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

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 

Crayons

By JG

I am the color of electricity
Seldom seen, but innately powerful
I am the color of stagnated dreams
Suspended in time, unfulfilled
I am the color of true transformation
The color of self determination
Whatever color self pity is
I’m the opposite
I am the color of jewels
Like that diamond in the rough
I am the color of grace
Moving calmly and unafraid
I am the color of strength
Standing firmly on my square
The color of respect, courage, honor
When affronted by lesser individuals
I am the color of hope
The color of Martin Luther King’s dream
The color of Malcolm X’s resolve
The color of Noble Drew Ali’s fight
I am all colors
I am as colorless as the air we breath
I am the color of Judaism, Christianity and Islam
I am the color Peace

Lost Then Found

By DJ

Lost
I lose myself so often many days my mind go blank
I feel like a person I’m not a lot
My soul is lost and my thoughts are tied in a knot
I’ve been lost since the day I was born and took my first breath
I’ve lost my mind, I’ve wasted time
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