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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POETRY POETRY
By 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 her room in her wicker chair by the window. Whenever she wanted to leave -- whenever she wanted to write a poem -- she stepped into her own world of poetry and love. She stepped naked into her soul, her being, and brought back bits and pieces, poems that were whole psychically.

How to read poetry? Read it with your eyes closed and body open. Let the poem seep naked into the soul like raindrops into dark rich soil. Ancient years ago, before the age of reading, poems weren’t passed on paper, but were sung and told by traveling bards. If the poems withstood the ear test, they lasted.

One must let go of the mind and listen to the lines, the poetry, the wind. How to read a poem with your head blown off? Let go of the mind’s robotic thoughts. Listen with ancient ears to the soul’s song. Listen as one does to a lovely sunset and what’s heard under chirping birds. Don’t ponder a poem with the mind-phone on unless you are seeking form and meter, the outer surface of the poem.

Read poetry with the soul’s mind and body open, listen with the soul’s ears to the waves of rhythm and sound. Read without thinking, without syntax, grammar, and punctuation. Read without preconceived notions of mystic and mystery, without expectation.

Read poetry without thinking, to find what Emily Dickinson craved: a poem that blows the top of your head off. This way you allow the poem to start and simmer at your soles and toes, trickle up and touch your heart that does not beat or pump blood, and echo throughout your being.

Awaken
by 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 accusers.
Just cooperate and this'll go easier.

Denied an ear. Now they won't hear me.
No one to hear me. No one'll believe me.

I didn't do it, do you hear?
I didn't do it. They don't care.

Just cooperate and make this easy.
Just cooperate? No one believes me.

Why? The Law says so; because the Law says No.
The Law says So  The Law says No
The Law says So  The Law says No

Incarcerated now, given an ear
Someone to hear me. Someone to believe me.

There's been a mistake. I didn't do it.
Stop. I've heard that before. Just say you knew it.

Why? The Law says so; because the Law says No.
The Law says So  The Law says No
The Law says So  The Law says No

No contacts. No connections. No numbers.
to my outside world. No numbers
to my outside girl. No numbers
to my outside circle.

Now they tell me my life is theirs to do as they please
No longer is my life to me, my existence as it once was
is no longer as it once was, no longer am I as I once
was, I am to be what the law makes me.
We will see  we will see  what the Law makes me.

Threatened,  Attacked while the camera's rollin'
Restrained,  Beaten even while recordin'
Detained,  Arrested without an explanation

Why? The Law says so; because the Law says No
The Law says So  The Law says No
The Law says So  The Law says No.

Browse Writing by Category: 

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 …

Continue reading 24 Karat – B.E. The Truth

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 …

Continue reading A Fathers Wish – Brittian Koty Osorio

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 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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A Wonderful World – O.G. Blue

The Wonders of the World goes far beyond sights and sounds, “for a beautiful promise came with it “With a sound mind and a glorious attitude are the beginning of precious Life so delicate will travel through this World with Love so deep its beyond measure only to endure its endless and everlasting treasures All …

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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.

Anywhere but here – Julie Spencer 

I have in mind A wonder-filled place. Unsurpassed By the whole human race. Magical dreams Sprout out your wishes. Places to eat That requires no dishes. Barbeque chicken, rotisserie. Eating alone, with my friend, Cherie. A queen-sized bed where we both sleep Dance lesson where I don’t miss a beat. I have a studio, an …

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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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Between Us – O.G. Blue

May the love between us be strong May the trust between us be whole And may the words between us be true May our eyes see one another And may our souls hold one another And may our wants and desires be as one And may the happiness we accumulate all through life separate us …

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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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Blessed Be – Monk

Captive Soul – Ismail Jaber

Riveted by charm obsessed and snared into enchantment and guile, words of adoration flooded my heart and a lonesome walk through the mist concealed my trail. Into oblivion I travailed the hike the elusive contour I so seek slipped through as I chased the evasive silhouette. Reflects of echoes whispered in my ears – “Set …

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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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Command an Audience Well – Christopher Meredith

