Poetry and Prose

This space provides an opportunity to highlight writing by people who are or have been in prison. If you are interested in utilizing any of the pieces you see here, please fill out this form.

If you would like to add your or a loved one’s work to the galleries or portfolios, please have them send us a completed consent form, or if you know an artist in prison who would like to learn about our programs, please have them write to us at PO Box 8261, Silver Spring, MD 20907.

The beliefs and opinions expressed by the artists we feature on our website may not always reflect the views of Justice Arts Coalition. JAC’s aim has always been to uplift and share the voices of those impacted by the carceral system and we hope our website can be a safe space for all who visit and contribute to it. To learn more about JAC’s values and guiding beliefs, please visit our about page.

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All writings and poems:

“Neutral: The Journery Manifest” – Bednago Harper

An excerpt from my novel “Neutral: The Journey Manifest” “Not that it really matters, but I find myself very, very, very disturbed by many of the things I have witnessed during this time. I hope and pray that this will be the last time that I will ever be incarcerated. I have grown to suspect …

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(Finally) (King David Speaks) – Mr. David N. Hazlitt aka Crazy Color

“Finally,” The King Speaks. Watching the pen’s ink. Penetrate thoughts leaked. Into the paper, dream. His kingdom awakes. His reign was no mistake. The Elite shall compensate The wisdom from the great. Knowledge that can’t be bought. No money or form of precious rocks The King that couldn’t be stopped. By words or weapons or …

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24 Karat – B.E. The Truth

Charismatic lady reveals blissful delight. Arouses curiosity; unmasking needs appearing true Expressing urgency, in wanting you. Her quixotic features; flows cascades of passion. Mon Cherie, winesome fondness mingles tantalizing fashion. Wanton harmony burns body–soul liquefy as one. Soaring into flight galaxies exploding! Intense congenial delight. Our impulse testifies; mystical appeal, for receptive merit. Love’s artistic …

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58 years-n-hell – Razor

With shatterd heart & fucked up Dreams being alone & lost Does you know what I mean. So angry an afraid, so sick of this life. I’ve tryed to cut tryed to slice. But in a blink of an eye I lost my life. Feeling traped & unwanted as if a condemed soul. Cops, doctors, …

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A Fathers Wish – Brittian Koty Osorio

I shake my head in disappointment as the sound of a gunshot screams in the night Because I know that with that sound comes the end of another human life. Kids killing kids over something so simple as losing a fair fight or A son killing his father for hitting his mother one too many …

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A Gentle Whisper – B.E. The Truth

Life is rewarding when benevolence is for another. Expressing JESUS, optimism, no contradiction, no contrast towards color. Deep inside we’re all the same, not as blood relative. LOVE links us, understand a narrative. LOVE is warmth, LOVE inspires to forgive. No confusion, no turmoil. LOVE gives purpose to live. I’m no threat, my personal inventory …

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A Mile in My Shoes – Anthony Billings

    A gathering among some placed in different categories.     They have all led different lives and these are their stories. I’ve been on the road all day and hardly took a break, Been running a triathlon that I’m hoping to take. I know I smell funny even with all this air, But …

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A Mother’s Love – I Am Becoming King

(Dedicated to the memory of Freddie Gray) I saw a mother cry because she lost her son And when I saw her cry it reminded me of the other ones She reminisce about his smile and the way he laughed And now those memories forces tears from her soul as the days go past Her …

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A Pain Shared – Jordan Earls

What is this pain shared Like the blood in our veins? It runs as deep, A price too steep; Oh, why such heavy chains? And Why His absence When He is needed most? We beat our chests And shout protests Toward this “holy” ghost. Are these what you ask, Hurting brother of mine? Are these …

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A Picture of Me…Without You – Gary Farlow

A Place I’d Rather Be – Jordan Earls

The place resembles the wild hills,     dense with the grey columnar bodies of pines, that I used to roam      with my best friend behind his home. My steps provoke a subtle crunch     from the ground that is blanketed with long copper needles and bulbous cones      that permeate …

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A Prairie Dog’s Tale – Christopher Meredith

A Sad Truth – Bednago Harper

Black, White, Hispanic, race don’t matter. None are exempt. Neither are the countless and rising numbers of innocent misfortune people who have fallen tragic victims in their wake. The new breed of Grim Reapers are no longer at the city gates…they are in the city!  If life was fair, this world wouldn’t be such a …

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A SHORT FLIGHT – Rick

Jump from soaring heights, I fly, I take wing In mind, to revel, flying toward the sun In rapturous joy, my heart it will sing and I’ll never mind the wrongs I have done I can feel it, like an illicit fling the final prize it comes, and I have won In seconds blood seeps …

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A Spooky Cellar – Christopher Meredith

The sun slowly slipped away to her rest, as we gathered around to do our best. Her colors of red, orange, and then some yellow, filled our souls as we felt the night mellow. We gradually descended the long, narrow stair. We’d been told it led to the devil’s own lair. We looked on our …

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A Story To Tell – Anthony Newman

The auction blocks no different from the courthouse, can’t you see the parallel, if you can’t sit back and listen cause I’ve got a story to tell  About Afrikans being kidnapped and ripped from the motherland, and brought to amerikkka and turned into a new man One that when they looked in the mirror they …

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A Voice From Inside… – Amber Daniel

All my life I’ve been a drug addict, at least since I was 13 years old. What caused me to come down this life road?  IDOC # 101969 Inmate Daniel, I was supposed to be somebody special. Not some loser.  What makes me a loser? Societies views, and harsh opinions do…  In the eyes of …

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Aberrant Nature – B.E. The Truth

Addressing Injustice – Derrick Grantley

Justice!,Justice!,What Justice?, or do you mean just us? Words like equality and liberty,doesn’t apply to negroes like me, I’m just an African trapped in the belly of the beast Ask Jim Crow, I bet he knows, They best way to break a negro,is by locking ’em up,and taking his soul Lock ’em,throw away the key, …

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All Lives Matter – Marcos Henderson

Allendale Dogs – Eggleston

As it be in the morning pitch black dark. Walking to breakfast at Allendale I hear a bark I look with a stare through the fog It’s an prisoner walking a dog. The dog’s color is brown and black With a streak of white down his back. Some of the colors will begin to blend …

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Alone & forgotten – Razor

Day in, day out were forgotten about. We choose our dreams, we went our routes. But the shit right here aint what its about. I am done with yelling so sick of fighting while at times thinking our lives are like an unwinning battle. I am ready to snape on the verga to crack, them …

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Alone – Cory Sitsler

loneliness my cloke i wear. solitude my only compasion, this lonely path i walk, forever condemned to wander, oh how i search for even a morsal, a crumb of Decency, a whisper in this cacophony of silence, have mercy this sentence is too much to bare, release me, from this sentence of dispair.

