Ystrad Mynach Hospital

From July to October 2012, Patrick Jones led a series of creative writing workshops with patients on Ty Cyfannol Ward Ystrad Mynach Hospital in partnership with Occupational Health and Caerphilly Arts Development.

Fifty one people took part in a series of workshops which employed a variety of creative writing exercises, including memories, smell and objects as inspiration. Research has confirmed how creative writing can help aid recovery in mental health services:

The use of literature, creative writing and poetry in mental health services

produces significant benefits for both the patient and the care provider.

It enables patients to regain control over their own inner world, increasing their

mental wellbeing. It helps the nursing and medical staff to understand the

cultural, social, ethnic and economic factors influencing the behaviour of

patients  (Arts in health: a review of the medical literature, Dr Rosalia Lelchuk Staricoff)




I need your smokes
Like a comedian needs their jokes
Like a Sunday dinner needs some pud
Like a gangster needs a hood
I need your smokes
Like a forest needs it’s oaks
Like a poet needs their puns
Like an army needs their guns
I need your smokes
Like a fire needs it’s pokes
Like a driver needs a car
Like a movie needs a star

Old age should burn and rage at start of day?
Sun raging at his father’s eyes, light going
Crying how bright no tears will bring him back
Grave men near death’s door
Father dead. Blind eyes can’t see
Father sad he had to go
Fun, fierce tears

Lynx Africa reminds me of you Dad
Going out, it was the smell you always had
I sometimes buy it, now and then
Reminding me of a Sunday night when
You’d be bathing to go out
“Hurry up Terry” my Mum would shout

In my Pocket
A waiting Tick
A waiting tock
A waiting sign
A waiting knock

A pocket of time
Whinberry turnover and cream
Sun shower (we thought it would not get ys wet)
Whinberry – small dark blue fruit from the mountain
Setting the mountain on fire
Ruining your coat putting it out
Having realised what a dangerous thing it was to do

A Boxing Glove
Boxing ring sting
The pain the ring
The passed off bullying
To me they sing
The ring just the ring
Bullying, bullying
That’s all I knew
When I was a young thing
Black and blue, black and blue
The six foot something giant
That’s all I knew
Deep, deep down
I ain’t no clown
Bullied through the past
And bullied right now

Holes in my pockets
Holes in their heads
Holes in the system
Holes in the threads

They know everything they learnt from a book
Asking me why? I don’t give a ***k
Every day a late mark
Jumping the fence and off to the park
“School’s been on the phone. You’re not going out”
A favoured quote my Mother would shout
Over the back wall I’d soon be out.

Four You
I’ve got a new game, I bought down the store
Try it, you’ll soon be back for more
It’s fast and quick, you don’t even have to score
Now that’s a good first move, that’s for sure
Ah, but now, what did you do that for?
You’ve gone and closed my door
But, I’ve spotted your flaw
I’ll take my time and be a bit of a bore
Perhaps you’ll then start to snore
But once I place my move you’ll be sore
Because with you, I’ll wipe the floor
That’s right, it’s connect four.

In my pocket
In my pocket
Is sea, sun, surf, with friends near
Tube rides, barrel rolls and diving off the pier
Baggy shorts, bikini suits and surf gear

In my pocket
Is a pair of well worn hot pants
My heart skips a beat at the possibility of romance
Time to completely lose it and impress her with the way I dance
I’m sure I can amaze her
As I move to the beat with the laser

A pack of cards is like a life
You never know what will come up twice
One minute it’s black, the next it’s red
It comes and goes so who gives a damn when you’re dead
Things in the past have been great
Yet now I am falling through a grate
It feels like I am falling down
Which feels like hell
No rope to climb, no light
Just a dark red under me
I gave my soul and everything
I had to just keep my kids safe and glad
Through all I have done it, no wonder I have a daughter or son
So if I should pass on in life
All my good will go to my kids
If that’s alright.

To feel fear
Is like to witness a dentist’s sneer
A sneering look
Which makes you feel crook
A ripple below your teeth
A cry welling from beneath
You want to start running
But, unfortunately you are strapped in
The brain tries to deal with critical error
As the body reacts to the terror.

Respect other people’s feelings.
Thoughts and aspirations
Be good to each other
To your own self be true
There’s a time to be happy and a time to be sad, make the time in the middle, the best you’ve ever had.
Live small, think skies
Enjoy each day for what it brings
Live your life be free, open up your heart and you will see
Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today
And what makes you different, makes you beautiful
Until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes. I’ve got to say war