Supplement Runners-up


Sit Still Myself

Elizabeth Ferris - HMP Low Newton

Daddy’s Eyes

Shane Johnson - HMP Wymott

My Average Day

Steve Wells - HMP Onley


Star Poem of the Month

Tickling Trout in Memory of My Dad

Tony Joyce - HMP Isle of Wight/Albany Kneeling on the ledge under the bridge I stealthily slid my hand into freezing river under the smoothed limestone rock. Reaching along, I felt the plump, little body. Not too slimy, I thought, not an eel. Not like when blood clouded the water and my dad lost a fingertip. I stroked the belly until the fish went rigid. Time to strike, my dad said, like he was next to me. One move and I pulled it out, threw it on the bank. Did it, I said to the ghost. A beautifully spotted brown trout ached on the grass, fought for freedom and air. I returned it, immediately. It had served its purpose: to reinforce the link I would never lose even if dad had left me behind. At teatime I sloped off home, keeping the secrets of the day, just like my dad.  Congratulations to Tony Joyce - HMP Isle of Wight/Albany who wins our £25 prize for ‘Star Poem of the Month’.

2 .......... 4 ............... 6 ...................... 8

Stephen Mitchell - HMP Rye Hill .............

Looking For Love Michael Young - HMP Isle of Wight/Parkhurst I’m looking for love If you’re out there just write I’m looking for love So don’t be afraid, it just might I’m looking for love Two people joining as one I’m looking for love Sharing their life, their hopes and their freedom I’m looking for love Isn’t that what a girl’s supposed to say? I’m looking for love What to lose, a stamp, some time, not much eh? I’m looking for love Just a lonely bloke that’s me! I’m looking for love Old fashioned and romantic, with a touch of the softy! I’m looking for love So if you’re out there, and think the same I’m looking for love Let’s write together and ease each other’s pain!

Too Long

Jason Smith - HMP Birmingham Fresh from prison, relief Securing my own flat, own space And solitude after years of sounds After a few days expectant Of officers barging in for a cell spin No one came knocking I leave the door open In need of conversation Even someone asking for smokes Would diminish the creeping loneliness Too long away Time crept up taking family to earth Too long away No off-springs for life in later years Too long away Friends with no room in their caught up lives Too long away to belong in an empty flat Old patterns and vices carry more than ruin There is interaction in a dark culture of vices My flat can come to life Even if it is just shallow hunger And false feelings projected At least I won’t watch the letter box Trying to lift my spirit reading junk mail I walk into the night

Streets with No Name

Daniel Joslin - HMP Chelmsford Once I get out that gate I’m homeless Starting a jobseeker claim is a bonus How do I get myself out of this predicament? My current choices are the gutter or the pavement Credit cards and till receipts A life of fraud to avoid the streets Book a hotel, screw it, book two My problems swirl away down my en-suite loo Wake up in the morning the day of my check out A pre authorisation is the only current help Everything’s worked it’s all gone through Where am I going I haven’t got a clue

Time D Hunter - HMP Lewes Ticking of the clock Time goes slow When you’re waiting for someone to say It’s time to go People coming and going Strange faces Same stories Trying to stay afloat Move forward Keep sane Be humorous Try not to get caught in the web of bitterness On times endless road Not sure which way to turn Or where to go Sometimes caught in the days bad weather Sometimes a storm Other times just the cold getting frozen to the bone Tough at times golden rays of sun Come flickering through my window To charge my battery and warm my soul On a day like this I find time to smile And not worry about the many miles to go



Inside Poetry

If you would like to contribute to the Poetry section, please send your poems to ‘Poetry’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

But he started the violence again I’m sure it all made him happy Seeing our tears and pain

Supplement Runner Up Congratulations Fletcher - HMP Leyhill - whose poem wins our £15our prize Congratulationsto toJamie Stephen Mitchell - HMP Rye Hill - whose poem wins for Runner Up’.Runner Up’. £15‘Supplement prize for ‘Supplement

One day his temper went too far With my mum in a hospital bed Left bleeding on the kitchen floor He left her nearly dead

Sit Still

Stephen Mitchell - HMP Rye Hill Sit still can you feel the whisper of wind behind your ear Is it a draft or this breath of the dead that’s standing near Si still don’t move an inch, did your eye catch a glimpse At the corner of not quite behind at your left shoulder A soul fleeting past to catch us out when your minds elsewhere Sit still and listen to the voices of those you’re with Listen hard for a voice not these hush it whispers in the air Sit still can you feel the touch of something cold Did it make you shiver on your skin the back of your neck and down your spine Do you want to feel that touch again Sit still and close your eyes and see all the faces you lost They haven’t gone they’re there in your mind and heart So sit still, sit still for you’re never alone or apart

