I breathe in I breathe out,
I smile.
I breathe in I breathe out,
I smile.
I breathe in I breathe out,
I smile.
Body and mind became 1 and once again
I smile
I open my eyes and I am in a cell
but I feel like I am on a cloud.


  1. Annika on April 12, 2023 at 2:42 PM

    This is such a relaxing poem. In the beginning, you don’t realize that the person is trapped in a cell, because the poem emits such peaceful and calm tone. Once the twist is thrown in, it’s like “oh.” It kind of romanticizes the sense of peace you may feel in prison – which is only so much.

  2. Denise K. on April 12, 2023 at 11:29 PM

    what a powerful clearing of the situation you are in with your meditation and breathing. The repetition in your poem sounds like breathing. I like the Smiles between each breath. Very effective for helping us picture you and to see the peace you are feeling.

  3. Colleen on April 13, 2023 at 11:14 AM

    This is such a wholesome poem. It is great that you became yourself again after most likely losing part of you after going to prison. Your body and mind becoming one is a key part of staying healthy. Losing yourself is easy when a big, life changing event occurs, so good job for putting in the effort to find yourself again; that’s hard.

  4. Hannah on April 15, 2023 at 4:25 PM

    the way that this speaks to me is crazy. every day I struggle with anxiety and depression but the pills and needing to pretend have left me feeling like I do not know how to be normal. it feels like a cell. I love the reputation and the mention of the body and mind. I love how this is so simple yet makes me think about all of the ways people relate to other without even knowing.

  5. Jordyn on April 16, 2023 at 3:01 PM

    This made me feel very relaxed reading it as I focused on my own breathing! I like how you are staying strong and have an empowering mindset.

  6. Jen Lawrence on April 16, 2023 at 3:40 PM

    I think this is a really lovely poem! I would recommend changing the “1” to the spelled out word “one” for the sake of cohesion, but otherwise this is great.

  7. Safwan on April 16, 2023 at 4:22 PM

    Meditation has gotten me through a lot recently. It helps to bring us into the moment and accept where we are, and the benefits of it as well. I love the way you portrayed it in this poem.

  8. Kyra on April 16, 2023 at 6:20 PM


    Your poem stuck out to me because it reminded me of what I do to take my mind to another place. It really is incredible how strong our minds truly are and I love how you encapsulated that in your poem. How liberating it feels to be in control of your thoughts and emotions – and being able to take yourself to a better mentality especially facing the position you are in. Kudos to you and I sincerely hope you will continue writing poetry and strengthening the power of your mind!

  9. Ethan Reyes on April 16, 2023 at 8:03 PM

    I really enjoyed the concept and this poem. I find it to be a more peaceful poem than a doubtful one. I like how when the poem keeps referring to breathing in and breathing out meaning to keep calm and move on. Even though you are in a cell you still find peace of mind which shows a lot of maturity and growth in your character. Your peace of mind is more important than anything in my opinion.

  10. Andrew on April 16, 2023 at 9:20 PM

    This poem evokes a sense of peace and tranquility through the repetition of breathing and smiling. The contrast between the cell’s physical confinement and your mental freedom creates a powerful juxtaposition. Great job!

  11. Paige on April 16, 2023 at 9:39 PM

    Thank you for sharing your poem! I really enjoyed the simplicity and repetition in your poem, as it helps to convey a sense of calmness and tranquility. The repetition of “I breathe in I breathe out, I smile” creates a meditative rhythm that draws the reader into the speaker’s experience of mindfulness.

    I also appreciate the contrast between the speaker’s physical surroundings (a cell) and their internal state of mind (feeling like they are on a cloud). This contrast creates a sense of escape and release from the speaker’s current situation, which adds depth and meaning to the poem.

    Overall, I think your poem is a wonderful reminder of the power of mindfulness and finding moments of peace within ourselves, even in difficult circumstances. Keep writing and exploring your thoughts and feelings through poetry!

