By Sascha Carlisle
Poetry, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, August 2021
If they let me code Heaven
It’d be a dope place
You could taste the finest fruit
Or try out every plate
Like TV you’d see everything
Everyone ever did
Find out from the unrequited love
What made her ticc
You could hear how your heroes
Brought themselves out of bed
Of those that are dead
Paint your placebo
It’s your work of art
You get what you believe in
At the end of your part
I’d chitchat with Adam
About how he cyphered words
Or ask Thoth how he managed
To transcend this Earth
Watch and don his crown
As he reigned in his day
Caste the gods being Brahma
And reshape the race
Go fishing with Fuxi
Observe all his ways
Stargaze with ZoroAster
Putting time into space
Moses a big one
How’d he merge all those hoods
Meditate as the Buddha
Learn what he understood
Jesus my homie,
For what did you fight?
With Muhammad hit Ghazawat
Excite a nation of might
Party with Genghis
See Mayer come up
As his Rothschilds rise
As reality blands
Through all this knowledge
I’d explore possibilities
Go down every ridge
Adventures with the boyz
My girl and no jail
Puzzle together my best life
Hop in and sail
Close with a thousand years
Of ecstatic bliss
Nirvana then comes
And I’d hit the switch
An atheist heaven
A final release
To feel the conclusion
By Avis Parks
Poetry, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, August 2021
You say that you are a king,
that wants to just be able to enjoy your kingdom,
you say you want a special lady to become your wife to be your queen,
the queen of your kingdom
your queen that will have your children,
your princes and princess.
You want for them to be able to enjoy life in the canyon.
You want to be a king that sits on the mountain
as your able to wanten
as the water flows down the river.
Like a fountain as your queen is able to watch the flowers bloom
while the sweet scent of her perfume
blows across your nose
as the wind blows down in that directions
of where the children are playing.
The king & thy queen,
enjoying the view of your children as they are growing.
Is there anything else more so she your queen may ask you,
on such a wonderful, beautiful day
as the evening starts to fall and the sun starts to set.
Do you king she you queen ask believe
that thiers some people that poor
while you sit here complaining that you just want a little bit more.
What more is it you need when you’re the king.
Mr. King, did you even stop to realize that this was only your dream
and not your queen’s dream?
You dream, Mr. King, of making that your only made her your queen, Ms. Queen!!!
Apart of you team also to have her to redeem to her Ms. Queen
Just being able to become someone’s queen
Now you say your and king.
So stop to start.
In really be the king.
Just so she can be able to really wear her ring.
So what do you say?
Mr. King let us hear you’re the lion’s raws
We also want to hear yours
so what more say let us hear yours
Mr. King, you raws!!
Third place, poetry, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, August 2021
in comprehension of your sacred Black exterior,
the likes of such I’ve never seen,
true invigorating phenomenon –
of the spectacular Ebony Queen.
Without a hint of conceit,
just flawless configuration from your head to your pretty little feet,
enshrouded in luscious regal brown epidermal –
making you scrumptious & unique, in harmony like a well composed song,
within your melody is where I know I belong,
your captivating presence can right any wrong.
Utmost enthralled that you exist,
your chocolate sexy can’t resist.
I live to need Blackwomanness,
those lips, hands and hips to kiss,
compel my heart to insist
that I emphatically persist,
to make you an integral part of it,
to pull you in as close as close can get,
knowing that you are a perfect fit
and until you’re mine I refuse to quit,
you’ve got my mind, body and soul lit –
Queen, Queen, you’re that damned exquisite
Beautiful pretty you’re pretty beautiful
and my vision sees nothing less,
true embodiment of heaven,
Black masculinity you truly bless.
We began as light energy,
we developed and next we flee,
into the macroscopic stratosphere
where can be found the beautifulest Black galaxy –
a place where we first met,
that we are the original,
our love for one another innately provisional.
