About the Poetry Blog

The poets featured on this page 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. These 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.

Click on the poem title to open it up, and then post your comments, feedback, and encouragement in the space below the poem.

Come Let Us Build A New World Together


Can you see me kneeling and praying?
Thank GOD we’ve come a long way from,
the segregated swimming pools,
From mapping out plans to continue,
Freedom Rides,
In a Nation whose people are Free.
Free to perform “choice”,
Free to attend “action”,
Free to refuse “hate”,
Free to be free from…
Racial Terrorism.
Can you see me kneeling and praying?
What horrors await us I ponder,
For living up to our American Creed.
“We hold these truths as self-evident…”
Equality complicates Democracy, how exactly?
Whether it’s:
Race equality
Job equality
Housing equality
Judicial equality
Voter equality
Gender equality
Publish a definitive study on Equality,
Complicating Democracy … if you can.
“Ignorance has produced Racist Ideas,
Racist Ideas had produced Racist Policies”
An American Dilemma revisited.
with the intent to rebuild:
“Equality produced common-sense ideas,
Common-sense ideas had produced common sense policies.”
Can you see me kneeling and praying?
Asking God can He,
Let us
New World

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If I Were Free


If I were free, I would cherish
every breath I breathe.

If I were free, I would cherish
every hug, and every kiss for everyday that I missed.

If I were free, I would show the world
my presence is love, for I am blessed from above.

If I were free, I would prove people can change.
And we shouldn’t be punished forever for things we did at a young age.

If I were free, I would cherish every moment
outside of this cage,
If I were free…

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I Cry


I cry for love that’s never ending
An ear that listens and a heart that’s forgiving
To hear my cry deep down in the trenches
Must be special or heaven sent
To hear my cry and response with open arms
Must be connected like a mother with her newborn
Now that’s love and that’s why I cry.
To experience that love I would lay down my life
I cry I cry
I cry in silence I’m too worn out
Emotionally drained so I tend to lash out
I cry for comfort and a little support
Love is blind and it can open up doors
Replenish the soul and build up courage
Give meaning to life and give a purpose
I cry.

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Baby girl so tiny in my hands
I know your smile even today
I apologize for hurting you,
if those thoughts should come,
I never meant to be away long

You’d scootch your way up the stairs
all confidence and fearless
then jump into my arms
from the coffee table
full of trust and love

The baby I knew is a mother now
her husband looks like a good man
I worried you would struggle
but you have shown me
the past made way for a wonderful future

If you had the mind I have these questions
all about your life
What’s your favorite color?
Were you good in school?
Did you become what you wanted to be when you grew up?

There are lessons I hoped to teach you
I pray that you have learned
to love unafraid
to carry the truth
to be the soul of perseverance

So much is lost in the silences we share
I would reach you if I knew the way
I may not know the woman you are
but I know the soul of you and
I never doubted you would Rise

I don’t deserve your forgiveness
rather I offer mine own to you
if you ever had hurt feelings
and blamed it all on me
I understand and it’s okay

Yet something tells me you never
let the knowledge of life pass astray
and though you may not know me
you know the soul in me is
half of the soul in you

My baby girl I love you
as best as anything I can
I always hope the best for all you do
I pray each night for your peace
my Jacqueline

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Beyond These Walls


Beyond these walls is a path that leads
to contentment, when put in the right environment,

Beyond these walls is the joys of pleasure
that can last forever,

Beyond these walls is the freedom to roam
without being controlled by others,

Beyond these walls is peace when you have
let go of the past and now you live amongst
the free,

Beyond these walls is justice when you walk
in the path of the righteous against injustice,

Beyond these wall is where the stars shine
bright and the flowers bloom with beauty,

Beyond these walls is Love, happiness, and
glory when you finally get the chance to
share your story.

Beyond these walls is a future that I seek,

Beyond these walls is freedom to me…

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Real Life


What is your part in this life?
The role you’re pretending to play!
Before you realize that, out of sight, you’re a memory.
that begins to fade.
Life is all but a twinkle of
An eye like love, hate, joy, and pain.
Seems like we’re tied to time,
even memories replay and change.
That’s when the crashing tides remind me,
nothing stays the same.
Where we pick our favorite moment
as they sway life’s memory game.
Learn to love who loves you,
not the ones who you persuade.
Realize everyone ain’t loyal and life is (Real), future elates.
I can’t even believe, close my eyes and dream.

