Even Hurricanes Make Flowers Grow

By JMA

I was a destroyer
A fickle force of nature
Who strolled through life
Damaging
Every soul I touched
Then you came into me
A storm
You ignited a conflagration
Within me
That catalyzed my transformation
Into the man you see before you
Fire burns
Not to destroy
But to transform
Transmute
Transmogrify
A change in temperament
Tempered by the slick touch
Of the woman who loves me
You have my hurricane
But even hurricanes make flowers grow

War Child

By DM

Inspired by the book War Child by Emmanuel Jal

I am battling for my life
I’ve got one chance to get it right
If I get it wrong, I’ll lose my life
My kids, my freedom, plus my wife
I’m a war child who represents the struggle
The ones on the corner, all they do is hustle
I’m striving for my GED, so when I come home
I get a nice paying job and live stress free
I’m a war child livin’ out of a cell
A child of God who is stuck in hell
Only time will tell
I hope my options won’t fail

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.

Inner Strength

By BH

As a product of his environment,
He could not read nor write,
Designed and programmed for destruction,
Thoughts of suicide haunted him at night.

As a product of his environment.
Incarcerated overnight
Afraid to give up, he decided to fight

Six years later a GED, Paralegal diploma and
An Associate’s Degree in Business Management
He found life.

As a product of his environment
He took flight.

I Got Up

By DC

If you see a man down, do you assume that he fell?
If the burning in his eyes is there, which story does it tell?
If he is on his knees, is this a sign of submission?
Or was he once on his back, and rose to this position?

If you see him dropping his head, staring at the ground
Did he quit? Or is he looking for a new way to get around?
If you see that he is in tears, and he is letting them run
Do you assume that he lost, or that he has won?

Is he giving up or getting up?
Is he content with the notion of slumber
With no real inclination of waking up?
Could you give him a sec, could you wait?
To watch him fall, and then rise to be great?

For his struggle, though long and imperfect
Built him up from nothing
So it was worth it
From laying to sitting, from sitting to kneeling
To now almost standing – his resolve, so willing!

To be standing on his own, is his burning desire
It’s what drives him, like passion filled fires
To put his head up high, and his chest popped out
And not many can say, they know what “getting up” is about