A poem written around February 2016 at HMP Highpoint South during some natural disaster which reduced staff availability and left us unable to work. It talks about the weather and how little difference it makes to the prisoner. Some cells can be freezing cold in winter and ridiculously hot in summer, but that’s just part of the everyday torture. The fact is that, if one is locked up, weather forecasting is of less consequence than for the free man and there is less point in discussing the weather to pass time or show friendship as one might do outside.


As I languish here, the winter wind wails

Little difference felt if it rains or hails

Let rivers run from these sullen skies

Nothing much will be sensed before sunrise

For I’ll sleep six hours, almost come what may

Then I’ll awake to waste another day

No weather makes me glad or sad

I suppose lack of liberty is not as bad

As loss of limb or life or mind

When locked away one must freedom find

In that which exists on other planes

Where force of thought one’s soul sustains

Those outside discuss weather’s facts

The state of the roads and nature’s acts

That disturb their peace, disrupt their lives

Not seeing that their existence thrives

On what they touch, see, smell or hear

Whatever their senses may bring them near

They may talk with angst of ice and flood

Of homes submerged in sliding mud

But how pleasant for me the chance would be

To work amongst those that set others free

Lending a hand to the world outside

Where one’s contribution could not be denied

Of course, it’s pleasing to see the sun

Its warmth and light please everyone

But solar effects will limited be

By compound fence proximity

And the little time spent in open air

Hardly reflects a golden glare

Even the cold that grips the skin

Is not fully felt through these walls, though thin

That feeling of freshness on the cheek

So sorely missed by those who seek

Solace through ‘outside exercise’

However paltry it’s a prisoner’s prize

So forecasters, forecast whatever you feel

To me the weather is not what’s real

Here reality is a wall and fence

All talk of climate makes little sense

Discussions of weather may pass the time

But they cannot change the length of mine