Amazing Grace – Derrick Grantley

Ever since I was a child, You’ve been right by my side You supported me! You Loved me! You ignored all the lies! I don’t know how far I would’ve made it with out you My strength and power, I attributed from you For without you, I am weak, Like a tree with no roots …

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AMBER CARE’S – Derrick Grantley

You are the artery to my heart The star in my sky The air in my lungs The Amber to my fire When I was down Your words lifted me up When I was depressed You made me feel blessed Your encouraging words Are heard in my thoughts Whenever I fall, They pick me up …

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America – Gary Farlow

An Inmate’s Lament – Gary Farlow

Life in prison is terrible The noise level can be unbearable Our sentences seem unendable The rules are all unbendable This experience is incredible The chow hall food is inedible C.O’s think we’re detestable But what we eat is indigestible Programmers feel we’re incorrigible And look at us like we’re horrible The public says we’re …

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An Iris and Mrs. Roberts – Claude Kelley Kirk

It was second grade and you, Mrs. Roberts maker of minds mender of knees were beautiful to me in ways I didn’t yet understand. In some ways I still don’t and that, too is beautiful. The purple iris grew around our cistern, by the sleepy mimosa and the grape arbor. Between the rusty sheds and …

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Another Day! – Christopher Meredith

The languishing twist of a broken heart. Fault to the nines, a shorn counterpart. Imminent thoughts ambush the soul, While distant memories raid the whole. Shadows of emotions dark and gray. Decaying to ruins as they betray. Incurred by the loss, a great tragedy. On thorns of hope, but beyond remedy. Spirit of my soul, …

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Awaken – Ted “Wizdom” Snider

Threatened, Attacked while the camera’s rollin’ Restrained, Beaten, even while recordin’ Detained, Arrested without an explanation. Why won’t you tell me why you are here? Where are you taking me? Why over there? I live by myself, do you not hear me? I am alone. Why won’t you believe me? Shackled, Bleedin’, surrounded by the …

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Be At Peace – Donna Lucé

Your soul feeds at the table of sincerity Drinks at the well of serenity Dwells at the place of soothing Rests at the feet of love, Be at peace for all is well

Being Comfortable, While being Uncomfortable – Eggleston

Being Real – Razor

Tha day we stop fighting is tha day were forgotten. Only a coward quites B/C there to affraid to try. If we cant believe in ourselfs what makes ya think anyone else can or will. It dosn’t matter on what one says or thinks as long as were able to keep lovein & believein in …

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Ben’s Wacky Jailhouse Trivia Vol 1 – Ben Wilkins

Bittersweet Alphabet – Deidra Rose Vincer AKA Twitch

As adventurous as life may seem Bittersweet is the taste that lingers Counterfiet as people are Don’t judge anyone by their exterior Eventually death finds us all For we are all the same within Going is tough and tough is the going Hearts will be broke so Inhale the good in life because Joyful memories …

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Black Lives Matter – Brittian Koty Osorio

My best friend’s son is half black. My baby cousin is half black. 2 of my nieces are half black. Do I need to worry that one day when they go out, they might not make it back? Everyday I live in fear because these are not disguisable facts. They may not be my children, …

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Bluebitter – Claude Kelley Kirk

I’m kept here where I’m kept. To dream of lost things, little trinkets of you In this bleak of distance, empty wilds of the soul where you still live, and move through me, like you moved through rooms where love was once sown in little pots on the sill and grew, under many-fingered oak leaves …

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Boxman – Harold Johnson

Brilliant – Jordan Earls

The sun is a helpless lover. I know this because, evening after evening, she returns to her significant other, that dark, mysterious horizon, and plants the gentlest of kisses upon his head; yet every time, she dissolves and is absorbed into his long body where she disappears to do what helpless lovers do. It matters …

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Broken Soul – Razor

She was a beautifull little girl, a fallen angel from heaven. That was sent to give this man a life worth living. A angle named Faith, with the powers to give grate strangth, to do the impossible. A little one that’s loved so much, that day she had took flight back to heaven it broke …

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Carpe Diem – Gary Farlow

Cathedrals of Ice – Claude Kelley Kirk

I was just a boy, back then and my memory is ― well, it’s mortal. And that, is okay. The soul is sound and some remembrance settles in, and sustains the soul. The winter skies above slate, still I was alone and that, was okay. Some things were better when the ‘others’ weren’t around. This, …

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Chasing The Wind – Eggleston

Choices – Brittian Koty Osorio

Everyday you clock in you’re making a sacrifice. To work on the frontlines, risking your own lives. Mentally and physically ready to lose your mind. Although you wear a smile we see the tears you hide. Every segment of the news someone breaks down crying. Because we see what you do to keep us alive. …

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CHOOSE YOUR SIDE – B.E. The Truth

      Myself and others petition: powerful affluent Men around the world initiate deceitful and unjust policies with no regret. Their goals in life are only to retain wealth, cartels, control, and lavish prosperity. While the poverty-stricken cry out! What about us? We too are capable to better ourselves. But no matter how passionately …

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Chow Call – Gary Farlow

Scurry, scurry, The roaches hurry to get into position it’s chow time again! What’s this we see diced carrots with peas we crawl across the floor seeking such delicacies and more. Doing the backstroke in gravy I’m a sailor in the ranch navy scooped up in a ladle and placed on your tray. Wiggle, wiggle, …

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Cirque – Claude Kelley Kirk

My life led to a trail and the trail led to a ship then the ship went asail and my life became a trip. The trip led to a port and the port led to a house, a house of just the sort full of secrets born of doubts. So my life became a secret …

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Climb the Mountain! – David Meade

The mountain is steep & has ice sickle’s on the edges but the main goal is to excel to the top. And sometimes the journey may appear endless & incapable of climbing but we must continue to climb even if we may slip, fall, or mysteriously drop. This is the mountain of life & we …

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CLIO’S Gift – Charlie Castillo

12/3/19 I’m sure everyone has someone who is deemed “out of sight, out of mind.” You’ll never know how it doesn’t rehabilitate, it slowly kills your spirit. Why? Because we prisoners are deemed criminals and need to be broken. If you’re struggling for employment, work for a federal prison. It’s a booming business model. But …

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Clueless Pain – Razor

I hurt so much, I still staind tuff. When the love of a friend just wasn’t enought. I hate my life now being filled with anger & pain. When all was taken I cused his name.  Shatterd heart & misconfigured dream’s going in & out feeling as none of it’s real. Slashing my risk watching …

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Cocaine James – Eggleston

Coloring Page Project – Carla Joan Simmons

“I wish to submit a piece of art that heavily focuses on solidarity and community; specifically the shared humanity and experience of women in the carceral system. I do a lot of thinking, writing, and visual art which focuses on the oppession and injustice of my experience, but this piece attempts to shed light on …

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Colorism – David Meade

Concrete Walls – David Meade

Behind these concrete walls there is so much hidden pain, This is the place where boys turn into men and this place isn’t a game You got young brothers walking around with life that is only nineteen, The system done took him away from his family and shattered all of his drea You got men …

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COVID-19 – Jordan Earls

You have lost, Devourer of the ordinary. In slowing the spinning of this world, You have fanned the flames of the extraordinary. Now watch, in vain, as Your power fails to steal what matters the most. For though man remains idle, the Spirit of Man continues its ever-defiant march forward. You have lost, Devourer of …

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Crushed By The System – Troy Glover

Daisy and Dandy – Elvis Redzepagic

Chapter 1 The only way to describe her was nothing less than gorgeous,elegant,and sophisticated.The way she carried herself spoke of her well preserved behavior, and how she walked with a strut and a natural rotation in her hips that left men bobbing after her in front of their wives as if she were a pendulum …

