Heddfan Carers Support Project

Mike Church

During May and June 2010 performance poet and workshop leader Mike Church ran a six week creative writing course with adult carers in Rhondda Cynon Taf. The project was the first partnership between the South Wales Valleys Literature Project and Heddfan.

The Heddfan Carers Support Service provides support, counselling and information for people caring for others. Service users may look after a relative or friend who, because of illness, a disability or the effects of age, cannot manage at home without help. It operates a variety of services including workshops and trips, all of which are free to carers in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Workshops included a variety of tasks such as: Keeping a Journal, poetry, short story writing and much more. Four of the participants performed a selection of their work at the Rhondda Cynon Taf Carers Celebration event on Wednesday 16 June in Tonyrefail Leisure Centre. The group is also planning to continue to meet monthly and set up an independent new writers circle.

Examples of Poetry Heddfan Workshops
With Mike Church

The Door

The door is shut
He’s gone to school,
I sit and shed a tear.

The door is shut
He’s gone to play in the park
I can hear his friends calling his name.

The door is shut
I’m left alone, the house is empty.

The door is closed
He’s on the way to University,
To work, to meet his friends.

The door is closing
He’s on his way to see his love.

The door is closing
He’s getting married today.

The door is opening
They have all come visiting.
My son, his wife, my grandchild.

The door is opening
To another life.

The Door

Only one door?
Maybe it’s locked
It may be jammed.

What if there is another door?

Only one door
No keyhole
No lock

What could be behind it?

Only one door
It isn’t locked
But what’s behind it?

Why don’t you just go through it?

Just have a look

Push it open, take a look, sniff the air.

The Door
Lorraine Parker

I sit here all day looking at that damned door. I can only imagine what’s outside, in my mind’s eye I see trees, green grass, daffodils and hills in the distance. I would love to breathe the clear fresh air, instead of the foul smell that always lingers here. I live in hope that one day, someone will open that door ad give me my freedom, but that’s not going to happen. So when the door finally opens, it’s to the gallows I go.

A Door

Such a lovely door
Heavy wood from top to floor.
Cast iron knocker,
Letter box too
Complete with numbers …

Such a lovely threshold
Painted in crimson, oh so bold
The black handle turns
My inside squirms
In case I’m left out in the cold.

The Door

The cottage was quaint, low ceilings, timbers in the roof. A half kitchen door stays open and I lean over to gulp fresh, cool air and where a black and white sheep dog lays guarding the way eagerly awaiting tit bits to come over the door.

The Door

Who opens the door
When you’re poor
What opens the door
When you’re poor

No ands, ifs or buts
The same one who shuts

Its the same the whole world over
It’s the poor as gets the blame
It’s the rich as gets the pleasure
Ain’t it all a bloody shame.

I once walked through a door
(that’s a lie, you opened it first)
I walked upon a marble floor
(Oh shut up, I’ve got a thirst)
Everything I say you’ve rubbished
(yeah, but it’s you can’t get it published)

The Door

The door’s ajar,
Look around
If you dare
Watch you don’t jam your fingers

Outside could be anything
Grizzly bears, Tyrannasaurus Rex,
Knife wielding maniacs

Unlikely but possible.

Always dress for the weather.

The Door

An open door
Holds myriad possibilities
But my door is locked fast
My sight is fading
And I have misplaced the key.
Her door is wide open
She has youth on her side-
The world at her feet
For her I feel great joy
But also great envy.

The Door

There is a door in my mind
I cannot find the key, it is lost.
And along with it, my choices in life.
I feel frustration, my mind is frozen
As is my tongue, I cannot express
My feelings nor examine them.
Where can I go, I sense a myriad ways,
A multitude of turns I cannot make
But most are barred to me, taken
From my life before I see them.
Is this how life must be?
There must be more and the ways
Must be there but I cannot see them.
I am a lost soul groping in the dark
Entering blind recesses with no choice
But to retrace my steps and seek
Again the light in some other avenue.
It must be there somewhere, but
Is this how life must be?

Was it?
Roger Everest

That’s my best poem pinned upon the door.
The boy who penned it was not me,
Though I’m the teacher who inspired it.
All right, the poem is called ‘Seagull’
And certainly I am no seagull.
Yet, thanks to me this youth
Took flight and one old man had
Tears in his eyes at the sight of it
Upon the classroom wall. Of course
I should have returned it to the lad
But keeping it myself was not so bad
Was it?.