Hafal Expressions Day

Graham Hafal

The Hafal Expressions Day on 19 May 2010 was a partnership project between Academi, Hafal Blackwood and Caerphilly Arts Development. The target group was service users with mental health issues.

The aim of this special day was to run creative participatory poetry workshops and related arts activities that facilitated shared writing with adults from the communities of Caerphilly as part of Adult Learners Week.

Hafal, Blackwood provides mental health services in the Caerphilly borough. The day was divided into morning and afternoon sessions and groups worked with poets Mike Church and Graham Hartill to create poetry. The group also experimented with scrap booking and card making activities.
mike hafal



The town of Blackwood is quite good
Strolling a long second hand shops
Different people getting on with their lives
Many care to have some food.

Sandwiches, pasties steak or cheese
Restaurants which only open at night
Summer here I see the flowers
A ray of colour for many hours.

Nightime racing in their cars
Dangerous times, you cannot go out
A different planet Blackwood is to me
I don’t live here but this is what I see.

Jane Carpenter


The sky is cloudy the days are long
Think about what could be wrong
Holding things in my arms
And all its magic charms.

Empty spaces lines afloat
Drowning, rocking in my boat.
On my own I see another day
There must be another way.

Emotions I’m not allowed to tell
Shouting, shouting I begin to yell
But this is all in my mind
Take a look at what you can find.

Jane Carpenter.

Blackwood by Night

Shop doors have to be cleared by the mechanical
cleanser of this bible block valley in a new sunny cleansed day.

5 a.m. and all is well.
John King.

What’s in the Suitcase?

Go and open the suitcase
maybe inside Icelandic Euros

Go and open the suitcase
maybe inside the dodo reborn

Go and open the suitcase
maybe inside a ticket to nirvana.

Go and open the suitcase
maybe inside and irresistible force facing an immovable object.

Go and open the suitcase
maybe inside the elixor or youth.

Go and open the suitcase
Maybe inside a live woolley mammoth.
Go and open the suitcase
maybe inside eternal life
a mixed blessing.

John King


Cold ice, warmth nice
Feelings on the hand
Thoughts happy, no demands
Needs met, minds happy
Cold ice, warmth nice.

Spencer Lee

Blackwood by night

Drink, drunk.

Spencer Lee

Blackwood by night

Shops, shoppers
Cars, drivers
Buses, delivery vans delivering,
All very civil all quite normal
Normal in an abnormal way to most
Just another normal abnormal day.

Spencer Lee
My imagination

In the suitcase I can see
Maybe a rat, let it be
Clothes and shadows sun and rain
Or maybe just a grain

Many things I this know
A mirror another case this will show
There is a light switch and clothes I see
Just my imagination let it be.

The case is empty, too much to bare
In my imagination I see it there
Expressions around this I know
Now it’s time to let the case go.

Jane Carpenter

I’ve got to go to the post office
To see how many millions I’ve got left.

Graham Baldwin


The things I see today, so bright
Opening doors I see the light
I’m on a planet where stars do shine
Thoughts and feelings that were once mine.

Happiness is wonderful to behold
Never a story to be told
Writing about creative things
I see angels and their wings.

Jane Carpenter


Why is the grass green
Why can’t the breeze be seen.

Who taught the birds to build a nest
Who taught the trees to take a rest

And when the moon is quite round
Where can the missing bit be found.

Graham Baldwin

Life is different today compared to how
it used to be.
Today I am happy not sad
Today nothing is bad
Today is time rolled into one
Today I see a shining sun

Today there is hope, a life so real
Today I can still feel
Today laughing smiling a rhyme
Today there is so much time.

Jane Carpenter.