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

Pen-Spilled Emotions

By JC

As my pen spills an emotion I don’t know if I’m physically
Able to verbalize the words that are written on my heart
They are caught because I don’t want to release them
With ill intentions, but knowing the truth sometimes hurts
And knowing what these words may cause, I seek the best way
To say them without causing division or discomfort hoping
You’ll understand at times the right words can’t be found
Or said so I rather show you through my action
If all fails I’m left to let my pen continue to spill my
Emotions that are written on my heart

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.

Word Journey

By MH

If emotions take over from its want to speak their piece,
the body will follow and let the message come out
now here, lip service can die or travel by word of mouth
the answer lies between words coasting thru ears
and comprehension making the sounds worthwhile
seems like talk is either gossip or gospel
some truth maybe falsehood intertwined in the grapevine
I’m wondering who said it best
politicians, preachers, pimps, professional talkers of the same kind
or is the listener more important digesting the verbal fruit into their minds
all depends on what the conveyer has to say
my thoughts end with my pen seeking to communicate
thanks to whose eyes reading this page

Incarceration

By DJ

Could have, would have, should have been on the streets, on my feet
Looking out my cell window like damn, I’m so far from a street
Staring at the wall like this isn’t where I should be
In the visitation room just looking at my beautiful niece
When I call home just talking and thinking like that’s where I should be
When they call my name at mail call, you should see the smile on my face, just the happiest as I could be
Under the jail if I die in prison I know that is where they’ll bury me
When pencil meets paper, my hand lets out the real me
When I read, I travel to every place but Southeast