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I Color the Moon


I color the moon in bright colors.
I use millions of delightful and colorful flowers to color the moon:
Deep maroon with purple tropical orchids;
Sunflowers with extended yellow streaks; roses with white petals and crimson blemishes.
I send them to the moon tied to helium balloons that take about a journey of a month to arrive.
The balloons travel to the moon zigzagging.
In the first month, I see specks of colors on the moon.
After a couple of months, I noticed concentrated colors.
And after 3 months of continuous effort, the moon starts looking lovely with a multitude of radiant colors.
A pleasing floral scent from the flowers sweeps through the air.
Mass of hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies in jubilance travel to the embellished moon.
At night, I go up to the peak of soaring skyscraper to observe the spectacular moon covered in vivid colors.

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Untitled (Caged Bird)


Caged bird…Caged bird,
Why do you STILL sing?
Seemingly… Wings clipped,
Does that make the melody that you sing all the more sweeter?
Loneliness as your constant companion,
Do you sing your want… Your dreams of the winds updrafts, the Sun, the Sky, and the Clouds at your back, with your Heart beating strongly…
Does your overtures remember the rhyme of being free?
Soaring on Forgotten Wings,
Wings clipped…. seemingly,
Perched in a Gilded Cage,
I ask….
Caged bird…..Caged bird…..
Why do you STILL sing?
(Is the tune that you sing for me….
or is it the one that I have always heard deep within me?)

Note: I had the great MAYA ANGELOU in mind when I wrote this.

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The Lighthouse


On a ship named ‘The Purpose’, I’m lost at sea
The waters too rough to stay the course
Merciless waves crash with great force
Thrown overboard I look to be

I raise the sails, but there is no wind
A flare I’d send, then who will see it?
These very waters have drowned every friend
Its undercurrent is undefeated

No NorthStar to follow, I navigate blind
The moral compass I have has me lost in my mind
My only thoughts of tomorrow is me floating they’ll find
A tear fell for my life-raft as I watched it unbind

Shrouded in darkness with so many holes in this boat
Walking the plank would be easier than staying afloat
Washed away in a storm, if this tide doesn’t shift
I let Hope take the helm, yielding existence to drift

Desperate for something to cling to before I’m claimed by these waters
I need a Lighthouse– I think of my daughter
Nothing in this world more a man should swim harder for
Plug the holes, steady ‘The Purpose’, I hold firm to the oar
My Daughter–My Lighthouse–She will lead me ashore.

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I Pray


I pray for the strength to endure tough times, while seeking inner peace.

I meditate using my 3rd eye, to soothe the inner beast.

I pray that Maat weighs in my favor, for all the good I’ve done.

I pray that karma will forgive me, and not prey upon my son.

I pray that when I take my last breath and my heart beats no more.

I pray I lived for a cause, that was worth dying for.

For what joy comes from a life that is hard to grasp, as if reaching for the wind?

So I pray that if I don’t get it right the first time, I can do it all over again!

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What Is To Be Free


To be free is to dream
And to think about all of
Life’s possibilities.

To be free is to soar
Through the air to the
Greatest heights like an eagle.

To be free is to move
Like water through mountains’ tops
And streams with no resistances

To be free is to fight for
Equal justice, rights, respect

This is what it means
to be free…

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Da City


A lot of people don’t understand our swagg.
They don’t get us, so they stereotype us,
Try to put our unique character in a bag.
“Oh you from DC? Yall crazy!” yeah, I heard it all before.
But don’t be quick to judge, give us a chance we’ll show you more.

See slim, yoon (you don’t) even know da (the) half of it.
Our muvahs (mothers) and favahs (fathers) had to grind errday (everyday) just to make sure
That we were warm and had a plate

Our bruvahs (brothers) and sistas (sisters) had to watch us while they worked.
We stayed close, stayed together, to make sure none of us got hurt.
We grew up in da trenches, projects in erry (every) part of town.
Norfeast (northeast). Norfwest (northwest) Soufwest (southwest) & Soufeast (south east).
We are a small city wif (with) a big heart.
So don’t try to dumb us down when a lot of us are really smart.

They call us savages too, beautiful chaos, a city wifout (without) order.
They can’t figure us out, they say it’s something in the wartah (water).
Nah, it’s just how we live and how we vibe.
It’s how we was raised that keeps us alive.

A lil chicken wings + mumbo sauce, to get us through da day.
In the winter some Ben’s Chili Bowl wif a half smoke on our plate.

All they brag about is da other part of da city… The Monument, White House, and the Capital.
All the tourist attractions, Gallery Place and Georgetown which now resembles the Big Apple.

Errything’s different now. Looks like I’m coming home to a completely different town. They say home is where the heart is, and DC’s my home for sure. And I’ll never forget where I came from
So it’s time to leave up out these prison doors.

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