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Dare…To Be – Gary Farlow

Dark – I Am Becoming King

Darkside – Gary Farlow

Within each of us there is a darkside. A bottomless pit which harnesses all of our anger, rage, and hate. Locked away in a steel safe beneath a veneer of civility and smiles. Laying under kindness, generosity, and even love. Yet, as in us all, sometimes the safe is broken. All that has been locked …

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Dear, Little Magnolia – Jordan Earls

I did not find her in the spring. That is to say, she appeared quite suddenly. She adorned herself with flowers of yellow and white. Pale ornaments resting comfortably in her lovely dark hair. Occasionally, a purple blossom would make an appearance. She was fond of surprising me, you see? She was a small thing. …

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Dedicated Place – Donna Lucé

The place you dwell deep in my mind Right next to my soul outside of time Blessing me with the blessing that everybody names Waiting for my thoughts to turn from whence they came And once again there they will be But it moves me so much–a delicate memory Is that the right term when …

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Destiny – B.E. The Truth

Destiny With God As Our Refuge  We Both Shall Prosper And  Succeed, Baby Know This, I’m All The Man You Will Ever Need.  A Beautiful World I’m Trying Too Find  Whisper Softly Into My Ear. Desire You Want Fulfilled. I’ll Cling To Your Side, Skin On Skin.  I’ll Soothe You; Soften You, Then Smoothly Creep …

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DESTINY: A Testimony – B.E. The Truth

DIARY OF A MAD BLACK MAN: PART 1 – Derrick Grantley

All I wanted, was my GED, not for my principal, to lay hands on me He advised me, that if I didn’t allow him to perform oral sex, that there would be no way in the world, that I would pass the test I was completely perplexed This was the head of education, down on …

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Distant, but Mine – Jordan Earls

a bright, fall day marshmallow clouds float overhead sitting beneath the white post the one at the end of the front yard my siblings and i with a great orange pumpkin  picture time. sharing the bed with my best friend big brother a bottle of chocolate milk while josh talks himself to sleep all is …

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DO “YOU” HEAR ME? – Derrick Grantley

Just another innocent Black man, Trapped in a state pen, With nothing but hate in him I ain’t the first and damn sho’nuff won’t be the last Black man has been victim to the system since the beginning, Just check the past False claims and accusations made by white women, Same thing that got Emmett …

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Does Anybody Care? – Derrick Grantley

Does anybody care? or am I own my own to deal with my despair, They say we are the scums of the earth, And should have been killed at the time of Birth; Who cares that we are being subjected to torture, Deprived of sleep, stomped, beat and starved of food to eat; They scream …

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Dream’s! Dream – B.E. The Truth

I arise eyes opened, recalling travels from distant dimensions of time and space. My body quivers and quakes from tempered teleportation through a time portal scouring place after place. I regain bearings and probe around. I behold solid fixtures serving their purpose. Reminded that idols cannot contemplate my behalf, do not see, cannot speak, or …

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Ebi ni mo fi okan – Here you lay down your heart – Troy Glover

What beauty is found in Prison What music from bars do listen Suffering is the sound From the madness around To quench Hope is T.D.C’s mission. There’s a secret people don’t know a sliver of light they won’t show a seedling on the rise fed by the tears and the cries by the blood of …

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Every First Snow – Jordan Earls

the snow is soft; each flake gently falling and changing direction until it finds its designated place i watch as, with each passing moment, the earth dons her wintry white gown. her song is silent, her dance is slow. and then there is me falling in rhythm; falling in love.

Fade to Black – James Jackson W.B.

[2 characters, older gentlemen, on the porch playing Dominos, trash talking one another. Radio plays AL Green “Let’s Stay Together.” Little boy comes out of the door with a handgun that is obviously heavy. Neither man notices] Man 1: Dime on time fool, give me my points. Man 2: Ain’t nothing in life free old …

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Federal Prison Jargon of Isolation – Charlie Castillo

5/3/20 (Daughter’s Graduation day) Serving my first prison sentence (and a federal one at that) I’ve come to learn and accept that this is a different world with its own codes/laws (spoken & unspoken) amongst prisoners and staff. The hardest is trying to communicate the flaws and injustices that goes on in here. You’d think …

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Finding the Fall – Chris Johnson

Impressive is the rainforest; rich, colorful, and bright; As I walk through it, I feel I might just take flight. All of the sights and sounds; full of majesty, charm, and grace; I’m lost and wandering, but with an eager and meaningful pace. Trees so great, intimidating in their power; Surrounding me on all sides, …

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Firefly poems – Jordan Earls

(I) Untitled a spark of gold against a navy sky. “hello, little one”, says the firefly. grinning and grasping only to find he’s already gone. “farewell, goodbye”   (II) the answer is in the asking i once asked of the firefly why is it you burn bright as a distant sun? her response was a …

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Forgotten – Christopher Meredith

See what I have become, nonexistent, full of nonthingness. Placed inside the void, Out of the way into darkness. In the perversion of truth, All adrift, diluted. Numbered among the dead, for eternity, excluded. Unsettled, unwanted, unbegotten, cast about, throw away, forgotten. Was it all my imagination, or have I ever been? Did you really …

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Fragment of a Dream (A prison passage) – Gary Farlow

FREE – B.E. The Truth

This Evening: Stars gleaming all so bright; Like fireworks Display fascination upon an 4th of July night. The crisp Cool air archs blades of grass to veer too the right. Ian reclined: Relaxed like a field of cotton, Engaged With melodies of jazz. My conscious is alert, focused, Expecting the Wee hours of morning to …

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From Outside Looking End – B.E. The Truth

Deficits encourage un-human kindness Deception haunts and stalks our faith Demigods alter the future, poison the present From a demanding past. Today everything’s Done so fast, as women follow pagan slavery to Reveal their ass Decode my cry! Basic necessities so outlandishly Expensive, youngsters fall prey to gangs for no One seeks a difference Deficits …

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From the Very Start – Christopher Meredith

I fear not,      as Jesus Christ has shown, the first steps are mine,     and mine alone.

George Floyd – Derrick Grantley

After 400 years of oppression and repression, Black men are still treated like a flock of sheep and some cattle; They hunt us and stalk us, Detain us, then Blame us; They look for any reason to put their Knee on our necks, and stop us from Breathin; “I can’t breathe”, were the screams that …

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Get High – B.E. The Truth

God is Good – Amber Daniel

Running, hiding, and living a lie Living on the wrong side of the law Trust me that’s no way to live at all Something calling me from within It’s time to change my friend The addiction is losing its hold Life’s no longer wasting away Falling apart, growing old It’s finally falling into place The …

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God Knows No Stranger – Wind Walker

God’s Secret – Charlie Castillo

12/12/19 I always felt that earth’s most oppressed people were women. With the fantasies of Joan the ark, I often imagined what happened in the virgin birth. God (nature) allowed Mary to reproduce by herself. Some reptiles have this ability but they are females who produce genetic replicas. Mary had a daughter, who disappeared during …

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Going – Donna Lucé

The walk of wisdom The stride of strength The spirit of partence The feat of peace The path of life Directed east

