Struggling and Dreaming

By T.R.

Da struggle is for the best of us
Dreaming is for the one’s striving to chase success
I come from the mud
Where struggling is all I know
If we ain’t got it, go next door and tell’em,
“My mother said can she borrow this until she goes to the store?”

Now I’m in a jail cell chasing my dreams
(But only dreaming)
Love don’t kill, people do

Struggling and dreaming will have a person rob, steal, kill,
Shoot you, and hurt you for things one strives for
When one’s struggling, it’s a chase to your dreams
Be patient, dreams become a reality
When I endure this so-called struggle of mine
Only the strong survive to overcome these obstacles

To dream and dwell, one must have a sharp mindset
To look or picture their future

Struggling and dreaming is the meaning of life
Dreaming, and struggling is just the way we live
And I will chase my dream from my struggle

Tagged with , , ,


  1. Aims on January 27, 2021 at 9:33 PM

    TR you have expressed raw, brazen emotion and thought in such an honest manner.
    You have educated me and shown me a different perspective how one has had to approach their dreams, their struggles and what has driven our life experiences.
    Keep writing TR. Keep dreaming and be proud of what you have learned and overcome from your struggles.

  2. Osman Jelani on January 28, 2021 at 2:44 PM

    I really like how you emphasized the community aspect. How we could ask our neighbors for things and how sometimes harm can come from those closest to us. Somehow I get that you are still optimistic in believing in your dreams. I can appreciate it. Inspiring.

  3. Tiffany Gilligan on January 29, 2021 at 11:02 PM

    Hi TR,

    This poem is incredibly powerful. I can feel your pain and your yearning for something bigger. The line “to dream and dwell, one must have a powerful mindset” speaks to your character and your grit. You sound like you do have a very strong mindset to be able to accept struggle for what it is without sacrificing hope. I especially love the last stanza. This is beautiful poetry. Please do keep chasing your dreams!

  4. Gisela on January 30, 2021 at 3:32 PM

    Hi TR,
    One can feel your struggle through your poem, how it could make you do bad things because of it. However, it was through your “dreaming” that we can see that you have what it takes pursue your dreams. You know that you have to be patient, to have a sharp mindset and to picture your future to way you want it. I hope you continue to chase your dreams. Well, done. Cheers, Gisela

  5. Samantha on January 30, 2021 at 7:42 PM


    I love your optimism, and how you are continuing to dream despite the obstacles you are facing. I love how in this poem, you have taken on a new perspective on life, and turned to poetry to help you realize that! Please keep writing, I love the positive vibe that you’re giving off in your poetry.



  6. Cameron on February 1, 2021 at 12:59 PM


    Thank you for opening up in your poetry. I really like your idea of the intersection of struggling and dreaming. People are in need of a better life that they dream of, and they struggle because of it. However, you end on a lighter note—that you will try to break the two apart. I believe that you will be successful, and that you will will achieve your dreams. Based on what you alluded to in your poem (the struggles you’ve had to endure) I think you’ll be able to accomplish this. Keep on writing!


  7. AR on February 2, 2021 at 10:45 AM

    I enjoyed reading your poem Struggling and Dreaming. Patients is such an important part of dreams.
    “Struggling and Dreaming” is the meaning of life, is so true. They often go hand in hand. Perseverance, patients and struggles is what makes dreams come true. Thank you for sharing your poem.

  8. Joyce on February 3, 2021 at 3:43 PM

    Dear TR,

    Thank you for being vulnerable and honest. I am inspired by your determination and ability to keep dreaming, despite the struggles you faced. You do a wonderful job of describing the hardships you’ve endured and the background you come from. I wish you all the best and hope you continue to persevere. I believe we all have the ability to change our lives for the better!


  9. Kahliya Zykia Ruffin on February 10, 2021 at 11:02 AM

    Coming from the struggle has taught me to work harder as a person because people will see where I am from and already judge me. So I give my best and learned that code switching is my strongest advantage.

