Poem: “Blood, Sweat, and Tears”

by AMN

Blood, Sweat and Tears,
constant heckling and nasty jeers.
Wrongfully convicted by a jury of
His peers.
When He gave up the ghost,
A soldier blatantly chose
To pierce His side with a spear.
That’s the same pain I felt when
the judge handed me sixty
years,
Blood, Sweat and Tears…

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Poem: “A Convict’s Symphony”

by AMN

“A Convict’s Symphony”

The system believes that Christ would
never have any dealings with me.
A gangsta’ who ran the streets.
Welcome to this convict’s symphony,
Please forgive me,
But there’s no violins playing in this soliloquy.
The Messiah came to redeem me of
my iniquities!
It’s been almost two millennia since He
obediently embraced his destiny.
What was that you said to me?
Oh, yeah,
“Jesus despises people like me!” Continue reading

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: “Tamar’s Tears”

In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness month, we offer the following contribution by CM. The author—a male prisoner incarcerated in a maximum-security prison—reflects on the theme of violence against women by engaging in a close reading of 2 Samuel 13, the horrific story of Amnon’s rape of his sister Tamar.

“Tamar’s Tears” by CM

I am a 40 year old man who has been in prison for 22 years.  I have met men who have committed some of the most horrific acts one could possibly imagine, and many others who were indeed falsely accused.  Yet, one thing that is true for everyone in a maximum security prison is the fact that our presence on this side of the wall represents a victim on the other side of the wall; another human being, victimized by his or her fellow man, even if not the man charged.

As one who finds solace in the words written in the Bible, I turn to the text of scripture to discover a way to make sense of this experience and grasp this dynamic relationship.  This interplay between perpetrator and victim.  The workings of the mind that grants one the proverbial green light to move forward and alter another’s peace.

Continue reading

A Reflection on the Orlando Nightclub Shooting

NOTE: The views expressed on Prison Lectionary are those of the individual author of each post and do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators of Prison Lectionary.

by Kwame Toure Kagale

“There is an illusion of central position, justifying one’s own purposes as right and everybody else’s as wrong and providing a proper degree of paranoia. Righteous ends, thus approved, absolve of guilt the most violent means.” – Henri Amiel –

“Kill ’em With Kindness”

I am an inmate in a Virginia correctional facility and I have been in prison for the better part of a quarter of a century and I am shocked by the level of senseless violence that has been occurring in this country lately. Before I came to prison events like the one that took place at Pulse in Orlando, Florida the site of this nation’s worst mass shooting to date was almost unheard of. But now these incidents are so commonplace the main issue of them is often overlooked as we debate the reasons of how such crimes are committed in the first place. And it will not be until we do address what makes a person commit mass shootings will we ever hope to prevent tragedies such as this from ever happening again.

Continue reading

Upcoming Reflections on Violence

Many have been touched by recent violent events in the United States and, thankfully, some have been moved to action. Over the next week or so, it will be our honor to share a few of those responses by prisoners.  Please stay tuned and, if you like what you read, please share your thoughts in the comments section.

NOTE: The views expressed on Prison Lectionary are those of the individual author of each post and do not necessarily reflect the views of the administrators of Prison Lectionary.