GOOD RIDDANCE – Derrick Grantley

After 4 long years of hate and divisiveness, Over 80 million people came out to vote, and to say good bye to you! Donald Trump,”You gots to go!” “Pack your stuff, and hit the door!” You can kick, scream, cry and complain, But no matter what, those vote counts, are not going to change Black …

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Her – Brittian Koty Osorio

She was an ordinary woman when we met the 1st time. After 3 years I just knew I had to make her mine. She had pretty eyes and an unforgettable smile Plus a heart of gold and an intellectual mind. Jealousy and foolishness drove me to let her go, But if she could see into …

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Her Chivalrous Smile – B.E. The Truth

Deliciously stunning! Her chants south me like a child amused at the park; tenderness sets your beautiful soul apart. The virtuous compassionate care she provides gleems light! Her goodwill sparks my heart to new heights. A fantasy complete! I vow to uphold her needs and recite midnight poetry at her feet. Amorous woman become my …

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Horses – Jordan Earls

I remember the long faces; holding them in my hands and tracing the war-paint smears, feeling the delicate softness of their earth-colored coats gliding beneath my fingers. Large shining orbs turning to look into my smaller (yet no less shining) ones as if to show me that my affection was perfectly okay with them. Oh, …

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Human Hats – B.E. The Truth

Where did government officials’ human hats go? Why cannot leaders re-establish compassionate Hearts Anna Faris like once before? Funding that operated the “World Health Organization” has currently been erased. How can Republicans stomach to watch thousands of needy children’s starved face? How can they embrace solace, when impoverished countries are expelled from the human race? …

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I Am – Gary Farlow

I am From – Brian Hindson

I am from a cup of coffee,   from Folgers and now Keefe. I am from the small and simple apartment,   and the cluttered, hectic, musty bedroom basement. I am from the raspberries growing in our backyard,   until our dog shannon destroyed them, silly shepard. I am from me never saying “I Love You,”   yet always …

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I Am From – Charlie Castillo

I am from a single black mom with her being from an upbringing that’s wrought with damage, hard to understand it from a Puerto Rican dad I don’t know, so nope I can’t hold a convo in Spanish, Outlandish because… I am from another world, my home is called Rizq. It’s a planet. I’m from …

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I Am From – Gary Farlow

I Am From – Jordan Earls

I am from the white picket fence From wooden rocking chairs and Jones’ cream soda I am from the wraparound porch      adorned with hanging baskets bursting over with      warm orange, and gentle yellow           touch-me-nots trembling           in the cool southern breeze I am from the blooming magnolia,      evergreen gentlemen slow-dancing      with ladies dressed elegantly …

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I Am From Poem – Carla Joan Simmons

I am from laundry detergent From Tide with bleach and Liquid Downey I am from the single wide trailor Remodeled, expanded, the old half musty with mold. I am from oak leaves Fallen: brown and crunchy on the hard clay I’m from happy Fridays and super high From Ken and Brenda I’m from the know-it-all …

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I Hear Them Laughing! – Wind Walker

I love you poetry – Eggleston

I Was An Angel Of God – Carlos de Gabarrette

I wanted to be the most beautiful angel before God. I was the perfect & preferred son of God: what God ordered of me is what I did! But God banish me! From his side today, I’m an angel distraught & punish forever and ever! Always some have called me the Devil or Lucifer I …

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I Will Not Let Go – Troy Glover

I’m #1, Don’t Play with Me Because You Lose – Carlos de Gabarrette

I was made in heaven & to heaven I shall return, even though God banish me from his side He abandon me punish me & sent me to Earth. But I’m still His angel & His son. Time belongs to God that’s why his times are perfect. I am who I am, the light of …

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If any or all of us die – Michael P. Riley

I wake each morning, go to the window,   peer at the new day sky. Put on  a mask, pray for us all,   and ready myself to die. Keep my ears open, for any new news,   like who’s gonna fall down next. Open my Bible, search for a verse,   and read from …

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Imoan Wollof I Samurai Theory – Charlie Castillo

7/12/20 After quitting my ambition as an artist, a person reached out and gave me serious encouragement. She told me that my wit and word art is good. Or I should keep trying. I then got a Cellie who stated my work was amazing. I thanked him with a wave of doubt and the urge …

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Impetus – Conor Broderick

January 2016 Marianna, FCI, Florida I believe that anyone has the ability to become an artist.  Intelligence, creativity, curiosity –  these are qualities endowed by our generations that have passed.  To me these capacities define every person because they define humanity. This simple outlook might not be shared by others, especially those who claim that …

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In This Together – Brittian Koty Osorio

No matter what you think, you’re not in this alone We’re all in this together whether in jail or at home. These trying times we endure will help us love each other more. And we’ll enjoy all the little things we took for granted once before. Although we are many, in a sense we are …

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Inside Insomnia – Anthony Billings

It’s a place we’ve all been at one time or another. Not hard to get there for some, but difficult for others. So I know I’m not alone to say I’m with the latter. I used to try hard to visit but my attempts rarely mattered. Determination makes it worse and impossible to grasp; Even …

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Into the Abyss – 3 – Gary Farlow

It got us all – Amber Daniel

The sickness that’s in us all It’s free will It was my choice, as I recall I put that pipe to my mouth That needle to my vein Again and again And again I said yes, when I knew it was wrong I was already too far gone The disease targets the weak And consumes …

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It Might Have Been – Gary Farlow

“I was almost, so were you there are many almost, more than a few. I almost finished a career, but–well–you know. I was almost President, well — almost Mayor. I was going to Sierra Leone, almost got there. Almost made a million on my job, almost didn’t need to steal or rob. I was almost …

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Joker’s Wheel-o-Life – Charlie Castillo

12/6/19 First off I intended this bio to be sent to Prisoners who are unsure as what to draw. I was telling Prisoners about JAC and how they are a wonderful organization. Inmates are ignored by so many non-profits who seem to only pay lip service. I wanted to endorse the arts program and the …

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Justice is Blind – Troy Glover

Kirkland Cats – Eggleston

Lady Godiva – Jordan Earls

her amber and brown gaze brings forth a memory see that look? it means i love you, i am happy when i see you. my words provoke that happy tail, that bright life in her eye. diva, baby girl, what is it? her only response is to rush over with those puffball paws and long, …

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Landspeak – Jordan Earls

Land is incapable of speech, nor does it know anything. This (or something like it) was told to me not too long ago. In the pink air of morning, I sit beneath a tree of some unknown genus and find myself surrounded by blazing foothills that make up my home. All I do is watch. …

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Lay it Down – Jordan Earls

I was one of the three-hundred souls swaying in that dark auditorium. The music carrying us away into our own personal private places. The voices, inside and out, urging my young heart to       lay it down.  I am certain that this took place inside, but I am also certain that there was a …

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Letting Go – Mocha K. Scroggins

Life Plus Twenty Five – Eggleston

Life Waves – Jose Santiago

Lil Fire – Eggleston

“Lil Fire”

Loves Evolution – Safi Dona’t

When your love washes over me, I lose sight of myself But I see a purpose in me With no direction how to get there Lost? In your terrain But still, true to my purpose To live for us, succeeding. (At couples therapy?) When your love washes over me, My brain makes my eyes create …

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Magical Rendezvous – B.E. The Truth

