I Forgot Who I Was

By HW

I woke up one day feeling powerless & caged.
I felt lost and afraid, it was freedom I craved!

I felt like no one loved me & I was all alone.
I felt young & lost, but I’m fully grown.

Beat down by life & my own mind.
I let myself down and I started to drown.

I could not see tomorrow
& felt like I could barely get through the day.

I don’t know who I am anymore,
like my memory started to fade.

Deep down inside I know I used to be strong,
then I remember that I have been strong all along.

I might have slipped,
I might have fell.

I have to stand up,
I have to prevail.

I must be fearless,
I must be strong.

It’s a mental battle
and I’ll make it home!

Penitentiary’s Soul

By AG

Penitentiary’s therapy
Thriller of the cage;
Or is it rage?
An emaciated man
covered in a crimson crown,
head unbowed.
Stall-fed verifier
Subsisting on other’s tears
Or is it fear?
Herculean beastly forearm.
Crisscrossed with scars;
Each slice a clash
With weakness.
IN the center of your pain.
IN the center of your fear.
Penance or punishment,
Heaven or hell
Monastery or grace?

You, alone decide.

Under the Jail

By SC

So very far, way way down deep
There’s brothers’ souls stuck in the foundation and the price they paid was not cheap
I think of the good men who passed through jail
And those who didn’t make it because for them it was hell
Under the jail, where I now reside
I’m sure there’s plenty of head stones, cats that passed from pride
Use to be if I had one wish, I’d use it all on me
Now if I had just one, I’d set all my brothers and sisters locked down all go free
Under the jail is where you’d think they’d put all their worst
But I’ve met doctors and lawyers that all share the same curse
That’s just the distance that I was willing to climb down to
Imagine going deeper and what could be found by the likes of you
Under the jail, them folks like to hide all their mistakes
And they’re secure with their decisions because most people don’t climb down that for they don’t have what it takes
I’m here so far down, I sometimes feel the heat from the earth’s core
I’m not a threat to anyone, but deeper down they seem to even push me more
Now this is just my version of what I see under the jail
There’s millions of us locked up with different stories to tell

What’s under your Jail?

Human Nature

By SAT

Every day I struggle and ask are we fighting for a cause or just because.
Ain’t no sense in raising your fist if you don’t even know what you’re fighting for.
But I’m scared to put my hands down to keep from getting hit in the face.
I won’t just brace up against anything, but I refuse to turn the other cheek.
There’s a very thin line between caution and paranoia,
but I’m not gonna keep looking over my shoulder
and I won’t keep peeking out the blinds.
Outside of my windows there’s someone peeking inside.
I keep telling myself to pay attention and stay focused.
I can’t afford to lose my mind; my heritage gives me pride.
Cause my ancestors died for me to live.
I’m equipped with a mustard seed that moves mountains and I’ll prove happiness is priceless.
To be confused will cost you to become self-righteous and self-centered.
My feet are cemented in the streets.
A product of the fiend my mother was and she was never there…but my father was?
And that’s a flipside of the black family portrait.
We are depicted amongst society as failures.
We’ve inherited hell on earth cause heaven ain’t within crumbs distance.
Unless, I put my brothers and sisters on my shoulders to get closer to grab the ribbon in the sky.

Lost Child

By JM

Motivated and inspired by Native Son by Richard Wright

Lost in this jungle that they call a world
Sometimes, I walk in this jungle like no one else is there
I feel like a scared little child
Running and hiding from my deepest fear
Sometimes I cry and wake up in a cold sweat
Wishing people can see what I’ve just seen
I tried to tell people, but all they say is
Boy, you are a lost child, and that was just a bad dream!
So now I’m wondering, is it just me or everybody else?
Is my vision that blurry that no one else can see?
Because they seem so far, far away
Like the birds flying on top of the sea