Rod’s Story: Cooking with Love Provides Food for the Soul

Interview by Kelli Taylor

I love cooking! I really do! I enjoy putting the plate together, being creative with it, knowing that somebody I don’t know from a can of paint ‘bout to enjoy this meal I’m putting together. That in itself is just heartwarming. Especially when the rush come and you got a rack of tickets up there and you got your team together and everybody’s on their station and you ready. You’re professional and you’re doing it, takin’ everything seriously, sanitation, your plate presentation, the whole nine! I wanna feed someone else the same way I wanna to be fed. You know?Read More

Balance

By DJ

I’ve been in this world,
for a short time.
Countless tears
wasted on
nothing an’ no ones

Feeling like my
life is over
before it has begun
Yet why is it
that I haven’t given
up the fight
to right my wrongs
and raise my son right

I have travelled the hardest road
been from this penitentiary to
the next
but no one cares
but me
My life means so much more
to me than it use to
I feel like a bird without
a nest
The hopes and dreams that came so
fast can only be a rendition
of my f-ed up past

Drumming Pains

By TO

Listen to the pains of the beating drum
Mental Anguish
Ba.dum.ba.dum.dum
The sounds of a mind taking a beating
Sent to the ghettos, stripped from their kingdom
Bum.Dum.Ba-dum.bum
Its hide screams at every beat that comes
Ba.Dum.Ba.Dum.Dum
Rhythm & Blues; Pain never sounded so good
Embracing our culture, if they only understood
Ba.dum.Ba-dum.bum
Heavy bass on the beat soothes my mind on these streets
Nighttime, my baby went to sleep on my heartbeat
BA.BUM.BA.BUM.BA.BUM
Voluptuous hips rock to the heavy beat of the soul
Synchronized to the sound of its own
Whum-bum.Whum.bum.bum
A powerful nation, the beat of its throne
An unstoppable machine feared cuz they know
Ba.dum.Ba.dum.Bum
That soulful beat passed down for centuries
Voices are heard from lungs never empty – full of life
These drumming pains have history
Ba.dum.Ba-dum.Bum
So next time you hear heavy bass or that bellowing drum
Listen to its spirt; that beat where I come from
Ba.dum.Ba.dum.Bum

Nick’s Story

If you had asked me what I wanted out of life when I was 16, I would have just shrugged my shoulders at you. I wouldn’t have had any answers to questions about my future. I didn’t have dreams. – Nick, age 27

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Untitled

By RTC

To my loving sweetheart, I do admit
Even though we’re apart, my love for you will never quit.
You spark my world with your loving ways,
With pleasure that carries me through for days and days.
I miss you dearly and your pleasing personality,
That is surely pleasing and very special to me.
Truth be told, no matter how old,
Your love is so warm—never cold.
You are the one who won my heart over
Helped me to stay strong and forever sober.
You’ll always be my one and only true love,
As I thank our creator, our God above.
With you I long to be,
For a lifetime—once I’m free.
You’re more important to me than money,
You’re sweeter to me than honey.
With me—in my heart, you’ll always have a place,
For only you can put such a smile on my face.
I hope all is well for you out there,
And know my dear, how much, I-really-do-care.