Apr 3 17

HMP Downview Poetry


This is a page of broken silences. Words are shattered glass here. I will be using this post to add the poetry created during the workshops with the women of HMP Downview, and it will be updated and added to over this week. I’ve only given the women’s first names to protect their privacy.



She rattles the bars to her rib cage

She rattle the margins of her brain

To think of an answer to all of these wrongs

But there is nothing but silence

Pain and tears


She sits there

Wondering where it all went wrong

Where the next hit is coming from

Her man? Her Pimp? Her Dad?

Who can she trust?

Only the silence.

Lola and Emma


Symphony Of Silence

As their prized possession was forced along my vocal chords

All I could sing was silence

The only note I could force


They all wanted more

As they reached for my highest point

I reached for my highest note

(Call me Mariah Carey)

But I am crying, clearly.

They won’t stop

Whether I want it or not

All I can see is the clock

And focus on the tick tock

Of the time

Bit I stand tall and I say I’m fine

I’m still growing, like a cake in the oven

But with my body they are stubborn

Prematurely taking me out and putting the cherry on my cake

As 1,2,3,4,5 break the cherry on my cake

Can this be fake?

Can I wake up to a better reality?

But yet I wake up to another scene

Another song, another bong

They are like thieves in the night

Stealing my dignity and stealing my sight

I cannot fight these tenors

I’m just a lonely acapella.

Rianna Jhagroo



She rattles the bars to her rib cage

The terror onside she cannot gauge

What she will do

Nobody knows

The anger inside continues to grow

I am in such a mess, being alone

It is like living in a war zone

Bullets are flying

My temptation is killing me

Dying of hunger.

Shahna and Libby


My Life Story – Lola Brown


I am 12, I am young and care free

No wait – I’m not young and carefree

I’ve grown from a child to an adult

Within a matter of seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks

My world has come crashing down and burning


6 small letters

6 small letters that have changed my word

6 small letters that have cone and uprooted everything I know

What do I do?

What do I say?

How do I cope?

What if you leave me?

What if you go to sleep and never wake?

How am I mean to cope

Without you?

My best friend

My world

My mum.


The days and weeks passed

One operation after another

More medication and pills

More chemotherapy

More hurt

More pain

I go to sleep at night

And I wish that I were dreaming

I wish my life were different.


I’m asleep at night

And he comes into my room

I pretend I’m asleep

I squeeze my eyes shut

I hope he will leave

But no

Once again I feel his hand

Running up my leg

I’m screaming inside

Leave me alone

Get off me

Fuck off!


Mum, why is all this happening to you?

You’re going through enough

So I can’t tell you

I wish I could

But I write it on paper

Mum, he’s hurting me

Mum, he’s horrible

I fold the paper in half

I rip it up

I can’t tell you this

It will kill you sooner

I can’t have you blame yourself

I can’t lose you before I have to.


I love you

I need you

I miss you

Even though you’re still here

You’re a shell of the person you used to be

The laugh you laughed

The smile that lit up a room

My heart…


You look like my mum

But you’re not my mother any more

You look so frail now7it’s near the end

You’re sat in Willen Hospice

Your bed look onto the river

the sunrise is coming up now

Red, orange, yellow

You’re favourite time of the day

It’s beautiful like you.


You’re cold now

You look asleep

You look peaceful

At Rest


At last now Mum,

You can rest in peace.


The Furniture Game – Lydia Lauro

I am a Siberian white tiger

Not within the crowd;

I stand alone and proud

Eyes of determined steel

Deep within portals I conceal

I am the colour turquoise;

Deep blues of the sea

Reflecting the light that hits

The waves against the breeze

Calm and chilled

No dramas

No thrills

I am a lotus flower

I grow within the mud

No matter my circumstance

I will rise above

I am the window

I let the light shine through

No matter the weather

I let the heat heal you

I am saxophone

Mellow to the beat

Amongst the banging drums

I bring that light relief


Freedom – Lydia Lauro

Murky rivers still to tread

Callous trials, I do still dread

Yet belief is strong, hitting me had

A solid gong.


I see that stars within the sky

I know the sun is there for I

The clouds will part, a fresh new start

The warmth will singe into my heart.


Col into diamond, what once was mere bone

Rough into smooth, it took some time to hone

Burned in the furnace, I had to create my jewel

No longer will I carry my burden, no longer the mule

Mustard seed into trusty tree

I will for the first time

Be truly free.



 I am the hyena

Scatty sister to sister chattering in the dark

At night playing together

I am the hyena

I live in the dark

With dusty sand and bits of meat

In the cool night of Africa

We live

In the cool heat

I am the hyena

Hiding and running n the day

From the big cats

Laughing to myself

I am the hyena

With golden eyes

Like the sand

Laughing underneath my feet.


Rib Cage Rap – Cookie & Nice

She rattles the bars to her rib cage

Ratta tat tat

Rip out ya rib cage

Chasing da dragon got her head been gone

No lie coz it’s been done

Teefing out da shops to get her fix on

Got nicked now she got da cuffs on

In da Serco van rattling the bars to da real cage

Ratta tat tat rip out ya rib cage.