MLK Day Poetics, Behind Bars by The Journalist

January 18, 2010 at 1:00 pm (Daily Offerings, Uncategorized) (, , , , , )


Behind Bars


started out as a child, under the rocks i’m christened,

like a rose from concrete, watch me grow each listen,

many men can’t fathom, when the soul is crypt in,

four walls, writer’s block, no place for shiftin’,

behind bars i write, all the wrongs existin’,

so i lay on my bed, let the mind go driftin’,

to the joy filled days, that now seem so distant,

beyond this hard cell, basic block of livin’,

one calendar here, all my hope’s relinquished,

when the warden is a mother– but home’s a prison,

i’m a man just like you, i’m just draftin’ genius,

as i’m flowin’ unscathed, like a new york minute,

tryna savor this time, before i spend it,

with a yoruba mind, but i speak in english,

words flow like liquid, images show through vivid,

talkin’ drum just to numb, when the pain revisits…

ink my life with fleshed thoughts, another year in the pen,

clutchin’ these bars here, as i stare out again,

mixed with emotions and truths, what a beautiful blend,

a bittersweet sample of a life is what i present,

real to the core, i don’t have to pretend,

do you feel me, do you smell me, no pinocchio scent,

pro bono with my lyrics, feel free to defend,

cuz what’s 5 to 10, among a crowd of just friends…

locked up 8 calendars, are you feelin’ my rage,

let the pen tear each line, as i fill in the page,

stuck like every letter penned that i file in this space,

can’t undo what’s been done– ain’t  no way to erase,

so im a cage bird singin’, usin’ these tunes to escape,

to a time we all were… no bars and no gates,

when the sun shined bright, as it shone on our face,

and our music was hope, no regret could be traced,

as mama cried out: BOY I FIXED YOU A PLATE,

but mama cries now, cuz her baby’s displaced,

shackled up in a room, while i think of those days,

9 calendars gone, as im wastin’ away…

AIN’T NO BID WORTH THE PRICE OF WHAT MY MIND HAS TO FACE,

ALL THESE THREATS ON MY LIFE, ALL THESE DEMONS I CHASE,

FROM BEHIND THESE COLD BARS, THERE’S A HAPPIER PLACE,

WHERE THE TRUTH IS DEAD REAL, AIN’T NO ROOM FOR THE FAKE,

and my life is all sweet, ain’t room for the hate,

no more glass walls, so my fam can embrace,

10 calendars pass, hopin’ freedom awaits,

so after this sentence,  this man can elate…

goin’ home to a hero’s welcome, to my city and state,

ya boy’s a grown man, and he’s blessin’ with words,

no longer a disgrace, my name is a verb,

to be used– to be linked– to every dream that you search,

build a bridge– cross it quick– as i inspire the herd,

shine a light on ya hood, so ya problems are heard,

show each last one of y’all, a way to be first,

as i flood in the mind, what the soul seems to thirst,

so they say without hate, they should be given a voice,

but you can’t give what’s been ours, it’s a matter of choice,

for me to use my time caged, as a way to encourage,

that hope can’t be lost, no matter the people who spoil it,

cuz in jail sat a King, and His message was peace,

so in the same watch me aim, and let this black man preach…

–The Journalist

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