We’re All New Here Tony De-Vere - HMP Winchester Everyone is rushed into reception out of the white sweatbox van There’s a fat screw screaming at some Russian guy who clearly doesn’t understand One by one we’re all asked the same questions and boxes are crossed and ticked Told to stand on a cross and look at the camera And wait until it’s flashed and clicked Then we lose our identities as a number is placed with your name Stripped of our clothes and possessions and then all dressed the same We’re then all squashed in a room that’s too small with our few possessions in clear plastic bags No smoking signs reminds all the smokers just how much they want a fag After what seems like hours a screw takes us onto our allocated wings please God don’t bang me up with a nutter who thinks he’s Frank Sinatra when he sings So now I’ve got to watch a stranger taking a piss and shit It was all going well until he fell on the floor and had a funny fit They took him off to healthcare and I was left on my own all night In the morning I’m hoping and praying that the next fella is gonna be alright Knowing my luck I’ll end up with a lunatic who wants to wash his feet in the sink As long as he ain’t a seventy year old wine ‘o’ with a really horrible stink I can’t believe it my new cell mates ok and no he doesn’t pong But you know as well as I do, things in here can so quickly go wrong

f f r e

Voices from prison



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Insidetime January 2012

Life As We Know It Mark Milne - HMP Holme House So many people, yet I feel lonely 60 blokes but only me On the telephone, nobody there On a visit, empty chairs In my cell, cold, bare walls The mailman walks by he rarely calls Wishing time away Wishing hours and days Wanting to be free again Back outside numbing pain Life

It was time I had to tell someone No more could I live this way We’d been through so much pain and strife Each and every day

What Childhood Jason - HMP Durham I remember the flying fists The kicks and slaps to me I remember the look of fear Of my life as it used to be Never knowing what I’d done wrong To deserve to be treated this way Maybe he saw the hatred I had Growing worse every single day I find it hard to talk about I hide behind a mental wall Every night I used to pray alone That someone would hear my call Is this the reason that I’m this way? Was it only me to blame I never got the love and hugs It really drives me insane Now I’m sat here in my cell Thinking of times that have passed I had to grow up much too soon Just not to be an outcast Bruises fade and cuts will heal But some scars are here to stay It’s not all about the physical side Mental torture never goes away My mum she tried to stop him But his rage turned towards her She never used to cry out loud But I could see the silent tears We escaped to many hostels The atmosphere cold and bleak I used to think we were playing a game Something like hide and seek He always used to find us With promises and presents galore We wanted just a normal life But he was rotten to the core For a few weeks everything was fine

I remember the social services The smile painted on her face I was no longer just a little boy I was made a priority case I was taken to a large white house Foster parents looking after me It seemed so different, so surreal A caged animal finally free My mum used to visit me Weekends and after school It didn’t feel right anymore As we abided by others rules Now as I end this poem I found it hard to write To think of all the bad memories again Sometimes my eyes shut tight There are thousands of other kids like me Who don’t get the love they should I’ve never really had a proper life Hence the title – What Childhood

A Poet’s Eyes

Hugh Kunz - HMP Whatton I did my homework When I was young I did all the things That others shunned Yet I’m in here With them out there Which makes me ask If the world is fair Or could it be Since I’m not with them I’ve been given words As my best friends Because when I’m on my own When I write I’m not alone Could I be a chosen one Meant to put all this down Is it through a poets eyes You can only see the sky So though I have money none I’ve got gold in the morning sun

Insidetime January 2012

If you would like to contribute to the Poetry section, please send your poems to ‘Poetry’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

This Moment in Time

Why, Who, How?

Neil Harrison-Scott - HMP Forest Bank

Alan Stevenson - HMP High Down

If I wasn’t here Where would I be? At home with the missus And the family

Why am I here? Can somebody answer! My memories are fading further and further So far away they barely come to light They come to the fore, then clear out of sight Children and people on my cell wall Yet they don’t register to me at all Apparently I’m released soon as they say Released from here, with whom I’ll stay What will I do when I get out There’s nothing really to scream and shout As they bellow “don’t worry you’re free” One thing’s for sure, they don’t know me Not knowing me, I don’t know me either I’m not really sure why I want to leave here Surely, soon my day for release will come Then will my questions I ask be confirmed Took one last look in the mirror and sigh Why am I here? Who the hell am I?

