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.
Most young poets talk about the ghetto
But I’ll talk about college
That’s where I wanna be
To obtain some knowledge
I wanna be out from behind bars
In a college class getting ready for the future
And learning from the past
People think being behind bars
Makes you change your ways
But in reality it only makes you worse
‘Cause there are inmates all around you
With a criminal thirst
We wanna steal, rob and kill
Because we think
There’s nothing to look forward to
We can do what we wanna do
Now in college I can study black history
But behind bars my people are a mystery
Now when I get released
I wanna go to college
Because there’s no point in living
If we don’t have knowledge!
Moving Ahead With Excellence
Coming from a messed up background where
Boys want to let off shouts and lay strips down
Selling cocaine that is breaking my brothers and sisters down
I done had so many near death experiences
So scared of death now
I been taught as a wild child
Never to back down
To walk with a smile
Even if it should be a frown
Even when I was in school
Too busy trying to be a class clown
Having long talks with my mom
She talking about how I need to turn my life around
She praying that changes come right now
It is a shame that I had to get locked up
To find out that only I can change my life around
Moving ahead with excellence is my motivation
Every time it get hard
I just think of that phrase
And continue my education
Thinking about when I get my high school diploma
How much paper I will be making
When I have a family
I will be bringing in all the bacon
I left bad and went good and left no traces
Hendrix got me on the Novanet
Working ahead, no faking
These tests are my life
Ain’t no time for procrastinating
School is the way I be raking in all the information
Instead of getting paid with money
I’m getting paid with education
A Snapshot of Me
I was in the fifth grade at my graduation
Inside my school lunch room
I had a big smile on my face
Because this was the first time I graduated from anything
And the last time too
I had on a white shirt and black pants and a black tie
I thought I was the best-dressed person in the room
Even though everybody else had on the same thing
My life is great…
My life is surrounded by real and fake…
My life is laid in jail for a mistake…
To have a successful life
It’s never too late…
My life is good
A girl, two children, own house
So taking care of my responsibilities is understood…
My life is about my family and not a hood…
My life is filled with love and joy…
This child that my girl is 4 months pregnant with…
I hope it’s a boy
I don’t want my kids to be in jail for life
So I got to explain to them about
What is shame?
Shame is when you commit crimes and leave it on your families
The bad names and the conversations people have behind your back
Shame can also be like when life don’t go your way
You can commit suicide or hurt yourself
Shame can be a very bad thing in life
You can get over shame by believing in yourself and loving yourself
And not letting people cause you headache
And not worrying about what people think.
All alone like no home,
No place to go,
Ain’t no people I know.
I should be home,
But not alone.
In a cell with no mail,
I just wanna drink fresh water,
Deep down from a well.
This Ain’t the Rest of My Life
For the rest of my life I am gonna stay with a positive mind,
When I go home I’m gonna take care of my son and keep on track.
I’m gonna take responsibility for my actions and appreciate more in life.
Being locked up ain’t the worst,
But most of the time it hurts.
But I would rather be locked up than dead any day.
So with that being said, I’m gonna live up to my father’s name
And fix cars, because that’s what he loved to do.
Love Yourself, Be Yourself
Courageous and honest hearts are truly accepted,
Be who you are and love yourself for eternity.
Don’t let nobody fill you up with ignorance and hate,
Your fate is in your hands, so think wisely.
No matter how much you try to be someone who you are not,
Deep down inside you know you are who you are and more.
No matter how small or huge the boat is floating in water,
It will sink to the bottom if there is a hole in it.
So don’t ever let yourself sink, if you know what I mean,
Try to reach high like you are trying to reach the stars.
There is no happiness if you are going to waste it behind bars,
One thing I found in it is myself who was lost in darkness.
I’m thankful for that even though I live with pain in my heart,
I feel like the pain is slowly vanishing away.
‘Cause I’m being myself and loving myself,
For who I am not who they think I am.
When I had my son,
It was the happiest day of my life.
I was locked up so I felt terrible,
But good at the same time.
When he was born,
I knew that I could start my life over
Because I was going to give him what I didn’t have,
I missed everything about not having a father
I wish he was in my life
I wouldn’t be in here.
I had to take it upon myself to take care of my mother
To be the man of the house
I’m going to give my son everything I didn’t get from my dad –
I will give him everything he wants,
Home Sweet Home
Home sweet home I can just taste it…
Home sweet home I’m racing for it…
Home sweet home when I can just sit and have family time…
Home sweet home I miss taking care of what’s mine…
Home sweet home I feel it,
Leaving off this facility it’s almost my time…
Home sweet home I have a feeling I’m about to go home
So I’mma keep saying the line
Home sweet home,
Home sweet home.
Don’t Look Back, Look Forward!!!
I don’t look back, I look forward
‘Cause looking back at the past just makes stress
You got to look in the future to achieve
And also believe and keep faith
So this is my little speech
To all my fellow people
Don’t look back
* Reach That Light *
I wrote this to motivate myself everyday and everybody else who is going through hard times struggling
You are the success to your own achievements
Don’t ever, ever, never forget that!
You have come a far way to turn back
Just keep on moving you are almost there
Life is full of surprises and it definitely ain’t fair
You are in a long race so stay focused and keep runnin’
Don’t look back
Prepare for what’s comin’
Let nobody get to you ‘cause you are who you are
Not who they think you are
You are created for a purpose
For something really special
Brave of the bravest you are
I know that for sure
You are genius as well
Don’t let your talents pour down the drain for nothin’
‘Cause that’s a waste
Let your abilities soar
One day you will find your place
Right now you are goin’ through a dark tunnel
Learnin’ meanings of life
Almost to your destination you will reach that light
With God in your mind
Your spirit and your soul
Everything is goin’ to be alright
You will win this fight for sure