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

Some Day I’m Gonna

By TG

Someday I’m gonna
learn new things.
How to play the piano
and how to sing.
Someday I’m gonna
write a book
or a love song
with a jazzy hook.
Someday I’m gonna
start to work out
watch my weight
and walk about.
Someday I’m gonna
make new friends
contact old ones
tie up loose ends.
Someday I’m gonna
spend more time
with my family
just me and mine.
Someday I’m gonna
stop saying
Someday I’m gonna
and just do it.

Once Upon A Time

By GL

Once upon a time . . .
I lived my life, as though any day could of been my last.
At the tender age of 15, that was how I was living.
THUG LIFE wasn’t just a cool slogan for me
It was a religion.

Amen . . . .
A man . . . manifested a plan
To cultivate the minds and land of his people
THE PEOPLE
We shall overcome . . . some day
But for now, we can forget about being treated socially equal
Maybe in 30 yrs or so . . . in a 100 yrs or mo’
What you reap you sow . . . When I think I GROW
When I think I GLOW . . . When one think, it SHOWS
Think about it . . .
Scratch your head and blink about it
Dropped some jewelry, the impact knocked a link up out it

Once upon a time . . .
I was of a different mind
On the block all the time – committing different crimes
I grew up poor . . . refrigerator on E, my bed was the floor
Ventured down a different path
Opened a different door
Emotions became a wrath
The block became my whore
Money became my b****
My b**** became my god
And GOD became a myth . . .

My salvation, was inside a spliff
The burning bush was burning
My world was turning, upside down
A child hood was lost – a light was found
Society is out of bounds, to the undesirables
Kids wanting to be what they see on cable
Damn near every household possess a Cain and Abel
Damn near every parent in my hood was unstable
A half full 40oz in the fridge, a bag of red hot chips on the table
Crack pipes stashed in the medicine cabinets
It’s easy for the youth to gravitate, to the GHETTO FABULOUS
Gangsters, killers and hustlers
Foreign whips, and customers
Fly girls lust for us
Feeling like you on top of the world
But all along, you’re on top of nothing
At least, you’re on top of something
Even if it’s on top of nothing

Once upon a time . . . I was of a different mind
My 3rd eye was blind to the symbols and signs
Now I can see CLEARLY

I’m Thankful

By B.

I’m thankful for the first time I felt pain
because I’ve learned that something in life
is not a game.
I thank God for the first time I experienced
the loss of a friend’s life
it taught me life is precious and if you don’t respect it,
it might be your last night.
I thank God for the time in lock-down for 23-1,*
because even in darkness
I was awakened by the morning sun.
I’m thankful that I’ve been separated from woman,
God’s most precious treasured molded in gold.
Their beauty is so incomprehensive
and complete, man’s soul.
I thank God for allowing my friends
to testify against me on the stand;
at that moment I knew he was all I had
and my faith should never be put in man.
Some day and night through Karma
the things you see in the dark comes to light.
So I’m thankful most for seeing things
not just black and white,
but in 360 degrees a complete circle of life.
Life is moment of impact that causes ripples in the sea
the things we go through is a reflection
And not our true destiny.
So don’t be weary of what you go through
in the valley of death
but be proud of the reflection
in the mirror of the man that’s left.

 

*23-1 refers to being in a cell for 23 hours a day, with only 1 hour outside.

The Difference Between Dr. King And Me

By SH

I don’t believe this is the dream Dr. King had for me
Somewhere along the timeline, my decisions rewrote history
My choices had voices
Those senseless noises shoulda been avoided

But here’s the difference…
When King was taking a stand and marchin’ for a cause
I was taking a fall and wasn’t marchin’ at all
Couldn’t cover the distance of 3 days and 54 miles, in search of a vision
That the march on Selma, for those who didn’t get it

King stood for peace
While I stood for the streets, which lead me to a place I no longer wanna be
His life brought us Civil Rights
And I sold my freedom to time
Those decades are now deceased and laid to rest in my mind

King will forever be a legend
While my reputation seems like it’s not worth remembering
When my baby momma showed a picture to my child and asked
“Do you remember him?”
I was a strange face to them

King sold a belief that lifted more lives than I put down on concrete
He moved a nation
I moved to any cell that was vacant
King was an activist, a philanthropist
I was on the active list of warrants that only a felon can get

We both had mug shot faces with a rap sheet
King’s rap sheet bled through with integrity
When he was assassinated on a balcony
My rap sheet bleeds ink, when you read about the worst in me
That a character suicide cause I made up my mind
That I was gonna do or die and that frame of mind
Will never lead me to a Nobel Peace Prize

King’s leadership paved a way with the potential to be great
My leadership dug graves, where I laid my potential to waste
He prayed for better days
I prayed for a better way when it all seemed grey

While King was trying to reconstruct a nation and bring an end to segregation
I’m in the pen politickin’, ready to ride on other races and bring an end to segregation
Situation into a permanent placement
He tried to educate us
I wasn’t trying to be educated enough

King was dream chasin’ and I was chasin’ a buck
That’s penniless sense that no longer adds up

Now here’s the big difference between King and me
I’m living this nightmare and King died for the dream

I think it’s time to wake up and make the change and redirect the course of things