My mind

My heart was racing.
I was awake in the
middle of the night.

My mind would go off
after some thoughts
like a dog chasing seagulls.
I couldn’t control it.

Stay here!’ I said to my mind.
No!’ I said. ‘Don’t go there.’

It seemed to take it as
So I looked sideways
at it, not directly.

It would run off.
Once it was out of sight
a second or two would pass
and it would return,
subdued, at a walk.

I tried turning my back on it and
heading in the opposite direction,
to see if it would follow.

These experiments were not
getting me to sleep.
Instead I was worried
about splitting my personality.

If I went in this direction
and my mind ran off in that
we could lose sight
of each other entirely.

I rolled over.
Where is it now?’ I asked.
Behind you,’ said a voice.
Now my heart was racing again.

Was the voice my conscience?
It had the same niggardly tone.
It got right under your skin.

I rolled back over quickly.
There it was.
I didn’t want to know
what it had been doing.

I watched it run off.
It’s playing,’ said the voice.

We chased each other
up and down, me
trying not to give in
to tiredness.

Where does it get
its energy from
?’ I asked.

Sometimes the places
it took me were scary.
Sometimes they were

Sometimes I was lying
on my bed still awake,
then, the scenery
began to crinkle.
It went weird.

It became impossible.
I felt like I was staring over
a cliff at sleep far below.

My mind leapt.
I reached out to grab it
before it fell.

I caught it but its weight
pulled me over.
It was like lead.

As I fell I realised
I was asleep and that
I had been, right through
the whole scenario.

I had a choice now: fall
and risk actually dying
when I hit the ground or
wake up.

I wasn’t falling any more.
As if it had heard me
my mind had become light.

It slowed us down
and together we drifted away
from the cliff-face.

We drifted towards a forest,
a sea, and a far off horizon
where a sun was rising.