We Are All Kin

By QS

You are our sons and daughters
Whether we birth you into this world or not

That’s what the elders would say to the babies
While telling ancient stories around the village cooking pot

Our ancestors, when I close my eyes, I see and talk with them
Praying when I reach the promised land I’m worthy to walk with them

Never forget where you come from
The blood that runs through your veins

Beware, the white man will try to make you believe we are different
When genetically we are all the same

You must know the truth to free yourselves
Don’t be fooled by the pale man’s old divide and conquer game

Go research your history books
Uncover the lies they’ve been telling you
And when you find out the truth for yourself
You’ll realize the jewels I’ve dropped on you are true

Use your mind!
Stand up and be counted Black man
No one will do it for you
Only the man looking back at you in the mirror can

They hear the war cries (fear of the Black Planet)
The white man’s greatest nightmare has come

All the beautiful shades of Blackness once separated by lies
Now united by truth, marching as one

I said it before and I’ll say it again
Once we take the mental blindfold off our third eye
That’s the moment we will realize
We are all kin

Crushed by the System

By TG

We fought the fight for freedom.
Stood strong to support equal rights
Generously given for the next generations
All lost when we let go the light.

Further our fathers have faded
So sons now stand in quicksand
Growing in the gutter of gall
Losing their lives to the land.

Wise women our daughters and wives
Sewn with the spirit of strength
Gilded with goodness and greatness
Lending love in unmeasurable length.

Fore ordain, foreseen, foreshadowed
Soaring songs to the stars that listen
Guardians of the gangling ganders
You will not be crushed by the system.

My Crack in the Wall

By KC

Every day I awake in an open grave
And leave my slab to walk among the tombs

Massive monuments built to mark bad decisions and love lost
Life and freedom shattered by time being watched over by men with guns

I am not alone, for thousands walk with me
A nation of the undesirables left to rot above ground

Who like crabs hold each other back from reaching peace of mind
They thrive in the misery of their fellow man and thirst for dominance

They think the title King Crab is an honor
Don’t they see? King of the damned is still damned himself

I am different from most here
I walk in the land of the dead focused on life

Time is harsh, but my dreams have never decayed
Stepping stones made from ink on paper keep me on track

Words from loved ones lost, now found, tell me
I am human not an animal, and to never lose myself

Do or die among the dead until you get to the living
And never let the flame of life burn out, it connects us

So, I walk among the tombs every day
Looking for that crack in the wall, that slither of light

Today I’ve found her, and her name is…
Well that doesn’t matter

What matters in the end, today’s a good day
And my crack in the wall has just gotten a little bigger

My Beloved

By MH

They ask me what’s wrong with your beloved?
She looks sad, heartbroken, and in despair
Where is her smile you often praise?

I answered them my beloved is sick
She’s in pain, she has been for awhile
It pains me to see her this way

But I know she will heal
She will smile again
She will stand on her feet again

For I know my beloved
Hidden beneath all the chaos you see
Hopes, dreams, joy, and prosperity

Author’s note: This poem is about my home, which I miss and think of a lot, as well as my family, friends, and neighbors.  

How I Healed with Help

By SC

My life has changed so much over this last year and a half
I have a machine “ICD” connected to my heart – I’ve entered the weak heart draft
Started out so weak, so, so very ill, so, so sick
I could hear the timer on the bomb connected to my explosive heart tick
Not being able to walk more than 10 steps at a time
Literally standing up too fast would place me really close to dying
And since dying was my rhyming word, I also did a lot of crying
I’ve never been suicidal, but this challenge almost ended me
When I gave up hope because I couldn’t make it, 3 things kept my mind free
Very important people who, through Free Minds, showed me pure love
A very strong passion and belief that my Dear Mom instilled from above
Family and a helluva team of doctors from Mayo Clinic, which in my old mind frame I’d of never began to trust
And also a part of #1, my Free Minds family that showed me while I was down, that standing behind me is an unforgettable must
Most people would think that most healing comes with meds and tools and doctors and stuff
I found that some of the best form of healing is having someone in your corner when times get rough
If my soul don’t heal when my body’s doing just fine
People see me physically on the outside, but on the inside I’m losing my damn mind
I can’t lie, recovery for me was really a kinda battle I had to face
Then when I got control of it kinda, I’m reminded that I’m at this far-away ice-cold snow place
“Minnesota”
So along with my healing came a lot of conditioning as well
My mind and body both are healing up good through my poems, I hope you can tell
Spiritually my life is in a balance that I’m yet to stand completely solid on
Things got very shaky at times and I often feel alone
But I have a reason for healing that’s much better than most
Thanks to all you guys I love ya
I’m just saying, I’m not trying to boast
See, I was broken physically, emotionally, and mentally also
There was some type of pain at every direction I chose to go
I was confused and alone I’d convinced myself that I couldn’t do this
My biggest motivation came from Free Minds letters and family sending me letters saying, “Come on SC, write more, your poems are being missed.”
I want to leave out the therapy of my little friends that came in the forms of squirrels and some awesome little birds
Not to mention the wild geese who run through the prison, not having a care for human affection in their large herds
Never in my life would I have found myself looking around to make sure no one’s watching so I can baby talk the squirrels
Then, after a while, it became therapy that was so precious to me I valued it like a pearl
Because I started to see it was survival for the both of us
Me trying to heal from my heart failure and watching the squirrels hide all its food for winter, which surely was a must
Let me say some thank you’s because I know there are many well overdue
Thank you Free Minds, thank you family, thank you Minnesota nature and Mayo Health Clinic too
There a few more thank you’s that also go out to a selected beautiful few
Don’t even trip if I didn’t call your name and you’re reading this, nine out of ten times it’s also you
I’m blessed, I feel good honestly, I’m doing just fine
I need for you to know I put the best of me, for you, in each of these lines

What helps you heal?