Rewind

By IS

If you could rewind time what would you do different
Would you have gathered the tools in life to influence and make a difference?
Would you have listened?
Would you have made better decisions?
Would you have surrounded yourself with people
Who had better intentions?
Would you finish school, get a job, and make an honorable living?
Or would you have jumped off the porch
To be the average statistic?
Would you cherish your friendships?
Or be more careful and distant?
Would you have been humble though affliction
And find strength in religion?
Would you have disobeyed the code, just to get out of prison?
Ask yourself would you have strived
To aid your brother and sisters?
Or would you still be on the corner selling drugs for a living?
Even though you know the consequences creates a conviction.
These questions I’ve asked myself are now for those who listen
If you could rewind time what would you do different?
Would you change who you are? Would you paint a different picture?
Would you follow the same path or put sights on a different vision?
If you could rewind time what would you do different?
Would you have loved the ones you didn’t?
Or make love a distant feeling?
And although I feel like life is pre-written
My question remains consistent
If you could rewind time what would you do different?

Dream

By JP

As I find myself getting lost in the world of illusion,
Where perception is nothing more than constant confusion
Which catches me by surprise
Like kids opening gifts on birthdays
and the gift leaves them in utter amazement
Or like doing something and forgetting the task at hand or what you were doing
Or like arguments or hurtful words said
from points being proven

I dream sometimes…
Of broken hearts that I’ve ruined,
Of empty promises never kept,
Of walls of trust being penetrated until hatred is the only emotion left

I dream sometimes…
Of you fully forgiving me
For the mistakes that I made
and how I failed you endlessly

I dream sometimes…

Untitled (for Amy Winehouse)

By AC

You are selfish, inconsiderate, reckless.
Who gave you the right?
To darken peoples’ life-lights
And put tears in their eyes.
I guess you never did stop to think
Of the hurt that you caused in a blink.
You didn’t consider the hearts that you broke,
Or contemplate the pain that you brought
To those you said that you loved.
Or maybe that’s just what you thought.
Now there’s nothing you can say.
Literally, nothing.
It is all far too late.
Would it have been the same fate?
If you truly had known what you meant?
If only you knew
Of the smiles you drew
From all the sad faces
Just by you being you.
You should have seen it:
Everyone saw it right where they stood
How people changed from lonely and sad
To being comforted, understood.
It was so very good.
You matter! You are loved!
Don’t do it! Just stop!
Think about what will be lost
Of the people that love and surround you.
You have more blessings than most
And what you’re doing has a great cost
People really want to hear what you say
Please don’t throw it away
But alright,
You say you can’t stay? It’s okay.
Farewell, my dear friend.
I’ll see you some day.

Author’s note: I wrote this with Amy Winehouse in mind. She became famous in the UK from a very early age. She was so talented and very much loved yet she never really saw how well-received she was and people truly wanted to hear what she had to say next. She struggled to the point of being reckless with her very life. She was so reckless in fact that she ended up dying. She reminds me of how reckless I was with my own life. I was very unappreciative and that is something I can see now, as if a veil lifted. But now it’s too late, life as I knew it has completely ended and it will never be the same. After a 15-year sentence, I will be deported to El Salvador. I can literally say that my reckless actions cost me everything. But thankfully, I’m still alive.

A Father’s Long Walk with Reality

By SH

Smacked by an enormous impact of shame
Brain drained from searching unchartered memories
Those times that will never be sitting in the depths of me
Consumed by my own cocoon
Burdened by my unfit deeds
Those responsibilities that I failed to meet
Makes it hard to face the mirror’s reflection,
That’s suggesting I tie up the loose ends
Begin again like those yesteryears never happened
Yet, I’m still haunted by my actions and my nightmares
Leave me drenched in my children’s tears
This distance can’t comfort confused fear
Or change how they truly feel
The wonderment hurts like self-imposed punishment
While my children shoulder the blame and their mothers
Picked up the weight of my mistakes
Left feeling like a lamebrain trying to explain away the pain
Painting a paradox of how life is give and take
That wrong and right are the two roads of reality
But my love wasn’t enough to keep me home and they’re feeling
Like they did something wrong
Cause I wasn’t there when they needed me the most
Never seen them learn, never watched them grow
My presence holds the essence of a ghost
And my name is all they’ve ever known
Since infant to full grown
I was just a figment of their imagination and they easily erased it
Replaced it–with their own image of a glorified hero
Making him better than me–smarter than me
More swag than I had
With more virtue than can fill a paper bag
And I’m cool with that as long as they don’t
Follow in my footsteps
Wishing that one day all this will make sense
A father’s long walk with reality

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