Archive for Prisoner Poetry

Film Screening – “Living with Life”

Posted in Community Outreach, Prison Poetry & Other Writings, Prison Reform, Prison Voices, Prisoner Outeach with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by viprisonproject

“Slow Tears”

Posted in Prison Poetry & Other Writings with tags , , , , , on December 9, 2009 by viprisonproject

I look up
as tears roll by slowly down my cheek
I think about better days
and wonder if I’ll feel that way again
you talk to me with the sweet lovely voice
That I know so very well
always serious, so deep and insightful
as though your always in control

But not today not now
Now I can imagine your so scared
Like for once you don’t have the answer
I think about you thinking deep about what you always do
Hoping to understand and why you said those things you did

I wonder for a moment
If I shall wake in the morning and be revealed
you look at me
with a confusion I have never seen.
Slowly pulls me toward you and wipe the tears
from my cheek!!!

– Alie Benjamin
Virgin Islands Prisoner at Keen Mountain Correctional Center
Oakwood, VA

Look Up!

Posted in Prison Poetry & Other Writings, Prison Voices with tags , , , , , on December 9, 2009 by viprisonproject

Look up… Because in times like these your very life may depend on it.  Some time ago ‘Jah’ showed me that a spirit of weariness is trying to work its way into our lives through all the pressure and bad news that surrounds us.  It’s working to get our eyes off the word ‘Jah’ by bombarding us with negative forces.  Its trying to get us to look down at defeat instead of up at ‘Jah’.

If you let that happen, your spirit man will begin to lose his dominion.  And the Word tells us what the results of that is.  It says you’ll be wearied and faint in your minds. ‘Jah’ put it this way in Mark 4.  He said that when the cares of the world enter into your heart and mind, they’ll choke the Word and cause it to become unfruitful.  And since your faith is the product of the Word, that means your faith will wither.  Once that happens you are headed for disaster. What can you don to stop this chain reaction of weariness?

Look up!  Get your eyes back on ‘Jah’.  I remember on the field of athletic competition that when an opponent allowed himself to drop his head, he was no longer dangerous.  So keep your head up, keep considering ‘Jah’ the author and finisher of your faith.  Consider Him instead of the cares of this world.

Consider what ‘Jah’ says in His Words.  Be moved by the thoughts of ‘Jah’.  Let His thoughts become your thoughts.  Look up! Get your eyes off the circumstances around you and onto your Heavenly Source.  Don’t be afraid you’re going to lose everything.  ‘Jah’ is your source, not the world.  He can take care of you, regardless of what happens around you.

If you’ve gotten weary lately, begin to lift your eyes.  Raise your head up instead of looking down. ‘Jah is up. The Devil is down – under your feet
Look up!  Isaiah 40:21-31

-Arturo Cruz Sr.
Virgin Islands Prisoner at Wallens Ridge State Prison
Big Stone Gap, VA

Untitled

Posted in Prison Poetry & Other Writings, Prison Voices with tags , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by viprisonproject

The Virgin Islands, root of
all dreams, It’s like hope
and fire.

Three crowns in the Caribbean
surrounded by clear blue water.

The Virgin Islands, St. Croix
St. Thomas and St. John
Gorgeous as rubies with all its
splendor.

Land of no owners, where people
are humble and kind.

A proud people who won’t give
it up for anything.

The Virgin Islands this is
where I have my family
and friends.

-Julio Perez
Virgin Islands’ Prisoner at Wallens Ridge State Prison
Big Stone Gap, VA

Abyss of a Mountain

Posted in Prison Poetry & Other Writings with tags , , , , on December 8, 2009 by viprisonproject

Residing here at Keen Mountain, echo reverberates with oppression and apathy/feels more like a cave to me/you wonder, is the sun up this day/cause the only light you see is not far away/is there cloud, or is it a blue sky today/this also you wonder, be it the only hue you see is gray/once the lights on this is how it will stay/17 hours later the lights goes off, you once again ask yourself, is there any stars in the sky, the only stars you’ll see is when you bang your head against the wall/is that rain I’m hearing; while my head is clearing/NO/it’s only the guy next door setting off the fire sprinkler/the lights is on again, so it must be another day/this assumption is justified, cause the slot open, here arrive your breakfast tray/you stare at the mess, and hope for the best/All the while wondering what kinda mountain is this, when the mess hits the pit of your stomach, you realize you’re in the bowels of this mountain.

-Mark “Abba Natty” King
Virgin Islands’ Prisoner at Keen Mountain Correctional Center
Oakwood, VA

Sacrosanct Prayer For Freedom!!

