it's the old story

where the mind longs to go
the body says. . . . . well i don't know
it's a dark way
perhaps dogs have been along there
i don't want to tread in shit
. . . .
the mind is impatient to get going

well into the dark
vision is sending out a kind of light
(not light though
just a new quality of darkness
but whatever) the mind
wants to be there
not stumbling along
with a body shit-scared
but it promised. . . .
anyway be realistic
it can't just push off
leaving a body there
collapsed in a sorry heap
shivering and crying
afraid of anything the dark
might conjure up to devour it
besides before they set out
someone knew this might happen
so they've been handcuffed together
there's no key and no
miracle likely to happen
the mind is stuck with the body's blubberings

i don't know why you had to come in here
back there it's sunny
men are building houses
they're emptying drains
women are pushing babies round the pond

yes yes says the mind but you must
come into the dark to see it all clearly
you have to follow the cave
there's always light or something at the end and
new men are building undreamt-of houses
drains become more real
and you suddenly understand why
the woman is pushing the baby round the pond
outside we sit down and eat biscuits or drink pop
but in here (breathe deeply) in here
we have to put the cave on us like a damp shirt
we breathe in its old sweat we have to
let its life enter us through the ends of our fingers
we have to trust it as it takes us along
o come on o come on you'll come to no harm
if you can't free me accept accept
the vision that remakes the darkness
accept my yearnings towards it
just a few steps
round the corner
keep your head down
crawl for a short way through the low bit
and then
. . . . .

but the body isn't interested
it isn't listening
it's crunched down against a wet wall
tugging the hand manacled to the mind
into its heavy coat pocket
reaching for a packet of crisps

i'm not going so there
i'm cold hungry and i want to go home

and the mind smouldering with hate
gives up
and they both go home

once they get into the light
the body cheers up
and tells jokes
that the mind refuses to laugh at

the pond with the white boats
the excitable children
the sunshine the bright trees
the crimson and gold flower beds of the public park
the young girls with their reachable bodies
on the walk home through the laughing town
the white house the smiling mother
the overall singing of summer
these are the prison bars of the mind
snatched from its longing

and so the vision is never reached