Hide My Pain

art 002This drawing started out as a simple sketch but it has actually been changed a number of times since then. The funny thing is that I don’t even feel like it was me who changed it. I knew it wasn’t complete (until it finally was) and I searched for what was missing, but I don’t really feel like I thought of it. I simply put it down on paper. The idea behind it already existed. It was always going to be what it eventually became. I just didn’t know it until I saw it there in front of me.

I’m fully aware that that probably sounds completely nuts to everyone but me, but there it is. Like most of my drawings it is full of symbolism and hidden meaning (beyond the obvious), I’ll leave you to judge and interpret for yourselves.

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An Explanation

I wasn’t sure how I should approach returning to work on this site. I didn’t know quite what to say in my first post back. Or more specifically, quite how much to say. But so many of you have been so supportive that I feel like I owe you a bit of an explanation.

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It’s You

My love is a pure white rose

with a single shining thorn.

It’s You is a poem I wrote years ago. I had just met The Woman with Eyes of Fire (see my story The Fire and the Sea for details) and was struggling to get my head around my feelings for her, especially given our situation. Then I read some poetry by Robert Burns and decided to start a poem from one of his lines and work into what I really wanted to say from there. I never gave this poem to her as such, but a couple of years after I wrote it she did happen to read it (along with most of my poem) when she got hold of my notebook. She didn’t have a clue it was about her until we got back in contact just last year.

You can read the full poem in my Poetry Section.

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Bed Blocking

Bed blocking occurs in a range of environments. In the NHS there are not enough hospital beds. In social work there are not enough beds in children’s homes or care homes for the elderly. In mental health there are not enough beds on psych wards. But prisons are no different. There is a shortage of beds here too.

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Prison Etiquette

I recently had a bit of a debate with a friend on the wing about one aspect of prison etiquette which is an issue at every single prison in Britain. Noise. And more specifically, music.

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Vote to Abstain

I wasn’t going to write anything about the election this year. But then I had a conversation with a family member about it before seeing something on TV which frankly threw me into hysterical despair.

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Give Back, Give Blood

There can be little doubt that prisoners generally have taken a lot from society and often have given very little back. A few years ago this led me to start thinking about ways prisoners like myself could do something positive. That was when I hit upon the idea of donating blood.

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The 100% Blind Spot

The use of wearable body cameras has been rolled out amongst police forces across the world and now the Prison Officers’ Association says they want them too. The only problem is, cameras in prison seem to come with a one hundred percent blind spot.

Prisons are already covered by far more CCTV cameras than your average building in the outside world, and if a prisoner ever does anything wrong against a member of staff the footage is there and ready to use on adjudication the very next day. But if a prisoner enters another person’s cell to wreck it, to steal something, or even to attack them, then we are invariably given the brush off.

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