Untitled

By WS

I was a young man on a confused journey.
Lost inside my own world.
Misled to a path that never existed.
A child in the streets who grew up to be a man with no vision
and no presence.
Outside, my world appeared bright,
but inside my heart was full of pouring rain.
The only love I ever knew was the streets.
Until it divorced me,
leaving me all alone.
I became a victim in my own savage game.
Untamed, until I was forced into locks and chains.
But never will I cry.

Everyday is now a blessing.
By losing, a winner I became.
It took me a long time to see it when all
I had to do was just open my eyes.

The Untold Story of Me

By AC

Inspired by the book Voces Sin Fronteras (Shout Mouse Press)

 

1985 I was born in El Salvador, right in the middle of a civil war. There was a lot of crime and poverty, because there were more pressing things for the government to worry about.

1991 A few months after my father left for the United States, my brother was born. Amazing brother. We kept fighting all the time, but he has always been there for me. My friend for life, though he sucks.

2000 We (my brother, my mom and I) came to the U.S. It was hard to get the hang of it (I might argue that I never truly did get the hang of it), but I managed. Life changed dramatically, mostly for the better.

2004 I graduated from high school. It felt like a stepping stone, but continuing education was a bit tricky with my immigration status. Also, that year my other brother (half) was born. I love him tons, as I do the other.

2010 After almost ten years of being in this country, I was allowed to get a residency. My doors opened wide and I started to make money at 8-hours-a-day jobs. Everything looked bright.

2012 A dark cloud came over my bright world. A series of bad decisions in my life led to my arrest this year, effectively destroying absolutely everything that had happened in my life up to this particular point in time.

2017-18 After thinking I had lost my VOICE, along with everything else due to my arrest, I discovered I still have a voice, even if my life as I knew it is effectively over. I discovered this in a Write Night letter, in some person’s comment that read something along the lines of : “A.C., I enjoyed your poem. I relate to [such and such a thing]. I liked [this and that]. Thank you for sharing, please keep writing.” I thought to myself: “People actually read these poems that A CRIMINAL has written? Someone read MY poem?” Not only were they reading it, they were relating. They were getting some sort of consolation from me, knowing that they were not the only people in this world to have these thoughts. That thought. They felt that in a way, my writing was helping them remember/realize that they were, in fact, not alone with their thoughts. “Wait, what? Helping? Me? A freaking criminal actually providing ANY kind of help back to the community that I felt I betrayed by breaking the law? I can help?” And so I push myself to share my thoughts openly/honestly so that people can see my vulnerabilities, and doubts, and regrets, and life lessons. I want people to see and comprehend that the world keeps spinning no matter what, and yes, we all have ups and downs, wins and losses. It’s all part of being human. I want people, all people, to simply see that they are not alone in this human experience. I’m a human too (though I’m an Alien…from another country). That’s why I write life lessons; sometimes the tone/mood is down, sometimes up, sometimes in love, sometimes hurt, sometimes hopeful, sometimes profound…etc. I want to show my human side, I want to show the man hidden behind my inmate #. I want to have a Free Mind.

What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up Part 2

By DR

When I grow up I wanna
be strong like a cup

Hold everything up
and never gets enough

Built Ford tough and
can take all of its weights

Section off like a plate
Looking for the utensils
after grace

Just like Cookie for Santa’s
plate, Oreos & milk,
Never stays in its place

So keep a smile on your face,
cause what u wanna be,
when you grow up it’s
Never an End to this Race

What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up Part 1

By DR

When I enter pre-school I remember, all the rules
ABCs and 123 sleep time but while the teacher reads
Itsy Bitsy Spider, for me
When the rain of home the next day the sun dries me
Seems like the only cap and gown I seen
Watching my life on this widescreen
The household struggles took away my dream
Moved from the projects, what did it cost me?
A school of learning, I was a bumblebee
But the family grew, needed more room
Didn’t know welfare was everybody’s dreams
To the second stage, if my theme getting beat up became an outside thing
So I couldn’t focus on being a king
I went to neighbor to neighbor to learn different things
Looking at God’s nature, the stray things I knew since I was the only
I hear owls (sing) that I have to keep seeing things
That’s not what I wanted to be when I grew up
Sometimes I don’t think I’ll ever grow up
I still pray every day to what I wanna be when I grow up
But just in case I don’t show up
He bless (his children) to play
Be safe and grow up
(No matter what color in your cup)
Or what’s your family luck
Just say, your prayers when you get stuck and they will show up

Marco! Polo!

By AC

Life is more like a group thing,
it isn’t really a solo.
I wish I would have known
instead of finding out on my own
that everything is better in company
than going at it alone.

Marco! Polo!
Always looking for something out there.
Missing the small simple things,
or how perfect they were
and how they meant everything

Marco! Polo!…
Just open your eyes,
Wake up to the lights
of all that surrounds you.
Take off from your face
the veil that blinds you.
Appreciate what you have.
It may not all be good,
but it’s not totally bad.
And try to remember:
Keep your eyes on the ball,
and that we tend to forget
that the higher we get,
the harder we fall.

I’m learning all this
as I’m getting old.
Whatever you do,
Hold on tight to your soul.
Marco! Polo!
I found you.