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.

Dream

By AH

Dedicated to my daughter

Yesterday, I had a dream about a girl
She was light skin like me
She possessed my eyes
My hair
My lips
My feet
And every time that she smiled
I smiled
Every time that she cried
I cried
Each tear feeling like invincible bullets tearing
into my flesh
Leaving behind a painful mess
Yes, yesterday I had a dream about a girl
and the dream was over before I could
pull her close to my heart
It was over
Before I could tell her my story
Tell her my part
God I pray for the chance to see her again
So I am going back to bed in hope of dreamin
about the girl that looks like me
again

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Abundance

By SW

I remember being in the streets living
Project living, dreams of making millions
But project living earned me a spot in the system
Times got hard
So I prayed to Allah
Just keep your mind occupied
On your journey or your ride
Before it’s too late, tell your God
You appreciate him for keeping you alive

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A Happier Note

By AC

Lately, I have been feeling trapped,
Trapped in a nightmare from which I can’t wake,
As if I were inside of a coffin
From which I’m not able to escape

And I know the sun is shining out there
But its light barely makes it here.
The coffin opens somehow and I slowly step out,
Calling out for my loved ones, for anyone, really
In my mind I seem to be screaming aloud

I try to see the world
But there is nothing but walls and fences around
So instead, I try to see the complexities of this make believe world
Swallowed by the reality of another existence
What’s worse? I cannot wake up to get back
Back to the life I was living before

The air has been sucked out of my lungs;
I am screaming as loud as I can
But nothing comes out, there isn’t a sound.
I’m running and running but somehow I’m stuck on the ground.

Then somewhere inside of my brain I realize this is simply a dream,
From what is a dream if not a nightmare that ends on a happier note.
And on that notes, I wake up:
I wake up a free man,
Free from the chains that have shackled my soul

About this poem: This poem falls in line with the hope that all our nightmares will someday cease to torment our lives and hopefully on that day they can transform into dreams.

Enjoy!

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Notepad 2

By MV

I know its been a while since the last time
We spoke or since I’ve written
Hope you don’t mistake my procrastination
As me being distant
Because honestly, I enjoy the feeling
Of my pen on this paper
And I miss it
Alone with my thoughts
As I write this missive
Your therapeutic value was priceless
Though simplistic
Like when I misspell
It’s holistic
You never come with rules or opinions
Never closed minded
No matter how absurd my visions
Never ask what brand
Or what color my pen is
My sounding board when I’m trippin’
Or come off as pretentious
I appreciate your stone face demeanor
Even as I vent this
I’ve been away lately
And I have no excuses
You stayed patient while I delayed
Even though I know
Things between us would never change
Like you would chastise me for the wait
It’s insane
Nevertheless it passed through my brain
For you notepad
I say
Thanks

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Mourn

By WD, Tha Sensational Poetologist

Strength is born when you mourn
And sorrow leads to success that no one can suppress
Unless it is used wrong and not as a stepping stone

Which is why I don’t seek solace
Instead I acknowledge that no one will respect me
If I don’t use grief correctly

Especially when I am mourning the loss of freedom
Because the mourning process is protracted
When I’m impacted

By grief that can possibly morph into depression
If I don’t teach it a lesson
That will benefit us both

So my oath
To heart is to never let it break
As long as I’m strong and awake when it aches

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Feelings

By TR

I can’t cry
So when it rains, I run outside
Look up to the sky, let the
Rain drops flow into my eyes
“Like I’m really crying!”
Tear drops don’t exist
Love turns to pain
Feelings into emotions
When would I let it all out emotionally?
Because my anger keeps provoking me
I wouldn’t care if you didn’t say
‘Hi’ to me
A couple of my Brodies died without
Saying ‘goodbye’ to me
Pressure busts pipes, but I remain
Strong in both heart and arms
But still put my feelings & love in every
D*MN POEM!

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Bright Blue Skies

By DC

Bright blue skies clothe inner city lies.
There’s a quitter entangled in, “how many times I have to try.”
Curious to know your real motives,
Hands over my eyes in disbelief when I seen the real molders.
Now rumbling within like a racing car’s motor.
Standing on each other’s shoulders to look the Devil in his eyes,
but over sleeping on the morning reality no longer wants to hide.
What a time to claim you’re tied!