What would I be doing, This moment in time? I’d cherish each day Instead of committing crime Things I took for granted Like just being there Laughing at my teenage girl With chewing gum stuck in her hair Or making Sunday dinner Was a favourite hobby of pate The look on all their faces With corn beef hash upon their plate My daughter calling me old fashioned For wearing a dressing gown Made me realise my age as she called me The oldest swinger in town! Arguments and tantrums Friday nights the most All of us trying to get ready For the parties I loved to host These things I took for granted When I was at home But now it’s all I think of When I’m banged up on my own!

My Stay at HMP Ben Race - HMP Rochester It is my intention to give, regarding my recent stay The rooms are either too hot or too cold The mattresses are uncomfortable and clearly too old All of the walls are covered in graffiti And other order is kept far from neatly Most rooms lack a bin and a broom And for two men, there is very little too, The kettles are handy, if you get one And there are no curtains, to block out the sun The clothes are covered in hairs, which you provide I even found a pube, sitting on the side Everyone hassled me for burn I ask “will you ever learn?” The jobs are menial, I thought I would say And for self-study, there is not pay For the staff I would score a ten But I’m sorry to say, I won’t be staying again

Can You Guess?

Mr Penman - HMP Leicester Through the wooden gate and into a Room that’s where I will wait Can you guess where I am yet? Click, click flash ‘There’s your picture On this card mate’ Can you guess where I am yet? ‘Walk down the hall and turn to your right Behind that blue door is where you’re Sleeping tonight’ Can you guess where I am yet? Then through that blue door there’s Some kit on the floor and a giggle Behind me that’s hard to ignore Can you guess where I am yet? Bang, goes the door before I turn around Now I start to feel like I’m being drowned Can you guess where I am yet? A noise in the distance of keys on a chain And no handle on the door It’s feeling kinda strange Can you guess where I am yet? Then I turn to my left where I see two beds And a half naked man sporting his chest

Inside Poetry


London’s Burning

N Angel - HMP Winchester Spits and spots of sun drenched rain Cascading down my window pane Walls so high, fences with razors The suicidal man killed by tasers City alight, cops are retreating The troubled youth now repeating Times of history, their fathers despise The cops just killed an innocent guy Buildings to dust and rubble Another generation deep in trouble The man is robbed in broad daylight Shops are looted then set alight Out in force, neighbours unite Put out the flames, put up a fight Men that kill with a stolen car A fatherless child who bears the scar

Missing You

Jackie Meffen - HMP Bronzefield I would never have thought in a million years I would have to cry this many tears Or my heart would ache with this much pain Until I have you to hold in my arms again I kiss your face in the photograph Wishing I could touch you and hear your laugh I miss your hugs and the touch of your skin The way you caress me stirring feeling within

Then there’s a face at the glass in the door Where a man cruelly whispers

I miss the way we make love nearly everyday The films we watch and the music we play I miss the crazy things you say and do But most of all Chris, I really, really miss you!

‘Can you guess where you are yet? LIGHTS OUT’

For my husband Chris, HMP Winchester

Can you guess where I am yet?



Inside Poetry Supplement Runner Up

Myself Elizabeth Ferris - HMP Low Newton They come and go Like a series of small deaths Lives move and stand still In the iron bubble Shirts are stiff and chains rattle Too hot or too cold Faces with names And bodies with souls Their voices drowned by Paper towers of Numbers, dates, generic terms And false prophecy I dare not notice the weather I am never outside Sometimes only your enemies Come to you with smiles Shifting curtains In a shoebox of bars The light is slowly stripped From a mothers eyes Her skin is far too pale She is categorized This is the only place Where a clock can’t Tell you the time This time is all feeling Stopping and going Depending on nothing So I join another line And wait and wait and wait Until the doors shut And the pain goes And I am myself Congratulations to Elizabeth Ferris - HMP Low Newton - whose poem wins our £15 prize for ‘Supplement Runner Up’.

