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.

Closet Monster

By AB

I’ll never forget the first time we kissed, Bruno Mars was singing one of his hits
We stayed behind on that school ski trip
You had such soft lips, but that’s where the fairy tale ends
You and I we were never friends, you didn’t even try to pretend
We kissed in your dorm room, and you told me not to tell, otherwise I’d go to hell
You never thought I knew, about all the times you looked my way
Every time you watched me play, guitar strings like heart strings wound to tight to breathe
You used to say I wasn’t worth you, but you’d sneak in after curfew…
All those secret games of truth or dare, all those times when you were there
Now I’m just trying to come to terms with it, you and all your silly shit
I think it’s time to take a hit, pot smoke, hold it, choke
Choke, like that time you choked me, red is all I see
Me pinned to your bed, you telling me I’d soon be dead
You, stuck with all those crazy thoughts inside your head
Kurt Cobain
Now here I stand off to the side, watching them lower you down, down out of sight
Out of sight, out of mind, but now I’ll never get you out of my mind
Now the past is all I see, these days they call that PTSD
You never saw things the way I see, you could have meant so much to me
So, to me, you’ll always be, my Closet Monster

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What’s Art

By TT

Art is…
The heart’s expression
Of the impressions
That life leaves upon us.
Art is…
A beauty that is formed
Through a mind in bliss
Or turmoil
Art is…
These points written
Through ones heart –
Projected in full eloquence,
Or their colors slewn,
Those songs composed;
All making
Its own sense.
Art is…
The jewels of humanity –
A gift to thee
Unlike any other.
Art is…
Something found in the darkness
And pulled to the light…
Incapable of comparison.

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Embracing My Future

By JK

The secure embrace holds me in place
Keep me steady, slows my pace
Helps me see the light at the end of a dark tunnel
The storms have finally ceased, no longer a deep funnel

I’ve already confronted my past, I’ve moved forward to the present
This gift, that’s filled with a life that is pleasant
Most wouldn’t agree because of where I still sit
But I survived through the chaos so I wouldn’t forget

The reminder of a terrifying time,
Filled with worry, guilt and shame
Has turned into a humbling experiences
That gave me a brand new name

My future will be here soon enough
My prayer is that it happens fast
I have so many things to look forward to
And this too, shall be a blast

The song in my daughter’s voice
The intellect of my son’s words
The stone on my mother’s grave
The admiration in my man’s eye
Speak more than words can say

This future, this unknown time
This wonder-filled, hope for that day
Has filled my heart with so much joy
Cause I know God has paved the way

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My Little Flower II

By MV

To my Beautiful Little Flower,
You are life’s testament to what she can do.
From a tiny little seed,
My proudest accomplishment is watching you bloom.

You said “He calls me his little flower and I don’t know why (but I love it),”
So let me explain:

You are like a flower,
Whose beauty we tend to take for granted,
Not realizing the amount of work, love, and care,
Just to keep you planted.

The flower is fierce,
But also very fragile,
So I’m the gardener that makes the conditions more easier to handle.

The world will cause you plenty of blue moons at night,
But let my words be the thing that fills your heart with light.

In time and over seasons,
Hopefully you come to understand,
That behind every good and bad there’s a reason.

The darkness made you resilient,
And the sunshine feeds your soul,
Mistakes will make you sad, but will also help you grow.

Who am I,
But a supporter like a fan at a game
Or a cheerleader on the sidelines?

To fully accept whatever your heart decides to do,
From a tiny little seed
To a Beautiful Flower,
My proudest accomplishment is watching you bloom.

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…On A Mountain Top…

By MS

I found my love on a mountain top
Lounging beneath the sun
Resplendent, paradise like in her glory
like a (Rose) wildflower in tall grass
Beautiful…
Being the only thing caressed by
Northern Breezes
She beckons me… whispering love letters
to my soul
But my Lord stayed my movement causing me to take her in
A pleasure, my treasure… A Jewell of Create
Allowing me, Imploring me to take her in
Like
a prayer long asked for
Answered in her being created thusly,
A promise to my soul
Her created just for me
So these words of mine are my way
of being a counterpoint to her heart
like breath is intrinsically linked to our being
Ever thankful always for God gifting me
with seeing
I found my love lounging beneath the sun on a mountain top…

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A New Story

By MF

A new community, new surroundings, new peers
A new school, new anxiety, new fears
A new hangout, new activities, new dangers
A new argument, new fight, new anger
A new blunt, new liquor, new pistol
A new case, new jail, new system
A new sentence, new celly, new state
A new officer, new politics, new hate
A new mentor, new program, new passion
A new computer, new laws, news flashing
A new judge, new evidence, new trial
A new witness, new acquittal, new smile

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Breeze of Time

By AC

Sometimes I feel
As if my shadow has walked too far ahead,
As if I’ve been left behind to contemplate
The things I do remember
And the things I did forget.