Any teller of a story, fable, or tale, Must command an audience well. Not only to wield the narration, But also a stretch of imagination. He’s not worth his own salt And surely stands at fault. As his tongue begins to wag, While the mind starts to stray. But you might give one his due …

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Crushed By The System – Troy Glover

Defining Compassion – Scotlund Haisley

Dextro Meth Orphan (Remix) – Monk

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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Does It Make You Feel Good Down There? – Monk

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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Evenings of Immortality – Rachel Peterson

To the nights of existential bliss when the universe is at your fingertips & the beyond speaks to your soul. Pain is Relieved through the breath of the trees & the stars dance in glitter & gold.

Existing Question – Derrick Grantley

As I express my deepest pain, thru these quatrains and these stanzas, trust that I am genuine, for my anger out weighs my guilt Guilt of association Guilt of affiliation Guilt of humiliation Guilt of degradation Open your eyes and heart Some times the truth may set you free Ignorance is contagious All my life, …

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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

Gothic Black 2: The Last Lines – Monk

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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Howl Hollow Howl- Mark Dotson

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 – Sam Loynachan

I am Thankful – Lionel Lewis Rogers

I Hear Them Laughing! – Wind Walker

I Will Not Let Go – Troy Glover

Impeccable Skill – Kenny Jacobs

Impeccable-Style – Kenny Jacobs

In Essence – Kenny Jacobs

In essence I’ll never quit or break my stride, Until the flood gates open and resistance is futility denied The powers that be will swallow their pride and brace for impact, watching as the tide begin to rise and walls of opposition collapse, it’s a new day in fact Jewels synonymous with diamonds are considered …

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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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In Wait – Christopher Meredith

At long last I’ve been picked up again. Will I be checked out? Or simply remain? In my time I’ve been thrown and tossed. For many years I was hidden away, lost. What is that?! I feel my spine move, tingle, Like music to the soul steady jingle. He is making his way to the …

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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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Inside\Out – O.G. Blue

At first I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, “after awakening I said NO, this is for rea homie.      All day long I have the sounds of nothing but keys “I say to myself oh God please,      The turn-key gets to me but passes me by, I could tell from the Look in …

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Into the Abyss – 3 – Gary Farlow

Staring into the abyss, longing for the sun.           Living a lie, yet afraid to shed tears,          Unable to display any weakness.          Sunrise, sunset, the days blur.           Searching for answers with none to be found.       …

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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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Justice – Gilbert Hamel

It’s a night I wish I could never remember. And a day I wish to forget. Tormented in my mind; Somehow I regret. Through my eye’s my mind, my mind could not decide to see. Somewhere in my cerebral cortex, it holds the key; Of what has become of me. Where was my common sense? …

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Justice is Blind – Troy Glover

Lit – Donna Lucé

Lord Please – Lionel Lewis Rogers

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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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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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 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 Tears Promised Me – Safi Dona’t

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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Need Rises Up – Jennifer Diaz

Need Rises Up from a bottomless well of longing, a whining so insistent NO amount of willpower can force it silent. They say the WAY to be strong when confronted with the “voices” is TO SHUTTER my ears fight the darkness, reach for the light, but THE WINDOWS are draped with memories of madness.

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 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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Ode to a Pandemic – Gary Farlow

Old Friends – O.G. Blue

A slow walk down an open country road, “Pause a minute to notice a nesting toad, “up ahead a bird feeds its young, what a beautiful sight through the glimmering sunlight, “look there’s ole Uncle Joe’s Barn there as kids we used to trump and play for hours on end, “wow, I wish those days …

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Old New – Steve Patrick Galloway

Pill Box of Love – Monk

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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Question at the Crossroads – Donna Lucé

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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Rose – Monk

Long live the rose that grew from concrete When no one else even cared! — 2Pac Rose Mis-educated Life on the streets Drug related Loved and hated Still I rise Black clouds in the sky Through the injustice And the lies Still I rise Above virus and death, Knees on my neck I can’t breathe! …

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Saturday Morning – Samson Loynachan

