JH Artwork

JH Artwork

Writing Exchange 2006-2017

This blog was created to display some of the powerful writing being done by incarcerated youth. Participants currently include juvenile hall facilities in Siskiyou, Lassen, Placer, Fresno, and Butte County. Students are given journal topics and asked to write what needs to be written. Several entries are handpicked from each classroom site and posted to the blog anonymously. Students at each site then read the material together, discussing the writing and connecting with others.

Planned Exchanges 2016: Sept 14; Oct12; Nov 16; Dec 14

Planned Exchanges 2017: Jan 11; Feb 15; March 15; April 12; May 17

Wednesday, May 6, 2009



Journal #105
Always wanting Dope is on my mind
Dealing drugs is what I did
Insane is what I’m feeling
Coaxing me all the time
Temptation is on my mind
Incarceration is what I got
Only one hit is what I told myself
Not wanting to stop

Journal #106
I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. Almost every day I feel like crap and I'm always exhausted during the day. My body's falling apart, piece by rotting piece. I have a bone missing in my back, so it always is killing me. I'm sick and tired of people annoying the hell out of me. I can't stand it. They give me a headache. At times I want to wring their neck. I'm sick and tired of living where I live. It's so damn hard to trust people to be cool.
I'm sick and tired of not having my father around. I had to learn to be a man by myself. If he was here (and not being out of control) I wouldn't have to worry about protecting what's left of my family. I'm just so sick and tired. My dad, the one person I needed most at a young age, had to be an ass and leave. As a young kid, my relationship with him was pretty good. He had a pretty bad life as a kid too, but that is not an excuse to treat me the way he eventually did. He always had a new bimbo with him each time we crossed paths. If I cried, that SOB would choke me, like Homer did to Bart on the Simpson's. I am just as violent and destructive now as he is. I guess it just runs in the blood. My father? I wouldn't call him that.

Journal #107
My Life, All Alone in This Cell
I sit in this cell thinking about what’s going to happen if I stay in jail longer than 20 years. How many people I will lose? The things I’m going to miss out on. When I’m in a cell, I think about life in a different way, But when I’m home I just think about myself and what people can do for me. I don’t think about anybody else’s feelings, Or what they want in life. I just be thinking about myself and only me. I just know if I had somebody to help me change my ways, I would be a better person and my life would be better also. Me? I never had a father It was only my brothers and one sister. My mother was barely even home. She was working’ so hard to take care of four kids by herself. She had a boyfriend, But all he did was abuse me when she was at work, ‘Cause I was crying’ for her when she was at work. My brothers and sister were always gone with their father, So they were never home. I was all alone. I never had anybody to look up to until my brother came home. And that was my father. He put clothes on my back and took me to school every day. All the things I wanted, he gave to me. And when he died, my life was over. I stopped going to school and stopped coming home some nights. I started stealing clothes from the mall and stealing cars. Then I started selling weed and coke to keep money in my pocket. I wanted to be fly like all the others I was with, And I got a gun I wanted to kill the person who killed my brother. I didn’t want my life to be this way.

Journal#108
I was young and stupid. I remember going to the store to get some liquor. I heard my cousin telling me to pick a certain kind. I saw my him putting the bottle into a backpack. I worried that he would get caught and arrested. I thought he wasn’t going to steal it. I am following him out of the store. I think nobody saw him steal the it. I needed to drink some of that liquor. I tried not to drink that much, but I could not control myself. I can't forgive myself for drinking that much that day, because I ended in the hospital for AP. I will never drink that much ever again. I choose not to drink liquor any more. When I dream back to that horrible day of when I got AP I hope I never end up in the hospital again. I predict that I will never get AP again. I know that I don’t want to be a drunk and I want to change.

Journal # 108
Saddest Day Ever
On Jan 23, 2006 when my little sister died, I realized I had to change my life around. One day I was sleeping and I was dreaming about what happened to my sister and I had to deal with my mom crying and crying. I would say, “Mom, it’s ok,” and she would say, “No it’s not.” During my showers, I would cry and release my pain. While the hot steaming water ran down my face, I welcomed the pain that comes with the tears. When I look in the mirror, I see my reflection and start to cry because my life is messed up and I am sad. When I think of my little sister my stomach feels like it’s tightening into a little ball and it feels like I’ve got to throw up.

Journal#109
If I Walked Out of Here Today
If I walked out of here today I would probably pass out
Knowing I don't have to wear these jumpsuits
And hear these mouths I would thank the Lord over and over for letting me be free
Letting me out of this coffin
This bathroom
Which would probably become a home for me
If I walked out of here today I would stand in the middle of the street
Just to smell the gases from the cars, trucks and buses riding next to me I would sit in the park around my way and just laugh
Knowing that I no longer have a certain time limit on when I take a bath
If I walked out of here today I would probably walk home
Just to get the feel of being free again
Knowing I can go to the one true place that I call home
If I walked out of here today
If I walked out of here today
If I walked out of here today Damn! Let me stop thinking ‘If” ‘Cause that’s a bother to me I just pray and wait for that day to come Where I’ll finally be FREE!!

Journal #110
Just a place
Understanding where your actions may lead you.
Vacationing away from the streets or the life you were living.
Entertainment is left to the imagination while you sit in your cell.
No way out!!!
Isolation has to be the worst thing.
Lessons learned.
Every day is a day closer to home.
Hoping for the best.
Always looking at the calendar.
Looking towards the future.
Learning for the past.

Journal #111
On the 11th and 12th, I will be going to Monterey and Santa Cruz for my first time. I'll be going with my class for a field trip. I expect to have a good time and create fun memories to look back on of my friends and our time together. Some of my concerns are that I haven't been to Santa Cruz and I don't know for sure whether I will like it or not. The thing I am most excited about is getting to go to the ocean again and smell the fresh ocean air. I will contribute to the trip by helping get things ready and behaving like a mature, but somewhat childish, adult. We made money by fundraising. I got to help with the car wash. The rest of the class did other fundraising activities and teambuilding. The only thing that would stop me going would be if I have to work, but I am pretty darn sure I won't have to. I am really looking forward to this trip!


Journal #112
Why do people die? Why did you have to die and leave me here to ask why? Why did I have to cry in front of them? Why did I have to let them know how weak I really was for you? Why couldn’t life be so much easier? Like you could walk down the street without being scared of those who don’t like you and they are going to come anytime and end your life? Well, let me tell you why all these things happen. It's because either you shouldn’t draw attention to yourself or it’s just your time to go.

Journal #113
I’m a criminal back in my hood who always makes mistakes in my life that get me sent to the hall. I remember my mother always coming to visit me in the hall and she would cry out of nowhere because she wouldn’t like to see me like this. She didn’t want to see me end up dying. I know that I need to change to make my mother happy and show her that I really have improved a lot. I hope that nothing would stop me from changing my life around and accomplishing my goals. I will try my best with all my abilities to change for her.





Journal#114
My Hood
My hood is tough
My hood is hard
You come to my hood be ready
My hood is bad My hood is dangerous
Watch your back My hood has gangbangers
My hood has crews If you don’t join they will beat you
My hood has nosy people
My hood has old people
Never talk about your problems out loud
My hood is untutored
My hood has killers
Never come to my hood.

Journal#115
Tears of a Teenage Mother
I have no home
Where will we go?
I have no job
The baby is running out of milk
He just bought a new phone
The baby’s pampers are running low
He just bought a new car
and the baby needs food
He just bought a Rolex
How will I pay the doctor bill?
He just found a new girl
The baby is sick
I ask the daddy for money
And he runs out the door
---
Journal #116
A Life on METH Okay so where can I start, well I guess I’ll start with how I met METH. It was two years ago, I was at school. My friend, Bee, asked me if I wanted to get high. I stopped to think and just said screw it! I got high on METH for the first time in a bathroom stall and that’s where my life on METH starts. Those endless “lines” was how I did it; the “pipe” is what did it. Life on METH isn’t a joke. I went from running away to sleeping at a park, all those people and voices that weren’t really there. Cops were everywhere and out to get me. Trees were talking to me and that’s not all; I was pregnant and lost the baby at three months. I’m locked up now it’s been eye awaking. It's all good. I’m three months sober and in a program. Life on METH could always be there, but for me IT ISN’T HAPPENING!!!