If you would like to contribute to the Poetry section, please send your poems to ‘Poetry’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

Drugs Life

Insidetime January 2012

Too Comfortable

Harding - HMP Peterborough

Christine Hemsley - HMP New Hall

Jackanory here’s my life story Remember drugs bring temporary glory As I’m locked up in jail, I start to realise What I thought was my friends They were telling me lies, playing tricks with my eyes Making me commit crime, sending me to jail time after time Life has been so hard, so I get into trouble Escape from reality float about in my bubble Far away up above peace of mind I’m in love My friends are my drugs they make me feel great For them I need money, so I do things that are bait My best friend stayed close throughout my life How I used to enjoy cutting him up with a knife Chop! Chop! That looks pretty fine No one going AWOL stand in a line 1,2,3,4,5 now I’m alive, 6,7,8,9,10 reach for my mobile, call my friend Now I spy with my blood shot eye I love smacking weed coz it gets me high I blast out into space, do nothing but stare My problems have gone, having no care Mellow, lazy, motivation has gone I’m just sat in my chair do nothing but mong A false sense of happiness, using drugs for sadness Coping with reality getting drug induced insanity So hickory, dickory dock crack heroin has got me on lock, coz of some child abuse Crack and heroin becomes my use They won’t leave me alone, knocking at my door even my phone When I let them in, my heart turns cold They make lie, switch into devilish mode Going out on the rob, with my mates Bill and Bob Just to get one last hit, when my friends ain’t around, I’m deep in the SHIT Now, let me tell you about jack and Jill They both doubled dropped to get a thrill Then jack came down with a frown, thought Jill looked like a clown Rushing out their heads and seeing double vision With so much energy they went on a mission This friendship addiction, he has got us playing hide and seek Follows us around comes out to play when were weak 1,2,3 its coming ready or not our triggers craving are never forgot Listen up its closer than you think, it’s like your shadow quicker than a blink Smells, sights, feelings, thoughts all in a row Need A.C.E avoid escape take control Choose the right path, to aim achieve our goals These are out skills to gain confidence learn to say NOs So now I’m Humpty Dumpty sitting on the wall My ex friends around me, waiting for me to fall I’m down on my knees, I’m begging you please All my triggers and cravings are just a tease Just leave me alone, I’m staying out of trouble I’m changing my life and bursting my bubble Goodbye run and tell ya friends this journey has stopped come to a fairytale END Thank you B.S.R finally my life is on a mend

Standing in the dock Wishing you’d walk free Or at least hoping your sentence Will be as minimal as could be Before you know it The hammer hits the wood Straight to jail That brief was no good Your first time in jail And you think you’ve learnt The seconds drag by Your heart is burnt Telling your loved ones where you are And what you’ve done Realising the hell for you and them Has only just begun The slam of the doors The jangle of the keys Getting sick of those words Getting sick of those words Have ya got a rolly please? They give you a job You absolutely hate You can’t see the light This hell must be fate Before you know it You’ve been in years Was it me back then With all those fears The fear of jail Has gone down the drain No more heartache And no more pain Got used to the ropes For way too long Got comfortable and settled Maybe a substantial sentence was just so No wonder I see the same faces On a constant return When they get comfortable They just don’t learn So put down the brew And take ya feet off the side The path for future It’s for only you to decide

Insidetime January 2012

If you would like to contribute to the Poetry section, please send your poems to ‘Poetry’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

Lost Behind the Gates

Rayne DeLaurentis - HMP Not Supplied As she bubbled in, and said hello My spirit lifted from its low A kindred soul, I recognized As she spoke with knowledge of the wise And as her voice, to fluctuate A part of me stirred, began to resonate From a place so deep and hidden away Then my entire world began to sway Oh my Africa, how I adored The ones I met, I was never bored Long summer nights, when on occasion I’d be blessed with invigorating conversation As she spoke more, I felt Her words had been, my tarot dealt What perfect timing, was this scene Of me hearing, what I really need Then I reminisced, heard a distant cry My heart began sobbing, “why o why!” For the part of me, I thought I long lost And now I know, what I forgot Oh my Africa, whom I adored The ones I met, I was never bored Those winter nights, when on occasion I’d been blessed with invigorating conversation I want it back, so desperately All those long lost parts of me I want it all back, who I really am So I can share it, with my man All of who I was, they’d fazed me out But I survived the cause of my soul’s drought Tonight that longing ache fills me As I perceive the waves of destiny Oh my Africa, inside my heart You bore me, built me, broke me and tossed me out Your divinity in me instilled Your diversity nourished my creative soul Oh my Africa, I remember you Where I left myself, when I had a clue The days I ran in your tears, tossing my hair Although I had pain, I had no fear As she bubbled in and said hello My spirit lifted, from its low A kindred spirit, I recognized As she spoke with knowledge, of the wise Oh my Africa, I remember you Where I left myself, when I had a clue The days I ran in your tears, tossing my hair Although I had pain, I had no fear

