My Story

By TD

Just two months ago my mom passed away
My girl moved on, now I’m feeling like Tom Hanks in Cast Away
Knives was just at my throat and I didn’t fight them
Dudes just robbed me because my shirt not tucked in my boxers and I don’t say, “Slim,” like them
My daughter only 11, sending me pictures with her hand on her hip
My son just turned 13, thinking about a hand on a clip
But don’t get me wrong, my baby mama a great mother
Besides these last 10 years, her and my best friend been sleeping with each other
I just called home from the (shu), my brother denied 8 calls
But when I was home selling drugs, he never denied 8 balls
Dudes been talking about me because of my situations
And even though I was in pain, I never once asked the nurse for medication
And when everybody was complaining, I still didn’t complain
Some went crazy and I still maintained
And when everybody was crying, I cried inside
Now I understand when Jadakiss said, “Why?”
I picked up a Qur’an, now I see what I didn’t use to see
And as I sit back and listen to a lot of these dudes, they remind me of who I used to be
But you know what hurts the most is when you gotta tell a story
About the people you love doing you wrong
The same family, friends, girls, so-called loyal ones
Posting on Facebook and Instagram, “Free me to come home”
(Damn)

P.S. God created men weak and it’s the trials and tribulations we go through that make us strong. We have to have responsibilities, and if you don’t have that, you’re not a man yet. See I thought I was a man also when I was buying cars, jewelry, blowing money, and having any woman I wanted. See I was a boy not understanding life because none of that stuff made me strong. None. If most of us died today, we won’t even have insurance on ourselves. See we desire the wrong things in life. Please, please change. A wise man always told me, “If you can’t change the people around you, then change the people around you.”

My Poem to Y’all

By AT

I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
Can’t write home, cuz Mom NEVER write back

I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
Baby mother block the jail phone, can’t speak to my daughter
because she messing with another dude

I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
Don’t have no money, can’t go to commissary
and only get $5.21 every month
for a excellent job I do

I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
The officer’s racist, they tie you up
and beat you and wait till you heal
and send you on another compound
and think that everything’s cool

I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
I am going to stay Free Minded and
kill them with kindness, that’s what I am
going to do

I’m lock up thinking what should I do:
I’m staying positive and have to just
find me a positive crew

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?

My Free Minds Family

By AW

People encouraging people to
frolic with ideas, to take up
causes with themselves in
grasping the choices they
made to be happy or sad:
Self-determination.

Abyss of self, pulling in an
effort of self-discovery,
people encouraging people to
touch the fullness of their
heart, minds and soul via
reading and writing:
Communication.

My Free Minds Family is
made up of a hodgepodge
group of humanity, touching
and exploring the limitless
possibility of people encouraging
people, with the healing touch of
empathy, love, truth, peace, freedom,
justice and equality:
Served up with a lot of
faith and free form
creativity.

To Be My Heart and Soul

By EH
Dedicated to my heart and soul, Mersedez

My daughter Mersedez is my heart and soul
because when she’s sad, I’m sad
When she’s mad, I’m mad
When she’s sick, I’m sicker
When she’s thinking about me,
I feel it when she has something on her mind to tell me
I can feel it and when she gets hurt, I feel it
When she was four years old,
She fell and busted her chin open and had to get stitches
And guess who has the scar now, I do
Now that’s what I call my heart and soul and I love her with all my heart