While Doing Time


A Kyrielle poem

While doing time, I found Free Minds
While doing time, I see I shine
While doing time, I learned to write
While doing time, my poems got tight

While doing time, I think outside
While doing time, I’m still inside
While doing time, I learned a lot
While doing time, we’re fed through slots

While doing time, became a man
While doing time, jail I can’t stand
While doing time, I met people
While doing time, I am see through

While doing time, I’m out of sight
While doing time, I have to fight
While doing time, only I see
While doing time, my mind is free!


  1. Cameron on January 4, 2021 at 11:03 AM


    I love the repetition in this poem, it makes the entire poem flow really nicely. I like how you includes some positives, like finding Free Minds and learning to write, but you aren’t afraid to expose the negatives, like having to fight and being inside. The two opposites parallel each other well.


  2. Joyce on January 5, 2021 at 3:30 PM

    Dear PM,

    This is a cool poem! The repetition and rhyming gives it a nice rhythm. I really love how you begin by referencing Free Minds and end by saying your mind is free, that’s really artistic. This poem is relatively short and simple but you get across so many deep messages and experiences, thank you for sharing and for being vulnerable. You contrast thinking about the outside with still being inside, this is really powerful. Thought you are in jail, you say your mind is free. This is very hopeful. We can tell that you’ve been in tough conditions, being fed through slots, but you are learning and growing as a person. This is a really inspirational message. I’m glad that Free Minds has been so impactful for you. Keep on writing!


  3. sarah on January 6, 2021 at 2:28 PM


    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. The repetition of “while doing time” seems to emphasize the repetitive and monotonous routines you may be going through. However, you contrast these conditions and a physical confinement with the mental, intellectual, and internal freedom you are still able to feel. I especially love the line “while doing time, I think outside.” This really challenged me and made me question how I have possibly been putting boundaries on the way I think and whether I’m taking advantage of the freedom of thought and consciousness. Your experiences have given me a lot to think about, which is amazing since this is written from a completely different perspective than my own. I think everyone needs to be reminded that our minds are free, no matter what anyone else tries to tell us or make us do. Your words definitely “shine” and are “tight,”and I hope to hear more poetry from you soon!


  4. Lamia on January 6, 2021 at 3:45 PM

    First, I hope that you are doing well mentally. I find that a lot of people don’t take the time to ask one another how they are doing mentally and just assume everything is fine. I love the repetition in your poem. I also loved how you used very simple phrases that were still very meaningful.

    A line that I really liked was “While doing time, I think outside.” This line shows that you will not allow your mind to be limited by where you are physically. It also moved me to tell you that incarceration should never define who you are as a person. So many times those that are released from prison are not able to truly get back into society, because the people of the community are so judgmental. I hope that you always keep a positive mindset, and know that your life is still one of purpose and value.

  5. Kenzie on January 7, 2021 at 2:59 PM

    This is such a powerful poem, I absolutely love it. You do an excellent job of portraying emotion and sending a strong message. I also like how you chose to alternate the rhyme scheme with the second and fourth stanzas following an AABB pattern. The repetition of “while doing time” is interesting and really reinforces the key idea that a lot happens while people are incarcerated and shows how much people can grow and change.

  6. Joseph on January 7, 2021 at 4:07 PM

    Hi PM,

    Thank you for sharing this poem! It brought me a sense of all of the different parts of your experience that add up to this poem. I liked reading about the joy of writing and the freedom it brings and the growth you’ve experienced as well as the challenges. Although each line began with the same refrain, the endings of each line reflected a lot of variety and illuminated how writing helps us through tough times. Thank you for writing this inspiring poem — I hope you continue to write & share more.


    • Allison on January 15, 2021 at 5:07 PM

      Hi PG,
      This poem is awesome I love the repetition and it is great that you are sharing your experience with us. I am very glad that you are able to share your emotions through poetry. A phrase that I like in this poem is “ While doing time, I’m out of sight While doing time, I have to fight
      While doing time, only I see While doing time, my mind is free!”. This part of the poem is so touching. I like how you’re expressing yourself and showing how strong you are.

  7. Gabrielle Cascio on January 10, 2021 at 8:36 PM

    Dear PM,

    Thank you for sharing these powerful words. During my first read of the poem, I was immediately struck by your fourth line in the third stanza: “While doing time, I am see through.” Even though we have not met before, this line makes me feel as though you are providing a window into yourself and your experience. Each time I read the poem, I discovered something new to cherish and enjoy. I really enjoyed reading your work and hope to read more in the future!


