Archives for posts with tag: mentalillness

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out the back of the psychiatric unit

were 3 large concrete pipes

for children of the mentally ill

to play or hide inside


Pain never met another child there

so she hid alone

the smooth cold concrete

a comfort

the narrowed-down view to a simple circle

a relief


there may have only been one pipe

but in her memory

a trinity has arisen

brutalist 3

smooth cool warm infinite sided disc ended


We pooled our pocket-money to £6.

WE as if we were a family, a group, not 2 against 1 bullying, not 4 against 1 we-never-wanted-you-why-did-you-come?

We-she bought the biggest egg.

Pwllheli purple foil, purple cellophane, a basket with a handle.

Curly padding.

Llanbedrog Dad

Company flat

Holiday let

Mersey Docks and Harbour Board Men

Balcony view, bedroom downstairs.

STAIRS trauma site

Put Pain down there where we can’t hear her stupid sunburn crying.

Put a wool blanket on her burning skin. Go to sleep be quiet do not display.

NEEDS do not show needs

smile – what are you laughing at?

cry – what are you crying for?

Happy Easter Dad

What are you crying for

MUM is in the unit until further notice.

Pain stops eating.



Windsor Ward

Buckingham Ward

Sandringham Ward

drug her up

feed her pudding

sell her raffle tickets

see her make a woven tray

call her Moira that’s not her name

organise a disco


dancing in the loony-bin disco

people scarcely lining the walls

all looking in

light outside

pipe-safety outside

made to dance made to move born to cry

dull drugged up eyes


her hands moving my hands

to the music


dear mum,

I bought those jelly shoes



eyes peeping through holes watching her eleven year old body as she had a bath in a purple round bath “Did you see her?”

Did you


Pain asks can I help at all can I clean the bathroom? Hoover? Dust?

Can I polish the brass? Clean out the fire, out onto a sheet of newspaper.