If I Was Your Man


 Even if we cannot be together
I hope he adores you and your heart he treasures
Makes you smile because your smile brings so much pleasure
And he blows your mind beyond its wildest measures
I hope he buys you flowers
Gives you his coat in rain storms and showers
Listens to you, talk for hours
And he keeps you safe from snakes, busters, and cowards
I hope he holds your hands
Kisses your soft lips no matter where you stand
Don’t get mad when you make numerous demands
And that all your wishes are his commands
I hope he cherishes the ground you walk on
Never argues with you and lets bygones be bygones
Builds you back up when your confidence is torn
And that he buys you new shoes when yours get old and worn
I hope he takes you out to eat and dance
It may sound corny but it’s all romance
If he does this then I know I don’t stand a chance
These are the things I would’ve done if I was your man

If You Wanta Know

By Alisha, Free Minds Poet Ambassador

 I won’t write just to write
Even though they ask me to fill this space with words
They wanta know why I sing and set birds free.
They want to see my faded past
From a story line of poetic theories
Of rocky poetry…
They want me to fill this space
So I tell them
If you want to know of my life
Go into the darkest place of your soul
And let a little light shine through… then reach
And if you wanta know where I’ve been
Just read a book on evolution,
And if you wanta know where I’m going
Just kiss the plams of my hands
Because I’m evolving outa darkness
And grabbing on to life
Just so I can fill your space
With wise words

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. 


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. 




 Going through struggles is a part of life,
So no matter what your endeavors are to conquer or overcome
Such resistance is up to you

Giving up should never be an option for yourself
Going through the struggle builds character
And then everyone will see how much you grew
You don’t do it for them
You do it for yourself

The achievement alone shows your strength
And that is the greatest victory
And once you reach that completion
Your success shall go further than you can imagine
What a life-changing journey
And one amazing story

Your adversaries shall be your motivation
To more victorious gaining in your new life
So love thy enemy
And forgive them for being antagonists
That’s how you conquest over your foes with kindness
And agree that’s a fine accomplishment
To handle conflict with your heart and not your fist

So once you reach the top of that mountain of peace of mind
Don’t lose it and so be alertly watchful to avoid trouble
Be a vigilante
‘Cause you made it to the end
You went through hell and back
And now look at you…you came out

On the Same Page: Coping with a Parent in Prison

Free Minds frequently holds “On the Same Page” events, in which members who have completed their sentences and returned to society – our Poet Ambassadors – share their writing and their stories of personal growth and positive change with the community to prevent violence and demonstrate the power of reading and writing to transcend challenges.

Last week, we held a particularly powerful On the Same Page event with middle school students from Chesapeake, Virginia. We end each On the Same Page with a Toast for Change, during which everyone present shares some way they hope to grow as a result of what we learned together that day. During the Toast, a courageous 13-year-old young woman named KW shared openly for the first time that her own father is incarcerated. Poet Ambassador LaTrae spoke with her after about his own experience and struggle coping with his father being imprisoned, and he shared the feelings of shame and secrecy that touch so many families impacted by incarceration. It served as a powerful example of the connection that comes from sharing ourselves and our stories.

Since the event, KW has written a number of poems to explore her feelings. We are posting them here to share and celebrate her strong voice and to continue creating space for all those touched by incarceration to share their stories, connect, and grow together. Thank you, KW, for your strength, your courage, and your willingness to share!

Through My Eyes
– Through my eyes there was a man
– Known as my Father
– Through my eyes he was the best person in the world
– But that opinion took a big curve
– He made bad decisions
– Thats always how it goes
– He hung out with the wrong people
– Their names still stay unknown
– Through my eyes he deserves to stay in prison
– And i have better wisdom
– To not follow his footsteps
– Because i have eyes that show me
– The best life i could have
– Without a father i love
– The way he tells me he does
Why Put Me Through This?
– I struggle with the pain and suffering everyday
– It hurt so much I ran away
– The letters you send drive me crazy
– Trying not to think of your voice inside my head
– I think of the day I came and saw you
– A barbed wire place I felt I was locked up to
– You came out to the visitors room
– In that tan ugly jumpsuit
– Why put me through this?
– When you know your little girl wants a daddy too
Years Go By Without You
– Daddy this poem is for you
– I know you wont hear it but I will send it to the prison
– Hang it up on your wall
– And the pictures I send of me growing big and tall
– As the years go by without you
I Love You, I Love You Not
– I love you
– Or do i not
– You tell me
– By saying you bought all that stuff
– when you really stole and lied
– That really broke my heart
– Saying you love me or is that a lie to
– You tell me because……
– I love you
– And i think you love me not
– You were there for me
– Thick and thin
– My mother showed me love
– While my father didn’t mean it
– But he made me the greatest person to be
– I show respect for my family
– My step dad is my new father
– Without him i didn’t know how life would be
– Without a father in need
Free Minds
– you’re thinking about this
– you’re thinking about that
– just close your eyes
– take a deep breath
– and you can free your mind
– with just two easy steps