I Come From

 By Gary
 Free Minds Poet Ambassador

 I come from a struggle
Welfare mother on drugs
And a dog eat dog world
Where they say only the strong survive
And you watch the murder of friends
Through your innocent eyes
I come from where the devil is strong
And God is weak
And the only time you pray
Is for something to eat
I come from a society of its own
But where I’m going is a different spiritual zone
Where I can sit and write at Sandy Spring lake
And not have to worry who is creeping behind the gate
I’m going to where God is pushed first
And the devil is so shallow
And temptation is so hollow
And my new friends so positive I’m not afraid to follow
Where I’m going is someplace positive
You might want to go

This poem was written on the recent Free Minds retreat to Sandy Spring Friends School, after walking in silence through a former stretch of the Underground Railroad. 


Your Soul


 It all starts with a vision
A passion to reach great heights
First, it all starts with finding yourself
But this cannot be accomplished overnight

Dig deep into yourself
To a place you’ve never been
To a place where there is only light
The goodness that is within

And when you find it; embrace it
You have just discovered your soul
Attain it and cherish it
It is your inner gold

Let it guide you on your path through life
For this road is not meant to be walked alone
Let it guide you on your path to life
A place where many are not meant to go

So when you finally reach your destination
And success become your stepping stone
Be joyful, be proud
Others may have set the bar but you now own the throne

New Life


 My old life was all about me and me alone
I didn’t care or think about anyone else
I did what I wanted, didn’t care about the consequences
I was all about self

My old life landed me in and out of jail
Hurtin’ the ones I love
The old life of mine didn’t care about committing sins
And never was worried about the Man Above

The Man Above gave me every opportunity
To better myself in the book
From a full-time construction job to going to the Everest Institute
And all I did was took

Took it all for granted—
Got fired, caught another case, and had to drop out of school
Sad to say, I didn’t even care
As long as I still had every one of my friends’ respect
And was still considered cool

But it’s not cool to leave the woman you love
Out there by herself, to fend for a child you made
Or to put the woman who raised you through hell,
Now she’s in a house feeling jade

That’s when I realized I have to better my life
Not for me, but the ones I love:
My girl, big bro, my moms, my son, and grandmothers
It’s time to stop thinking about self
And start caring and thinking about others

So when I get home, Imma do right by my mom & birth mom,
Stop worrying my big bro, my grandmothers
Show my son, what a man is supposed to be, and turn my girl
So I’m looking forward to the future
Can’t wait to get outta here to show them all the change
For them to see my strong faith in God
And live my better and brand New Life

Mango Tree


Imagine how being in this damn cage
Used to produce a lot of hatred, depression, rage
But 23 and 1 now?
I slow stroke books and savor each page

See, I developed myself to be
Militant minded and scholarly grounded
Maturity, my manhood, Islam….
In jail is where I found it

Forget a rose
I grew a mango tree out of steel and concrete

Change in the Air

 By IS

 I can feel a change in the air
 A change that isn’t fair
 Taking something that I love so much
 My pride and my honor that can never be touched 
 Change could be a good thing
 Or change could be tough
 It can leave you wondering
 Wondering if it’s enough
 Are you changing for yourself
 Or changing for someone else?
 Never will I change to impress
 But sometimes change happens for the best
 Changing your mindset in order to progress