Category Archives: The Beat Without

Where Will I Be? 

by Shawn D.

I’ve moved all around to different places,
I’ve even slept in a few parking spaces,
Never enough money.  I’m always poor,
The music I listen to talks blood and gore,
Insane Clown Posse is what I hear
Suicide (hotline) is the way I’m ready to steer,
Losing my mom is what I fear,
I was born in Kansas but I’m Mesa raised,
My life goes many different ways,
I sometimes think of it as a never ending maze,
Had a few “friends” that dropped dimes,
Wound up in court, then on probation,
I was twelve when I first saw me the inside of a police station
You can’t even picture the places that I’ve been
The things that I’ve seen, the things that are sin,
I’ve done things you wouldn’t even think,
I didn’t even have time to stop or blink,
Yeah, I’m a thief and I can proudly say it,
but I’m still a kid and without my candy I’ll throw at it
Man I’m scared of needles and heights,
You could even compare me to wood with termites,
I’m all broken up inside,
I try to be honest but there’s many times I’ve lied
I’ve been on the wrong path, headed for the road,
it’ll be a big surprise when they hit me with the full load.
I could have been a good kid and just went to school,
Could tried to be popular, but I had to be cool,
So this is how I wound up, damn I’m such a fool,
It’s like riding a bull fifteen seconds of fame,
I was trying to look at life as just a game,
I know I know, I got myself to blame,
And it’s not just me, but those who love me who share the shame,
But it’s still my choice to turn things around.
So I don’t wind up six feet under the ground,
I got a future ahead of me,
So watch and soon you’ll see
That there’s something I’m meant to be
Lastly, I don’t have the best spelling and punctuation so could you fix that for me, thanks. Also, there are a few others here that have some poems to share.  So what should I tell them to do? read more

Dear The Beat Within

by Joel J. Baul

May today’s presence find all of you well in spirit and health. The world outside this tomb is beating like that of a heart, yet as we know it’s falling apart!  It saddens me to know that (Jim Crow and McCarthy’s) are no longer dormant?  I can only hope with all that is manifesting itself, there is a unification of enlightenment to ensure we haven’t lost our way and that we acknowledge we do need each other more so in these times than we know: Life is fragile, so too is our reproach.

The four poems enclosed were written with the intent of drawing the reader in, perhaps inviting them to realize that (change) is active not passive.  Prison for me seems to magnify all that I’ve neglected and ignored while living a life of lies and bitterness. May in some way I assist a lost soul from having to travel long down the path of destruction. I have many regrets and no way to make amends with maybe be the exception being doing what I can through my writing and just/godly conduct behind these walls. read more

Beneath The Surface of Baby Red

by Michael D. Johnson

My name is Michael Dwayne Johnson and I am a thirty-six year old man incarcerated in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations. My convictions are first degree murder and second degree robbery and my crime is gang-related. I’ve been in prison since I was sixteen years old and I have served a total of twenty years and five months.  That’s approximately seven thousand four hundred fifty days of hell and a whole lot of thinking, crying and begging God for mercy. However, this whole experience has taught me a few things;

1) The gang lifestyle isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.

2) No one deserves to be subjected to the abnormal behavior of gang members and no one deserves to lose his/her life nor property by the negative actions of gang members.

3) The gang wasn’t worth one bit of my time nor was it worth my devotion. read more

The Signs

By Miguel Quezada

Seventeen years ago, at the age of sixteen, I sat in a juvenile hall holding cell waiting to be booked in on first-degree murder charges, three attempted murders, a gun charge and gang enhancement.

In writing this, I had to think about how I ended up in that holding cell.  What advice could I give that would help you avoid some of the mistakes I made? How could I put into words the destruction I caused in so little time to myself and so many other people in a way that could be lesson?

I asked myself, what went wrong?  What did I miss?  Why did no one stop me?  What I realized is the people did try to stop me.  Things did happen that were the lessons I needed to put my life back on track to avoid that holding cell.  There was plenty of advice but I did not care to hear or see them for what they were.  They were signs telling me to slow down, to stop, that I was moving too fast.  So I will sum up my life lesson, using the signs I missed along the road. read more