Inmate Poems

YOU CHOOSE:

Asperations,
Hopes,
Dreams,
What do they surmount to-
Without effort?
Do you
Retain the fortitude
To procure such?
Or does betrayal
Turn you from love,
Rejection allow
Your flame to dim?
The difference between
Loneliness,
And alone-
Is naught but perception.
The difference between
Success,
And failure-
Simply determination.
Do you stumble
Upon stone cast,
Or mount them
Continuing to reach?
There is no victory
Without loss,
Yet everyone aches to win.
There is no joy,
Without first knowing
Desolation.
Can you still smile?
Beauty of life,
Found beneath
The tattoo of scar.
Those visible,
Those concealed.
Existence-
Does it differ from life?
To say no
Is to have not yet lived,
To agree
Is the admittance
Of reality.
The reality
Of your concealed scars.
The reality of choice,
You choose-
Between life
And existence.
Between freedom
And incarceration.
Some say true happiness
Not for sale,
I say nay!
It’s been paid for
In ones’ tears.
For what more valuable
Than wisdom?
That coming only
Through life,
Through existence,
Through choice.
Prayers are never answered
Upon your knees,
Only when you arise
And pursue.
Your own choices
Leading you to glory,
Will oft cause you pain.
Will you stumble?
Tomorrow has already came,
Time and again-
Long before this breath.
Wait not,
For that which proceeds you
Or truly alone you be.
Trepidation of the unknown-
Cowardice,
Existence.
No significance
Lies within forefathers,
Bloodlines irrelevant-
When apprehensive to shed.
We cry out
For freedom of identity,
Yet retain our hypocritical
Prejudices.
This I have spoken
Yet have you heard?
The oration of mine spirit,
Shared freely.
Wisdom withheld
Is wisdom wasted,
Wisdom relinquished
At the price,
Of rejection.
No compensation
For saintly deed,
Other than gratification.
No compensation
For those dire,
But degradation.
Life versus existence.
Pain versus pleasure.
All simply balance,
All simply choice.
Without one
We know not the other,
Acceptance of both-
We then know
Ourselves…

Jeremiah Gilbert
DOC #709551

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