  10. Bria on February 10, 2021 at 11:20 AM

    I love your optimism and how you have separated your dreams from your struggles. Sometimes when you are going through a lot it is very easy to get caught up in your current position/struggle and lose sight of what your dreams are. I have found that using my struggles to motivate me have pushed me closer to reaching my goals and dreams because I always want better for myself and I don’t want to stay stuck in my struggles. It is always easier said than done but a positive mindset can really go a long way.

  11. Maddie on February 17, 2021 at 1:05 PM

    TR – Your sense of strength is powerfully evident throughout this poem, and I think that is really special. I love the way you start the poem off by acknowledging “da struggle” right at the beginning. It is clear you have taken time to process how your struggle has given room for you to dream and how your dreams help motivate you through your struggle. Arriving at that point is often the biggest challenge, and your sense of perseverance is empowering. Keep moving forward!

  12. Ayzhiana Basallo on February 18, 2021 at 7:03 PM

    Wow, your poem was something I have not really read about or even thought of in a way. If you want your dreams to come true you must struggle a bit or maybe even a lot. I am curious to know more of the dream, since being in jail is more of a struggle. Keep being real and get more deeper into your feelings, I want to feel what you feel.

  13. Bhavin C Narotam on February 22, 2021 at 7:57 PM

    Throughout this piece you were vulnerable and exposed yourself, but you pass on your knowledge you learned from your experiences and I really appreciate that. Sometimes the best lessons come through experiences.

  14. Achal on February 23, 2021 at 12:41 PM


    Thank you for sharing this poem with us! I think you make a great point in emphasizing the fact that people will do anything when they are struggling and dreaming and when they truly want something, and it is interesting to think about how far one should be willing to go when they are struggling

  15. Dennis Kang on February 23, 2021 at 9:02 PM

    Hi, Thank you for sharing your poem with me. Also thank you for using your tone and clear ideas to inspire other people. After reading your poem, it has helped me understand that the purpose of my life and we experience a lot of challenges in our life. I hope that you accomplish your dream in the future.

  16. Fabiola Vega Albino on February 24, 2021 at 11:28 PM

    this poem is hopeful and very positive. I love it, I love the metaphors and figures used. Great work and so creative!

  17. Emily Bickel on February 24, 2021 at 11:56 PM

    “Love don’t kill, people do.” Never seen truer words!! The struggle, and the dream, is so real. This is a wonderful poem that needs no correction.

  18. Charese on February 25, 2021 at 2:47 AM

    Your poem is beautifully written, and I love the different perspective you brought and taught through your struggles.
    You have such a way with words that make it not only come to life, but is wholeheartedly felt. Your dreams will come true, and I know for sure that the hustle and struggle will pay off. Keep on writing

  19. Brittani Forman on March 11, 2021 at 4:12 PM

    Dear TR, I love the poem! I love that you still believe in your dreams. Do not stop working and striving for them. It will pay off! Keep writing poems.

  20. Ayzhiana Basallo on March 13, 2021 at 12:08 AM

    Wow, this one was real powerful. I enjoyed reading it and have not thought about this concept in that way. I would like to hear more about the struggle and the dream and maybe even point that out a bit more, or explain to me what those struggles and dreams are really like for you and what you as a person are going to do about them.

  21. Joe Fargo on March 25, 2021 at 10:51 PM

    Dear TR,

    Thank you for sharing this poem. I enjoyed your interchanging of struggle and dreams, and I appreciate the raw emotion you share in this vulnerable moment. I hope you continue writing, and I hope you are doing well.

    Best wishes,
    – Joe

  22. Torie Seagraves on March 29, 2021 at 1:57 PM

    Thank you for showing me your perspective in this situation. This is very enlightening.