IN THE THRESHOLD WE BOTH STOOD. AS TIME SUSPENDED OUR HEARTS. A MELODY EMERGED HARMONIOUS AND CONTAGIOUS. LIKE PLEASING CHIMES FROM GOLDEN HARPS. OUR EYES TOUCHED, PULSATING BALLADS OF PASSION THAT SHOWCASED SO NICE. LOVELY LADY MY PROPOSAL TO YOU IS RAPTURE FOR LIFE! INTIMATE SPLENDOUR SHE REVEALS FEELS JUST RIGHT. TWO SEDUCTIVE SOULS QUIETLY …

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Make A Stand – Gary Farlow

Make Examples, Not Excuses – Anthony Billings

There’s been an issue that I have been wanting to talk about for a long time now. It is becoming rampant and I’m convinced that it’s contagious. I’m going to call it the “Give Me Complex.” Let me give you an example. Just the other day I was talking to someone who was interested in …

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Make the Choice – B.E. The Truth

Mama’s Poem – Brittian Koty Osorio

The strongest person I’ve ever known, she did her best to raise a man, Tried to teach me right from wrong but I took my own path. Beautiful women, fast cars, loud music and lots of cash Yet right, wrong or indifferent Mama had my back. Now I’m stuck in a cell, tryna contact all …

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Mandibula Toxata – Royal Robinson

Carcinogens, what’s that the people who’ve depended on our services for years. People of this town in particular for God’s sake. Even our pastor who strategically lectured of sacrifice to attend service instead of Sunday’s game, keeps his Vatican well-lit with 100 watt bulbs. Don’t see him sacrificing to candlelight do you. I burned a …

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Maria – Carlos de Gabarrette

Maria, when we are not together I miss your hair dark like the night sky I miss your aroma. You passionate kisses that like my fire. Maria I don’t want to sleep I want to live awake to see you love you & never miss you because when you’re not with me I miss you …

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Movie Date Nite 37 – Charlie Castillo

In this piece I decided my love for movies sort of defines who I am and the perspectives I favor. I am a movie fanatic, I tried to pick the first 37 full-length films I’d watch on a romantic date. Comedy, romance, sci-fi, action, etc, etc. I had fun. My only fear? I erred in …

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Mr. Bluebird – Jordan Earls

Mr. Bluebird stopped by today. He landed closer than usual and that was that: I was his. The song that he sang was a song I had never heard sung before; His small lungs pushing out a gift, it seemed, destined for me. I had no time to properly thank him before he vanished in a …

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My Angel – Christopher Meredith

My angel has flown away. I am adrift, she is gone. Bound beyond my seeing, No sunlight there has shone. The flower of the flock, still growing higher. The object of yearning, and my heart’s desire. My spirit broken by the fall, so beaten and mangled. Heartstrings in a knotted mass, left twisted, tied and …

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My Ars – Claude Kelley Kirk

A poem is a prophet and a mirror of the self, an all-seeing oracle made of heavens both, and hells. It lies with killing kindness to ragged, ravaged hearts and cracks the whip of truth in sacred, scarred savages of jagged, jaded art. A college-ruled confessional of charities and sins enumerated and collated of beginnings …

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My Love – Brittian Koty Osorio

So many things run through my mind whenever she comes around. And there’s so much I wanna say that never seems to come out. She’s the love of my life and a great spectacle in my eyes. If I were to ever lose her, life would never be right. She’s never judged me based on …

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My Love – Lionel Lewis Rogers

My Love isn’t just words or without meaning… My Love is truly a gem that you will find that’s rare yet sincere… My Love comes from deep within the depths of my soul… My Love is the true meaning of endless love that’s to be embraced… My Love is only a symbol of the love …

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My Perfect One – Donna Lucé

Some people search their whole life for the perfect one I give thanks that I can say that I’ve done When the wind blows and the sky cries I hold you close and witness the truth in your eyes Your perfect to me in every form and fashion Whether alive and in water or stiff …

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My Poem – Deidra Rose Vincer AKA Twitch

My Remote – S. S.

9-21-21 Last Friday I spoke to my brother Robert. He told me my Uncle Johnny died and mentioned everyone who attended the wake. I sensed he’d been reluctant to let me know because the first thing he asked was if our “mother had told me about Uncle Johnny?” I asked him how old Uncle Johnny …

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My Story – Anthony Billings

Just a couple of years after birth, I was taken away, From my family that I knew up to that day Never understood why CPS separated us all Joey and Alice went together though and I am grateful for that call But my brother Jerome and I went our separate ways. Wish there was a …

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My Womb/My Tomb – Shannon Pride

My Womb/My Tomb From within my womb Im consumed by Thoughts and perceived notions, fueled By state potions, entertained by dreams Trapped & fired by vision inside of me As I lay pace? Pray I devise Strategies to help the day I’m exhumed From this tomb in which I stay into that aquarium of color …

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Myself – Marcos Henderson

I get so fed up, that sometimes I think I should just kill myself, and don’t even try to tell me you feel me, cause sometimes I dont even feel myself, So numb and confused, I don’t know what I should feel myself, and I’ve gotten so empty on the inside, that I dont know …

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Natural Disasters – Conor Broderick

HURRICANE MICHAEL A federal inmate’s view from the inside, 1-21-19 Natural disasters are always engines of change.  Destruction of property, loss of life, and the displacement of whole communities are the headlines that follow the last shakes of an earthquake, or the high water marks of a thousand year flood.  We learn of the impact …

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New Black World Order – O.G. Blue

Hello! New Black World Order, Look around what do you see, “You see all Black faces, angry just Like me Sick and tired of Mothers crying because their Songs keep dying Look at your Brother, Look to your sister, the Love between us Is felt with the same, Heartbeat, “No more dying at the hands …

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NO ONE’S SPECIAL – Charlie Castillo

12/3/19 I received a letter from a person who understood and complimented my art. It made me feel special. Then I wondered if, like a preschool school teacher, she told everyone their art was amazing. I no longer felt special. Then I wondered why I even cared to be special. Insecurity? Validation? Why not be …

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No Reality – B.E. The Truth

no such thing as love – Jordan Earls

nanny’s voice is the first sound i hear; sweet, sweet southern drawl like music to my ears; white and brown blurs at our feet as hugs are being shared. aunt boshe and the family rushing to the porch; joy beneath bright icicle lights. is your house on fire, mark? jessie and magpie’s deviled eggs followed …

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O Love – Kaheem Shakel Bennet

O Love, you’re such a wonderful fruit that was given to me from the creator to give to them (the world). Even though you can be tough at times – your toughness feels so delightful in a way that nourish the soul with notifications of the love of God. O Love, Explain to me why …

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Obsession – B.E. The Truth

Ode to a Pandemic – Gary Farlow

Ode To Life In A Small Southern Town – Gary K. Farlow

“Sometimes I want to run away. I fear I’ll die if I should stay. I feel suppressed, claustrophobic. I dream of a world that is utopic. But as I took at the life I lead. reality crushes my wildest dreams. And all that’s left is a handful of dust, that seeps into my skin to …

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On Discovering His Truth – Ben Wilkins

