Diary of the Plague Year: Day 83 6 June 2020: Quotidian Poetry – The Creative Writing Group at The Felix Post Unit – SURVIVORS’ POETRY

THE FELIX POST UNIT WAS A DAY CENTRE FOR OLDER ADULTS AT THE MAUDSLEY HOSPITAL. IT WAS CLOSED DOWN IN 2008 FOR NO APPARENT OR GOOD REASON. MANY OF ITS SERVICE USERS WERE FROM THE BAME COMMUNITIES OF SOUTH LONDON.

Their anthology POSTSCRIPT – POEMS BY THE CREATIVE WRITING GROUP was published by Roy Birch of Survivors’ Poetry.

sdhfhttps://disabilityarts.online/directory/survivors-poetry/

Diary of the Plague Year: Day 82 5 June 2020: Quotidian Poetry – The Creative Writing Group at The Felix Post Unit – History

THE FELIX POST UNIT WAS A DAY CENTRE FOR OLDER ADULTS AT THE MAUDSLEY HOSPITAL. IT WAS CLOSED DOWN IN 2008 FOR NO APPARENT OR GOOD REASON. MANY OF ITS SERVICE USERS WERE FROM THE BAME COMMUNITIES OF SOUTH LONDON.

HISTORY
from POSTSCRIPT – Poems by The Creative Writing Group at The Felix Post Unit

The Poetry Group a the Felix Post Unit began as a means of trying to address a more holistic approach to mental health. We, as nurses, instinctively knew the value of creativity, and the value of writing creatively, but were uncertain how to put this into practice.

The group evolved from reading poems to writing poems. Our members had very strong idea of what a poet was, and felt that whatever it was, it wasn’t them. However, this changed as confidence within the group and members began to see their poetry written and read out.

One thing that we were totally unprepared for was the effect of writing and reading their poems. Members of the group did have problems with speech and language and memory. Our members didn’t have a voice, or seem to have the language to convey meaning to their everyday interactions. Poetry, with its emphasis on conveying emotion in an encapsulated format, and use of imagery to convey emotion, appeared to unlock some of the mind’s processes. Something about the act of writing poetry gave our members an eloquent and powerful means of expressing themselves, and also a sense of release and peace. We felt, and continue to feel, both joy and humbleness at the poems written by our elders, and the process continues to bone of ever greater acheivements.

We hope you will enjoy this anthology, written by the elders at the Felix Post Unit.

MONIQUE MARONEY
CLARE JONES
PETER BENNETT

Diary of the Plague Year: Day 82 5 June 2020: Quotidian Poetry – Something about the The Creative Writing Group at The Felix Post Unit

THE FELIX POST UNIT WAS A DAY CENTRE FOR OLDER ADULTS AT THE MAUDSLEY HOSPITAL. IT WAS CLOSED DOWN IN 2008 FOR NO APPARENT OR GOOD REASON. MANY OF ITS SERVICE USERS WERE FROM THE BAME COMMUNITIES OF SOUTH LONDON.

FOREWORD
from POSTSCRIPT – Poems by The Creative Writing Group at The Felix Post Unit

The Poetry Group is only a small part of the therapeutic portfolio of the FPU, but it exemplifies the range of highly therapeutic interventions currently available to service users.

Our group enables people to express themselves and explore their thoughts and emotions fully. To do this and accept the moment and what it brings. Through acceptance of ourselves, learning not to avoid situations, we can begin to discover that one way to happiness comes from experiencing what may be difficult emotions and learning to let them go. The actual act of writing is a powerful release. Our members have surprised themselves, and more importantly, surpassed what is expected of them by people in the system.

Unfortunately, current political thinking means that day hospitals are no longer seen as being of integral importance to the canon of older adult services, which means that the poetry group, along with all the other innovative treatments, will be lost to future users.

As you can see, this is dedicated to Felix Post members past and present. Perhaps equally importantly we would like to include those unseen people who will not have the benefit of the creative and empowering psychological therapies enjoyed by the authors of this anthology.

Diary of the Plague Year: Day 82 5 June 2020: Quotidian Poetry – Poems by the The Creative Writing Group a The Felix Post Unit

THE FELIX POST UNIT WAS A DAY CENTRE FOR OLDER ADULTS AT THE MAUDSLEY HOSPITAL. IT WAS CLOSED DOWN IN 2008 FOR NO APPARENT GOOD REASON. MANY OF ITS SERVICE USERS WERE FROM THE BAME COMMUNITIES OF SOUTH LONDON.

THE FELIX POST BOX
 
I will put in my box
A confirmation certificate
And words of praise for my bishop
My husband’s compassion
And the heart beat of the sea.
 
I will put in my box
Chinese firecrackers that
Spit and spark at the devil.
Silhouettes of palm trees
And lighting during the monsoon.
 
I will put in my box
A teenage tomboy
Forever-happy climbing mango trees,
A far away memory of a mother’s laugh
And a fisherman’s hook.
 
I will put in my box
Only good stuff
A glowing friendship and
A sweet cup of tea.
 
I will put in my box
My youth and
All the fun of the fair
With donkeys and candlyflosss.
 
I will put in my box
The smell of my first baby
A lot of understanding
And a day in the New Forest in a church
Waiting to hear Dancing Queen playing the organ.
 
I will put in my box
A guinea pig from long ago
So sensitive and soft,
squeezing into a ball like a cat
An orange tree I climbed,
Scared of nothing and such rewards!
 
I will put it in my box
The circus at Blackpool and dancing girls in swimsuits,
The smell of a mango
And juice of a young coconut.
 
My box is made of
Garden scents and music
With ribbons and buttons and all sorts
On the lid.
You can unlock it by wishing quietly.
 
I shall keep my box
High on a roll of thunder
And watch the dice
As they tumble down
An evening on the beach.
 
ALICE HAYCOCK
CLARICE PORTER
SHIRLEY RICHARDS
LUCILLE POWELL
LIX JELINEK
HUBERT CLARKE
IRENE PRATT