Mastering the Pain

By JG

Feeling everything so deeply
Can be a gift and a curse
My happiness is true bliss
Everything just works
Suddenly, joy is replaced with pain
Clear skies fill up with rain
I try to hold on
But can’t seem to maintain
My skies darken
Turmoil sets in
Damn
Never knew the mind could be like a wilderness one could be lost in
Lost many battles
Acting on impulse
Reacting with uncontrolled emotion
Never pausing to consider a reasonable course
I’ve felt the fire countless times
Intensified by a prison cell
12 by 9
A victim stance was my position
Playing the blame game
Meanwhile, in reality
My condition remained the same
Most my lessons come the hard way
But were received nonetheless
My understanding is that much greater
I feel truly blessed
Being a thought of Allah made manifest
I consciously create
Striving every day to be the captain of this ship
The true master of my fate
The war is far from won
But my book is far from done
I have nothing to lose
But everything to gain
These first few chapters have been spent
Mastering the pain
Learning how to love
Breaking my mental chains
Rising above
This next section will be marked by liberty
I’ll be free to pursue the queen that my heart desires
She’ll be free to embrace our chemistry
Won’t need a power of attorney
I can handle my affairs myself
I can eat life giving foods
That actually replenish my health
No more limitations
Everything is possible
With discipline, persistence, patience
I overcome all obstacles

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!

Jail Bird

By AB

A bird once flew over a prison and sat on the bars of a window sill
The prisoner fed the bird crackers and the bird ate to his fill
The prisoner put water in a top for the bird to wet his beak
The prisoner done a good deed before he went to sleep

The bird didn’t leave–
He became a jail bird that didn’t know he was free

What I Don’t Say

By AB

When I say freedom
You hear closing cell doors
When you say freedom
I hear soft cries

What I can’t say is peace of mind
What I mean is sanity

When you say peace
Do you mean paradise?

What I wish I’d told you is be patient
What I want you to know is hope exist

John My Friend

By DK

Today was a bittersweet occasion,
Helped me for a moment to reduce my constant raging.
John, you are now free…at home…at last,
This past year, gone, it escaped us so fast.
I know you left a truly changed man,
I watched you every day…making your reentry plans.
I already miss you and the jokes that we played,
Hopefully once I’m released, we’ll catch up…one of these days.
We butted heads, and fussed sometimes; I caused you a bit of tribulation,
As you left I heard as you said ‘goodbye & take care’…true jubilation.
When you left me here today, I regret that I left so much unspoken,
You are such a great friend, a mentor, I’m kind of heartbroken.
It’s rare to find a true friend like you in a place like this,
D*mn it John, you’re one friend I will surely miss.
So by the time you read this, you’ll be settled, back on your feet,
And the stigma you’ll face, well it’s something I know you can beat.
You’re highly educated…A Penn State grad,
So many qualities you shared, reminds me of my dad.
So I know I will surely hear from you soon,
As corny as it sounds, I’ll think of you each time I look at the moon.
So John, I love you my dear friend, but please don’t return,
Because this freedom you were granted, is something you definitely earned.