On Michelangelo’s Angels (The Sistine Chapel) – Gary Farlow

Other…End – Jose Santiago

Out of Pretense – B.E. The Truth

Passionate Domain – B.E. The Truth

Past the Hour – Christopher Meredith

It is past the hour…but for what?     Seems to me, we have all forgotten.   It is past the hour, give of your heart.       Do not divide or set some apart.   It is past the hour, yet another day,       So mind your manners and mind what you say.   It is past …

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Pen Vs. Gun – David Meade

The gun takes lives but the pen has the capability to end careers, You can rob a bank with a gun but with a pen you can write millions of checks legally without any fears. The gun has the ability to shake a person out of their boots, but the pen freeze bank accounts and …

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Phoenix Rising – David Green

I’ll take some tender, ignite an ember and nurish the fire of your heart with subtle breaths, from the depths I’ll mend what’s been torn apart Deep inside, where I can’t hide my feelings for you shine brighter In this light, there’s a wisp of life a brilliant spark of splendor I’ll fan your flame, …

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Picture This – Marcos Henderson

poetry is… – Jordan Earls

“This is a series of short poems I will write over time” (I) poetry is autumns tree with her crown of auburn and gold. listen as the soft wind weaves through her hair and her whispering story is told.   (II) poetry is the ailing father, brother, uncle, son. his shrinking form re-tuning the strings …

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POETRY POETRY – Spoon Jackson

A brush dipping into a hot spring Painting pictures Of the unconscious Bringing forth ancient elixir Colled waters, golden words, Words beyond thoughts once dormant In their aboriginal form Now spawning in the caverns and canyons Of the Psyche Poetry, poetry, the robust tail of memory With a heavy mane. Ms. Dickinson sat alone in …

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Political Recession – B.E. The Truth

Porches, Puddin’, and Persimmon – Gary Farlow

Power that Unleashes the Evil in You – GAMMAD

Prison Life Fact 28 – Charlie Castillo

A simple cartoon that explains how staff members tell other prisoners when they attempt to file grievances. In prison, a grievance is taboo. It is a form of snitching. I heard of a guy who was raped and reported the rape to be stabbed up later for snitching. Oh what a world I live in… …

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Prizon Grapheetee Zen – Charlie Castillo

Recreated on paper 5/23/20 (Son’s Birthday) While in isolation, I had cell rotation (a Federal Security measure where inmates rotate cells every 21 days – at least), and thinking about an inmate who had just killed himself and how I didn’t have the money to call my son and tell him I love him on …

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Psycogenic – Christopher Meredith

By chance each new day opens its doors, to influence you toward or away from the horrors. Now the alluring charms begin to unravel quietly, As strong persuasions of death knocks defiantly. Challenging the height of ambition you crave, to struggle greatly and rise from the grave. Your intention untroubled ao it is brimming with …

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Public Secrets – Ben Wilkins

QUARANTINE 2.0 – Derrick Grantley

Quarantine isolation continues on Several prisoners test positive, but we still have not been given any mask to put on What type of professionalism is this? By the end of the week, we may all be sick Laying in our beds, limp and crippled, clutching our chest, gasping for oxygen Who cares about a prisoner’s …

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QUARANTINE WONDER’S – Derrick Grantley

Will I live or will I die? Is the question that I ask! Co-vid 19, is in prisons, on the attack We were giving 2 mask One soap,that’s it For 7 months straight I’ve been wearing the same s**t Most officers walk thru, with there face uncovered Coughing and sneezing, Everyday I’m worried I know …

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Queen of My Soul – B.E. The Truth

Quite Moments – B.E. The Truth

My Musing of a comely charming Woman resembles sweetness like Pecan Pie. Her tasty appeal melts Before mine starved eyes. My amenity for her captures this Lady of auspicious design. Invigorating With delight. Gracious Desire, Let us Share this night. My thoughts of her leave me dancing On clouds after our rapturous show, Captivating a …

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Raimondas Valasevičius

A series of collaborative and hand-typed poems by Raimondas Valasevičius which accompany the visual works of artist and peer Conor Broderick. My Medium What the hell is that thing? Does that thing have a cord Do you think it’s 1952 or something? I am used to puzzled reactions. After all, I am the only person …

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Reflections – Gary Farlow

Regret – Ally Bear

Do I have any? What a question to ask. Regret… Naturally I do. We ALL do. To say otherwise would be a lie. To look back, I lived in the shoulda, coulda, woulda’s. Is it healthy? NO! You can’t change the past, the things you wish you could change, fix… If only it were that …

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Rehabilitation – Safi Dona’t

Today I was asked by another prisoner, “Are you rehabilitated?” I told him “I know I am!” He said “What have you learned?” I told him: I’ve learned that when I’m on the phone talking to my daughter, it feels like my heart is in my ear. I’ve learned that for some, escape is easier …

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REQUIEM FOR REALITY – Rick

A drink melts in my hand cigarette between my fingers smoky curtain between my world and yours look through the window hazy shade of grey coats my view if it’s all the same what’s the point in trying Yellow sun is shining cigarette between my fingers smoky curtain protects my world from yours behind my …

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Resurrected Mind – B.E. The Truth

Rorschach’s Secret Weapon – Charlie Castillo

12/11/2019 In prison staff can get away with putting prohibitions on almost anything, in the name of Security. Claims of bats and spiked poles made out of paper, keeps a person from getting a sufficient amount of paper. An inmate must recycle staples and scotch tape. Isolation is a vacuum where a prisoner has one …

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Run From the Humans – Charlie Castillo

I’ve always wondered about Extra Terrestrials. Do they exist? What do they look like? Do they come in peace or wage war? Many people say they’d run the other way if they saw an E.T. Sadly, the way some humans seem to see the norms of greed, hate, jealousy, indifference and bias, I sort of …

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Sacrifice – Mocha K. Scroggins

Satin Magic – B.E. The Truth

SAY HER NAME: “BREONNA TAYLOR” – Derrick Grantley

You say justice for all? Man, you must mean justice for y’all! The system has never worked for negros like me, Ask Breonna Taylor, May she forever rest in peace! Innocent Black blood, spilled on the floor, No knock warrant, cops kicked in her door! How can it be, that the people that are suppose …

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Searching – Authentic Flames

I Was Told, If You’re Searching Then You’ll Find! To Me That’s A Lie! You May Ask Why. Well When I Search All I See Is Dirt But I Keep On Searching Like A Burning Thirst Screaming For Water. I Ponder On My Footsteps, A Dumb Sheep Weak & Simple Minded As I Grace On …

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Secret of Time – B.E. The Truth

Who shall broadcast the story of future human sorrow yet to be told? What shall be the remedy for the healing of the sick and consoling the old? Can new technologies incorporate what appears imminent? Desire to live resourceful with children at ease. We need love! To abolish greed. We need collective thinking to abort …

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Self Interview – Gary Farlow

Shame – Carla Joan Simmons

Share Her Eyes – B.E. The Truth

Our vision touched That grasped warmth Reflected Spiritual Spark! As we glazed inside Each other’s heart. This euphoric delight Unveiled sensuous feelings Invited hunger And appeasing healing. Her glamorous physique Spiritually reclined. Her delectable charm Gentle and Kind. Her passion Stirred my heart. Impulses raced! Her sheer resplendence Enhances time & space. Our lifetime for …

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She Wouldn’t Know Love – John Johnson

