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‘An odour was all it took’

by Joe Gynane at HMP Whitemoor

The smell of cut grass stained the air,

Evoking memories of a bittersweet childhood

A time before care,

Before care

Drug despair

Oh how I wish I was there.

School in the morning,

Football in the afternoon,

Painted circles adorned the walls of my room.

Two cats

And an apple tree in the garden,

I struggle to place my memories

My memories have made my emotions harden.

Self-reflection,

Soul inspection,

Toilet,

Spoon,

Injection,

Adolescent withdrawals a bought erection.

An outpouring of pain,

Shame,

All aboard the thought train.

The smell of cut grass stained the air,

Evoking memories of a bittersweet childhood

A time before care,

Before prison,

A colourless prism,

Memories out of synch,

Anachronism,

Football stickers,

Foil,

Pipe,

Light flickers,

Soho bound City slickers.

Dark days,

Bright nights,

A young moth down to Piccadilly’s lights.

A corner cuddled,

Seeking oblivion memories muddled,

A fruitless pursuit

Trying to clasp a puddle that bubbled.

An outpouring of pain,

Shame,

All aboard the thought train.

The smell of cut grass stained the air,

Evoking memories of a bittersweet childhood

A time before care,

Before heartache,

Theft and deception.

Borrowed equipment blood borne infection.

A broken back fence,

An unlocked door,

A trainer consumed by a fox

Left needing more,

Wanting more,

Always more,

More.

Unable to sedate a starving hunger,

Full syringe

Compressed plunger,

Gone over while under,

A meant blunder,

Yet still remain an uncalled number.

An outpouring of pain,

Shame,

All aboard the thought train.

The smell of cut grass stained the air,

Evoking memories of a bittersweet childhood

A time before care,

Before addiction,

Before addiction?

Was there a before?

Before a need to score?

A squat?

A filthy floor?

Runny nose?

Nausea?

Back sore?

Feeding squirrels in Greenwich Park,

Despise light,

But hate the dark,

And the demons it conceals,

Starving

Yet can’t stomach the thought of stomaching meals.

An outpouring of pain,

Shame,

All aboard the thought train.

The smell of cut grass stained the air,

Evoking memories of a bittersweet childhood

A time before care,

Before I made my mother cry,

Earthbound,

Yet seeking the sky,

My,

Passage resides in a cling-filmed package,

Emotions,

Memories,

Abandoned baggage.

Blackheath firework displays,

Fairies sprinkling dust on the school plays,

The good old days,

Before me and innocence parted ways,

Waifs,

Strays,

A cup in the hand,

Homelessness pays.

An outpouring of pain,

Shame,

All aboard the thought train.

The smell of cut grass stained the air,

Evoking memories of a bittersweet childhood

A time before care,

Before fear,

Despair,

A shed tear,

Stealing from those I hold dear,

Near

My breaking point,

Suicide,

Life,

What’s the point?

Institutionalised,

At home in the joint,

At home with a joint,

Freedom,

Bound to disappoint.

My core’s rotten,

I should be forgotten.

An outpouring of pain,

Shame,

All aboard the thought train.

The smell of cut grass stained the air,

Evoking memories of a bittersweet childhood

A time before care,

Before lies,

Vacant eyes,

A home open to the skies,

Flies,

Orbiting a shooting rage,

Stranded on The Strand with the strange,

Hand out for handouts,

Spare change,

A Christmas crisis,

Mattresses,

Made from the latest reports of Isis.

An odour

Igniting a forgotten history,

Diluted memories,

Addictions nothing

But an enigma packaged in a mystery.

An outpouring of pain,

Shame,

Last stop for the thought train.