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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She Wouldn’t Know Love – John Johnson

You say you never had love to begin with. Most guys you’ve ever been with have cheated, lied, or taken your Kindness For weakness; an anxious sensitive heart boldly pounding behind breat full of hopeless romance, on the brink of breaking-points far beyond shallowy meekness. No consistent father figure to love and protect you. Quicker …

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Some New Poetry – Kenny Jacobs

Status Quo – Christoper Meredith

Once again we had advanced along the grassy banks To the awe and wonderment of her vibrant flow. Being as she was just in the eclipse of her depths, But we sought the oneness of her peace and undertow. She began to rage above, with white-created waves, And boundless waters, and her endless scenario.

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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Test My Mettle – Kenny Jacobs

The Birthday Party – Christopher Meredith

The birthday party went over like a lead balloon, And that was her cry as she left the room. I approached the cake to blow out the flame, While I thought it all over with no one to blame. I had ranted and raved as I tore up the house, another year older and I …

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The Book – Wind Walker

The day I got here – Jeremiah King

Wednesday tell me to get up I get up Wednesday Feed me I eat Wednesday tell me what to wear I put it on Wednesday take what is mine I do without Wednesday tell me where to go I go Wednesday let me see my folks I am so happy Wednesday ask me when I …

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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 End – Christopher Meredith

The rays of vitality will soon conclude, And the people moonstruck as a common mood. The radiant star of energy, now diminished, as life on earth is simply finished. Some will gather lovers, some will gather friends, but all new beginnings will come to an end. We learned so little, just a little too late, …

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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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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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Thrifty-Verse – Kenny Jacobs

To the Tiny Insects Crawling on My Windshield – Julie Spencer

Today, Tomorrow, Always – Christopher Meredith

Today a pain so harmful, noxious, and terrible, as days of grief and sorrow, mostly unbearable. Though I fear not, my time is close at hand. I have nothing left, nothing of this land. Tomorrow I will try once more to carry this load, But I lost the will; I am standing at the threshold. …

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True Friend – Jose Santiago

Life treats a person through good and bad actions. Every action causes a reaction. To share love trust understanding and care. Is to love trust and understanding who cares. Express your thoughts and let yourself go. Just ease your mind and relax your soul. Stress can come from all different angles. Friends can become like …

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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 – 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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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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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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Woman Of Wonder – Troy Glover

Work 2 Be Done – Kenny Jacobs

“Neutral: The Journey 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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A Prairie Dog’s Tale – Christopher Meredith

Volume 1, Number 1 A Short Story by: Christopher Meredith The evening started out with little concern for misfortune, but he was convinced it would not endure. A short time later his instinct rang true. While on his watch, the ground above Wags and all around him started to shake and convulse with an intensity …

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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 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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Ben’s Wacky Jailhouse Trivia Vol 1 – Ben Wilkins

Elaboration on Truth – Mike E. Rowe, Spirit Dragon

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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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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Nothing & No One – Mike E. Rowe, Spirit Dragon

On Discovering His Truth – Ben Wilkins

On Paper Cranes – Obie Weathers

On Paper Cranes

One Day – Rick Vance

10 pm…. Walking across the yard, empty now. Everyone locked up asleep for the night. My day is just starting, I gather my thoughts, before arriving at the Pallative Care unit. I got 1 on the watch (constant care 1 on 1 in his cell) it’s been three long days for my friend who has …

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Political Recession – B.E. The Truth

America, has yet again suffered another tragic hour; because Donald Trump’s improper behavior to retain supremacy executive power. There cannot be no democracy, no unity, without accountability.  There cannot be a sound society without legal boundaries.  How can the Nation stand powerful and robust, coast to coast? When the government runs amok?  How can the …

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Public Secrets – Ben Wilkins

Shenanigans – Ben Wilkins

STATE DEATH – Dorothy Maraglino

For 15 long years, he was held captive in a small concrete room. His bed was a hard steel slab covered with a thin mat. A sliver of a window barely let in the sunlight on a bright day. He was grateful for the steel toilet and sink. Plumbing accounted for most of his physical …

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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 …

Continue reading The Search – Bednago Harper

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,” …

Continue reading Poetry and Prose

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 …

Continue reading When I Reflect – Andrew Wadsworth

“Neutral: The Journey 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 …

Continue reading “Neutral: The Journey Manifest” – Bednago Harper

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 …

Continue reading A Mile in My Shoes – Anthony Billings

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.

