Take Me As I Am

by Sable
take me as I am.
the arch of my back as I stand upright.
the boldness in my face
the smooth touch of every curve
take me as I am.
with every imperfection to my acknowledgement
& even those I can?t admit
take me as I am
embrace my individuality, my wisdom, my youth,
& divine spirituality
take me as I am.
no need to curve my tongue, I make my mistakes?
for I am still young
take me as I am.
only my god is the judge of me
for I am what I set myself to be
take me as I am.
watch how i grow,
the things I accept, the things i know?
I am only one person?true to myself
never the need to hide
for I am what I am, and who I am is me?
never duplicated; one of a kind
as you can surely see
take me as I am.

What Happened?

by Hakim
The bus was late and a I had no clue so was my fate
I still had time to smoke some weed to start off my day
All the sudden cops all over the place like somebody called ?um
Though I had dreams and aspirations Allah chose to stall?um
Before I knew it I was beaten and confused
I chose my ?homeboy? to confide to ?bout my blues
We went to Sacramento to start a life anew
In a months? time you?ll never believe the things I got into
The thing that strikes me the most which I?ll never forget
Is when a man nearly lost his life ? this I truly regret
My hands were covered with blood and what was I to do
I prayed to Jesus cause at the time he was the only God I knew
To my surprise there was a greater God whom I didn?t know
He saw the hurt , wrath , and silence which I couldn?t show
My prayer answered, but there was still something very wrong
Every night I dreamed of my death and blackened songs
Three years later I found imprisoned
I was told I?d get out in eight years but fate didn?t listen
Another life lost , my grandma , how come I didn?t see it
May she rest in peace ,but it should have been me to go , I mean it
So the question of , ?what did I do wrong?? kills my Mom inside
Cause it was me not her an Allah know that I?ll never know why
I chose to take my anger out on someone else
And now I?ve hit the corner and I?ve ran into myself
Though I had dreams and aspirations Allah chose to stall?um
All the sudden cops all over the place like somebody called ?um.

Surviving the System

by Suzy Mellen
When the judge sentenced me, I thought he said 25-to-Life. After a few months of being in prison, one of my roommates read my face sheet. She said to me, Mellen, you were sentenced to LIFE WITHOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE. I said, What does that mean?? She explained to me that I would never go home. That I would die in prison. I was in a state of shock then, just as I was throughout my trial.
I could have become bitter, paralyzed, and powerless to the point of being crippled because of the shock of getting convicted of a horrible crime with which I had no connection. The suffering and pain attacked me emotionally. How could this have happened to me? I was desperate for an answer.  That is when God became so real to me. When I was stripped from my life, my family and my home and left with NOTHING, I realized that God was all I needed. It’s been one long journey and a very painful one. The tendency is to want to give up especially when your thoughts are, I cant do it anymore!
That’s when I started learning about myself. My spirit within gave me strength, and yes, even JOY to keep going. Something inside moved me. I became motivated to turn everything negative into something positive and powerful. Prison wanted to break me. That is when I embraced the life system that tried to destroy me. I made my life sentence my friend, as opposed to my enemy.
In my wildest dreams, I could never imagine God would use me in such a way. I might be in prison, but prison is NOT in me! We only have one journey in this life, so I want to make it count and make a difference to help others that are facing life sentences!
Written for my lifer’s group