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’m Thankful

By B.

I’m thankful for the first time I felt pain
because I’ve learned that something in life
is not a game.
I thank God for the first time I experienced
the loss of a friend’s life
it taught me life is precious and if you don’t respect it,
it might be your last night.
I thank God for the time in lock-down for 23-1,*
because even in darkness
I was awakened by the morning sun.
I’m thankful that I’ve been separated from woman,
God’s most precious treasured molded in gold.
Their beauty is so incomprehensive
and complete, man’s soul.
I thank God for allowing my friends
to testify against me on the stand;
at that moment I knew he was all I had
and my faith should never be put in man.
Some day and night through Karma
the things you see in the dark comes to light.
So I’m thankful most for seeing things
not just black and white,
but in 360 degrees a complete circle of life.
Life is moment of impact that causes ripples in the sea
the things we go through is a reflection
And not our true destiny.
So don’t be weary of what you go through
in the valley of death
but be proud of the reflection
in the mirror of the man that’s left.

 

*23-1 refers to being in a cell for 23 hours a day, with only 1 hour outside.

Free Your Mind

By LC

Free your time so I can Free your mind
They traded auction blocks for courtrooms
Free your time so I can Free your mind
So now the bullpen holding more brothers than it’s supposed to

Free your time so I can Free your mind
Looks to me like slavery is still well and alive
Free your time so I can Free your mind
The prison industrial complex is extracting millions from our communities

Free your time so I can Free your mind
The only way to fight this is with education and unity
Free your time so I can Free your mind

He who possesses the Philosopher’s stone possesses the Truth
Free your time so I can Free your mind
And you can look within and find that truth in you
Free Minds transcend time

The Difference Between Dr. King And Me

By SH

I don’t believe this is the dream Dr. King had for me
Somewhere along the timeline, my decisions rewrote history
My choices had voices
Those senseless noises shoulda been avoided

But here’s the difference…
When King was taking a stand and marchin’ for a cause
I was taking a fall and wasn’t marchin’ at all
Couldn’t cover the distance of 3 days and 54 miles, in search of a vision
That the march on Selma, for those who didn’t get it

King stood for peace
While I stood for the streets, which lead me to a place I no longer wanna be
His life brought us Civil Rights
And I sold my freedom to time
Those decades are now deceased and laid to rest in my mind

King will forever be a legend
While my reputation seems like it’s not worth remembering
When my baby momma showed a picture to my child and asked
“Do you remember him?”
I was a strange face to them

King sold a belief that lifted more lives than I put down on concrete
He moved a nation
I moved to any cell that was vacant
King was an activist, a philanthropist
I was on the active list of warrants that only a felon can get

We both had mug shot faces with a rap sheet
King’s rap sheet bled through with integrity
When he was assassinated on a balcony
My rap sheet bleeds ink, when you read about the worst in me
That a character suicide cause I made up my mind
That I was gonna do or die and that frame of mind
Will never lead me to a Nobel Peace Prize

King’s leadership paved a way with the potential to be great
My leadership dug graves, where I laid my potential to waste
He prayed for better days
I prayed for a better way when it all seemed grey

While King was trying to reconstruct a nation and bring an end to segregation
I’m in the pen politickin’, ready to ride on other races and bring an end to segregation
Situation into a permanent placement
He tried to educate us
I wasn’t trying to be educated enough

King was dream chasin’ and I was chasin’ a buck
That’s penniless sense that no longer adds up

Now here’s the big difference between King and me
I’m living this nightmare and King died for the dream

I think it’s time to wake up and make the change and redirect the course of things

My Cell

By DH

It’s in my blood, the trait of the drug
Sickled wit love for a cause that causes y’all laws
To disease young souljas 
I’m trapped in this nightmare and praying for closure
But then I see nightfall 
Then my environment slowly breathes quiet 
And dark thoughts in my mind coldly creep quiet
I’m replaying the scenes that generations have seen
A past unshorn, while my father’s genes
Fit his boy like compression
Oppression of my bloodline before the Great Depression
My blood cells got invaded by their cancers 
Genetically I’m strapped though, like Baking Soda’s Arm & Hammer
This virus…which provokes mental breakdown 
But rules been that if you get down you stay down 
That’s why I got up with the sunrise 
And pretty soon I’ll be walking across the gun line 
The gun line boss…you tried to lock me in that cell for life
It’s in my blood and my cells gon’ fight 
The hell in my cell