All of the poems on this website are written by incarcerated members of Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop.  This blog is a valuable link to the external community and an important outlet for their voices to be heard.  Every week, we print out the comments you leave and mail them to the writers which is a huge motivator for the new poets.  Unfortunately, none of our members have internet access while in jail or federal prison, so we are not able to share your “likes” with them.  If you “like” a post, please also leave a comment on the poem!

Thank you for your encouraging words!


I sit back and watch people who is happy
And I try to be
But deep inside, the pain is all around me
The people I know that know me best as me
Am I okay?
Or they know what’s up with me
Sometimes my sadness is anger, depression, hopelessness,
Revenge and downheartedness
But I don’t show it except when I am mad
I lost my dad when I was 11 years old
I lost my right-hand man when I was 15
I lost my aunt when I was 16
These years my mother was my provider
Until she couldn’t provide for me
So I had to go get it myself
So that made it even harder for me
‘Cause I got to watch over my head every 10 seconds
And all my friends had more stuff than me and looked good for school
All the parties, they asked me did I want to go
But I didn’t have nothing nice to wear
Their mothers bought them games like PS2 and Xbox2
And I still had a PS1
I always had to wait until after Christmas when everything gets cheap
So my mother can get if for me
She lost her job and had to pay for it off the first of the month check
So I started getting money myself
And when my brother had money
He didn’t give me nothing
Or my sisters—only some of them
They had lots of clothes and I had a few
So I was mad that I had to go and get it with my friends
That was going through the same thing
Then I started to get in fights and I started to get locked up
Now I am 17 and in DC Jail
But my sadness and depression is still there
But now I know if I hide it
Later on in life I am going to go crazy
And if I show it
People will get to me even if I don’t let them
So it’s in the shadows
Until I need to show them

Know Life


Life is a struggle
The struggle is life
You should live like you never live twice
Enjoying the pleasures; the pain it’s the game
It makes you who you are; no two humans are the same
Learning your weakness, modifying your flaws
Sooner or later, you could be someone else’s boss
No, I ain’t here to preach, I’m just laying some laws
Know who you are and you’ll stand up much more tall


Constantly thinking about your love
Has my heart tied up in a knot
Because besides my family
Girl, you’re all that I got

Constantly thinking about your smile
And all the beauty in your blush
And all the love we made
After we’d argue and fuss

Constantly thinking about your style
And what makes you so unique
Constantly thinking about how being with you
Makes me feel complete

Constantly thinking about all the things
That I know were meant to be
And the most important of them all
Is the thought of you and me


If I ever had the chance
I’d fly you to the moon
Align the stars to spell your name
And say “the ring’s coming soon.”

If I ever had the chance
I’d tell you to be ready by three
Tell you we’re going somewhere special
Then take you to KFC

If I ever had the chance
I’d buy you a big bouquet
Kiss you, then whisper in your ear
That I am here to stay

See me and you
Could be something great, boo
On an island, sipping wine, eating grapefruit
Twenty stories up, in a penthouse with a great view
Anywhere you wanna go
Baby, I will take you ….

But I just need a chance


Who want to hear my thoughts?
Who want to know my pain?
To hear my thoughts you must listen to me
To know my pain you must understand me
My thoughts are home, family, and being free
My pain is being away from my family
That’s the main thing that crushes me

People want me to write poems
But it’s not easy when my thoughts are on other things
People say everything is going to be ok
But I’m the one going through it and they’re doing fine
People say I’m a good person with a good heart and mind
So why am I still doing time?
All who want to hear and know my pain…
Hurry up because it’s a long line

True Love


You’re in my thoughts, my dreams
When I open my eyes
I can’t wait to see you
Can’t wait to hear your voice
Your laughter makes my day too
We joke, we argue
But that’s just what people in love do
You’re my friend, my partner, my lover
I’m glad you’re with me until this journey is through
You make me laugh, I make you laugh
Because that’s what friends do
I hold you up, you hold me up
Because you’re my partner too
You’re my lover
You attract me and I attract you
Don’t doubt my love for a second
Because my love is true
Besides, you’re my heart
I couldn’t get rid of you if I wanted to



Upstream, upstream
I have to make it upstream!
The current is so strong
I don’t know if I can make it
I’ve been swimming so long
I don’t know how much longer my body can take it

Mentally and physically weakened
Upstream, upstream, can I make it?
I just want to be at peace
I just want to rest
Can I make it up the stream
Where there’s freedom and no distress?

Sometimes I just want to stop
And just go with the flow
I can drown to a watery tomb or float to freedom
Who will ever know?
I close my eyes as I relax
And pray for the better

Don’t give up, you’re almost there
Don’t give up!
My family and friends believe
They cheer me on!
I open my eyes and jolt forward
And push and push and push!

Upstream, upstream
I will be free
I will make it up stream!
Tough situations only last for a minute
But tough people last forever
I am forever tough
And this stream is a little obstacle
And I will hold together
Upstream, upstream
I will make it and be free of the forever!


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