I came from nothing
or so they claim.
But something from nothing
is outrageous.
You need
at least
a lil’ bit
to make
I’m here to stay,
forever I’ll remain
a Free Mind,
Open Heart.
My actions
you won’t dictate.


  1. Anonymous on January 2, 2019 at 2:10 PM

    I enjoyed this immensely and it reminded me of a quote an incarcerated individual once told me. While volunteering in prison one day, someone told me, “Prison doesn’t contain how far I can reach.” No matter the sentence, prison absolutely doesn’t contain how far you can reach. Keep on growing, keep on expanding your mind, and please keep on writing.

  2. Emmylou Tamasco on January 13, 2019 at 2:57 AM

    Thank you for writing this simply yet eloquently. I shall hang it on a wall, to keep myself grounded. Please keep on creating, you made a tiny difference in my day.

  3. EMofe on January 20, 2019 at 4:56 AM

    The poem is nice! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  4. Nadine M on January 20, 2019 at 3:39 PM

    This is awesome! We are all something and there is immense power in declaring our worth. Happy New Year.

  5. Sam Francis on January 22, 2019 at 8:54 AM

    “something from nothing is outrageous”– I love this line. It speaks of two things: you literally can’t grow something from nothing (a crazy impossibility) and it makes me (the reader) wonder what wonderfully outrageous (not crazy but courageous) person you will become.

  6. Emily on January 23, 2019 at 9:41 PM

    I think that this is a really powerful piece with a very strong structure. Especially with the first four lines, the line breaks add so much to the message. In general, the piece has great shape and rhythm. I like how you start strong and then the shape of the poem goes narrow in the middle before coming out on the lines “I’m here to stay” “forever I’ll remain” and “you won’t dictate.” I also think that it is powerful that the two longest lines end in “nothing,” looking purely at the structure of the poem, they stand out and above the other words on the page, whether or not it was intended, seem to illustrate the point that nothing can be something.

  7. eva on February 5, 2019 at 11:24 AM

    The point you made here really resonated with me. Everyone comes from somewhere and I like how you emphasize how you are here to stay.

  8. Adelaide on February 5, 2019 at 11:33 AM

    AMAZING! You put a new spin on an old phrase, showing how destructive it can be to forget your past and all the love and work in your life. I love the line “Free Mind, Open Heart,” showing that no matter where your body is, you still control your own thoughts and feelings. When you used passive voice in the last line, you catch the reader by surprise (in a great way). Stay strong, you’re doing great!

  9. Amanda on February 5, 2019 at 11:39 AM

    This is really expressive and I love how you reference Free Minds in your poem as both a call out to the organization and a representation of the idea of widening one’s horizons

  10. Jonah Thompson on February 5, 2019 at 12:07 PM

    The words have a really great rhythm to them. The way they flow is really nice.

  11. Paige Martin on February 5, 2019 at 12:08 PM

    This is such a beautiful sentiment that no one is nothing.I love the idea that you have to be just a little bit of something.

  12. molly on February 15, 2019 at 11:43 AM

    Thank you for sharing this with us…….powerful messages here…….

  13. OZoFe.Com on April 11, 2020 at 11:26 AM

    The author’s poem is very good, thank you for writing the poem.

  14. Kayelynn on April 15, 2020 at 5:13 PM


    A strong poem with a message we all can learn from. In today’s society, a lot of us become swayed by others’ opinions and let them drag us down. But, your poem is a staunch reminder that we are the definers of ourselves. Thank you for sharing!

  15. IS on April 23, 2020 at 4:12 PM

    TB, thank you for sharing your words with us. While short in length, there is power in your poem and your words. You provide such a light and inspiration to those who may feel as though they are capped or stuck in prison with no ending or no getting better. Truly, no one can dictate you thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Thank you again.

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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.