Trapped

By AD

Trapped in this cage,
Am I justified to feel rage?
or should I use this experience as fuel to ignite a blaze,
a scorching inferno burning, turning all the hate to ashes,
where justice applies to all, not just those in the lower classes,
But is it really Justice, where the symbol they use is blind?
The endless cycle of poverty,
Consumerism used as a tool to enslave my mind.
Poverty, just like robbery, it should be labeled as a crime.
Resources stripped from our communities, it strengthens yours,
while it weakens mine. Now you wonder why I’m mad.
Violent tendencies to express my anger, those who should protect me.
I run because in them I sense danger.
I’m still trapped in this cage, but no, it’s not of the physical kind.
It’s your multifaceted master plan – tools you use to enslave my mind.

Spring

By SJ

The sun is moving higher into the sky,
The days are bluer and brighter,
The pigeons are happily in flight,
The rains have been suspended,
and the beetles will soon begin to emerge from their
slumber in the earth.

Not long now,
And we will swelter,
In the blinding “Washington DC” sun,
That hangs like a bare light bulb,
from a wire above us.

The squirrels will take to running,
Crossing the concrete streets,
Searching for victuals.

Our little patch of planet is swinging,
Toward the furnace of “Sol” at a thousand miles per hour,
Soon, very soon its full effect,
Will broil the tops of our heads like eggs frying a pan.

Let us enjoy this in-between time, while we are still able!

New Home

By PA

I finally made it here, as sweat fills my hands.
There’re cuffs on my wrist, ankle & a chain wrapped around
my belly, man.

I look around on the bus, as it pulls through the steel gate.
Most of the guys are anxious & just can’t seem to wait.

Me, I wish the bus would sit right here & never enter,
I began also to think to myself, why did I pull that trigger?

Well it’s too late to think of the past—My only…
choice is to live here & survive like a man.

Whatever that is, I really don’t know.
I’ve heard so many stories on how things could go.

I’m in a bad position as it all sinks in.
But, maybe I can turn this negative into a positive.

I’m 19 with 10 years, here to grow.
If I practice on bad behaviors, it will only make things go slow.

As I stepped off the bus in this, new world of life,
I need to make a decision to carry books or a knife?

They process me in, after they remove all the iron
And my body feels so drained, weary, and tired

Each man got towel, blanket, sheets, and a mattress as well.
And was taken to our New Homes which now was a prison cell.

As I entered my unit I became very aware, for
it seemed every pair of eyes turned to me and stared.

#127 was my cell number, I stepped inside
to make up my bed, for my first night here of slumber.

I laid in bed to free my mind for this mental fight,
which I knew would last the next 10 years of my life.

John My Friend

By DK

Today was a bittersweet occasion,
Helped me for a moment to reduce my constant raging.
John, you are now free…at home…at last,
This past year, gone, it escaped us so fast.
I know you left a truly changed man,
I watched you every day…making your reentry plans.
I already miss you and the jokes that we played,
Hopefully once I’m released, we’ll catch up…one of these days.
We butted heads, and fussed sometimes; I caused you a bit of tribulation,
As you left I heard as you said ‘goodbye & take care’…true jubilation.
When you left me here today, I regret that I left so much unspoken,
You are such a great friend, a mentor, I’m kind of heartbroken.
It’s rare to find a true friend like you in a place like this,
D*mn it John, you’re one friend I will surely miss.
So by the time you read this, you’ll be settled, back on your feet,
And the stigma you’ll face, well it’s something I know you can beat.
You’re highly educated…A Penn State grad,
So many qualities you shared, reminds me of my dad.
So I know I will surely hear from you soon,
As corny as it sounds, I’ll think of you each time I look at the moon.
So John, I love you my dear friend, but please don’t return,
Because this freedom you were granted, is something you definitely earned.

Marco! Polo!

By AC

Life is more like a group thing,
it isn’t really a solo.
I wish I would have known
instead of finding out on my own
that everything is better in company
than going at it alone.

Marco! Polo!
Always looking for something out there.
Missing the small simple things,
or how perfect they were
and how they meant everything

Marco! Polo!…
Just open your eyes,
Wake up to the lights
of all that surrounds you.
Take off from your face
the veil that blinds you.
Appreciate what you have.
It may not all be good,
but it’s not totally bad.
And try to remember:
Keep your eyes on the ball,
and that we tend to forget
that the higher we get,
the harder we fall.

I’m learning all this
as I’m getting old.
Whatever you do,
Hold on tight to your soul.
Marco! Polo!
I found you.