Inside Poetry

Only if Laurie Watson - HMP Barlinnie By the age of twelve, I was selling drugs Young and stupid, a little thug I ask myself the question why? My childhood gone in the blink of an eye Carried a knife ‘cause I thought I was tough Take on the world and do big boys stuff I hated school and thought it was shit But should have went I have to admit The drugs I was selling I started to take My biggest regret a stupid mistake I never sat any exam Thought I could make it with no steady plan Out at the weekend in drugs and drink There wasn’t a moment I stopped to think I just wanted to make an impression But of course at my discretion I carried on with my fucked up ways On top of the world, happy days Now at the age of twenty-four I’m not laughing as I was before 23 hours is spent in my cell I have no freedom I’m living in hell All of my childhood I’ve tried to forget Pain and mystery full of regret If I had one wish if turn back time Be good at school the exams would be mine Never get involved with drugs or drink And take my time and sit and think I guess my life and sit and think I guess my life just went the wrong way I have to change, it starts today

Not Knowing Simon Quinney - HMP Birmingham Here I sit not knowing how you are Here I sit not knowing where you are Here I sit not knowing who you’re with Here I sit not knowing when we’ll next speak Here I sit not knowing if I’ll ever see you again Here I sit wondering how it came to this Here I sit thinking, only if Here I sit thinking you see that is it I want to know something that I do not know There is only one person Who can give me the answer and this is you Will you give me the answer? I do not know I sit here hoping, but am I coping, I do not know As I sit here waiting for you The pain inside I cannot hide I smile, I laugh. But all I want to do is cry ‘Cause the pain inside, I cannot hide Not knowing is I’ll ever see you again


Sarah King - HMP Foston Hall I still feel the sea breeze The hot sand between our toes As we went to Antigua To make sweet love in the sea And to walk along that sandy beach Hand in hand as one Each day was so relaxing Each day a dream came true For you asked me to marry you Spend the rest of my life with you Special evenings in our hotel Called the ‘jolly beach’ We drank and got merry All bad memories out of reach Nights were so hot but tender As we lay side by side Our naked bodies wet to touch Just like the midnight tide Mornings were so peaceful Gazing at the deep blue sea As we sat on the veranda Dreaming of what we could be But then our dreams were shattered As we were torn apart Becoming legal hostages Both looking at a strange new start But never fear my darling This sentence may be mega But they can never take away Our memories of Antigua The moral of this story is Only time keeps us apart Those memories can be made again And I mean that from my heart

First Impressions

Mike Santano - HMP Winchester Do not doubt your power For you only give power To your doubt How I wish We will meet again




Inside Poetry Supplement Runner Up

If you would like to contribute to the Poetry section, please send your poems to ‘Poetry’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

The Winchester Zoo Kevin Dunbar - HMP Winchester I’m in the Winchester zoo Sat in my cell, I don’t know what to do? Light through the window, shining through Counting bricks two by two Put on the kettle for a cup of tea Same old rubbish on the TV I look at my cell mate as he reads a book It’s got to a stage where I don’t give a F,,, F,,, Forget it I’ve washed my boxers and my socks Waiting for the keys to go in the locks We lay on our bed and look at the ceiling We hide our emotions, we have no feeling

Daddy’s Eyes Shane Johnson - HMP Wymott My Daddy owns a bally and a crowbar And he’s always on the run from police Momma told me he’ll never go far Because the only thing he knows is the streets I thought my Daddy was cool as can be I even expected to see him on TV The golden rings, the songs he’d sing Was just exactly how I wanted to be He told me tales about faraway places His hands always seemed to be dirty Momma came in screaming one day She said ‘Daddy’s dead’ he never saw 30! I still hear his voice when I speak It’s mad, it’s like I’ve morphed into him I’ve got his hair, his wit, his cheek It’s like I’m living for my Daddy’s sin What you gain on the roundabout You lose on the swing Although I just find it’s a conscious thing, to sing There’s one thing I know Or one thing I have learnt You should never play with fire For you will surely get burnt And like my momma prophecies “When they speak, watch the eyes” “When they fool, watch the wise!” I look in the mirror I see Daddy’s eyes! Congratulations to Shane Johnson - HMP Wymott - whose poem wins our £15 prize for ‘Supplement Runner Up’.

