children at bedtime
That they cope in their own unique ways.

In the dark of these nights there are monsters
That enter your head when you sleep …
They will fill you with fear and with fury
But you sowed, so now you must reap.

Yet you try to stay busy and chirpy …
And you try to stay calm through each day
And you try to reflect on the good things in life
That you’ll capture again come the day …

But you've sat with a fellow who’s crying
And you've watched whilst he’s cut himself deep
And there’s nothing to do that will stop him …
How the hell are you able to sleep?

For extremes are the nature of prison,
And the screams in your head never fade …
Though you’re back in the land of the living
You’re the ghost of the man now displayed.

You may well look the same as you once did,
You may well sound the same as before …
But the hole in your soul is now blacker than coal
And the pain that you carry is raw.

So today I will give you a story
Of a life that was lost in its’ prime …
Of a father and lover who lost everything
In pursuit of an ill-advised crime …

If I’m vague or I’m vacant don’t worry
For the REAL ME was lost long ago …
I’m a man with a head full of problems -
Believe me, you don’t want to know.