On Reading AC Grayling’s ‘Mindfields’
Late as it was, I welcomed Grayling’s testimony
To the exquisite complexities of my brain;
These billions of neurons engaging trillions of synapses
In seamless continuity, superfast, no fuss.

The wonder of it is how the nano-physicality
Of this multitude of happenings in my head,
All with space, time, physiological characteristics,
Induce this further miracle of my thoughts.
Thoughts, I should remind you – even mine –
Have neither weight, colour, nor other tangible properties.

Old ‘mind/body’ dichotomies are clearly dead.

So his question was , how do these manifold activities-
Even of such a brain – go on to invoke
The richly coloured magic of my ‘consciousness’ ?
Raise, from such chaos of hidden dreams,
Such sure, external witness to this unique ‘me’?

Stuffed though I am with all this prodigality of brain,
Its writ – he argued –needs run beyond my head.
For what I know, ( as in the concept of this tree)
Requires an inner-brain in touch with outside-worlds.

Ralph Windle, October 2008

Next article

At Greenham Common