Ben’s Wacky Jailhouse Trivia Vol 1 – Ben Wilkins

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 …

Continue reading Poetry and Prose

Existing Question – Derrick Grantley

As I express my deepest pain, thru these quatrains and these stanzas, trust that I am genuine, for my anger out weighs my guilt Guilt of association Guilt of affiliation Guilt of humiliation Guilt of degradation Open your eyes and heart Some times the truth may set you free Ignorance is contagious All my life, …

Continue reading Existing Question – Derrick Grantley

Howl Hollow Howl- Mark Dotson

Inside\Out – O.G. Blue

At first I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, “after awakening I said NO, this is for rea homie.      All day long I have the sounds of nothing but keys “I say to myself oh God please,      The turn-key gets to me but passes me by, I could tell from the Look in …

Continue reading Inside\Out – O.G. Blue

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 …

Continue reading My Womb/My Tomb – Shannon Pride

One Day – Rick Vance

10 pm…. Walking across the yard, empty now. Everyone locked up asleep for the night. My day is just starting, I gather my thoughts, before arriving at the Pallative Care unit. I got 1 on the watch (constant care 1 on 1 in his cell) it’s been three long days for my friend who has …

Continue reading One Day – Rick Vance

Public Secrets – Ben Wilkins

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 …

Continue reading Rehabilitation – Safi Dona’t

Saturday Morning – Samson Loynachan

The day I got here – Jeremiah King

Wednesday tell me to get up I get up Wednesday Feed me I eat Wednesday tell me what to wear I put it on Wednesday take what is mine I do without Wednesday tell me where to go I go Wednesday let me see my folks I am so happy Wednesday ask me when I …

Continue reading Poetry and Prose

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 …

Continue reading Untitled – Crystal Jennings

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 …

Continue reading Untitled – Shannon Pride

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 …

Continue reading Untitled – Shannon Pride

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 …

Continue reading A Voice From Inside… – Amber Daniel

Broken Windows and the Persistence of Hope – Obie Weathers

   Hey, Everybody– –       I hope you all are doing good. Staying safe out there and taking care of your loved ones. I’m good. The weather is swinging wildly from hot to cold to hot– –and it messes with my mood. So I’m taking it easy today. It’s my sister’s birthday, and I …

Continue reading Broken Windows and the Persistence of Hope – Obie Weathers

Gothic Black 2: The Last Lines – Monk

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 …

Continue reading I am From – Brian Hindson

I Am From – Sam Loynachan

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 …

Continue reading It got us all – Amber Daniel

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 …

Continue reading Make Examples, Not Excuses – Anthony Billings

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 …

Continue reading My Womb/My Tomb – Shannon Pride

Question at the Crossroads – Donna Lucé

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 …

Continue reading Regret – Ally Bear

Saturday Morning – Samson Loynachan

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 …

Continue reading Searching – Authentic Flames

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 …

Continue reading Teach Me Grace – Cedar Annenkovna

Test My Mettle – Kenny Jacobs

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 …

Continue reading This Is Me – Brittian Koty Osorio

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 …

Continue reading When I Reflect – Andrew Wadsworth

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 …

Continue reading Where I’m From – Antique Soul

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 …

Continue reading A Fathers Wish – Brittian Koty Osorio

Between Us – O.G. Blue

May the love between us be strong May the trust between us be whole And may the words between us be true May our eyes see one another And may our souls hold one another And may our wants and desires be as one And may the happiness we accumulate all through life separate us …

