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.

Fertile Concrete

By GL

Lead and fire, erupted out of the stainless . . . steel weapon of humane destruction
Lead and fire has left a heart broken; a napkin soaked in; tears of grief
Which pours out of the crease of 2 eye sockets
Then rolls down the cheeks of a grieving soul
onto the surface of a sleeping man child
Who open his eyes, then show his grandma his dimples and gummy smile
Then he fills his lungs up with air, ball up his little hands, kick his legs
then allow the church to become acquainted with his presence

In a setting which is sad, the young lad, who never had
the luxury of knowing his dad – Grew up to be a college grad
Through correspondence – Through the walls of correctional institutions
Un-consciously volunteered in the destruction of his neighborhood
Because he only knew of no better options . . .
Grew up in a culture of crime
Where money is worshiped and tough guys drop dimes
The world tried to rob him out of his prime
But he primed his mind with knowledge
Now he obtain raw power
I believe that the concrete produced a rose
but all you probably see is a flower.

If

By JMA

If prisons
Lease our liberty

If seas
Rent our shores

If silence
Hustles penny songs

If power
Purchases helplessness

Then into this world
I step renewed

To float unbound
Cocooned in pleasure, in pain

Not yet spent
Comprehend, contained

A desperate paradigm
Unknown, unborn, untainted

If this time
I can love myself enough to live

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