Push-Pull!

By CM

Push! With all your force and your might
Push! With all your strength, you must fight
Push! And pray to conquer the night
Push! And pray for peace when in plight.

Pull! And show no fear when you’re scared
Pull! Your burdens bound to be shared
Pull! Persistence shows that you care
Pull! Your family’s free ‘cause you bled.

Push! And use the wind on your back
Push! You have no time to relax
Push! Relief, it comes with a tax
Push! In time, the strife will retreat.

Pull! Its fields of hope that you till
Pull! Values instilled with your will
Pull! Slowly survive this ordered
Pull! There’s a pasture over the hill!

Reach beyond your grasp, you’ll surely gain more,
Pull away from your past and push yourself forward.

Poem with a Verse

By AC

Let me take you to a place I like to go,
when I’m looking for some answers
to the many, many questions
about things that I don’t know.

There is no car that could take you on this road,
no shoes that could make your steps feel any lighter,
and there is no amount of magical concoctions
that could ease any of our pains
as we continue to march on.

We’ll have to travel East
until the East begins to blur
and slowly eliminates
any difference it can hold
in contrast with the West.

And we’ll continue on
until the North lifts up its arms,
becomes brothers with the South,
and respectfully embraces
in something resembling warmth.

When we get close to where we are going,
the clock will keep on ticking,
but its measurements will no longer mean a thing.
You can come and stay with me forever,
but there will be no one that could tell you
what forever really means.

At this place, the twilight lasts a little longer,
shining light on our ever-winding road
that ahead of us continues twisting
in contrast with how straight it may now seem
on the parts we’ve left behind.

We’ll need to find a way
to get off the road that we walk on
and get on to the trail
that will take us to the world that lies beyond.

When I get onto this trail, I always see a pond;
the dim light reveals shining silver water
that shows me the reflection of the person that I was,
the person I will be, and the person that I am.

On the horizon, I see mountains,
darkened by the distance,
hidden by the shadows
of all the things that are unknown,
unseen from where we are.

When the hypnotizing spell is broken
and I continue walking,
fireflies slowly begin to gather by,
lighting up for every thought and every idea
that proved way too elusive
to keep bottled in my mind.
Now they gently float on the warm breeze,
blessing me with light.

I keep walking until the ground is just no more,
until the water in the shining silver pond
begins to cascade off the side of this small world.
I sit down,
and I let my feet dangle off the edge
while I’m staring into space,
trying to figure out where the fireflies lights end,
and where the glowing lights from all those stars begin.

GOD, it’s all so beautiful out here.
You would think it would be cold,
but it feels so nice and warm.
The wind carries the familiar scents
of all the things I miss from home.

The starlights hit the water and then scatter,
shining light on to my face,
reminding me at once
of what I love about this place.

I check inside my pockets
for the things of value, I have brought.
Inside one of the pockets, I find a small, torn piece of paper
with a verse that I once wrote.
In the other, I have nothing,
and so I get the thought:
I am the richest man alive,
for I have nothing to distract me
from what really matters in this life.

And as I sit out here,
feet dangling on the edge of the whole world,
thanking whoever thought the earth was flat,
for I like to come here now
when nostalgia, loneliness, and sadness
take a hold of my poor soul.

I think about the stars,
and I feel their loneliness as well,
they spend their whole lives shining
in a place so far away.

I think about my loved ones,
I want to hug them,
I want to kiss them,
I want to tell them to their face
that I love them so very much,
every passing second of every single day.

I want to see the sparkles in their eyes,
I want to hear the glorious sounds,
of their laughter and their smiles.
I want all those things I love,
I want to live them once again.
I want all of those things,
all those things that give me strength.

Come, sit down with me.
Come, look at the stars with me, my friend.

 

About this poem: I just wanted to take the reader out on a field trip and bring him/her into my mind. Sorry for mess, I don’t usually have much company inside my head. I hope you guys enjoyed it. Good luck figuring out the symbolism.  

No More Silence

By Shannon

This is my cry for a stop in senseless violence,
How many lives must be destroyed before someone, anyone
Shout to the mountain top, no more silence, no more silence

How could we overcome, if a promised dream is never realized
Due to a nightmarish reality that must end and if no
One is willing to step up, where does the change begin
To reverse a maddening cycle of gentrification, of generations
Who look just like me and you, who they look up to and emulate

So whose responsibility it is, to be responsible, before
Its just too late and what excuse could justify
Such a decision, when it’s obviously a grave mistake
That will surely impact our community, and reflect a
Negative mindset that we must counter and combat
With an objective view towards positive progress
That begins with self-evaluation and a want for change
A choice to make a difference, that can lead to an act of
Forgiveness and self-liberation, with you as our witness
And our guide in this act of unification, of prisoners against
Gun violence, men who can no longer afford to be quiet
And our debt to society is no more silence, no more silence

A Message to the Community: A Letter from Prison

By RW

I offer my condolences to the families who have lost loved ones
And became victims to the violence

I offer my apologies for having been derelict in my duty and responsibility as a man
In not being the guardian, educator, and leader my communities needed
In order to be vital and life-affirming

I want to inform you that it is my goal to counteract the insanity of the destructive mindset
And I do not embrace those who prey upon any people
But particularly, my people

I want my voice to be heard:
Let the violence, drug dealing, physical, and spiritual abuse of the communities stop

As a man, I want it to be known that I have come to value and recognize
That the children need and deserve a safe and secure environment in which to grow and develop,
Be educated, have access to equal opportunities to excel,
And become who the Creator intended them to be

I ask that everyone reading or hearing this looks at a child
Whether at home, school, at play, in church, or mosque, and consider these words:

I am the African child

The whole world awaits my coming, all the earth watches with interest
To see what I shall become
Civilization hangs in the balance; for what I am, the world of tomorrow will be

I am the African child

You have brought me into this, about which I know nothing
You hold in your hand my destiny
You determine whether I shall succeed or fail
Give me, I beg you, a world where I can walk tall and proud
Train me, as is your duty unto me
To love myself, and my people
And to build and maintain a great nation
It is I who proclaim

I am the African child

The whole world awaits my coming, I shall not delay it
For I too have a dream

Beef

By DJ

Beef

I had plenty of it while growing up
And ate so much one time I ended up throwing up
I’ve lost family members to it because I wouldn’t budge
Not realizing a hamburger shouldn’t hold a grudge

The definition of this word is not fit for our task
Even though we use it to hide behind our masks
To understand my view of beef you would have to be a contrarian
Because I would pray for all of my friends to be vegetarian

Finally, sometimes this meat consumes us all
I can hear anyone else’s story and understand their fall
I control my thoughts and actions now that I understand
And beef when it is rancid will no longer dictate my plans