  12. Jatan on April 16, 2023 at 10:19 PM

    I found your repetition of “I breathe in I breathe out, I smile” to create a sense of calm, and the contrast between being in a cell and feeling like you’re on a cloud is a nice touch!

  13. Aishwarya on April 16, 2023 at 11:00 PM

    I love the repetitiveness of breathing in and out as it encourages a meditative atmosphere. It also subconsciously gets the reader to not only read the poem but participate in it by following the rhythm of breathing and manifesting the peace the poem conveys.

  14. Melany S on April 17, 2023 at 1:06 PM

    I really like your poem! The repitition on in the beginning works well to solidify what you are trying to express!

  15. Dulce on April 17, 2023 at 2:27 PM

    Hello JS, I love your poem and your thought process behind it. I thought each line was very powerful, as I could really feel your meditation process. The repetition of words help to see how you’re feeling. I find your poem to be relatable. When I have a bad day sometimes I need to take a moment and if that means to fake it to make then that is how it is. I really enjoyed your poem. Stay strong!

  16. Amelia on April 17, 2023 at 8:25 PM

    I love the alliteration of the first few stanzas! It is so great to see how positive your mindset is despite the situation you have been given! You are very creative and definitely have a way with words. You are so talented don’t stop writing!

  17. Nick on April 23, 2023 at 5:41 PM

    This poem was so powerful because it really showed the blissful feeling of a soul and mind being connected. It also showed the way having a positive mindset can get you through adversity. Keep your head up and stay at peace!

  18. rose on April 26, 2023 at 12:49 AM

    I personally feel like this poem could be used as a form of mediation/calming. While reading this poem, I found myself following the words and breathing in, the out, and smiling. Never have I had a poem allow me to physically connect with the words, till now. I appreciate this poem allowing me to take a moment of time to focus on my breathing and smile. Thank you JS for this wonderful poem!

  19. Maxwell on April 26, 2023 at 2:49 PM

    I like this poem a lot because it It Is simple yet it paints a big picture. I like the alliteration you used too.

  20. Hongmei Zhang on May 1, 2023 at 10:07 PM

    I like the simplicity of the poem. Despite the circumstances of being in jail the author uses the mind to create a sense of calm. And i can feel the calm as i read.

  21. Diamond on May 3, 2023 at 1:05 PM

    I really like the way this poem is created. I honestly feel as if I can relate in so many ways just based off the words said.

  22. James Smith on May 4, 2023 at 4:01 PM


    I read your poem “Smile” and was moved by the profound sense of peace and serenity that it conveys. Learning that you wrote this poem while incarcerated adds a new layer of meaning to your words, and I want to commend you for finding solace in the practice of mindfulness and meditation.

    Your poem speaks to the power of the human spirit to overcome even the most challenging circumstances and find inner peace through simple practices like conscious breathing and smiling. The contrast between the image of being on a cloud and the reality of being in a cell is stark, but your ability to find contentment in the midst of it is inspiring.

    Your words remind us that even in the darkest moments, there is always a glimmer of hope and a way to find peace within ourselves. I want to encourage you to keep writing and sharing your words. Your voice is important and can make a difference in the lives of others who may be going through similar challenges.

  23. ajay mahenthiran on May 8, 2023 at 1:56 PM

    I really like this poem as I also feel it is very serene and helps me to feel relaxed. The repetition of I smile is really important in emphasizing this poet’s new look on life. Even though they were incarcerated, they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  24. Bella L on May 9, 2023 at 5:57 PM

    I love the repetition, it really adds to the form and flow of the poem. This poem’s rhythm is what really makes it resonate and it is not only peaceful, but reassuring.

  25. Karen on May 9, 2023 at 6:39 PM

    This was wonderful to read. I found myself following along the meditative rhythm, engaging in the mindfulness breathing. The repetition was very effective. Every cycle of the breathing allows one to feel lighter and lighter, like being “on a cloud”. Simple and short, yet very impacting. This poem can reach any reader, anyone who feels trapped, heavy, or out of control. Through this poem I was able to alleviate some of my stress.

