And, It Is

by Ali A.

First place, poetry, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, July 2023

(Typed story appears after photo)


But, in nature, you always knew/These truths that now you eschew

Spontaneous form and voluptuous curvature/Motifs repeated evergreen from root structure

To odes in nervous human endocrine/Over time that mind that you weaned

Deaf to euphorious harmonies and the Chorus/All thing exclaiming in praise, ‘Adore Us!’

The veins of my wrists blossom and sprout/Blindness compels you to shout

Five-branched canopies in orchestrated complexity/and webbed with poetry

Can disconcerting violence deny/buried seeds their memory of the sky?

Can -ceration erase from me/the lakes or the rivers or the sea?

When I was begotten by the Euphrates/Along it, petal-crowned ancients that raised me

And I flow through the Nile/Collecting Israel’s histories in the meanwhile

Pleiades herself pierced a crack in my cell/to speckle my cheek with her secrets to tell

The weight of squared cages and degreed angles/Cannot force a divorce from my conjugal

inseparable unity with the Natural/traces of the pastoral embedded in my auricle

Perfectly straight lines of cinderblock and concrete/Calculated and approximated for spiritual defeat

Compounded obesity of bloated empire/Iron gear for iron men in iron spires

Cannot overpower the white Song like a roar/Mighty, that carves seabed from seashore

‘Bel’ And, it is/Bare-footed Bedouins

Across the sandy sandscape traversed/The whitling echoes of barren deserts

Clear heavens and dunes of the earth/through realms composed by verse

From heat smelting and amalgamating/Spring forth the cradles of Revelation

After one-hundred generations/Purified by deprivation

Undoing the pretenses of education/Nothing to interfere with contemplation

Then, it is.  Finally-quiet/An ecstatic charged silence

Listen . . . weaving existence is rhapsodic/Every stomata chanting cacophonic

The entire emerald planet rings harmonic/scrambled wild life in phonics

The rhyme scheme of this world/By His Voice that is only heard

By our recitation of His Words/that leave no injustice undisturbed

Primordial electrons in a cloud/Gossiping unborn galaxies’ vibrations aloud

The undying resistance of a martyr uncowed/As she prepares her own burial shroud

The excitement of a virginal wedding chamber/Last living specimen encased ears in amber

From which all of us sprang/From which every veritone and tenor rang

The quantum alphabet of creation apprehended/So that everything would be suspended

The totality of the cosmos, unfettered/it all strung between only two letters

When silent crowds gather at a disconcert/Solitary cells cradle us like a desert

Then, it is, Finally – / quiet.


Poor to the Wealthy

by Candie Calix

Poetry, Heard/Alexandria Detention Center writing contest, July 2023

(Typed version appears below the photo)

How Do You Let Go Of The Pain

The Scars Are Way Too Deep

Your Heart has a permanent Stain

And There Are Secrets You Still Keep . . .

Then you get locked up & put out of sight

You try to turn off right away

But your soul is starting an inner fight

You have a purpose they say . . .

Looking around are you talking to me?

No way not with all my sin

You got it wrong it can’t be

I always lose never win . . .

How could God want me

Better yet My Child how could I not

I felt that inner voice plea

Thats why I had you get caught . . .

For when the test is over it will make your testimony

Oh OK yeah right

To me that couldn’t have sounded more phony

Poor to the Wealthy

And I launched into fight or flight . . .

The Conviction in my heart grew

A mustard seed of faith they say

And I just knew

I needed to try his way . . .

There is no pain from you he can’t take

He is called the Chain Breaker for a reason

That’s why he died on the stake

He carries us through the Bad Seasons . . .

Baby Steps is a start

Remember the sick need the Dr. not the healthy

And From your side he will never part

Because his love is free from the . . .

Poor to the Wealthy