  23. maggie on April 1, 2021 at 6:09 PM

    I really enjoyed reading this poem about struggling and dreaming. I think they are important concepts and this poem helps people to realize that they can learn from their struggles

  24. Sawyer S on April 6, 2021 at 3:47 PM

    thank you so much for sharing! the struggle to survive drives people to do things they might have never otherwise considered. you are so strong, I can tell just from this poem, and I hope you keep dreaming. Your dreams are yours to have, and I can’t wait for you to be able to chase them. I hope in the meantime you continue to write!

  25. Edmon on April 18, 2021 at 11:47 PM

    Hi Im a student at Wayne State University and am in a class that aims to engage with the community beyond the university and corporations. I really really enjoyed your poem and found it relatable. As AR above said, I really enjoyed the part of your poem where you said, “Struggling and dreaming is the meaning of life”. If you think about how life works, you struggle and dream to get what you want and it always feels like your trapped or not gonna do what you are dreaming of, such as college. Great poem and good job and good luck on future endeavors.

  26. cm on May 2, 2021 at 6:24 PM

    Hello TR – I am a student in a college English class called Writing and Community, where we use community outreach as a way to connect with those outside of the university setting. I really loved your poem – it was so emotional and I felt like I could feel the passion you put into every line. I think you bring up some very valuable ideas about struggles and dreams, and how the two can either work together or work against each other. I hope you continue to write and express yourself through your poetry, you seem to have both a talent and a passion for writing. I encourage you to keep dreaming and I hope that one day you achieve all you wish for!

  27. Aracelli on May 3, 2021 at 8:41 PM

    Hi T.R., this poem holds a very powerful message. The relation between struggles and dreams is made very clear here, and I like that it ends on a note of optimism. Great work.

  28. Reg on August 16, 2021 at 9:59 AM

    Your words are so powerful as they express a reality very few acknowledge. I particularly liked how you visually set up the poem describing the community you came from— I certainly can relate. You continued to be honest with your words throughout and I appreciate that. I hope you to read more of your work soon.

  29. Divyaa Matta on October 18, 2021 at 10:51 PM

    I love your optimistic note at the end. You are very strong for enduring what you have and I hope you continue to dream on. People can really learn and grow from their struggles and is important for them to do so.

  30. Meghan on November 20, 2021 at 8:24 PM

    Hello T.R,

    My name is Meghan I’m a senior in college and currently taking an English class that aims to engage with the community beyond our university. I was pulled into your poem when I read the line, ‘I come from the mud’. It is powerful sentence! I think it can be interpreted in many ways, which is the beauty of art, specifically poetry! Your words will challenge people to think and reflect on their own lives. It is clear from your words that you’re a resilient person. You will succeed in making your dream a reality. Keep writing, your voice should be heard!


  31. Kora on May 31, 2022 at 5:00 PM

    I really like this poem about struggling while chasing your dreams. It is transparent and such a reality for everyone that has dreams. We all struggle and if there is no struggle, was the dream really that great? We also learn so much through the struggle. They say more comes from the journey than the outcome and your poem emphasizes this.

  32. Oshane on November 29, 2022 at 10:36 AM

    Hi TR,

    Thanks for sharing your struggle with us. Your poem is beautifully written and explains how you have come from a rough upbringing and faced poverty. You explain how you didnt have much except a dream to overcome your situation. I empathize with you as I understand that when one grows up less fortunate than others and is not able to meet their basic needs its easy for them to go into survival mode and do what they deem as necessary in order to stay afloat.

    I like that you end the poem on the the note that : And I will chase my dream from my struggle.

    I ask that you continue to chase your dreams and stay positive. Channel your struggle and pain to be your fuel to do well in life.

  33. Oshane on December 15, 2022 at 3:50 PM

    Hi TR,

    Struggling and dreaming are two powerful words. I like that you used those words in your poem to help us to realize that struggle is never easy . I too come from the “mud” growing up less fortunate than others but i also had a dream of becoming better no matter what situation was thrown my way. This is an inspiring piece as it encourages others to remember to keep dreaming . whenever we lose our visions then we find life not worth living for.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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.