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A River Was Here by Baggage Handlers
 

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  • Left behind,
    Where to go?
    How much further? -
    Moving slow.

    A flight of doves
    Could be a sign
    I must learn:
    Am I a bird
    who has crashed and burned?

    I, a river - here
    [Wait your turn],
    Grace will find you
    Through the crowds.
    Drink the milk
    Of the clouds,
    Water the horses -
    Love and cheer.

    I, a river was here.

    Love is calling
    A heavenly mother
    Why resist -
    Love your brother.
    Fly to Jerusalem -
    Or anywhere.

    If you were someone else
    Would you care?

    We have to stare
    At the silence
    In the forest.

    I exist in dreary limits -
    but I was born free.

    By Steve

    The Baggage Handlers is a creative writing drop in for writers and artists living with mental health distress, in Leeds UK. We meet regularly in Leeds City Centre, to write in celebration of life, our journeys and stories. Co-facilitated by writer Rommi Smith, in collaboration with members of the group, we work together to use creative writing as a tool for positive mental health. Currently, we are exploring the life and death of David Oluwale. Working together, we are creating a play-length poem, which we will perform as part of a forthcoming symposium in honour of David. This symposium takes place on the 23rd/24th January 2013.

    David Oluwale arrived in Hull as a stowaway from his native Nigeria in September 1949. He served 28 days in Leeds Prison for his crime. Twenty years later, in May 1969, he was pulled out of the River Aire, at Knostrop in Leeds, where he had drowned. David had spent ten of the sixteen years between 1953 and 1969 in High Royds Psychiatric Hospital; for the other six years he lived rough on the streets of Leeds. In November 1971, two Leeds police officers were acquitted of the manslaughter of David Oluwale, but were imprisoned for assaulting him.
    Much has changed in Leeds since then. We believe the city can now understand and sympathise with David’s difficult life and awful death.

    For more info:

    WEBSITE: http://www.rememberoluwale.org/home/ - including for more details of the forthcoming outdoor performance event on
    Wednesday 23rd January 2013 at 6.00 p.m.

    OR

    Find us on Facebook: Remember Oluwale - The David Oluwale Memorial Association






    FACEBOOK: Search for Remember Oluwale - The David Oluwale Memorial Association
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