  8. Johnny on January 18, 2021 at 9:49 AM

    PM, I enjoyed your poem in the Kyrielle style. I hope that you continue to write poetry and continue to build your skill/craft. Have you ever tried to write a Diamante poem? Here is some information I got from shadowpoetry.com on how to do so…

    A Diamante is a seven-lined contrast poem set up in a diamond shape. The first line begins with a noun/subject, and second line contains two adjectives that describe the beginning noun. The third line contains three words ending in -ing relating to the noun/subject. The fourth line contains two words that describe the noun/subject and two that describe the closing synonym/antonym. If using an antonym for the ending, this is where the shift should occur. In the fifth line are three more -ing words describing the ending antonym/synonym, and the sixth are two more adjectives describing the ending antonym/synonym. The last line ends with the first noun’s antonym or synonym.
    To make it a bit simpler, here is a diagram.
    Line 1: Noun or subject
    Line 2: Two Adjectives describing the first noun/subject
    Line 3: Three -ing words describing the first noun/subject
    Line 4: Four words: two about the first noun/subject, two about the antonym/synonym
    Line 5: Three -ing words about the antonym/synonym
    Line 6: Two adjectives describing the antonym/synonym
    Line 7: Antonym/synonym for the subject

    humid, damp
    refreshing, dripping, splattering
    wet, slippery, cold, slushy
    sliding, melting, freezing
    frigid, icy
    Copyright © 2000 Marie Summers

    So basically PM, when you finish it should resemble the shape of a diamond. I hope you give it a try. I wish you the best and I hope that you keep writing. God bless you.


  9. Jordan on January 18, 2021 at 10:09 AM

    Hi PM,

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem! I really enjoyed the repetition in your poem, and the way that it places emphasis on your growth and your feelings. My favorite line is “when doing time, I am see through.” I think that can have multiple meanings, but that fact that you were willing to share your thoughts and words in this poem shows vulnerability. That line truly encompasses the meaning of your poem. Keep up the great work and I hope you continue to share your wonderful poems!

  10. Rachel Hamilton on January 18, 2021 at 11:32 AM

    Dear PM,
    Great poem! I really loved how you made your poem rhyme for almost every stanza. When poems rhyme it makes them more interesting to read. I could feel your story through your writing which makes the poem even better and more real. Each stanzas provided an amazing look into your life and it really showed your grow through your experience. Keep writing and keep inspiring others. Best to you!


  11. Riti Kalra on January 18, 2021 at 6:53 PM

    I really like how you made this poem about reflection because it made it all the more powerful and personal. It really represents how you evolved and grew from this experience from beginning to write to becoming a man and the hardships that you faced as well. You write from your heart and I really appreciate that.

  12. Shariah on January 18, 2021 at 8:46 PM


    The rhythm and tone of this poem is awesome. I actually felt your passion through your words. I love how you mentioned, “While doing time, I see I shine.” You realize your worth, and continue to express that you have grown spiritually and mentally. This poem is extremely inspirational. I am looking forward to reading more of your poems. God bless you:)


  13. Samantha on January 19, 2021 at 7:09 PM


    This poem makes me very happy! I am so, so glad that you have found Free Minds, and the art form of poetry! I loved how you were able to relay the positives and negatives of serving time, and I am excited for you as you continue on your poetry journey! Keep your head up, it gets better!



  14. Bridget on January 21, 2021 at 2:27 PM

    Hi PM,

    I really like your poem. The repetition is awesome and drew me right in. The rhyme is awesome and adds another dimension. The whole thing flows so well. I love how you included both positive and negative things in this poem. It paints an insightful look into your life and mindset. I would love to read more of your poems!

  15. Vianca on January 26, 2021 at 3:14 PM

    I enjoyed this poem immensely. I thought that the artistry in this poem flowed so well. Although it is short, it tells a story. What I liked about this poem is that it is powerful. It shows that while the author is doing time, they are doing a lot of thinking. Their bodies may be locked up, but their minds are free to think what they want. I think that this shows what a person really feels like while they are in the system. People may only see them from a judgemental point of view yet these people are capable of so much more. They are able to take their experiences and emotions and put them into a story.
    I think what the author did here was represent what Free Minds Club is. An outlet to express emotions through artistry while they are not able to on the outside. I think that it is important to understand that for these people, this is their only way of expressing themselves and showing who they really are rather than what the system says they are.

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