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.

Poem: “College”


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!

Poem: “Moving Ahead With Excellence”

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

Poem: “A Snapshot of Me”

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

Poem: “My Life”

My Life       

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

My life…

Poem: “Shame”


 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.

Poem: “All Alone”

All Alone

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.

Poem: “This Ain’t the Rest of My Life”

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.

Poem: “Love Yourself, Be Yourself”

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.

Poem: “My Son”

My Son

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,

A father.

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

Buy groceries,


I’m going to give my son everything I didn’t get from my dad –

Unconditional love.

I will give him everything he wants,


Poem: “Home Sweet Home”

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.

Poem: “Don’t Look Back Look Forward!”

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

Look forward!!!

Poem: “Reach That Light”

* 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

Ease up

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