Hiraeth (A Welshman Letter Writing Home From A 2nd Landing English Prison Cell)

Nothing changes in here except moods and Cell-Mates…
the weather doesn’t matter,
the Screws turn keys, and bark orders,
but the CLOCK is the real Warden.
There is a slight patch of moss
upon the south wall of the Exercise Yard,
thirteen stones along from the left corner,
and fifteen rows up…
it’s the first real ‘Green’ I’ve seen in 8 months.
It was good to hear your familiar voice
upon the phone earlier on in Association,
why I have never noticed
your beautiful, musical accent before is beyond me.
It was like being dead and ghosting back
for exactly one and a half minutes.
I had my first Visit two weeks ago,
since they shipped me out of Wales,
Mother came on the bus,
spent all day travelling, bless her…
nearly finished me off when I hugged her ‘Hiya’
everyone else in the Room
smelled of perfume and aftershave,
but she had the wild scent
of woodlands and mountains all about her.
Anyway, give my ‘Love’ by the bucketful to everyone,
eat some faggots and peas, and cockles in the Market
whilst thinking of me (Plenty of vinegar and pepper, mind),
and know that though my body’s in a Cage…
my Heart and Thoughts are still safely home with you all.

Paul Tristram is a widely published Welsh writer who deals in the Lowlife, Outsider, and Outlaw genres.  He wrote his first poem as a teenager following his release from the (Infamous) Borstal ‘HMP Portland’, and he has been creating Literary Terrorism ever since. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.