My Crack in the Wall

By KC

Every day I awake in an open grave
And leave my slab to walk among the tombs

Massive monuments built to mark bad decisions and love lost
Life and freedom shattered by time being watched over by men with guns

I am not alone, for thousands walk with me
A nation of the undesirables left to rot above ground

Who like crabs hold each other back from reaching peace of mind
They thrive in the misery of their fellow man and thirst for dominance

They think the title King Crab is an honor
Don’t they see? King of the damned is still damned himself

I am different from most here
I walk in the land of the dead focused on life

Time is harsh, but my dreams have never decayed
Stepping stones made from ink on paper keep me on track

Words from loved ones lost, now found, tell me
I am human not an animal, and to never lose myself

Do or die among the dead until you get to the living
And never let the flame of life burn out, it connects us

So, I walk among the tombs every day
Looking for that crack in the wall, that slither of light

Today I’ve found her, and her name is…
Well that doesn’t matter

What matters in the end, today’s a good day
And my crack in the wall has just gotten a little bigger

A Message to the Community: A Letter from Prison

By RW

I offer my condolences to the families who have lost loved ones
And became victims to the violence

I offer my apologies for having been derelict in my duty and responsibility as a man
In not being the guardian, educator, and leader my communities needed
In order to be vital and life-affirming

I want to inform you that it is my goal to counteract the insanity of the destructive mindset
And I do not embrace those who prey upon any people
But particularly, my people

I want my voice to be heard:
Let the violence, drug dealing, physical, and spiritual abuse of the communities stop

As a man, I want it to be known that I have come to value and recognize
That the children need and deserve a safe and secure environment in which to grow and develop,
Be educated, have access to equal opportunities to excel,
And become who the Creator intended them to be

I ask that everyone reading or hearing this looks at a child
Whether at home, school, at play, in church, or mosque, and consider these words:

I am the African child

The whole world awaits my coming, all the earth watches with interest
To see what I shall become
Civilization hangs in the balance; for what I am, the world of tomorrow will be

I am the African child

You have brought me into this, about which I know nothing
You hold in your hand my destiny
You determine whether I shall succeed or fail
Give me, I beg you, a world where I can walk tall and proud
Train me, as is your duty unto me
To love myself, and my people
And to build and maintain a great nation
It is I who proclaim

I am the African child

The whole world awaits my coming, I shall not delay it
For I too have a dream

Relentless

By ML

Every day I pray that things will get better
Every day I say that I will keep working hard
No matter what’s pulling me the other way
Every day I pray that times will get better
Every day I say I will get back to my family
And no one will stop me
Every day I pray, no matter what I have God by my side
Each and every day!
Every day I say that I will get free
Every day I pray that I will get home
In one piece
Every day I say I won’t let no one stop me
Every day I pray that my life won’t go back to the streets
Every day I say I’m going to do the right thing and go the other way
Every day I pray God will keep leading me in the right way
And not the wrong
Every day I say, I won’t let no one pull me back the other way
Every day I pray that freedom take me the right way!

Exceeded Doubt

By MR

When they said I couldn’t, I did…

When they said I wasn’t enough, I became more than what they expected…

When they said it was over, I told them this is just the beginning…

When they told me I had potential, I showed them absolute greatness…

Just when they started to believe, I was already years into believing in myself…

Because they expectations never mattered enough to stop my dreams from becoming the very reality I’ve created…

So when they ask how you done it, smile and tell “them” that’s for you to know, and for them to find out.

Sadness in Your Heart

By JJ

When you have sadness in your heart,
you feel like a little person
and everybody is walking over you.
Your heart is crying,
but your soul is just sad.

There is hope.
You hope they do not look in your past
or you hope they forgive you for your past.
This is the only thing that can stop
the sadness in your heart.

Some nights I cry and some nights
I get mad at myself.
My mother and family is always there.
But when you are looking for somebody else
to talk to, there is nobody there.
You feel alone.

This is when sadness in your heart grows
and it gets bigger and bigger.
It makes you go crazy.
It makes you do things that you do not want to do.
You try to find love,
but you are looking in the wrong place.
You try to do things that you think will make you happy,
but it just puts more sadness in your heart.