  26. Peter Dang on May 16, 2023 at 5:08 PM

    I realized the wonderful thing in your poem is that you found yourself again after losing part of yourself when you entered prison. I also admire the fact that you were able to integrate your body and mind that helped you maintain good health. When a significant event happens that leaves a negative impact on our life, it’s easy to lose ourselves. However, you managed to rediscover who you are again, which is commendable.

  27. Maírs on May 18, 2023 at 2:45 PM

    I could quickly connect with the poem – and based on the number of comments here, a lot of people did as well! – because I believe that 1. it’s safe to say we have all faced the moments that we need to rely and tell ourselves to breathe (these alone moments are tough to endure, but we smile afterwards, as the poem says, right?) and 2. the repetition of the sentences creates a soothing and real meditation flow.

  28. Betty on June 19, 2023 at 1:44 PM

    This poem is so powerful! I think the concept of it could be applied to many different difficult situations — the idea of breathing, meditating, being present, and mind over matter. That you may not be able to control your circumstances, but you can adjust your perspective. Sometimes when I feel upset and feel like I’m spiraling, I ask myself “Where are my feet?” They’re always right beneath, standing strong. It’s a good reminder that even if I get carried away by some emotion or fear, I’m still grounded.

  29. Nandni on September 29, 2023 at 1:00 AM

    I felt like I was breathing in and out with the narrator of the poem as I read it. The fact that the narrator chooses to smile despite being stuck in an enclosed space shows the resilience and strength the person has. I love that this person chooses to make the best out of a tough situation. The poem is super relaxing and makes one feel calm even in times of distress.

  30. Tim Kuang on October 1, 2023 at 4:25 PM

    I like the longer sentence of “I breathe in, I breathe out” followed with the shorter sentence of “I smile”; it emphasizes the idea of smiles and knowing how it feels to be happy and blissful without any stress. The contrast at the end of the poem with being in a cell surprised me in a good way as it shows how much the subject of the poem is as a deep thinker, craving happiness even in desolate times. It also gives personality to them.

  31. Lilly on October 10, 2023 at 10:23 AM

    Finding peace in such a difficult place and time is a beautiful strength to have. Your patience shows in this poem, it pushes out to the readers and really passes the feeling of patience onto them. Whether it’s meditating, breathing exercises, or zoning out, it is a skill all in its own to be able to calm yourself down when you just want to be free, and want to be heard. Thank you for sharing such raw feelings.

  32. Halie on October 14, 2023 at 2:24 PM

    This poem is so powerful. I love it!! Good Job!!!!

  33. Morgan Schoenenberger on October 15, 2023 at 7:11 PM

    Reading this poem felt like a breath of fresh air and peace after a long day. Much like meditation. It also shows the positivity you are keeping. Continue to stay positive through it all! It is the best thing to do when the days are hard. Taking the time to be mindful of your feelings and letting it out through this poem was a great way to let out feelings.

  34. Choudhry Ahmed on October 22, 2023 at 2:45 PM

    This encourages us to appreciate the beauty of positivity and the warmth that radiates from a heartfelt smile, highlighting the transformative impact of this small, but significant, gesture.

  35. Olivia P. on October 30, 2023 at 11:49 PM

    This poem exudes mindfulness. I love that you are able to be at peace while not being in a peaceful situation. The repetition in this poem gave it a calm and relaxing nature. Thanks for sharing!

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The poets featured here are currently incarcerated, and many of them are in federal prisons far from home. Your feedback is a valuable source of motivation and connection to the outside community. Post your comments, feedback, and encouragement in the space below the poem. Messages will be passed on directly to the author. Comments may not appear immediately on the site, as our team processes them to mail to the poets.