Conversations

by Rahsaan Thomas 

“Ain’t nothing to talk about,” was the motto I grew up believing in.  I didn’t think there was anything to talk about when someone had wronged me.  Talking to someone who offended you was viewed as a sign of weakness.  Discussing peace at that point meant they would get the last laugh.  So I thought like the rapper Papoose said, “Peace makers sound funny like Heathcliff with that dead the beef (crap), why would I dead the beef when I can dead the (negro) I have the beef with.”

At the same time, I never wanted to hurt another human being.  It feels so wrong to shoot someone that has the same problems as me, who lives in the same neighborhood as me and who looks just like me.  It made me feel like a puppet being manipulated to serve someone else’s agenda.  Yet I did, because being viewed as weak seemed worse. read more

What I’ve Lost

by Aine

I’ve lost too much on the streets that I cannot even comprehend. Many of my friends have gone on a different path in life and I wish I went with them. I’ve lost over half of my friends and gained new ones that have only dragged me down since.

This is the first and last time I’ll be locked up. Dedicating this much time to the system is not the way of life. You’re locked up in this facility when you can honestly be anywhere else in the world. That thought haunts me every second of every day in here.

I probably have spent over $20,000 on drugs. Imagine what all that money could have been potentially used for.

I’ve lost all respect from my family and I’m slowly earning it back by doing good and improving myself while being in here. There’s been a few times when my family was visiting from out of state and I was just too high and ashamed of myself to come face to face with them. read more

Balance

by Mr. Daniels

Finding balance in all that we do, will keep you from much of this unnecessary stress, heartache and frustration that is out there in the world. As we travel on our journey to acquire the finest things very rarely do we properly prepare a plan for the end game. We rush into plan “A” without even taking notice of plans B – Z (B through Z).

We let our image, ego and the fantasy in our heads constantly run us head first, into the brickwall of life called reality. Why is it that our most happiest of times in the world seem to be at expenses of someone else’s grief?

Do we question our teachers?? Not to be disrespectful, but to make sure that we understand the good, bad and ugly of the lesson being conveyed!! There is nothing new under the sun. The only thing that is unpredictable is how a person will respond to situations that he/ she will face in life. read more

What I see

by Adrian

What I see when I look in the mirror is a young handsome Hispanic male who has been troubled by drugs, violence and hell. I see, who I used to be, who I am now, and who I will be in the years to come.

I want to get my life together, get a job, get females and have fun. I have been through a lot and I already know how it feels to lose. I can only imagine how it feels to win, kick back and listen to the blues.

I see a scholar who has his whole life ahead of him, who has a family only and not any friends. I see a young adult marked by scars all over his body. Some were accidents; others were because of violence, which taught him not to trust anybody.

I see a boy who has been through hell and back. Taught never to discuss cheese around rats. I’d rather eat crumbs with bums than steaks with snakes. I am staring at myself in the mirror, trying to fix the mess that I made. read more