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Poems by Inside Men and Facilitators

PAIN INTO PAPER (Added 1/11/13)

Penitentiary poets

Pouring pain into paper

Cause from the drama of prison life

Writing is our Savior.

So we scribe what for years

We were too tough to say.

Praying these verses will somehow

Help us get through the day.

So as the page soaks up ink

The words heal our souls

Our hearts begin to soften

And no longer remain ice cold.

Through our writing, our pain

May save another man.

Its true, from here we can’t do much

But it’s a must we do what we can

So that maybe, just maybe

The outside world will finally see

That we can be productive citizens

If they would just set us free.

So painful piece after piece

Of our souls we reveal

Digging down to the darkest depths

So we can feel what we feel.

We are overflowing with remorse

And drowning in regret

Living daily with such scars

That we will never forget.

Still year in and year out

We forge ahead behind these walls

Somehow and someway finding ways to stand tall.

Even though everything we once lived for

Is now lost to us forever

We continue to push on

And against all odds hold it together.

Refusing to be broken

Although at times we may bend

Once robbers and murderers

We now lay claim to being men.

Where we were once young and dumb

We’re now older and semi-wise

With the pains of the past

Evident when you look in our eyes.

Man might have made money

But money misleads many a man

Causing chaos and corruption

Constantly from clan to clan

Where and when we will wizen up,

Your guess is as good as mine

Rabble-rousers are running rampant

Some of us here recognizing the sign.

So desperate daddy’s daily dedicate

Our lost lives to little lads and lasses

Hoping heartfelt honesty helps to heal

And encourage our seeds to get A’s in classes.

Knowing no matter what we do

That we can’t erase the past

Or give back those precious years

We took away from them so fast.

Behind bars both battered and blue

But boldly becoming braver

As we pour out our pain

Into the lines on this paper.

The Call of the Crack

Each of my cracks

cracks of my brokenness…

has a moment, an emotion

and a personality.

Each clamors to breach the light

To be seen, to be heard.

I feel the echo of time ringing

in my soul, my spirit…

A cacophony of sounds, of smells,

invade the space in which I live.

I struggle to balance in the breach

to hold fast to who I am…

I am a cracked, broken and

beautiful vessel, a man broken and

whole at the same time, glimpses

of moments, photographs in the mind

that create the man, the Warrior, the little

boy, and the sage of this soul.

Forgiveness answers the call of the crack,

and one becomes whole.

The Arrival

What would I be if I would be
the man that lives inside of me?
How could I see if I was blind?
When would I know when I’d arrived?
Where would I flee to escape from time
to break the chains that bond my mind?

No feet, no knees, no legs to walk
No tongue, no mouth, no voice to talk.
With arms so short and hands so small
How could I reach to climb the wall?

My name is spoke, I hear it clear
Though I have no drums inside my ears.
My heart still beats though it is stone.
My blood still flows though it is cold.

I breathe in deep, there is no air.
I exhale quick, release my fear.
It floats away up to the clouds.
I smell the rain, it showers down.

My skin feels pain, but there is none.
I close my eyes, I see the sun
and lavender skies I’ll leave behind,
The cool sea breeze, the ocean’s tide.

Divine intervention helps me survive.
I only know how, I don’t know why.
What could I be if I would see
The gifts of sights epiphany?

I open my eyes and see the signs
To weaken the chains and break their bind.
I choose to live, I live to shine.
I’ve freed my mind, I’ve now arrived.