Travels Beyond the Window

By Jade Ingalls

Poetry, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, October 2023

As I fixed my gaze beyond the tall, narrow barred window, my eyes became lost within an endless depth of the blackest night ….  The sole glimmer of life radiated in the form of a luminous beam, as the distant trace of moon reached through the shadows of the deep, gracefully piercing the darkness …. The beam crawled slowly toward me, gradually swallowing the surrounding night within its soft, gentle glow, breaking into shivers of light, dancing before the windows of my soul ….

Consciousness became ambiguous, my prison drifted away, the night was but a memory, as it faded into day ….  As I climbed beyond the clouds, my eyes beheld but clues, of a world I’d never seen before, but somehow I still knew.  The majestic scenery swirled beneath me, like a living picture frame, in colors so familiar, yet none that I could name.

Then without a warning, the picture frame recedes, like a flower quickly fading, like a vapor in the wind.  At that moment, the flowing beam of silvery moonlight, upon the night again descends, as my travels beyond the window sadly come to end …



By D’Angelo Hubbard

Poetry, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, October 2023

Come live with me and be my love

and we will all pleasures prove

that valleys, groves, hills and fields,

woods, or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,

Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks,

By shallow rivers to whose falls

Melodious birds sings madrigals.

And I will thee beds of roses

and a thousand fragrant posies,

A cap of flowers, and a kirtle

Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle.

The trees are coming into leaf

like something almost being said

the recent buds relax and spread

their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again

and we grow old?  No, the dictoo

their yearly trick of looking new

is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh

in full grown thickness every May

last year is dead, they seem to say

begin afresh, afresh, afresh.


Take your Time

By Kendale Beckham

Nonfiction, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, October 2023 (visuals by author following typed story)

  • Any time in life we make decisions that are not aligned with our purpose, these decisions have no staying power and soon are forgotten. Decisions that are aligned with your purpose embodied in your definite chief aim statement are remembered because they are truly significant to you.  -Ray Stendall
  • In considering linear time, it appears to exist in three parts: past time, current time, and future time.  Past time might be defined as moving back mentally in time to consider what choices we made that contribute to where we find ourselves today.  Future time might be defined as moving forward mentally in time to consider what choices we make today that can determine our future outcomes.
  • Current time might be defined as the moment-by-moment time we exist in now and is the only real time we have. This present time best serves us when it is combined with insight, that quality that causes us to go inside ourselves for the purpose of considering what lessons are relevant for us to use in this our present moment.
  • We can watch a clock, turn the page on a calendar, journal our daily experience, and chart the progress of time in numerous physical ways. Spiritually, our comprehension of time is different.  It is more circular.
  • All this is interesting to consider, but in our waking world time marches on and we need to be in step with the marching band if we want to be in the parade! This is why Dr. Hill reminds us to use our time efficiently and wisely.
  • Time is the essence of our being and, when we are out of time, we cease to exist in this realm. So, if life is a checkerboard, the opponent against us is time.  Play the game to your best advantage by recognizing that time waits for no man or woman.
  • Given this fact, you can then gain the insight that the best use of the time we are given is critical in our lifetime accomplishments. Be wise and use time to your very best advantage.
  • Knowing that my habits of thought become the patterns which attract all the circumstances affecting my life through the lapse of time, I shall keep my mind so busy in connection with the circumstances I desire that no time will be left to devote to fears and frustrations and the things I do not desire.
  • In the future I shall regard the loss, through neglect, of any portion of my time as a sin, for which I must atone by the better use in the future of an equivalent amount of it.
  • Dedicated to all the readers of and The Act Program.

The author’s complete illustrations can be found here: NF – Take your Time – Beckham