Journeys of the Mind

A prison poem written at HMP Highpoint and presented for the Koestler Awards in 2016. The theme for the year was “journeys” and I think I wrote it with that in mind. It covers a number of ideas but mainly that you can lock up a person’s body but not his mind.

Journeys of the Mind
Movements through mind’s multiverse
Journeys in the complex plane
Faster than a shooting star
No galaxy for me too far
Where weight or heat can cause no pain
Time travelled in a sombre space
Life future, past or present glanced
My eyes need no reality see
These ears no sounds need hear for me
No loss of life or limb is chanced
Speed of light no limit sets
Images are my mind’s frontier
Beyond control this world of dream
However bleak these bars may seem
My soul transcends all forms of fear
Those thoughts that wander far and wide
Written by no human hand
They are imposed, the good and bad
Though neither makes me glad or sad
Experiences vague but never bland
Times recalled, never quite the same
As when events really came to pass
Mind’s eyes are often blindly blurred
Theatre of the great absurd
Like words in steam written on the glass
So when cell doors are closed at night
My mindful journeys may commence
No barrier can my soul withhold
No voyage for me too brave or bold
No bars, or compound, wire or fence
We struggle our sanity to retain
Though security is the prisoner’s friend
Our journey starts when guilt is found
It continues round the prison ground
Release will be this journey’s end