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Hackney Writers

10 / 20 Howard Mingham: Cambridge Heath Road

Howard Mingham, socialist, seeker and poet, fell to his death from a tower block in the Cambridge Heath Road area in 1984, aged 32.  An 'open verdict' was recorded.

'For She Still on the Ward

You lie there wretched
and the large concerns are heaped upon you.
Sometimes we wrap your head in hot bandages
the usual, usual role.

It is all so much crepe
yet the concern is large
the business all
and your frame is small, small-bones
You are small.

One body in the meshed
stopped nothing.
When we are not in the well-oiled bolt
we are merely the small
unrhythmic jolt.'

Mark Gingnel, a psychiatric survivor and writer, comments: '‘For She Still on the Ward’ is lighthearted stylistically while conveying that the world is unconcerned with the ‘small unrhythmic jolt’ of an individual. One man, especially a mad one, makes no difference. It’s all crap - or ‘crêpe’, and the whole thing rolls on like a ‘well-oiled bolt’, hardly noticing the jolt caused by one individual who needs help.' 


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‘For She Still on the Ward’ © Estate of Howard Mingham c/o David Kessel & Emmy van Deurzen