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by Cody Ladd
My name is Cody Ladd, and I’m an inmate incarcerated in a California State Prison. Born and raised in Humboldt County. A fellow friend/inmate told me about The Beat Within.” I’ve read and highly enjoyed it, and would love to be a subscriber, please.
I love to read, writer and draw, so I am most interested and can truly relate and connect to The Beat Within. Please do let me explain: I love how the Beat supports the youth, and those who are incarcerated, locked away in jail or any other facility, state- or nationwide. I can relate because I am a youngster myself, currently twenty one years old and serving a four year sentence. I got locked away when I had just turned eighteen and have been locked up since then. I started out real young.
I made many mistakes. Thought I was cool, selling drugs and committing crimes, making the fast money, and thinking I never would be caught. It was just my mentality, and the way I was thinking. I never had no real guidance to show me the correct way; all I knew was the streets, never had no real support. Now I realize my mistakes and see how much I’ve hurt myself as well as others, “emotionally.” But now I see my faults, and I’ve got to take responsibilities for my actions. I’ve grown and matured a lot over this period of time. This is a lesson well learned. Life is so grand. There are so many different opportunities, jobs, schools for all the young ones. Listen to your elders, obey the laws, and keep striving. Keep your heads up. One love, one heartbeat. Do the right things and make the correct choices, and remember that family always comes first.
I am filled with anger because of the tears I had myself swallow.
My soul is full of hope.
My heart is full of love.
My mind seeks happiness.
It’s my memories that are stained with hate.
Fishing, fishing – are you willing to take life’s bait?
Seven years ago my heaven turned backwards,
Now those words have stained my wrist.
I reminisce to when I was a little girl for God’s sake.
A little girl wanting to be a lady,
They wanted to see her break.
Three years ago I learned people were just phases.
They’re here now, then they’re gone tomorrow.
Now those words stain my ribs.
Reminiscing to a year and six months ago,
When I had to swallow my sorrow.
My soul was waiting for a little boy, a kid,
I’d sing to him about the moon and the stars.
Now look, I am locked behind bars,
Being home isn’t that far.
I can’t wait to hold you in my arms,
That is how I end this,
with feeling loving and being loved.
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?
Life is a choice that we all have to make. A choice to do the right thing or the wrong thing and in my honest opinion I suggest the right thing. Because where I’m at now is not a great place to be. I am locked up in a cage where I can’t break free.
I want to get out because I miss all of the little things like a bed, good food, and friends. I especially miss all the big things like my family, girlfriend and games. Since I have been in jail I have had a lot of time to think about what I should have done. I know now that I have rules to follow and I can’t do whatever I want. So someday soon I hope to get out and move. I want to push through life with fewer mistakes.
I hope that one day I will marry my girlfriend. I know I’m young but after I get out I am going to ask her to marry me.
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.
The Beat Within, lets youth express their Soul within,
from emotional, physical, and sexual abuse
they overcame, and refused to be another story on the six o’clock news.
Beautiful transformations such as Black Boys so used to cocking glocks, becoming righteous cops and protecting everybody’s block.Proving change is possible,
believe and you can achieve.
The Beat Within, an outlet in this dry ass Hall,
for the ones that have broken the law and are stuck
between these confined walls.The extraordinary outcome when pencil meets paper,
is as fresh as a taper.
A voice for the silent,
amplifying noise like they’re violent.Not just a lousy particle,
this is a form of art and a precious article. Helping teens all over the world
realize there is more to this world.
The Beat Within is more like a treasure,
In my hand, I had a gun.
I thought I was having fun.
It was a little odd
That the cops were calling the house
So I decided to run.
To my surprise
Four cops were waiting
Three with guns pointed at me
And the other with a K9.
He gave me one chance
To get on the ground
Before he released the dog.
I did as he told.
I wasn’t trying to get bit.
Two hours later
I was in my cell
Mad at myself
For the life I am living.
Because I chose to have it
With me that day
I missed my sister’s funeral.
I cried all day
When I found out.
I missed the only day
To say goodbye to my sister.
I have to change my ways
Or I’ll end up here again.
The judge gave me one chance
And I’m taking it.
My life is going to change.
And as long as I know that