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Seeking Happiness

by Monica

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. read more

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


by Cody

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. 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

Nothing But The Truth

by DeeCee

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, read more

I Never Thought I’d Be a Felon

by Chuy

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

I’ll succeed.

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

Welcome to 2015! Volume 20.01/02

Our first issue of the new year.

Please contact Lisa Lavaysse if you would like to purchase the full PDF or a printed copy of this latest issue.

Counselor’s Corner

Wake Up

by Ms. M.
Wake up and listen to me.
Stop following dead end streets.
So dark light can’t be seen so cold tears sliding down your cheeks freeze. The blind leading the blind
Going nowhere fast
Bumping into brick walls and stepping on shattered glass.
Wake up and listen to me.
Stop following dead end streets,
Selling death to your people in sheep’s clothing
With crooked smiles and sharp teeth.
Tearing down your brother with words.
Hating traveling faster than the speed of sound,

Consuming your thoughts and blackening your heart. Don’t you want to make it?
Don’t you want to be free?
Free to soar high so high you can see the mountain peaks. Where the sun shines bright and the stars twinkle at night. Where there is no end and no beginning in sight. Wake up and listen to me.
Stop following dead end streets.
Where death consumes anyone it meets.
I urge you to live in the love and life of Christ.
You will make it through.
Start showing compassion
and live with a purpose and keep pressing through.
At the end of the day, it’s a choice you will have to make. I’m living my life now it’s time to live yours.
If you traveling towards a dead end street
You might want to consider making a U-turn. read more