Another One

By BG

I just had to write another one
No need to end on a bad note
I have plenty of reasons to smile
I’ve learned plenty of ways to cope
I love to laugh and chill
I love to work and play
God is my savior
To Him, I pray

My family is strong
My friends are well
I am listening to songs
Right here in my cell
So I appreciate what I used to overlook
This is just a page of a chapter of a story in my book
To you I thank for sending a postcard my way
Like your postcard made mine,
I hope this poem makes your day

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.

They Don’t Want Us to Recite Our Poems

By AG

They don’t want us to recite our poems, don’t want the people to behold any signs or see any symbols and they d-mn sure don’t want us to know that the ancestors are with us. They don’t want us to recite our poems.

They fear the foreign sounds of our secret language: Hope. They thought it long dead. They are afraid of the spread of our fever how it creeps along the sense—our hearing and seeing, our awakening perception, our ability to sniff out what’s false.

The willingness to feel our most painful wound, the taste of blood on our lips. They don’t want us to recite our poems.

They are afraid of the promise of our spring, the way mother earth blushes green for us, hiding her gift in full view of both the strong and weak alike.

She has shown us fine stones in a babbling brook: love, faith, courage, tenacity, and understanding. They fear the inevitable fall of their rampaging giants.

They don’t want us to recite our poems. They want us to die with our songs unsung. They want to bury our burnt-out husks perfectly preserved shells, with sightless eyes of bitter black smoke and a mouthful of tightly clenched pearl-white teeth, trapping inside, for all eternity, the music that they desperately fear.

They don’t want us to recite our poems.

Untitled

By WD

If the body that you rent
Is not just a cup but the content
Then your identity is entity

The time you spend with me is never wasted
I speak truth and help you face it
To take you far beyond the basics

One with patience
Looks at this bankrupt nation and misapplied enumeration
As the reason why there is a matrix
I’m here awake with

So many sleeping minds, I have to keep in mind
Not to calculate the steps I take
Because the steps I take are eager
To fulfill a greater will

Everyone is great until
They find a blind time with no help left
Why don’t you help self

Unless you have something better to do
But what is better than you

 

WD encourages the reader to suggest a title.

Tears of Hope

By LG

Dedicated to Free Minds Volunteers

Poetry bleeding from my instrument
Staining my canvas for years
Generosity pouring from my peers
Transforming my hope into tears

It seems like it was just yesterday
When I realized this wonderful gift
Ever since I opened my present
My life has taken a shift

When your desire for something is strong
The manifestation will come to pass
Uncontrollable emotions
As you say to yourself, “At last”!

Cursed since my incarceration
now blessed and highly favored
Indebted to a Free Mind
This taste will forever be savored

After a finished masterpiece
I step back and stare in awe
All thanks and glory to god
For a talent I never foresaw

Eager to encourage the world
I humbled myself with joy
With passion to strengthen the weak
Into a fortress no one can destroy

It’s hard to express with words
But thank you for giving me hope
My tears describe my emotion
As a brilliant kaleidoscope