Waiting for a letter or a reply People on remand, people sentenced to die People laugh and people cry People show no remorse, people lie What shall I do with my time? I wish I’d never committed the crime Shall I read? Shall I write? Shall I turn on, or turn off the light? Do I need toiletries or canteen? Change our kit on a Saturday morning Shall I work or do education? Try keeping active with anticipation Miss Boss I have a question Please fill in an application! Plenty of time, hour by hour Open the door, I need a shower Mop and bucket, grab a brush Clean the cell, need the rush Is this heaven, is this hell? There goes another bell The Claxton sounds behind the doors Its meal time again, please may I have more Wagging tongues, another fight Have you got this? Have you got that? Yes, no, alright Fill in your menu, visit the library Get you haircut, prison bribery Officers shouting, governors rounds More new cons, more new sounds My sentence is done, one night to do I’m out tomorrow, will I be back? No

Insidetime January 2012

An Alcoholic’s Prayer

Brian Darby - HMP Maidstone With curtains drawn to hide my squalid state Here in sepulchral gloom, I dice with fate Monstrous fears surge through me, as do befit One who peers into deaths forbidding pit For drunks choke on vomit I’ve heard it said And now I lie across my noisome bed Spewing bile, booze and blood onto the floor Although feeling spent, I retch all the more My chest muscles are wracked with searing pain I’ve no time to breathe are I heave again Sore of limb, I’m sweating and tremble so Though life hurts, I just don’t dare let it go While my perverse pride dreads more the disgrace Of being found drowned with a puke-smeared face No doubt at my inquest bad truths will out Like piles of unpaid bills lying about Plus other promises I’ve failed to keep Through being drunk senseless when not asleep Should it make the papers, than all can read Of life sacrificed to add addictions greed Meanwhile, sick blocks my nose making it sting From hot bloodshot eyes tears of anguish spring With my body tearing itself apart A deep sense of doom floods both head and heart I’ve ailed thus before so I might survive Though God alone knows how I’m still alive And even this slim hopes starting to fail Since I’m retching so hard, I can’t inhale Once more I stare into deaths dark abyss O dear God, please don’t let me die like this!

Substances The End

Marlyn Branche - HMP Styal Dear Crack and Heroin you have dominated my life for so long That I no longer want to go on Living my life this way For new it my turn to have a say I need to stay drug free and make a comeback to reality I have made lots of scum rich And have no intentions of being found in a ditch I have lots of goals to reach And cannot afford a breach I’m sick of feeling ill And lying in bed with no will But now I have the power And will work around the clock every hour I am no longer depressed and weak I will venture out into the world and seek what I want to do I’m afraid that no longer includes you! I’m going to be a better person Of that I am very certain All I’ve to say now is goodbye! I have now got no ties To you these drugs I now hate I will hopefully find some true mates!

Insidetime January 2012

Where Am I?

Michael Irwin - HMP Magilligan I keep forgetting where I am ‘til I see the squeezy jam No glass jars in here allowed Never ask why Walk away, with head bowed I keep forgetting where I am ‘til I hear my neighbour having a jam He’s a bloody big ‘yardie I love my music But his, it’s always the same I keep forgetting where I am ‘til I need the loo Only a few with in-cell sanitation What’s there to complain? A humane and caring nation I keep forgetting where I am ‘til I hear a key The jingle jangle unlock, lock They gave me my own Hardly use it, they think I’ll flee I keep forgetting where I am ‘til I go to school To and fro, four times a day Walking past guard dogs Something to do, with national security I keep forgetting where I am ‘til I look out my window Row upon row of fence and wire Necessary during the troubles My safety, the reason, surely not now I keep forgetting where I am ‘til I watch the news What about the dissidents Maximum security, a familiar cry

If you would like to contribute to the Poetry section, please send your poems to ‘Poetry’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

Mark Green - HMP Wymott

I keep forgetting where I am ‘til I collect my food Never be rude It might be mistaken Through clenched teeth, my gratitude I keep forgetting where I am ‘til ten past seven The call goes out ‘get your water’ Apply for kettles? What a shower More bollocks, it’ll blow out the power

I keep forgetting where I am ‘til I go to a visit Random strip searches All too common – on the way in! Smuggle things out, the latest researches I keep forgetting where I am ‘til at night I close my eyes Then every two hours They flick the light Six in the morning, when having a shite I keep forgetting where I am ‘til I go to the gym My daily cycle, I close my eyes I’m back in Cape Town, Table Mountain My sweat on the floor, as if from a fountain Mid September, I remember where I am Look at the calendar Four and a half years, gone are my fears HMP ‘Norn Iron’, of green and kind Not long, I’ll be gone, I hope you don’t mind?

