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No one said life was fair.
I don’t agree with life’s experiences some people and I have shared…
Who knew she wouldn’t believe me when I told her he rubbed on me.
Streaks from the streams of my eyes,
and she tellin’ me, “there ain’t no reason for them fears…”
Later on, taking life in my own hands and it’s for his life he came to fear…
Who knew he’d step up and start beating me
when dude walked away and left his seeds.
I would cringe for no reason, not knowing him
and him would be the reasons I’d feel uncomfortable around
and the other one taking me up outta my dysfunctional foundation.
Stuck with some strangers now thinking I’m racist.
They didn’t want me. I could see it in their faces…
But I learned to handle my own.
Through years of fears, enduring pain and finally fighting back.
The crazy part about it is the shame, guilt, and blame is what keeps me regressing.
It’s what keeps me on the streets. It’s what kept me on my knees.
Praying to God just this one time.
“I promise this and I won’t do that, if you just help me.”
I’m sure we’ve been there. Done that.
Some more than others, when your back’s against the wall.
Makes it quick to come back…
Because it’s been that and then some of these dark secrets I continue to hold onto…
Just playing for keeps…
‘Cause it’s the hate that keeps me going. It’s the pain that pumps and keeps flowing.
It’s the revenge I think that’s mine.
The lack of forgiveness dwells within me, keeps me strangled for life.
But it’s my life that shhh won’t leave.
It’s what had me stuck on the pipe. It’s what had my lips to that drank,
my fist to the mugs and my finger on the triggers
keeping record of faceless figures.
Thinking I was hurting my mom.
Thinking I was hurting my dad.
Thinking I was hurting all those that hurt me and left me for dead.
With their broken down loyalty, them words don’t mean a thang.
All the while destroying myself. My body. My spirit.
My life and my soul.
Who said this life will be fair!?
I had to look up, forced to believe someone outside of me cared!
Through desperate and some quite miserable times I realized who always was there…
Someone told me it’s easy to say: “what happens for a reason…”
But it’s freewill that we’re given,
Pick your poison. It’s all in due season…
I never chose to be harmed, exposed and beat down as a child.
But as I grew it was my decision to act like I’m crazy, of senseless mind.
I hate that we go through some things underserved.
Paying others karma. Life lets them know they got served.
But know that he’ll make a way for me and you once we find the purpose to use it all for some good.
His love is not something of the unheard, it’s greater than me. You and you!
I wonder why life is so complicated.
There are so many decisions to make,
so many things to experience,
so many feelings to feel.
Sometimes I wonder if this is all a dream
and if one day I’m gonna wake up
to nd myself in another realm.
Meditating is my way of escaping this strange world. If you are like me, always wondering why,
and you need a way to cope,
simply focus on your breath.
Close your eyes and count with every inhale and exhale. And if your mind wanders off somewhere else, start over. Inhale 1, exhale 2, inhale 3, exhale 4 and so on.
by Keith Erickson
Not long ago I remember a day sitting in my California prison cell doing what I’d done so many countless other times through the electric fence and razored wire staring out my window. My freedom, something I hadn’t had in nearly thirty years, was left standing there in the forest just outside the Prison’s perimeter. I couldn’t reach out to clutch it in my bare hands if even my life depended on it – I was, and continue to be, serving the rest of my life in this man-built hell. They say that it’s a center for men and women to be rehabilitated. A place of correcting our wrongs with rights, before we leave behind a legacy that is just meaningless and forgotten. They say, many of us get so lost that we fall into the cracks of this con nement. Only to no longer nd our way back out. For me, I’m one of the fortunate ones – I found my way back to the surface.
My eyes have been closed for fourteen-years. I am now fteen-years old and trying to get my life together after waking up one day and feeling the heaviest regret ll my heart. This regret came to me like a ashback.
I looked in my mom’s tearful eyes, thought about the innocent people I took from and hurt. I thought about how my persona now is affecting my younger brothers perspective of my life and me. And now how every morning I have to wake up at the crack of dawn to pay the price of everything I put myself and everyone else through. I guess you could say this was part of my wake-up call, the other half consisted of terrible life experiences that just made me think “damn, I really just need to get it together and fast”.
This quote speaks in several different ways, but for me it says, “everyone goes through something, but everyone also gets their wake-up call.”
As January comes to a close, our partners and friends over at the JJIE (Juvenile Justice Information Exchange) based in Kennesaw, GA, have picked up and posted a wonderful piece from the talented Mathew Edwards, who for the last couple years has been a wonderful contributor in The Beat Within writing workshops inside San Quentin State Prison. We must say, Mathew consistently writes stellar pieces about his journey and hunger for another date with freedom.
Forgiveness Is for Me
Back in June 2016, the JJIE featured his piece, In for Life After a
Life of Abuse
February, 2016, JJIE picked up his piece, Addicted to The Street Life