Changing Thoughts

By DK

As I sit here tired, alone, but peaceful in my cage
It gives me time to reflect and to let go of the rage.
I see so many guys, different races, different colors,
Makes you wonder why we all messed up, leaving behind our children, lovers and mothers.
What were we thinking while committing our crimes?
Look, it’s left me here…trying to write you this rhyme.
I’m so sorry I left you, so scared and alone,
I’m so sorry I left you in a fatherless home.
I sit here and reflect on all the things that I did,
And how I, not anyone else, caused me a 25 year bid…
So I give you the promise of a much better man,
‘Cause in 12 more years I’ll be armed with a real plan.
I’ll always be there for you in a time of need,
I’m starting now to plant the positive seeds.
Seeds that will flourish into a beautiful flower,
Giving me the strength and knowledge to help empower.
Just because I made mistakes, and lost my way,
Doesn’t mean because you’re my daughters, you’re destined the same way.
So keep your heads high, be proud, and strong…
Daddy will be home; it seems like forever, but it’s really not that long.

War Child

By NH

Inspired by the book War Child by Emmanuel Jal

Oh War Child,
look at what you have become
Oppressed by a system that forced you to become wild
In the merge of guns and a mind that has no conscious
you have become a war child
Seeing blood flow from out the flesh of another has no case in your file
it’s just another memory that been shot
Pow!!!!

Oh War Child
Yes, you, African boy
You’ve been dredged from the hands of your sweet mother
and now look at you
angry by the fault of your circumstances
so you have no care in this world because you feel that you are on your own
but you are not alone.
Yes I feel the pain that trickles my soul
the war that replays in my mind is long lasting it never seem to get old.
Watching the bloodbath of my brothers drown them to death has triggered me
to become cold.

Oh War Child
look at what I have become
guns was my expression of the g code
and the fault of me being away from my sweet mother
has put me in depression of the survivor mode
Frustration has ruled my thoughts
all my effort to find a way out had seem to led to naught
There was no place for freedom
I was caught up in the system of oppression but

Oh War Child
you are not alone
I too am looking to find a way out

A Father’s Long Walk with Reality

By SH

Smacked by an enormous impact of shame
Brain drained from searching unchartered memories
Those times that will never be sitting in the depths of me
Consumed by my own cocoon
Burdened by my unfit deeds
Those responsibilities that I failed to meet
Makes it hard to face the mirror’s reflection,
That’s suggesting I tie up the loose ends
Begin again like those yesteryears never happened
Yet, I’m still haunted by my actions and my nightmares
Leave me drenched in my children’s tears
This distance can’t comfort confused fear
Or change how they truly feel
The wonderment hurts like self-imposed punishment
While my children shoulder the blame and their mothers
Picked up the weight of my mistakes
Left feeling like a lamebrain trying to explain away the pain
Painting a paradox of how life is give and take
That wrong and right are the two roads of reality
But my love wasn’t enough to keep me home and they’re feeling
Like they did something wrong
Cause I wasn’t there when they needed me the most
Never seen them learn, never watched them grow
My presence holds the essence of a ghost
And my name is all they’ve ever known
Since infant to full grown
I was just a figment of their imagination and they easily erased it
Replaced it–with their own image of a glorified hero
Making him better than me–smarter than me
More swag than I had
With more virtue than can fill a paper bag
And I’m cool with that as long as they don’t
Follow in my footsteps
Wishing that one day all this will make sense
A father’s long walk with reality

I Am Thankful For

By K.

I am thankful for music

As this is the calming I need each day

I am thankful for literature

As it provides a temporary escape from reality

I am thankful for my health

As I am better able to help those around me

I am thankful for my friends

As they help me keep life in perspective

I am thankful for my education and wisdom

As I am better prepared for life’s daily struggles

I am thankful for my godmother

As she has shown me true unconditional love

Most of all I am thankful for God Almighty

As He has given me the capacity to forgive and love

What are you thankful for?

Sometimes I Cry

By DJ

I told a million lies now it’s time to tell a single truth
Sometimes I cry!
It’s hard dealing with my pride not knowing whether to fight or flee
Sometimes I cry
Hard to maintain this image of a tough guy
When deep down inside I am terrified!
If I ever told you I wasn’t scared I lied
Struggling to make it back to society and my family
I cry
I cry for my son who I barely see
Due to these mountains
And me and his mom’s beef
I cry for my siblings who never knew their older brother
Because he stayed in the streets
I cry for my grandma who is now deceased
I cry for my life, half of which they took for me
I cry for my anger and rage the only emotions I can show in this place
I cry for how we treat each other inside these walls
I cry for the lack of unity we have most of all!
When will it end I want to know
Till then all I can do is let these tears flow…