Father Time

Sid Wright - HMP Lowdham Grange Hello father time I hope you’ve come to stay You see for the last seven years I’ve been wishing you away Come in, sit down, put your feet up, tell where you’ve been Let me know what you’ve been up to. Tell me all you’ve seen Make yourself at home and please don’t go too fast Now that I am free, you see, I want these days to last Someone’s knocking at the door. But they’ll soon go away My only interest is in you and what you have to say Now as I’m not feeling sleepy and I have no place to go Please let me in to a secret that I really need to know So tell me old father time, my eternal flexible friend Just how you can make some things go so fast and others never end


The Monastery

Excuses of old, living a lie

I keep forgetting where I am ‘til I see the usual suspects Getting out their pram Pale skinned and look so vacant Glad I packed it in, a long road back

Inside Poetry


David Paterson - HMP Barlinnie I’m happy hardcore My rhythm bounces It flows on the dance floor I’m every genre, even pop I reverb off walls Beating in sync non-stop I embrace every beat I am every beat In the vibrations In the surroundings The tingle you feel in your feet The moves you create on the street I am instrumental Lyrical and anything musical I’m a vibe that cannot hide I play at a single push When they hear my sound The crowd go … shush Listen to the drum and bass Tickle you in places Touch you upon your face The feeling is electric Spine tingling pleasing Almost tantric In the pub, club or at home These sirens that are calling Let you know you’re never alone The music is in you In your fibres, code, DNA These fibre optics relay A super sound being Inside every human being An orchestra is playing The sweet symphonies Beings race, religion and creed together As we all dance united as one With one another I am the instrument You are my audience

I reside her in this cell Hidden from a life once known Confined by the life that I fashioned Minute by minute alone It is only a prison at my own choosing Even when under lock and key For this mind cannot be chained And in these walls I learn to see So now is the time for painful study The search for truth into the mind To see the nature of this body And touch the face of father time For there is change in every moment And if every moment come to pass Then perception is but illusion The reflection of my mask It is only when the heart is open Then the mind is still and fully blessed Awareness cuts right through the mirror The human spirit at its best Walls now turning into water Earth and sun and time and space The bars they trickle into sand They fall away without a trace Now mind is free from obscuration Eyes wide open now I see That the prison was my Self And now I’m truly free

Ode to My Mother Peter Thirlaway - HMP Wealstun It breaks my very heart Knowing you’re not there So I write down these words To show my despair People keep on saying In time the pain will heal Well let me tell you something That’s not the way I feel Seeing you near the end A shadow of yourself You told me you were frightened And there was nothing I could do to help I’ve cried so many tears since The pain won’t go away I’m so sorry I wasn’t with you On that fateful day The loneliness I’m feeling Eats me up inside I find myself reverting To the child deep down inside Emotions keep on coming First one and then another I love you and I miss you And so proud you are my mother

Insidetime January 2012


If you would like to contribute to the Poetry section, please send your poems to ‘Poetry’, Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB.

Supplement Runner Up

My Average Day

Steve Wells - HMP Onley Let me tell you about my average day In the Seg Unit, cleaner on very low pay My door is opened just after eight Sometimes later if they’re running late Empty the bins and mop the floors Squirt some polish over all the cell doors Locked up for a while over lunch Peace and quiet as I eat my munch Unlocked again around about two Then clean up again its nothing new Dinner is served just after five It’s hard to keep motivated let alone feel alive Association time for an hour and a half Play some pool and try to have a laugh Locked up then till the following morning Just thinking about it already has me yawning Every now and then I have a V.D.T Voluntary drug testing – they check my pee I don’t do drugs and never will Just for depression I take a pill So there you have it, my average day Boring isn’t it, wouldn’t you say? Congratulations to Steve Wells - HMP Onley - whose poem wins our £15 prize for ‘Supplement Runner Up’.

That Girl

Hello good people of the poetry selection team.

