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.

On the Rise


On the rise,
Heat intensify,
A life that goes by,
Eyes that long to cry,
A love that lurks a pain that grows inside,
A mental that don’t forget
Erase the past for a future that don’t exist,
On the rise,
Trading the truth for lies,
A ghost that’s not seen or heard,
Not one worrd
Gone in the wind,
Give you chills,
You feel the breeze,
Somebody rescue me,
On the rise,
Water that moves rocks,
An ocean with no waves,
Gray clouds with no rain
A smile that breeds pain.

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My Perfect World


In my perfect world, there wouldn’t be a child without two parents

My perfect world would consist of free college education to those who seek it

In my perfect world no one would be homeless or go hungry

Only love, joy, respect, peace, and happiness would be allowed in my perfect world

Jealousy, hate, envy, liars, cheaters, and thieves wouldn’t be in the human traits in my world of perfection

Uplifting one another and spreading positive vibes on a daily basis would be the model in my perfect world

Killing, drug dealing, gang banging, and mass incarceration wouldn’t even be known in my perfect world

Racism, sexism, and police brutality wouldn’t exist nowhere on my planet perfection

I often dream about a perfect world like this, hoping one day that these things would become my reality (wishful thinking, huh?)

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Dear Baby Girl


Never did I mean to
Leave you in such a cold world.
Where fathers are lack of,
Due to death or just dead
Beat dads, without a care in
The world, or better yet, incarceration
Which in all is sad.
The other two I mention
Are only in some cases,
But in all three was due
To bad choices and decision
Caught up in a life of
Amusement, also without a care
In the world which now hurts me
Deeply to see how I left my baby girl,
Days have gone and years
Have flown by, and now I just
Wait my chance for Allah to reunite
Me with you to be by your side
They say it’s hard to forgive
But is it really? But I know
A person never forgets, but I
Pray throughout all the struggles
And heartache that I’m forgiven,
And that you will still love me plenty…

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Revolving Door


“What’s up nephew?! What you in here for?
I see much of myself in you, this place seem to have a revolving door.
I was your age when I caught my first adult bid.
“They” say juvy joints don’t count, I guess because I was just a kid.
But the doors look the same plus the locks haven’t changed.
It is what it seem, this place have a revolving door, it’s a shame!
When one of us go out, another one come in.
It don’t matter which door it is, juvy joint or the “pen”.”

“Yeah, I hear you Unc but I ain’t listen’n tho.
Street life is what I’ve been taught so I know what it’s hittin’ fo!
All my men been in and out this joint, and I’m just getting’ started!
Money, murda, and moves you can just call me cold hearted!
I don’t care about nothing cause nobody never cared about me!
So I don’t care about a “revolving door”, just like I don’t care about the police!”

“I know those words well nephew because I’ve said them before.
Why else would I be talkin’ to you about a damn “revolving door”?!
It’s sad hearing you say those words because it only proves my point.
But let me ask you this, do you have kids or someone who needs your support?”

“Yeah I have a son Unc, but me and his mom ain’t cool”

“I only asked because I want to know if you gon teach him to be just like you?!
Don’t be stupid nephew, you have a chance to break the cycle.
When you get out get you a job, further your education, put down that rifle!
That “pack” will put you back in here too, and you know what robbin’ do.
Take care of your son, he’s what matters.
Teach him not to come through that “revolving door” for your heart will shatter.
He’ll be nephew callin’ someone else unc.
He’ll be having a conversation just like this one!”

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I Want To Be Loved


I want to be loved
Not no fake love

I want to be loved
Not for what I got
But for who I am

I want to be loved,
Honored, Cherished, and
Respected in a
Respectable way

I just want people to
Love me for who I am

I don’t want that I’m
Obligated love because
We are kin

I want genuine love
For who I am

Love to me is
Loyalty over everything

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A Free Mind Speaks


What is living when you’re limited?
Self-minded thoughts deemed confidence as the enemy.
Time go by and elevation seems descending
Locked all emotions in a small room with a very low ceiling.
Digging under my skin feels like a sin,
yet it’s the peace I hide within.
Losing hope is not even a possibility,
Heart keeps yelling to get oxygen in me.
See we are all more alike than you may think,
Open your eyes—stay woke—do not blink.
Missing in action indeed is relaxing but lonely,
Wishing upon a dream is similar to cloning.
Summer jam should be fun and not deadly,
Grew up a beast so vegan I can’t be, simply eat all meat.
You be me and and I’ll never judge,
It must be mature—no fake love or hugs.
Bed bugs bite the unclean every night,
Righteous chews dark negativity inside out.
So on that note I’ll close this door,
However, I promise there’s so much more.
Like rallying after being down by ten with only two minutes left,
Be your best—be blessed!
Living is a journey full of test,
So stay focused and you’ll find rest.

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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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