Posted in Prison Poetry & Other Writings, Prison Voices with tags , , , , on December 8, 2009 by viprisonproject

The need for freedom always on my mind/never deviate won’t be left behind/The urgent need elucidating it’s intent/ingrained on the conscious mind, refuse to relent/There is one who with the stroke of a pen can say when/Should I exalt him as God?/NO/Cause no man is equal in this regards/Only needing the chance to be free/Humbly willing to become a symbolic pillar of society/The spirit reborn with self-conscious scrutiny/ a spark touch, tinder, eternal flames burning, strong desire to contribute to our community/The need for freedom, confirm to hold dear/Does the man with the pen hear me?/Does anybody care?  FREE I!!!

-Mark “Abba Natty” King
Virgin Islands’ Prisoner at Keen Mountain Correctional Center
Oakwood, VA

Fatherhood Is Forever

Posted in Prison Poetry & Other Writings with tags , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by viprisonproject

From the planting of the seed/willing ready to supply its needs/The time of blossom has arrive/willing nature this blessing to survive Years turn to decades/The bonding grows stronger, responsibility never fades/lesson taught, lesson learn/The desire to emulate continue to yearn/ In your heart this brings a smile, all the while you’re learning too/that been a father longevity is a constant pursuit/Another milestone come at last/the tree bears fruit has come to pass/The lesson learnt are repeated as such, cause it worked by your presence and touch/The duty of fatherhood should never be taken lightly/For the memories of your actions is a beacon that shines brightly.

– Mark “Abba Natty” King
Virgin Islands’ Prisoner at Keen Mountain Correctional Center
Oakwood, VA

Why Me?

Posted in Prison Poetry & Other Writings, Prison Voices with tags , , , , on December 8, 2009 by viprisonproject

Why Me?
They’ve locked up my earthly body but, my mind
is still FREE.  Thy mind is a gift from the ALMIGHTY.

Why Me?
On my way through life, I was deeply associated
with poverty.  The CREATOR me knowledge to cure
naturally.

Why Me?
I’ve made wrong choices, that have causes me
to not be FREE.  I’ve served my time &
prison was GOOD for me.  Now I am rehabilitated
that I’ve paid my debt to society.

Why Me?
Why Me,
Why ME!!

A part of life some human beings encounter
& others never see.

Why me, why me, why not me I made my own atrocity.  GOOD for me, GOOD  for ME!!  From my terrible choices I’ve overstand GOD’S wrath and changed from being stupidy.  Thanks be the Almighty & my initiative abilities.

Why Me?
Why me,
Why anybody?
Because it’s REALITY

-Ronald Martin
Golden Grove Adult Correctional Facilty

“BURIED ALIVE”

Posted in Prison Poetry & Other Writings, Prison Voices with tags , , , on July 26, 2009 by viprisonproject

Buried Alive, but I still hear the cries of the orphan.

Buried Alive, but I still hear the sobs of the grieving mother’s pain , who are too young to  remember my burial.

Buried Alive, but I still sway to the sound of “Respect” and “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman”

Even though I was Buried Alive, there is still movement in my limbs, and conciousness in my breath.

Buried Alive, but my continued movement still causes uneasiness to the stoic Gravediggers.

Buried Alive, but I have Amazingly shred my burial gown, and dawned this Jubilee Suit.

For I live in an Age where burial is not permanent or eternal, but a state of mind, that is maintained by Doctrine.

That is why I rejoice daily, for having returned from the Grave.

– Hanif Gereau-Bey
#295933 – Keen Mountain Correctional Center

Hello world!

Posted in Prison Reform with tags , , , , on May 17, 2009 by viprisonproject

Welcome to the Virgin Islands Prison Project Press!

We are an internet blog created for the distinct purpose of being a voice for those Virgin Islanders affected by our criminal justice system – prisoners and their loved ones. We hope to create a framework for those folks who have seemingly been forgotten and marginalized by our community; a place where they can share their art, poetry, essays, articles and other writings, and most importantly express those aspects of themselves previously unheard.

Along with this, it is also our sincere desire to spark a public dialog regarding issues of crime and punishment. Violent crime appears to be on the rise in our islands, more and more young people have access to guns, and our children are no longer safe – not even aboard the school buses.

However, locking more and more people up and throwing away the key is not necessarily making the Virgin Islands a safer place to live. Creating alternatives to the current paradigm in which we we find ourselves requires that we broaden our options in responding to harm in our communities.

In this forum, we seek creative approaches to justice that actively involves all who are impacted by crime – victims, offenders, their communities of care and the broader community – and to promote accountability, healing and the common good.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts!