The following poem was written back in June of 1996. Back then I was a drug using, drug selling, violent little badass. I was at Walla Walla, living with Mikey and Jeff. When we were using drugs and smoking joints people use to walk by our cell, look in, and fiend. A lot of guys would stop at our bars and try to make small talk in hopes it would lead to a free hit, or a joint.
(To read more about this crazy time in my life, please check out my ebook called, STONE CITY: LIFE IN THE PENITENTIARY. Specifically, Chapter: 7.)
TAKING THE EDGE OFF PRISON LIFE
Waking up slow to the practical jokes,
where coffee is a must and everyone smokes.
Take a deep breath you can smell the green,
as the broke walk by they look in and fiend.
People say I’m gone how I wish that was true,
the fact is that I’m here so let me tell you what I do.
I kick em in the face sometimes I choke em out,
But then I get away with it and that’s what its about.
So please don’t mess because I gotta confess,
when it comes to fighting dirty I’m one of the best.
So what if I’m small so what if you’re tall,
within ten seconds guarantee you will fall.
The hell with taking the edge off prison life,
its more like taking your head off with my prison knife!
That poem illustrates just how sick my thoughts were. As a result, my actions were extremely destructive. I was oblivious to the fact that I induced my own suffering and hardships.
Now, it is with a joyous heart that I share a more recent poem that was written on 10-25-13, in the midst of enlightenment and spiritual awakening. I am so blessed to have this gentle love in my life. THIS is what takes the edge off of prison life for me these days.
THE MAGIC OF HER LOVE
Love is like magic, at least it is for me.
I pulled a rabbit out the hat, and her name is Suzie.
She transformed my world, a cold hard place.
By showing me a warm soft glow, within the beauty of her face.
Our situation is unique, and to some very strange.
But there’s nothing in this world that love can’t change.
Her love is so pure, understanding and kind.
She loves with all her heart, body, soul and mind.
Her love is so powerful, it reaches my core.
Her love is a love I’ve never felt before.
Her love is a love in which I’ve been seeking.
Her love is a language in which I’m now speaking.
Her love is the love that inspires my life.
Her love is the love that I’ve found in my wife.
Here is a poem I wrote back in the 1900’s…..1997 to be exact.
I remember it well. I was laying on my bunk staring at the ceiling…thinking…that I’m 24 years old with 39 years left to serve. I was also thinking about a girl I liked before I came to prison.
Sometimes I sit in my cell and I think of you girl,
and I think of the life I once had in this world.
I remember the feelings that I enjoyed so much,
now I long for the feelings created by your touch.
There’s so much pain that dwells in my heart,
it’s a pain that I feel in times I’m apart……
Apart from my family, my world, and love, passion filled romance is all I dream of.
There’s a pain I can’t fully explain,
but as I travel on it slowly drives me insane.
What will this do to me down the road,
after 20 years without a woman to hold.
The thought is scary the situation is real,
I’ve seen the results turn hearts to steel.
So I lay on my bed and look at the ceiling,
then my body gets chills from the love that I’m feeling.
I block out this joint with fantasies of you,
as I hope and pray for a love that’s true.
That was 18 years ago. As I read this poem, I’m struck by the part that says, “What will this do to me down the road, after 20 years without a woman to hold.” Because at the time I still had 40 years to serve. So why didn’t I say,”…after 40 years without a woman to hold.”?
But wait! There’s more. Suzie and I just had our 1 year anniversary. That means only 2 more years before we get our EFV’s. So the poem was right. From the time I wrote it, I’ll have gone 20 years without holding a woman…..soft and slow…..all night long….for 48 hours! OMGoodness. I get excited just thinking about it!
Wanna hear the type of poems I write when I get excited about our EFV’s? Naw…I better not.
But I will share this one…it’s called “Suzie”. I wrote it 12-24-12, just 3 weeks after we met.
Suzie excites my mind.
Is love blind?
It could be.
Look at you,
look at me.
We’ve never met.
Yet, this feeling I’ll never forget.
still I feel you in my heart.
With every letter,
this feeling gets better.
As we know each other longer,
my feelings get stronger.
It seems so crazy, these feelings so soon.
Met in December, married in June.
Absolute proof, our souls in-tune.
This love will make you a Mother.
First a daughter.
Then her brother.
Say the word and I’m all in.
A beautiful creation from within the pen.
Whatever you want I will do.
My love and devotion belongs to you.
Who knew life could be this sweet?
But that’s what happens when soul mates meet.
We didn’t get married in June. But I wanted to. I sent Suzie the marriage forms in only my 9th letter to her. I knew she was The One. When you know, you know. We have found true love in each other. 🙂
All of my poems are a reflection of how I was feeling at that time. Certain feelings inspire certain words. On 10-29-13, I was inspired by my amazing wife and our beautiful love (see: The Power of Love). So I grabbed my pen and paper and wrote this poem:
FOCUS ON LOVE
Life is a mixture of joy and pain,
blue skies, dark clouds, sunshine and rain.
All days can’t be bright, this we know is true,
what you choose to focus on is always up to you.
Seek out the positive in your life and cherish every day,
focus on the things you love and your blues will fade away.
Show a smile instead of a frown,
look up instead of down.
Shine your light a little brighter,
and watch your burdens get so much lighter.
Life is good life is great,
focus on love ignore the hate.
If you live in love with a heart that’s true,
then love will reflect in all you do.
And when love reflects in all you do,
it takes from the time of feeling blue.
* * *
If I knew back then what I know now…I wouldn’t be in prison. Early on in life I was on a dark path that lead to destructive behavior. Violence, suffering, hate, turmoil, conflict…they were all a constant theme in my life. As a result, my writing reflected that.
This next poem was written during my middle school years. There is no title. It says:
Now I lay myself to sleep,
I pray to hell my soul will keep.
No one knows what I plan to do,
but you’ll find out when life is through.
Through for who is what I wonder,
but you’ll find out 6 feet under.
As I read this today I shake my head in disbelief. I was around 12 years old when I wrote that! I could easily shed a tear right now. Left to my own demise, I didn’t stand a chance.
As I reflect back to my childhood, I can remember a re-occurring statement that teachers, principals, coaches, and other adults would say. They’d say that I was going to end up dead or in prison.
The first time I heard the “prison” version, I was in the 3rd grade.
The first time I heard the “dead” version, I was in the 9th grade.
Sure enough, I escaped death only to land in prison. Considering my options, I got lucky.
Even after I got locked up, my mindset didn’t change very much.
Here is a poem I wrote back in 1994, just 6 months after I arrived at the Snohomish County Jail. It’s called “Who’s Lucky” because that’s what I used to ask myself every time someone pissed me off in the jail. Am I lucky because I have a release date? Or is he lucky that I have a release date? The poem goes like this:
People are lucky I have a release date,
or taking a life I wouldn’t even hesitate.
I’m already in jail paying a price,
I often times wonder why am I so nice?
Hatred and violence run through my veins,
murderous thoughts invades through my brain.
I use to think my thoughts were something I’d inflict,
now I see without thinking my thoughts come out sick.
I feel like killing for little or no reason,
look at me wrong and your death would be pleasen.
And for all you punks who talk too loud,
I like watching your blood drip like drops from a cloud….
with a big fat shank piercing through your gut,
dying slowly, you deserve what you got.
By all means don’t cross my path,
if you’re a punk ass bitch who won’t take a bath.
You’re better off staying in your cell,
because your life will expire if I get one smell.
When I was drinking these thoughts I’d be thinking,
but now that I’m sober it’s starting to sink in……
That maybe I was born with blood to kill,
because every thought that I get is way too real.
Today I wouldn’t have the slightest desire to write such non sense.
Behind all the mental madness, there was a little place of peace and love. Here’s a poem that shows a glimpse of sunshine in the midst of a storm. It was written in August 1996:
LOOK FOR HAPPY THINGS
Look for happy things in life if you desire peace,
appreciate all that’s done for you and watch your love increase.
Things like a loving gentle smile or sincere words of cheer,
a sunrise or the precious time when twinkling stars appear.
Seek out the good in people and cast errors to the side,
fill your heart with love because that’s where good resides.
Drink in soul deep pleasure that nature gives to all,
enjoy the beauty of a rock bound shore or a cascading waterfall.
And do not forget the value of just a humble prayer,
it doesn’t matter where you are because God is everywhere.
Open your heart to children they fill this life with bliss,
who can deny the love of a baby’s tender kiss?
I hope you see just what I mean, look for happy things,
If you do that, then you’ll have love within a heart that sings.
PS – Dear Readers, I thought twice about sharing these violent poems with you. I wish to be transparent about my transformation and my journey. Would you rather I didn’t share violent poems on my blog? Let me know. Thank you.