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Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Voices inside the madhouse

They send people here who have no future.
Heroin addiction. Depression. PTSD.
Some patients are picked up from the streets.
Others are brought here by their families.
Many have no families. They fled the country.

This is a place for people who are a threat to society.
They need love and attention on a daily basis.
You can find yourself inside these walls.
Outside the walls you can’t find yourself.
I dreamt you took me away from here.

The volunteer counsellor suffers from PTSD.
His teenage brother was killed in a gun attack.
It was just across the road from his shop.
He is one of the lucky ones. He has a family.
They send people here who have no future.

We used to watch the executions in the stadium.
The stadium was always full. Once a week
we would say, ‘Let’s go down to the stadium.’
People climbed trees for a good view.
It was normal.

They shot a woman in the head for adultery.
Once they brought a thief and chopped off his hand.
They threw it in the air. It kept moving
after it fell. In the dust. Like this.
I can’t get the image out of my head.

Hundreds of executions. I was seventeen or eighteen.
It was normal. We feel safe here.
I dreamt you took me away from here.
Drug-induced schizophrenia. Depression. PTSD.
They send people here who have no future.

© David Urwin

Our World - The Trauma of War

Dave Urwin lives in west Wales and performs his poetry live regularly. 'Towards Humanity' was published in 2015 (Pinewood Press, Swansea). He also publishes on his blog, jadedmountain.wordpress.com

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