Introduction With Thanks To The Writing

Keith H

Moving On

They sent me to Bullingdon Prison and they threw away the keys
I came out to St Leonards, where I eat bread and cheese.

My Mother never told me, when I was sitting on her knees,
Under the akee trees, that I’d be eating bread and cheese

Never said that I’d spend 4 years in a cell that made me wheeze,
Through the night’s big freeze, eating bread and cheese.

But now they’re teaching us interviews, housing, CVs
You can learn you driving theories and eat bread and cheese

And next I’m off to East London to live by the sea,
To another Bail Hostel, where I’ll eat curried goat.


Keith’s lines were written at St Leonards Probation Hostel, and by chance he was broadcast on Radio Berkshire reading ‘Moving On’ on the day he left Thames Valley Probation to start his new life. He said he’d listen to the broadcast that morning as he was driving away.

‘Akee trees’ are trees that were in Keith’s garden in Jamaica where he spent his young childhood. The poem was begun in the very first session we ran at the Hostel, which Keith attended just after he’d had a breakfast of bread and cheese.