Continue reading Between Us – O.G. Blue

Defining Compassion – Scotlund Haisley

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 …

Continue reading Distant, but Mine – Jordan Earls

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 …

Continue reading I am From – Brian Hindson

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 …

Continue reading In This Together – Brittian Koty Osorio

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 …

Continue reading Mama’s Poem – Brittian Koty Osorio

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 …

Continue reading My Story – Anthony Billings

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 …

Continue reading no such thing as love – Jordan Earls

Old Friends – O.G. Blue

A slow walk down an open country road, “Pause a minute to notice a nesting toad, “up ahead a bird feeds its young, what a beautiful sight through the glimmering sunlight, “look there’s ole Uncle Joe’s Barn there as kids we used to trump and play for hours on end, “wow, I wish those days …

Continue reading Old Friends – O.G. Blue

One Day – Rick Vance

10 pm…. Walking across the yard, empty now. Everyone locked up asleep for the night. My day is just starting, I gather my thoughts, before arriving at the Pallative Care unit. I got 1 on the watch (constant care 1 on 1 in his cell) it’s been three long days for my friend who has …

Continue reading One Day – Rick Vance

Shenanigans – Ben Wilkins

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 …

Continue reading The Search – Bednago Harper

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 …

Continue reading When I Reflect – Andrew Wadsworth

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 …

Continue reading Where I’m From – Antique Soul

Woman Of Wonder – Troy Glover

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 …

Continue reading A Voice From Inside… – Amber Daniel

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. …

Continue reading Choices – Brittian Koty Osorio

Crushed By The System – Troy Glover

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 …

Continue reading Poetry and Prose

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 …

Continue reading God is Good – Amber Daniel

I Am From – Sam Loynachan

I Will Not Let Go – Troy Glover

In Essence – Kenny Jacobs

In essence I’ll never quit or break my stride, Until the flood gates open and resistance is futility denied The powers that be will swallow their pride and brace for impact, watching as the tide begin to rise and walls of opposition collapse, it’s a new day in fact Jewels synonymous with diamonds are considered …

Continue reading Poetry and Prose

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 …

Continue reading In This Together – Brittian Koty Osorio

One Day – Rick Vance

10 pm…. Walking across the yard, empty now. Everyone locked up asleep for the night. My day is just starting, I gather my thoughts, before arriving at the Pallative Care unit. I got 1 on the watch (constant care 1 on 1 in his cell) it’s been three long days for my friend who has …

Continue reading One Day – Rick Vance

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 …

Continue reading Regret – Ally Bear

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 …

Continue reading The Gift – Brittian Koty Osorio

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 …

Continue reading When I Reflect – Andrew Wadsworth

Woman Of Wonder – Troy Glover

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 …

Continue reading A Sad Truth – Bednago Harper

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 …

Continue reading Poetry and Prose

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 …

Continue reading Poetry and Prose

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, …

Continue reading Black Lives Matter – Brittian Koty Osorio

Crushed By The System – Troy Glover

Justice is Blind – Troy Glover

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 …

Continue reading New Black World Order – O.G. Blue

Political Recession – B.E. The Truth

America, has yet again suffered another tragic hour; because Donald Trump’s improper behavior to retain supremacy executive power. There cannot be no democracy, no unity, without accountability.  There cannot be a sound society without legal boundaries.  How can the Nation stand powerful and robust, coast to coast? When the government runs amok?  How can the …

Continue reading Political Recession – B.E. The Truth

Public Secrets – Ben Wilkins

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 …

Continue reading Teach Me Grace – Cedar Annenkovna

Woman Of Wonder – Troy Glover

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 …

Continue reading 24 Karat – B.E. The Truth

A Wonderful World – O.G. Blue

The Wonders of the World goes far beyond sights and sounds, “for a beautiful promise came with it “With a sound mind and a glorious attitude are the beginning of precious Life so delicate will travel through this World with Love so deep its beyond measure only to endure its endless and everlasting treasures All …

Continue reading A Wonderful World – O.G. Blue

Between Us – O.G. Blue

May the love between us be strong May the trust between us be whole And may the words between us be true May our eyes see one another And may our souls hold one another And may our wants and desires be as one And may the happiness we accumulate all through life separate us …