I will soon be getting released from prison after a four and a half year stretch and I want to submit one more poem before I go. This has probably been the hardest one for me to write as it is about my life and my past. ‘Smithy’ is what my stepfather was called and he was a horrible guy. He turned out to be a sexual deviant and he ripped my family apart. Although my upbringing was fairly happy I can remember the happiest times were when we were not around him and his extreme disciplinarian ways! This poem is more about the success of surviving his shit and coming through with an amazing strong family network that have continued to support me throughout my sentence. As you are aware I have been a regular contributor to the poetry page over the past few years and it has given me immense pleasure when I get fellow inmates coming up to me and saying “great poem Fletch” and this has given me a lot of confidence and satisfaction throughout my sentence. This whole ordeal for me has been a journey and I have embraced every opportunity that has been offered to me, I have gained over 30 OCN qualifications, 3 Open University Courses, a dry stone walling qualification and I have sold lots of art in the Koestler and other exhibitions. All of these things have happened because I got caught smuggling cocaine into the UK!!! I am not a prolific offender and I will definitely not be coming back to prison again and a lot of this is due to what was on offer throughout my sentence. It seems a great shame that not more people who are sifting in and out of the prison system can’t find the satisfaction they need whilst incarcerated. I guess you really have to want to change your life to make it happen and I feel blessed that I have had the support of some very good friends and all of my family. Thank you for all your support and long may you continue. Fletch

There’s a girl all alone Just come off a mobile phone Soaking wet, chilled to the bone Nothing left to call her own In a rundown neighbourhood She’d get clean if she just could No one will ever know her pain There’s a drug driving her insane She don’t know why she loves it so With the kind of love that won’t let go Someday soon she’ll say goodbye If she don’t she knows she’ll die People pass by with no surprise See the despair etched in her eyes Where’s the man with the £20 ball? Should she make another call? Don’t you know she needs this guy She prays to God he don’t pass her by She’ll get well, behind her door Then her pain will be no more There’s a car turning in the street But it’s not him and she’s dead beat… The credit on the phone has gone So her wait goes on and on And you know she loves it so.

Voices from prison






Harvey Conroy - HMP Lowdham Grange

Inside Poetry

Jamie Fletcher - HMP Leyhill Crisp of mind from mangled past How long do the feelings of hatred last? I’ll carry them always hidden away But they are still there every day Scarred by a man who was twisted of mind Never any love, happened or kind A bully he was and pushed us around God help us if we ever made a sound He pushed our mum to an early grave This impacted on the love she gave For she was as scared as all of us too And like us she knew not what to do It wasn’t her fault she really did try But I felt the pain when I saw her cry And now the pain has transferred down the line Myself, my brother and sisters of mine But let’s not let him win this one Let’s show him that good has been done We have things that he will never possess Like my family and love and no family mess He will die an unhappy man Sad with no one because everyone ran He built his own destiny all flawed and wrong And the misery he lives will go on for long So worry not please for my siblings and me Because we have each other and are quite happy We have love and warmth all so true Whilst he is rotten the whole way through

But You Stayed… Keith Hoodless - HMP Pentonville


Copies are available at a special discount price of £7.50 +£1 p&p for Inside Time readers, family & friends. Inside Time, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire SO30 2GB Tel: 0844 335 6483

Next month we revert to the usual poetry section, we will award a prize of £25 to the entry selected as our ‘Star Poem of the Month’. To qualify for a prize, poems should not have won a prize in any other competition or been published previously. Send entries to: Inside Time, Poetry, Botley Mills, Botley, Southampton, Hampshire, SO30 2GB. Please put your name, number and prison on the same sheet of paper as your poem. If you win we can’t send your money if we don’t know who or where you are! By submitting your poems to Inside Time you are agreeing that they can be published in any of our ‘not for profit links’, these include the newspaper, website and any forthcoming books. You are also giving permission for Inside Time to use their discretion in allowing other organisations to reproduce this work if considered appropriate, unless you have clearly stated that you do not want this to happen. Any work reproduced in other publications will be on a ‘not for profit’ basis. WHEN SUBMITTING YOUR WORK PLEASE INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING PERMISSION: THIS IS MY OWN WORK AND I AGREE TO INSIDE TIME PUBLISHING IT IN ALL ASSOCIATE SITES AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS AS APPROPRIATE.

Lying alone in my uncomfy bed The bed you make you must lie in its said The guilt that runs through me Is the guilt that consumes me The fear of the might be The chance of the could be My stupid mistake I have no excuse for The lies and the tears and you asking for more But still you amaze me and make me humble A once firm grip bit now I fumble You never gave up on me and you You could have walked like most people would do But you stayed against all odds You chose to ignore all the winks and nods But you stayed and made ne stronger By hanging around for a little longer And the best is you stayed with what that means and does You for me, you stayed for you, you stayed for us I love you

Insidepoetry supplement January 2012 FINAL WEB.pdf

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