Shenanigans – Ben Wilkins

STOLEN THOUGHTS – Rick

She picked a moment later the ring in the floor you’re convinced as she’s using it if maybe he waited being any the wiser suspect creep off she’ll be maybe we need three strikes one is trying murder so what do we do this is to find dead guy same time seen or heard try …

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Street Life – B.E. The Truth

Summerdark – Claude Kelley Kirk

In the headlighted pitch summerdark, flitting wingless moth-priests of disaffection we were on broken shoulders of a broken town. Dropped out and out of tune, wearing halogen halos and waving red-tipped Marlboro censers, drinking from bootlegger baptismals Spirit of St. Louis pop-top pisswater. Proud to be American, and breathing the last corn-tasseled air because there’s …

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Surrender

I ponder this point as I do each day, Why you gave up, why you went away? The girl I recall full of love so tender. I have no response regarding your surrender. The woman you became, I see her strong. I ask myself: what did I do wrong? The friendship we nurtured was supposed …

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Teach Me Grace – Cedar Annenkovna

Color, creed, religion, sex           measure not the depth of intellect              and will never calculate one heartbeats strength against the nexts   I am my brother’s keeper; I cannot want if he has less        If I am rich while he is not …

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Thanks in Confusion – B.E. The Truth

AMERICA SAY GRACE. JEHOVAH LET US GIVE REVERENCE THIS FOURTH OF JULY BICENTENNIAL SEASON. LET HUMANITY FEAST! FOR DREADFUL REASONS. TODAY, RACISM HASN’T CEASED. THIS DILEMMA RENDERS ME BLANK, CRIME STEADILY ADVANCES WITHIN EXECUTIVE RANKS. IMPARTS SADNESS, HOPELESSNESS, HUNGER, UNEMPLOYMENT, GLOBAL WARNING, NO PEACE. PONDER: AFRICA, BRAZIL, HAITI, THE MIDDLE EAST. CONVERTED HAND FASHIONED GHOST …

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The Audacity of America – Derrick Grantley

How dare you have the audacity, to tell me, that I can’t be mad at this country, for all the things that it’s done to me! Locked me in a cell for 22 years, knowing that I’m innocent, but you refuse to give me any justice, whatsoever How can I be proud to be an …

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The Book – Wind Walker

The Day Of Release – Taskinnya

It will be so sweet and with ease to be released again I have so much to see and so much to do Reconnect with a selected amount of family and friends As I gather my thoughts and my personal property to have a different mindset on the day of release.

The Disease of the Century – Amber Daniel

Rowlo the Bowlo, puddeling of the pipe, draw back your afternoon delight It’s alright, I’ll rot out your teeth, and I’ll crater your face Nothing will ever satisfy you the same Or take my place You think you have me beat ha! Addiction is a disease This sickness makes you weak at the knees Your …

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The Forbidden Zone – B.E. The Truth

The Foreseeable Disaster – B.E. The Truth

The Gift – Brittian Koty Osorio

I’ve been told nothing is promised but that’s not exactly right. 2 days are guaranteed, the day we’re born and the day we die. Between these 2 days is the time we call life. All the good, the bad, hopes and dreams, long story short, sunny days and cold nights. Over the years we accumulate …

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The Guilty Vs. The Innocent – David Meade

The guilty glides into the swiftness of darkness as the innocent suffers the consequences, How can we turn a blind eye to the truth and ignore the foot steps of the evil and the wickedness A man gets found not Guilty of the murder weapon but found guilty of criminal homicide, The verdict is more …

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The Introduction – B.E. The Truth

The Invisible Woman – David Meade

The Meeting – Jordan Earls

The subtle swell of red hills, dense with camellias and red tulips who sway and dance so softly to the steady rhythm of some silent, somber song. I can see, too, the occasional ruby-throated hummingbird flitting in time to this quiet melody; All of this nestled sweetly against an alabaster horizon, that long, pale blanket …

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The Men of Men – Donna Lucé

In the Case of the Dreamer Who sees as he sleeps Contemplates as he observes And has the audacity and nerve In the Case of the Warrior Who takes the struggle of life instride Wears his armor with pride And seeks to be the protector of his kind In the Case of the Prophet Who …

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The One I Loved, The One I Lost – Christopher Meredith

It is so, so hard, just to be awake, to be aware, to be awash in this solidified reality, that reverberates with its emptiness. I’m standing out in the murky pitch, as that’s where grief placed me. Darkness grows within the winds. and emotional pain howls its bitterness. But the precious moments I carry, of …

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The One Within – Gary Farlow

The Power of One – Gary Farlow

The Search – Bednago Harper

The Search Part I So long she’d waited, wondered, hoped and prayed. All that had finally come to pass. A powerful mixture of determined restless anticipation surged through the young girl as she slowly closed the mailbox. She wasn’t just a kid anymore, naive and accepting. Tall, graceful, and very high spirited, at fifteen, she …

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The Second Amendment – Gary Farlow

The Shame – Jordan Earls

The words my father said on that ninth of April Repent You’ve been faking it, son. The dogs playing at my feet As my world crumbles around them. The look in my mama’s eyes as I reached out for comfort Broken Defeated in my arms. The dogs playing at my feet As my world crumbles …

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The Things That I Love – Jordan Earls

The sun had only just set, so the world still held that ethereal navy glow. I was running across my front yard, young energetic legs churning, carrying me in my wild youth, as I chased the yellow-green stars as they appeared, disappeared, appeared again.  My sister was near, her sweet laughter blending with the cicada’s …

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The Top Ten Jewels to my Daughters – David Meade

Never give yourself up to no man, never, ever on the first date, cause if he respect you as a woman, he will have patients and he will just wait. Never believe a man who is always dropping lines, while even though he is telling you the truth as he tell you that you are …

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The World’s Just A Ghetto – B.E. The Truth

This Is Me – Brittian Koty Osorio

My name is not the Shooter, the Killer, or the thief, Its not liar, drug dealer, O.G or the homie. Im not another statistic, Im merely a human being, A young man in this world with goals, hopes and dreams. Yes I made mistakes but the mistakes don’t make me. And if you could look …

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this poem is true – Jordan Earls

gone are the days when a dream was only a dream. nanny laughing in the kitchen among the jovial din of family and friends. lily and dudley chasing one another along the furniture; two white blurs coming to a stop to cover me with precious pink-tongued kisses. mama… oh, sweet mama and her beautiful voice …

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To Know Love – Donna Lucé

Even as the days pass As I go about my day The love I have for you is unchanging No matter what is said or done No matter how much we grow I want you to know My love is Eternal Let love be For love is And through me Love will

To Life – Gary Farlow

To Those I Hurt – Jordan Earls

I still can’t figure out if I am just angry at you for refusing to love me or if I only resent myself for throwing away that love. How many nights have I spent shaking my head at your lack of forgiveness while ignoring the fact that I may not actually deserve it. It’s been …

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To Whom I May Never Meet – Jordan Earls

Piecing together the delicate features of your young face is impossible, for I don’t yet know the details of your mothers. Are your wide, bright eyes dark like mine? Or- are they of a lighter hue that would, no doubt, disarm me completely? At the very least, I can somehow feel the soft curl of …

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Toss and Turn – Donna Lucé

There I go again lost in my thoughts The clock tocks and still hours later my mind won’t stop Memories, fantasies Would and Could be’s Even when I lay to sleep thoughts of you still creep I cherish each one Maybe it’s an addiction Or Maybe you’ve done the unthinkable and dominated my attention

True Friend – Jose Santiago

Twenty-Twenty – Jordan Earls

where are we going in twenty-twenty? we’re never not going. so i ask again: where are we going? forward or backward? up or down? wherever it is, let’s do it right, let’s do it together.