Continue reading Between Us – O.G. Blue

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 …

Continue reading Her – Brittian Koty Osorio

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 …

Continue reading Loves Evolution – Safi Dona’t

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 …

Continue reading My Love – Brittian Koty Osorio

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 …

Continue reading My Love – Lionel Lewis Rogers

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 …

Continue reading A Gentle Whisper – 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 …

Continue reading God is Good – Amber Daniel

I am Thankful – Lionel Lewis Rogers

Lord Please – Lionel Lewis Rogers

On Discovering His Truth – Ben Wilkins

One Day – Rick Vance

10 pm…. Walking across the yard, empty now. Everyone locked up asleep for the night. My day is just starting, I gather my thoughts, before arriving at the Pallative Care unit. I got 1 on the watch (constant care 1 on 1 in his cell) it’s been three long days for my friend who has …

Continue reading One Day – Rick Vance

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 …

Continue reading A Fathers Wish – Brittian Koty Osorio

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 …

Continue reading Poetry and Prose

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 …

Continue reading A Voice From Inside… – Amber Daniel

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.

Existing Question – Derrick Grantley

As I express my deepest pain, thru these quatrains and these stanzas, trust that I am genuine, for my anger out weighs my guilt Guilt of association Guilt of affiliation Guilt of humiliation Guilt of degradation Open your eyes and heart Some times the truth may set you free Ignorance is contagious All my life, …

Continue reading Existing Question – Derrick Grantley

Howl Hollow Howl- Mark Dotson

I Will Not Let Go – Troy Glover

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 …

Continue reading Inside Insomnia – Anthony Billings

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 …

Continue reading It got us all – Amber Daniel

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 …

Continue reading Rehabilitation – Safi Dona’t

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 …

Continue reading Searching – Authentic Flames

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 …

Continue reading The Disease of the Century – Amber Daniel

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 …

Continue reading Untitled – Crystal Jennings

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 …

Continue reading Untitled – Shannon Pride

Anywhere but here – Julie Spencer 

I have in mind A wonder-filled place. Unsurpassed By the whole human race. Magical dreams Sprout out your wishes. Places to eat That requires no dishes. Barbeque chicken, rotisserie. Eating alone, with my friend, Cherie. A queen-sized bed where we both sleep Dance lesson where I don’t miss a beat. I have a studio, an …

Continue reading Poetry and Prose

Between Us – O.G. Blue

May the love between us be strong May the trust between us be whole And may the words between us be true May our eyes see one another And may our souls hold one another And may our wants and desires be as one And may the happiness we accumulate all through life separate us …

Continue reading Between Us – O.G. Blue

Broken Windows and the Persistence of Hope – Obie Weathers

   Hey, Everybody– –       I hope you all are doing good. Staying safe out there and taking care of your loved ones. I’m good. The weather is swinging wildly from hot to cold to hot– –and it messes with my mood. So I’m taking it easy today. It’s my sister’s birthday, and I …

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Crushed By The System – Troy Glover

Defining Compassion – Scotlund Haisley

I Will Not Let Go – Troy Glover

In Essence – Kenny Jacobs

In essence I’ll never quit or break my stride, Until the flood gates open and resistance is futility denied The powers that be will swallow their pride and brace for impact, watching as the tide begin to rise and walls of opposition collapse, it’s a new day in fact Jewels synonymous with diamonds are considered …

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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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On Discovering His Truth – Ben Wilkins

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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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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A Prairie Dog’s Tale – Christopher Meredith

Volume 1, Number 1 A Short Story by: Christopher Meredith The evening started out with little concern for misfortune, but he was convinced it would not endure. A short time later his instinct rang true. While on his watch, the ground above Wags and all around him started to shake and convulse with an intensity …

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Evenings of Immortality – Rachel Peterson

To the nights of existential bliss when the universe is at your fingertips & the beyond speaks to your soul. Pain is Relieved through the breath of the trees & the stars dance in glitter & gold.

To the Tiny Insects Crawling on My Windshield – Julie Spencer

On Paper Cranes – Obie Weathers

On Paper Cranes

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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