And I notice the things that are not there;
Perhaps more than I did when they still were.
I guess it’s just part of human nature
To appreciate what we once had
Only after the present turns to past,
The past is laid to rest, and an empty hand is all that’s left.

But some things will simply never die,
They go on and on to live forever, like emotions;
Like I love you now as I loved you on that day;
Like your memory, an echo that keeps bouncing
Off of walls that every passing second shake and tremble
At the slightest breeze of time carrying your name.

You are still a reflection on a mirror
Refusing to disappear long after any reason and logic
Would deem it to be prudent to dissipate into thin air,
To become one with what’s not remembered nor forgotten,
To live only in my mind, within the confinements of my head.

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Flow

By DT

Forever I can write or shine light or
let my mind develop a plight
On how to ascend or pedal up the next flight or height
with my eyes locked tight on the goals of the flow,
I write from what I imbibe.

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The Institutional Man

By TT

Waking up to this new day with no sign of a sun
Only the familiar vibe of structure, aggregate, and painted metallics
Relishing the cozy confines of limited space
And every possession within reach

This is life
This is home

Who dares to be removed from it?
Closed quartered kindred spirits and a family of Free Minds
All at once insulated and liberated from the burden of society

This is leisure
Though there is no peace

All must be counted for the whole to remain secured
So if one must leave
They and the rest will mourn

For the death of simpler things gives spirit to all manner of complexity
Of course, the question becomes
Who would bear the standard in the wake of such a removal?
And what changes many care?

Then, when will the foundation begin to crumble?
Or where would anyone look back to then?

But as well, for now at least…

How is sleep to arrive with all that in mind?

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To My Peeps

By JK

I want to let you know
how you made me feel tonight

Tryna convey my emotions to words
will not suffice

A simple ‘thank you’ seems mediocre
Because you deserve so much more

Your encouraging words and motivation
made my heart fall to the floor

I love you all more than I can say
your heartfelt shout outs have made my day

I’ll do my best to continue to encourage
your wonderful support makes my words want to flourish

And to my FREE MINDS CREW…
None of this would be happening if it wasn’t for you!

I appreciate the opportunity to free my mind
It’s giving me peace from all the wars inside

I look forward to the day that we’ll all be together
Writing with purpose to make this world better!

Be blessed. You are greatly appreciated

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Weather’s A Person

By JP

Seasons are like people and not because they change.
They all have different traits some have snow, and some have rain.
Got to wear 3 jackets only winter for the blame.
Spring comes round to bring you summer which brings sunlight
through your window pane.

They like seasons and dislike them, they do the same with people
When your there they see no purpose; when you leave, they see they need you
Weether channels try to figure them out; people do the same to people
4 seasons 4 times through the year weather even has a sequel

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Free Mind

By AC

A free mind–first and foremost:
Is it even possible?
To have a mind free enough to soar above
Any and all obstacles,
A mind as pure and strong as the hand
With which it was created,
A gift that bears gifts?
I’d be unstoppable
If my mind were as clear as the skies,
I’ve always wished to ascend,
To fly

You mean to tell me there’s something beyond the clouds?
All I have to do is get rid of my fears
And leave my past behind?
Lord knows I’ve been walking blind
Still can those eyes truly see
A mind so free?

Therein resides visions of grandeur
That surpass your sweetest dreams
Even if confined, a free mind can push through walls,
Transcend
Any bitter end

You say in my mind are ideas that even pioneers would envy?
Shake life’s restraints
Escape to a place many a good book send me
See life–
while blind to the surroundings designed only to kill desire–
with a clarity more precious than diamonds
Careful, free time surely expires
But there is nothing in this world that can stop
A free mind!

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