Twist of Fate – David Meade

Being incarcerated has really been a twist of fate throughout the years of dealing with heartbreaks, losing love ones, being oppressed by cynical racist C’O’s, but throughout it all I have developed patients and gained wisdom from the words of the serenity prayer that clearly states: “O God” Give me the ability and strength to …

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Two Sides of Incarceration – Charlie Castillo

Being a federal inmate and former standup comedian allowed me to view America’s prisons with empathy and hands on experience. Some blame the staff for volatile conditions. Some blame the prisoners. To me, both perpetuate a cycle of evil. Whether you get behind the walls through a sentence from a federal court or take a …

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Two Worlds – B.E. The Truth

Unicorn Sock – Royal Robinson

Something isn’t right. Normally school mornings are like costume shopping the day before halloween, realizing at school I wore my brother’s socks that mismatched the unicorn printed one on my left foot. Because of sisters hearing impairment she was exempt from morning hustle. Mom wrote who she was, “Sister” and her name, “Ethyl Ace Tate,” …

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Untitled – Cedar Annenkovna

Untitled – Crystal Jennings

Sittin’ here starin’ out the window of my prison cell Tryin’ 2 figure where I went wrong + turned my life to a livin’ hell I think back + I see it all just a little 2 clearly The day the state ripped my kids out my arms kickin’ + screamin’ My worst fear has …

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Untitled – Lex

Art is an expression of life and transcends both time and space. It is the artistic process, that is, reality and reality is truth. An artist’s expression is his soul made apparent. Behind every motion, the music of his soul is made visible. creation in art is the psychic unfolding of the personality, which is …

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Untitled – Shannon Pride

Have you been shot & stabbed? Check, Robbed & Stole alot Check. Do you sell drugs? And have kids who miss their father? And a father that never bothered? Check, check, check The slots we fill stay refilled No lack for comfort – the right sign it seems to fit toe to heel. Devastating all …

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Untitled – Shannon Pride

I strolled the block with a bop I posted the block with a plock Walked the streets with my Queens Lurked the streets with my fiends Now the blocks walk around me Lengthwise End to End Here is where they placed my Adrenaline In here the Blocks walk around me And there’s a poor just …

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Waiting – Gary Farlow

Waiting for Me – Christopher Meredith

The casting of peace that comes from God; All nations are ruled With His iron rod.   My Lord I’ve given all that has come due, From my lonely life to spend with You.   In the name of Jesus, our crowned King,  And Your holy praises, Forever we will sing.   I’ve prayed for …

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Wasps – Jordan Earls

I recently said goodbye to my neighbors of, oh, about eight months. Every day, I would observe them hovering and skittering about their home they had constructed right outside of my window.  Moments watching them were memorable ones: Their small, nimble bodies darting back and forth on yellow-socked feet, doing whatever natural, though undoubtedly important, …

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Wasteland – Gary Farlow

Watching a Thunderstorm from Cell 228 – Jordan Earls

The furious thunderstorm has always fascinated me. This remains true as I climb into my bunk in my dark prison cell to watch the spectacular show through my tiny plexiglass window. The midnight sky flashes wildly and, even through these thick, concrete walls, I feel the earth shake as thunder rolls, displaying its incredible power. …

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Welcome to Hell – Deidra Rose Vincer AKA Twitch

Welcome to the Bop.gov – Charlie Castillo

8/26/20 My mentor latched on to the “Jail within a jail” concept. So I created “Welcome to http://www.Bop.gov” cartoon. It’s two Cell-mates (cellies) who are confined in a cell, looking out. Thing is, there’s a prisoner who is also caged in a mental cell. (thoughts) I’ve heard that the left panel alone suffice. But this …

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When I Dare to Write- Jordan Earls

There comes a time (always the same, mind you), once a week, when I go to meet the creative creatures; to draw them out of the mist and onto the page disguised as words and lines. Oh, I am such a fool. To think I have the power to control these ever elusive fey, these …

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When I Reflect – Andrew Wadsworth

The Beat Without. Volume 2117/18 When I reflect on my past history, the confusion, the instability and abandonment, I can’t help but to wonder how I made it out alive. On one side, I was around crack cocaine addicted parents in a drug infested home. On the other side, I was blessed to have loving …

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Where I’m From – B.E. The Truth

I am from liquid life, From Alabama and Crystal Light. I am from refrigerator taps and Coolers. Releasing better and colder Refreshments to go down smoother. I am from cactus and watercrest, My liquid flows worthy; Hot or cold, I provide my best. I’m from natural design, truly divine, Our desire’s too please all human-kind. …

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Where I’m From – Antique Soul

I am from canned foods From sulfur and gasoline I am from the creaks in the wooden Floors brown and cracked, no amount Of polish could fix me. I am from the dandelions the wild Weeds. Whose untamed growth hides me from prying eyes. I am from curry goat and dread locks. From the tears …

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Why I Write – Jordan Earls

if i could touch if i could move if i could love if i could prove with one word, bless with one word, fill with one word, change with one word, heal then that’s enough i’ve done my part with sharing truth i’ve helped a heart put my pen down that’s what it’s for to …

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Woman Of Wonder – Troy Glover

Worded Art – Charlie Castillo

12/8/19 I had someone tell me, and other people who I shared my pieces with, that I didn’t do real art. When questioned he explained that real art didn’t use words. I guess the Campbell’s soup thing went over his head. Even so, I think anything expressed can be art. I used to marvel at …

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You’re Beautiful In Every Way – WaLi Knight

You’re Busted – Gary Farlow

Here they come, Walking down the hall, They tear up our property Going through it all. Hey, Hey it’s a shake down, The PERT team don’t monkey around, Better not have no contraband You can’t hide it from these clowns. They yell lock down, And turn the water off, All dressed in camouflage, Don’t let …

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Your Laughter – Gary Farlow

Youth – Jordan Earls

Nothing is more wondrous than to live in that sublime light of blissful ignorance. Life as understood by a child is a life built using make-believe materials upon false foundations; and perhaps there is nothing wrong with that. Storms and valleys were storms and valleys. never analogies; never hard illustrations. Pining after youth comes frequent, does it not? …

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[LAST STAND] – Derrick Grantley

Hopeless and Stressed, Lost and Depressed, 21 years of solitude, Confined to a room With no where to go, So I pace back and forth Trapped in my thoughts, My mind wonders afar I have no idea, how long can I hold, Maintain my composure and not fall in the hole This has all been …

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{REPARATIONS FOR BLACKS} – Derrick Grantley

Is black folk demand for reparations, really debatable? Without Black slavery, there would be no America! We were given no wages or respect for our labor, Just lashes by crackers, There whips across our backs Against our wills, we were all forced unto a ship, The ones who resisted, most likely, ended being killed In …

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