Bright blue skies clothe inner city lies.
If the deserts died of thirst then why do they look more alive?
I asked with pride & your answers hid the truth,
if I come from them why am I so fond of you.
I learned what you taught but never got as far as, who?
That bright blue sky that camouflaged those inner city truths…

 

P.S. I’m searching for brutally honest constructive criticism, I hope that isn’t too much to ask from you all. Take Care, R.I.P COVID-19

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Me Being Me

By CM

My mind is powerful, that’s why I use it,
My body is a vault, that’s why I protect it,
My dreads are strength, that’s why I nurture them
My eyes are movies, they tell a story
My hands are tools, that’s why I write.
My legs and feet are one, that’s how I run
My skin is light, but I’m still black
My perfect picture of me being me.

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Free Minds

By GD

As my thoughts escape and illustrate stanzas through the
ink of my pen…
I can feel the chains being removed which held them within…
No longer am I confined by ignorance …
I am now intellectually vigilant, vividly envisioning all that’s depicted …
No matter how encrypted or scripted …
Gifted!
Though I am physically in bondage, my conscious is liberated
And constantly attending college … College of SELF
To attain knowledge of self…you must break the shackles of
your capture and adapt to the fact that there’s no limit to
the infinite landscape of the mental …
Freedom!
Whether it’s reading, writing or just reciting your favorite song …
That’s an example of being mentally enfranchised …
And not subjugated to the conflict of right and wrong …
Righteous!
On a larger scale, we all are trapped in some kind of prison cell…
This entails being physically obligated by mentally frustrated …
So, our minds become prisoners of ourselves … we aid it …
But when we ‘connect’ our ‘free minds’ we climb to heights
that can never have restraint …
our word of essence is: can.
We will never say can’t …
When we understand that we’re gifted, have freedom and
are righteous …
We help unlock millions of minds just like us …
Free Minds!

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In the Name of Allah

By PM

I asked Allah for a rose,
he sent me a bouquet….

I asked Allah for a minute,
he sent me a day….

I asked Allah for love,
he sent me that too….

I asked Allah for an angel,
He sent me you!!!!…

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Life of Numbers

By SH aka Sincere Echoes

I sit in a six-sided box, 259 cinder blocks encased to hold me physically captured.
In my isolation, my 2 windows offer 2 different views.
1 for the inside and the cells don’t change, only the occupants face.
And 1 for the outside where the scene doesn’t change, only seasons, night and day.

So here I relax on 1 paper thin mat with two beds that are stacked.
And there’s 387 holes in the vent over for the air to flow
and my food gets shoved in one bean hole in the middle of my door.

1 table, 1 seat, 1 toilet where I sleep, 1 sink, 1 shower, 1 mirror
to see me stare at me and my 22 prison tattoos of ink
and 90 locks of dreads that sit on the crown of my head, twisted to the grits.

18 scars too that healed, but never quite heeled.
Cause I can remember the reason for each, of every scar that comes to be,
18 years in the belly of this out-of-control beast.

26 years olds when left those streets as I stare at these 4 walls
thinking back on my 13 felonies and the 188 months was a sentence of this case,
10 years in the feds, 8 years in the state, 4 guns,
put me away for a decade and my 3 kids ain’t got much to say
cause they grew up without me.

And I can’t count the many people who doubt me.
But know it’s more than my 10 fingers and 10 toes.
And these last 10 years I had to do it on my own,
except when Free Minds letters slide through the crack in my door.

Yet I still got 60 months left to go and all this is my truth and I can’t give you any more.

I’m inmate H— 2—064.
Counting my ways, counting my blessings,
counting my days, one day at a time,
giving you a story of the numbers of my life.

 

Identifying information has been removed to protect the author’s privacy.

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Untitled

By AG

This is not a poem
It’s not a sonnet
It’s not a written piece of verse

It’s not a prose inscription
Arranged poetically
It’s not an essay of few words

It’s just an origami
Of whatever you want
No folding required

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