Freedom of Movement

A poem written around the end of 2015 at HMP Highpoint. It reflects upon punishment through spatial confinement, whereby we limit a prisoner’s ability to move whether by being locked in a cell with little room and mlimited visibilty or enclosed within a fenced compound. There will be those who feel that being in prison is not sufficient punishment for those who transgress the laws of society (possibly those in positions of power within our current government) but their ignorance is no excuse for their vengeful attitude!

Freedom of Movement


Clouds caress the cold, clear sky

Ten months have passed, the eleventh nigh

Man manipulates the daylight hours

Colours changing, fading flowers


Little seen through windows barred

Seasons sensed in the prison yard

Their vision might truncated be

But more acute than men called ‘free’


Vapour trails tell travel’s tale

Streaks of white seek holiday grail

Remnants of a foreign flight

Reminders of the prisoners’ plight


Man has fought for freedom found

Free to travel at speed of sound

Free to leave his place of birth

Free to roam around the earth


Wherever he chooses to work or play

Whichever time zone rules his day

Travel is now a human right

Limited just by speed of light


Mighty mowers’ movements sound

Where the gardeners dig the ground

Feet that pound around and round

Confined inside the closed compound


Stationary is a relative state

A kilometre squared may seal the fate

Of men that live behind the fence

The prison yard their recompense


As they return from exercise

Streaks of red light up the skies

Portents of bold and brighter days

Intense these tints between the greys


Travel implies a state of change

Of prisoners’ control, beyond the range

Inertia is on them imposed

Confinement and movement are opposed


Those outside that criticise

Need only look up at the skies

To imagine how it is to be

Almost totally movement free