So enunciates the Creator,
the All in All known as Allah, Maker,
Owner of that beautiful Black Star,
authentic Black God worshipped in the Motherland,
before our enslavement by the “other man”,
biblical rider on the pale horse called Death,
who worked the hell out of us til we had nothing left,
responsible for over 100 million of us taking our final breath,
the most atrocious of slave histories
and the world’s greatest theft.
You were compelled to take a stand,
you were not only the woman,
tending to my mental/physical wounds,
for more than 400 blood moons,
yet with all that on your plate,
I could feel your love proliferate
and that beautiful pretty that you still maintain,
throughout this haunted odyssey of tears & pain.
And I’m grateful you stayed,
unbeknownst to you I’ve begged,
thanking Allah for this Black woman He made,
dauntless and beautiful in every hue of shade,
in my soul there’s a perpetual parade,
because I’m still here due to the price you’ve paid!
By Peter Le
Third place winner, nonfiction, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, August 2021
Hey Babe. So I have been thinking recently. What is love? After r-evaluating everything, I am more than certain I do want to be with you no matter what. I have always loved you and that will never stop. You are my first love and best friend. Things like that wouldn’t change overnight. So I will embrace my love for you and work through our problems and differences.
When I first got locked up, I didn’t want to hold you back. I wanted you to be free and happy, but you wanted to hold me down. That’s what love is, so I respected your decision to bear my pain wit me and loved you even more for it. We first thought that I would be home in a few years, but that all changed when you go locked up 2 months after me. It hurts me more than you will ever know. I wanted you snitch on me so they would let you go, but you refused. You don’t deserve any of this. You are innocent, but the Feds thought otherwise. The think you know everything because you are my wife. So they pressured you many times and made you cry. That made me cry too. You told me not to cry and be strong. I hated myself for hurting you. Sometimes I still do. My mistakes haunt me. It is my fault that the Feds involved you. As our case developed, our relationship struggled. We started to question ourselves and our future. How strong was our commitment to each other? We still wanted to be together, however, and held on.
We wrote letters and passed each other notes whenever we could, but maybe that wasn’t enough. Our lives were already drifting apart and I didn’t want to accept it. I couldn’t have. I’ve lost everything already, but you and my family. I could not afford to lose anything else. Eventually, I was indicted with more charges and you were sentenced to 3 ½ years. Our faith in each other started to break. Hope was bleak and only our past was concrete. You resented me and I accepted that. It is my fault for your incarceration. I failed to protect you when you trusted me. You were mad and did what you wanted. You stopped writing me and wrote other guys instead. You flirted and entertained them. Maybe you did it out of spite or maybe you enjoyed to. I was hurt and felt betrayed, but at the end of the day it was justifiable. I couldn’t resent you for that. I am the reason you are alone and suffering. Maybe you thought I didn’t love you anymore or maybe it was too much to love me. It didn’t seem likely anymore that I was coming home after a few years. You never ended things between us. You only said that you would write me when you can because it was getting complicated to send letters. Even if you were cheating on me, I couldn’t stop loving you. If it made you feel better, shouldn’t I find consolation in that? It was difficult and I was confused. After a few days of heartbreak, I forgave you and found my peace. Even though you never told me about the other guys, I don’t hold that against you. In our hearts, I know that we still love each other.
I am writing this because it is inevitable. I am sending it to you now because the sooner I address it, the better. I’ve waited and waited, but you never wrote me. But I knew I had to be the one to write you first. When you responded back and said you were doing well in prison, I was just happy and overwhelmed to get a letter from you. It’s been over a year since we’ve wrote each other, but not a day has gone by that you weren’t on my mind.
I was reading this book and it reminded me of what love was. It was a sign and I had to let you know how I feel. I love you and married you. You are the person I chose. Through thick and thin and for better or for worse. I signed up for this and will support you whether you are wrong or right. If I can’t handle you at your worst, then I don’t deserve you at your best. Because I love you, I respect your wishes. Whether you want to or not, I will always love you and wish you the best. That is just what love is. So yes, I really do love you.
Your best friend