This Collaborative Poem by Sam Orton uses excerpts from every single story told to us by participants in the R&D Workshops. Enjoy.

A Pocketful of Treasure
My treasure is the universe
It’s a journey where life isn’t going
To be a smooth thing.
It’s a wave where sometimes you get the happiness
And sometimes you get the sadness.

It’s a nice day and I see something about me
I draw it, it’s a pleasure to me.
Maybe a rock or a piece of wood.
I was pleased, pleased and cold.

My mother, she just thinking about our future
It is for the future and one that I can carry around.
I am going to get better, yeah.
I am not going to go bananas you know.

I am happy, I am happy.
I will keep them forever, those.
My body is here, my head is in my country.
I miss my mother, my country, my culture.

It reminds me of my mum, we could always talk
About everything.
When she went out she always used to put
Powder and lipstick on.
It makes me feel protected when I wear it.

Every time we go out Beryl is always asking for her
Beads to be worn. She likes to be glamorous.
I’ve had some rosary beads in the past.
Your mind is occupied repeating the mantra.
So your wishes may actually be granted.

My husband was a hippy and he couldn’t
Settle down, he said that’s you and me
When we get old.
I know he’s with me all the time.

It’s me and my husband on our wedding day
That indicates our colourful life together
The glitter.
The bracelet, my husband bought it.
I have my sad days, when I’m a bit down
But I open the locket up and there he is again.

I have had them so long they are losing their colour
Being on the beach, I would like to live by the sea.
And I found my shell. My sister’s done gone.
So now it feels special.

Round and round the tops, that were great, that.
On the top of the house I sit down
And look at the sunrise and think:
Where are we going when we die?
I like it when the sunrise goes like that.

A momento of my honeymoon in sunny Jersey
I lost him twenty two years ago
And I still miss him now
That’s what cigarettes do for you!

It was the first thing he made on his own
When he was little, it reminds me of him
Just arriving with it and me being so surprised.
I sent the postcard to my son when I was in hospital
In London.

When I was young I was fascinated by the button box
They were my favourite things as a child
You would see streaks of sand, black streaks
And those streaks were tin.

It was a surprise birthday present from my daughter
Best part of the day? All of it, all of it.
My wife gave me an angel, my daughter gave me a heart
To remind me of them and that I’ve gone so far from the stroke

I have never taken it off since the day she was born
I do my gardening in it and everything.
I keep it with me
When I look at it I see my grandma.

None of us knows what’s going to happen to us
So I get it all done, it’s done.
This is my hope really, that I am going to get
totally back to full health.

While I have my mother, my brother
I can ask them questions to say:
Do you remember your childhood?
How did you live? What did your father do
For a living?

Sometimes I remember bad, I try not to
My life is better but before my life was hard
I want to chronicle where I have come from
And where I am going, who I am and what I want.
Listen to me.

By Sam Orton