On Living Words’ BRINGING THE INSIDE OUT: The words of people living in, working in and visiting care and nursing homes across the UK during the Covid Pandemic,2020  (LW 2020)

Words on the wind in this God Scented Volume
As those lost in Care Homes and those seeking them
Draw them out. Living with Words’ enterprise restores pride
Across this pandemic as voices already misted emerge
Through cloud to write poems in which the inner heart

Achieves shout. With forewords from Dementia Research
Practitioners and Trustees, the trust in us lays with reading
As we encounter the cries from the wordless through those
They leave behind while still here. And so the poems and pieces
Astound as they capture the heart and mind’s private language

That while it may be lost to translation finds through fresh silence
Its own unique way to trounce fear. And to express it of course
As Covid’s second shield separates them; a second remove
Behind plastic as well as the wall of self that’s been built.
But here, these words carved from care challenge and choke

On contagion as personal landscapes keep shifting. In the lands
We have fashioned we are all homesteads fatally loosened,
The Untalking Heads’ houses in motion, falling in stges, as if
We were freeing ourselves from the silt. They are a lot of Anons
In this book, as people lose themselves and their title.

They have only these thoughts now to flag them as they encounter
The mind’s battlefield. Such as Poem 1’s WELL,I FEEL in which
The Inside moves Outside, and ‘all that stopped’ echoes Beckett
In his search for the winning word that won’t yield. Ceri Clarke
Talks of her Mum wanting a hug, breached by plastic.

So often a touch through Dementia does more than a word
Ever can. Corona has stolen so much from those already
Made victim. This  book is their Bible and the prizes within
Warm the hand. From windows to the passing of crackers
To smiles the miles they move grow enchanted. As people
We knew become spirits, the material world starts to shine
As  observations are placed inside the patient shape of a poem.
Nurses observations, sons, daughters and Doctors too, all entwine
To show a fabric of love which can never fade, or be mastered,
Despite the war raged within them the patients in waiting

For the waters of Lethe do not drown. Each of the present
Mourners who write represent these soon swimmers, recalling
Them from the shoreline as simplicities stay profound.  From
Living Words founder Susanna Howard, to Anil Sebastian,
Suzanne Elliot, Kathleen Crymble, Leanne, Lainey and Jenny,

Chloe Crawford, Ian McOnie and Samantha Jones.
Mrs Warrior 113, Margarita Warburton, Peter Jones, Abi Watt,
Hollis Jones, Janice Dye,  each write towards reason and each
Of them heal the lone. As does Oliver Senton, Jill Longman,
Sally Ann Hughes and Lynne Ellis, Irene McGinnery,

Naomi Daglish, Barabara Osborne, Jennifer Carson,
Kunle Olaifa and June. Karen Potter, Liz Clarke,
Shaiza Quraishi, Kay, Zoe Aldrich, Jacqui Offen,
Seth Munday, all of them singing the song of love,
Through paused tunes. Megan Whitworth, Ceri Clarke,

Barabara, Susan McCallum, each raising voices
As the untethered hearts strive for speech.
This important book almost burns with recovery’s need
And through sadness and yet its fortitude forces
The surrendering soul to still reach.

As in Anon’s, Part of the Pictures:

I feel
Feel part of things
What others do 

All in one order
Look inside yourself
Try and do it without…
Gotta work on it

You will feel its touch through these words anonymous
Angels seek action. For those we lose to Dementia, become
Ghost and guidance as their outer self simmers and their inner
Light finds fresh flame. This warms the hands so quickly cold
Under Covid, making kind of glove from the essence that while

Captured and held stays untamed. Mary Obgoboh has a phone
So that she can ‘spoke to her children,’ As the words go they engender
The electric connect around love. There is resignation and hope
As memory forsakes method. In 90, Anon says ‘it does me some good..’
Not the way it stays in,’ But perhaps in how it is seen from above.

As well as how well experience is played on these pages.
As Lainey says, ‘We’ll Get Through this,’ And maybe we all will
In time. Certainly time has meant less than ever before
For the healthy, and so perhaps those departing, these still
Travelling souls chart our climb. They are teachers it seems

In how to survive and grow close to the souls that first
Formed us and found us first, the Mums, Nans,
The husbands, the wives, the Dads and Grandfathers.
The old and part faded to be handled now by the Nurses
With achild’s kid gloves to calm them and adult poems

That finally understand, Read these words. Live their lives
As they do, too, now in secret. For still somewhere within
There are stories that only they know. Silence spans.
Living With Words in their wake is a call to arms within Covid.
Living with words and without them is the language that God

Truly planned.


                                                                           David Erdos, January 22nd 2021


Links to buy book – 
Or from Canterbury Christ Church University bookshop:
Many thanks, again – and very warmest wishes to you at this present time

Susanna Howard 07967502506                                              

Living Words – Founder, artistic director

pronouns: she/her 

Bringing The Inside Out – The words of people living in, working in, and visiting care homes during the pandemic. OUT NOW. “a legacy for our current times” Alison Steadman 

Living Warriors mental health films featured on BBC 

Single released:

Elder magazine article: Click here

FolkeLife Article:

On the Independent’s Happy List 2019 – ‘celebrating 50 of the most inspirational people whose kindness, ingenuity and bravery have made Britain a better place to live.’


Created Out Of Mind, Wellcome Hub – Team member

Normal? Festival of the Brain, Folkestone – Co-curator

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