‘Start the Healing’ – OC

Inside Stories, Episode 9 [HMP Featherstone, March 2019]

This is a second poem on this blog written by one of the guys from our choir in HMP Featherstone; he would like to be known by the initials ‘OC’.

It can be hard to fully understand the emotional confusions and complexities that accompany life in prison, but here OC intricately maps them out: from hate, denial sorrow, pride, mistrust, anguish to the possibility of healing, achieved only upon admitting the pain of what has gone before.

You can access his previous work, ‘Reflections’, here.


Start the Healing

A frail fighting man with a heart full of hate,

And a head full of coke overcome by the weight

Of a soul full of sorrow, denial and pain

All I need is a promise, dear Lord not again.

With a head full of reason and a heart cast in stone,

It’s alright, I don’t need you, I’ll do it alone…

Yet I’ve tried it my way again and again

And I’ve caused so much anguish, destruction and pain.

‘Give it up’, they cried; but no, I’ve my pride.

As false as my reasons, as strong as the tide.

Then I looked in the mirror, saw a face full of lies.

A face full of bitterness, those deathly dull eyes

So full of resentment and sad wasted years

A face that was dying, with no sign of the tears,

As I saw in that face, the first time in my life,

The deceit, the disgust, the mistrust and the strife,

Saw the shell of a man with a heart barely beating,

I admitted defeat God; then came the healing.