Every so often, I read something that I know will stay with me for a very long time.
From well-loved books I have read and re-visited many times, through well-written magazine articles, right down to blog posts that I have stumbled upon quite by accident while looking for something else – there will thankfully, always be examples of the written word that will leave an indelible mark.
The following extract is one of those; it’s a poem contained within a book of poetry, written by a man from Birkenhead on the Wirral, and one which narrates his life – in verse.
Stephen Wynne was diagnosed as being Bi-Polar, after he suffered a complete breakdown on his 33rd birthday in 1999, which may have been the result of his battle with the drugs he had turned to, following the suicide at age 26, of his younger brother Peter in 1994.
Peter had been taken into care in North Wales as a boy, following the breakdown of his parents marriage, and it was discovered years later that he had been tortured, tormented and physically abused whilst residing at the Bryn Estyn children’s home.
Stephen sadly, also took his own life in 2010 after a courageous battle with his condition, aged just 44.
His book ‘A Migzie Tale’ was published following his death in 2010 by Xlibris in the United States, and although copies are getting increasingly scarce now, a few are still available to purchase online, the proceeds of which – go to his son Callum.
16 February 2000
I’d been doing Peters portrait, finally making a start
Drawing all the detail, in photo state of art
I received a telephone call, from my darling mother
“Have you heard the news?” She added, “It’s about your brother
Go and buy a newspaper, Daily Mirror or Daily Mail
It’s about Bryn Estyn; it’s like the weather as a gale
It tells of all the horrors, with Childrens abuse
And tells why Peter died, and chose to use a noose”
I finished what I was doing, all things made a drop
And hurried down the High Street, to a paper shop.
650 was boldly written, on the heading page
That’s how many were abused, roughly as a gauge
Perverts run the children’s home, where the kids did dwell
Sexually abusing them, making lives a living hell
An investigation started, when Peter made a complaint
With another who’d been abused, and both became a saint
Both went to the police, and started the interviews
When the story surfaced, it was highlighted in the news
I started to read the Mirror, to find out all the fact
And read a certain paragraph, of someone Peter had attacked
He’d spotted him in a pub, then he went straight home
And got a Samurai sword, whilst he was on his own
He broke the sword in half, and put it in his jacket
Returning to the pub, to make an awful racket
As I read the paragraph, I instantly realised
Why Peter had attacked him, which was no surprise
The abuser was abused, which he freely admitted
But was never punished, or even ever committed
Peter then got punished, and of which got sent to jail
For a six-month sentence, sending him off the rail
Peter had struck his face, 3 times with the sword
Slashing open the abuser’s nose, with the anger stored
Bryn Estyn got shut down, when the news had shaken
16 then committed suicide, if I’m not mistaken
With soon getting the answers, of Peter’s suicide
I wish he hadn’t done it, and hadn’t bloody died
I read the Daily Mail next, reading pages of a few
And saw Peter’s picture, not just one but two
There was a story written, why he was in care
With some slight confusion, coz the reporter wasn’t there
I won’t give all the reasons, but he broke my mother’s heart
Making her so very ill, with all the things he used to start
He’d been given 2 options, I remember much of them
One was to change his ways, and to be good again
He chose the other option, which of course was care
It was his own undoing, and why that he was there
He’d been a little tear-away, always in a fight
I always blame the divorce, which had caused the plight
Another thing the story said, he was missing his head-stone
Where he was laid to rest, buried on his own
I had wanted to choose it, but was locked away
And several years had passed, before that I could lay
He’ll never be forgotten, although he is deceased
So my darling Peter, brother Rest In Peace”
(9 November 1967 – 6 January 1994)