Another piece from a writing group session, about David Oluwale. We read a chapter of the Hounding of David Oluwale focusing on his difficult time in Menston/Highroyds psychiatric hospital. The brief was to write an account of his time there from the perspective of a fictional observer. I chose to apply some artistic licence and create a ‘ghost’ to empathise with him. Spelling and grammar are phonetic and in-character, with a Yorkshire dialect.
I’m here Lad, as I think I always were.
Though yer skin’s t’opposite hue to what I can see of me now,
I know the pain yer going through.
I were there too when I was on that side,
That electric thing- it does yer brain,
How can yer be people when yer tret like that?
Would never o’wanted me old dog to feel that.
Heck, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, cept them that say it has to happen.
Little letters, long words, they don’t need you to understand.
But you know what they’re sayin,
You learn a word when it’s been done to ya like that.
If my heart still beat it would ache for yer, even bleed.
I’m grateful for the mercy that brought me from this suffering.
But to see it on another is so much worse.
Please lad, let me take your place.
A madhouse don’t need new martyrs.
Get out the door, take your opportunities,
And you can take my share an all.