a book of prisoner poetry and photography of HMS Brixton Prison completed in 2002.
If Time had a color What hue would it show? Will it be light blue Like the color of the sea? We are told that Days ebb and flow, Years are washed away. "The sands of time are running out". And Months sail by. Maybe time would be green. To match the color of grass. Or sparkle like icicles, Upon an old man's hair. Time might be black, Like a raven's wing, Because Time flies, But never fast enough.
Nothing to do, nothing at all You sit and stare at that cell wall. To survive this place takes an iron will Life ebbs away but yet stands still: Your life is on hold, you wish it away Till the time comes, your release day. You took for granted so many things It's funny, now, what your mind brings - To release the anguish, to ease the pain - A simple thing like a walk in the rain To see clear skies and the beautiful stars Without the hindrance of these prison bars: Better pictures these, through a lying eye Of grass, of trees, of wonderful sky - They take away that purple haze That clouds your mind through drawn-out days ... Baut it's all false, it's just not true, Reality steps in, you're left with just you. You're back in your cell, you stare at the wall With nothing to do, nothing at all.
Behind the charade of our brave face The wild and free, caged in this place Our only comfort is when the day is gone Time is passing, that keeps us strong Time is the answer to our prayers The ultimate prize for the stayers But for those of us at the beginning Punishment looms heavy for our sinning So you might feel you're on the brink But you're not alone so stop and think Brothers in arms together we'll pull through Every day someone goes home, soon it will be you.
An Honorable Mention goes to Magee Mansour - 'Hard Times'
We would like to thank all the contributors to the contest, all of whom will be included in the 'Time' project, which will encompass a print book, an e-book, and a film of the prison poets reading their poems - We would also like to thank Governor Stephen Twinn, Writer-in-Residence Hugh Stoddart, Activities Cooordinator Jo Parkinson, and Librarian Anna Robinson.
Panic!has initiated the Brixton Prison Poetry Project and Competition as a means to acknowledge the rest of the voices of the residents of Brixton, South London. All poetry will be included in a print book and Acrobat e-book, and will be documented in a film of prisoners reading their poems, possibly in a live event. The theme of the project is "Time" and it is hoped that this project will encourage these experts on the topic to disclose some insight on temporality and incarceration. The Brixton Prison Poetry Project has been approved by the Governor of Brixton Prison Stephen Twinn and will occur with the co-operation of Hugh Stoddart, Writer in Residence of the Brixton Prison and the Brixton Prison library. The deadline for submission for the contest is May 1 (subject to extension). Winners will be announced on July 14th, Bastille Day. Only prisoners are eligible for this contest. First prize is £100, second prize £50, third prize £25. Update - 15 June 2001 At the time of the deadline, eleven poets, currently resident in the Brixton Prison, contributed a total of nineteen poems for the Panic! Brixton Prison Poetry Competition and Project. The winners will be announced on 14 July on the internet & 21 July at TRANSFIGURATION: Brixton Poetry Gathering and Art Exhibition on 21 July 2001, 8pm - 3am at the Brixton Art Gallery at 35 Brixton Station Road (next to the Brixton Recreation Centre, near Brixton Tube). Filming of the Prison Poets is projected to take place in September. Panic! would like to thank Hugh Stoddart, Writer-in-Residence at the Brixton Prison, for his enthusiastic cooperation with Panic!.