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.

Incarceration

By DJ

Could have, would have, should have been on the streets, on my feet
Looking out my cell window like damn, I’m so far from a street
Staring at the wall like this isn’t where I should be
In the visitation room just looking at my beautiful niece
When I call home just talking and thinking like that’s where I should be
When they call my name at mail call, you should see the smile on my face, just the happiest as I could be
Under the jail if I die in prison I know that is where they’ll bury me
When pencil meets paper, my hand lets out the real me
When I read, I travel to every place but Southeast

For the Birds…

By DC

They say prison is for the birds you know,
But I think those who say it just don’t understand…
Because the other day I was in my window,
When I just happen to see one land…

And I saw the look in its eyes, when it observed the scene,
And when it noticed where it was at…
It noticed the place was over crowded with people,
Some White, some Mexican, Some Black …

It saw how they all was separated in sections,
It guess it was because of their color…
It wonder, shouldn’t they be standing against the system,
But they chose to stand against each other…

It saw the food the people ate was at the bottom of the barrel,
To the point, it rather keep eating worms…
It never seen a place so filthy,
And they say it’s the one with germs…

It watched all the looks on the people’s faces,
Some showing depression, anger, and it can understand,
Because a place like this got to be built only to break the strongest man…

But they say prison is for the birds you know,
Well, I find it hard to say…
Because if prison is built for the birds like they thought,
Then why can it fly away?