If I Knew Then…


If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have been involved in a life of crime. The fast money I made when I was a teen wound up being very, very slow money at the end, because the wages you make in jail are slave wages.  Read More

Inside a World


I live inside a world full of lies and deception
Where money is an obsession
And I’m judged by my complexion
Please understand that this isn’t a philosophy
But this is me expressing my feelings by thinking logically
I’m from a race that suffers from poverty
Low class black folks unfit for the American society
I live inside a world where I am guilty until proven innocent
Modern day slavery, my place of imprisonment Read More

Livin’ in a World


Livin’ in a world
Where if you snitch you hot

Livin’ in a world
Where dope dealers on the block

Livin’ in a world
Where the youngins totin’ glocks

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I Come From

 By Gary
 Free Minds Poet Ambassador

 I come from a struggle
Welfare mother on drugs
And a dog eat dog world
Where they say only the strong survive
And you watch the murder of friends
Through your innocent eyes
I come from where the devil is strong
And God is weak
And the only time you pray
Is for something to eat
I come from a society of its own
But where I’m going is a different spiritual zone
Where I can sit and write at Sandy Spring lake
And not have to worry who is creeping behind the gate
I’m going to where God is pushed first
And the devil is so shallow
And temptation is so hollow
And my new friends so positive I’m not afraid to follow
Where I’m going is someplace positive
You might want to go

This poem was written on the recent Free Minds retreat to Sandy Spring Friends School, after walking in silence through a former stretch of the Underground Railroad. 


Da Struggle


 Kids starving, momma nodding and pops foreign
These are the broken homes that most of us were born in
No food, no heat, and no water
This here is poverty, where life expectancy is much shorter

No shoes, holey clothes, and runny noses
In a place where praying is unheard of and who is Moses?
Prostitutes, drug dealers and cold killers
Doing errands for them so I could eat is all I remember

Birthdays was the worst days
We had to steal out of stores when we was thirsty
They say that there ain’t no love for the wicked
But don’t judge us, life chose us—we didn’t pick it

Surrounded by steel gates, none of them pickets
It’s like we were raised for jail, I don’t get it
Kids getting used, molested, and abused
Wearing long sleeves to school to hide the bruise

“M.O.B.,” a lot of dudes say; they live by the rules
And the young girls think it’s cute, but they are so confused
But I love where I’m from—don’t get it misconstrued
Even back when my lil bro was crying from hunger
And I ain’t know what to do

A couple of years later and it still draws emotions from you
And it’s still taking our young men to jail by the bundles
I’m a proud survivor of our world that we call the jungle
And even when I get old and rich, I’ll always remember “da struggle”