Journal #117
Have you ever made a phone call home and got bad news? I have, let me start by saying what my plans were for the summer coming up. I was going to get my license, fix the truck that my dad let me use, and sign up for adult school so I can graduate. I also was thinking about throwing a party for when I get released form this dump hole. Here’s what happened when I made my phone call home, I was asking the usual questions to my step mom, how everyone is doing and if anyone is asking for etc. She told me that my step brother got locked up because he was messing up in school and got a dirty drug test. He got committed to boot camp and was not doing too good in there. But then she told me the worst of them all: she said that we got kicked out of the apartments we lived in. It really sucked to hear that because those were some brand new apartments in a good neighborhood. What really sucked the most was that we got kicked out because my stupid ass step brother decided to smoke pot in the managers’ office. We still haven’t found a place yet but we have 14 days left. I won’t let that bring me down though. I’m still going to accomplish my goals and succeed in life.






Journal #118
‘If you really knew me’
If you really knew me you would know I am from the hood.
If you really knew me you would know that I am a drama queen…
If you really knew me you would know that I lost a 4 year old baby girl.
If you really knew me you would know that I love myself.
If you really knew me you would know that I use to be an ‘f’ student.
If you really knew me you would see the pain that I try to hide…
If you really knew me you would know that I am a go-getter.
If you really knew me you would know that me and my mother have ups and downs.
If you really knew me you would know that my Biological father is a sex offender.
If you really knew me you would know all of this about me so stop walking around here talking like you know me because when it comes down to it you really do not know anything about me. ‘If you really knew me’


Journal #119
I remember… when I was small.
I remember… when I was in the hall.
I remember …when my mom was sad.
I remember … when I get mad.
I remember…when I told her I loved her and I would lie.
I remember… when I told my mom I would always cry.
I remember… when I wanted to run away.
I remember… what I thought I would say.
I remember…when it was not to long.
I remember … I was always wrong.
I remember… doing my best.
I remember…of my success.
I remember… when she loved me and always said she did.
I remember… when I hid.
I remember…when my step brother died.
I remember… I tried.
I remember…my mother cried.
I remember…when I would always be bad.
I remember…all those days I had.





Journal #120
I remember when life was just so easy
I didn’t have to worry about anyone, not even a
I remember when I didn’t have a care in the world
I was so young and innocent
I wish I would have stayed like that,
but right now my time is spent
I remember when I could do whatever I wanted
Now I’m in here watching other kids getting punked
I’m in here just getting told what to do
I did it to myself and I look like a fool
My time is wasting away right now.
Soon it will be my time to get out, but as of right now I’m going to make the best of my time. It’s just hard to know how.

Journal # 121
I remember when I was 15 years old in a small neighborhood. My mom was washing my clothes for school. Two minutes the phone rang. It only took two seconds when her purse fell out. I was craving for my drug. I saw a bunch of one hundred dollar bills. I pulled one of them out. I said mom your purse fell out. She didn’t even count her money to see if it was all there. My mom said thanks mijo and gave me another twenty dollar bill for school. I said thanks mom and gave her a kiss on her cheek. When I came back from school my mom looked like she knew that I had something that belonged to her. She asked me that if I had her hundred dollar bill. My mom said if you don’t give it back I’m going to tell your brother to not take you with him on the trip to Las Vegas. I said mom I don’t know what you are talking about. She told my brother to beat me up; I went out and smoked blunts to cheer up. But I regret it because if I had been honest she would have probably given me one hundred or maybe a fifty dollar bill and still have had her trust. My brother would have probably taken me to Vegas, but I was too deep into marijuana to regret what I did.
Journal #122
I had lots of good days and bad days, but I’ll never forget the worst day of my life. It was when I got committed. I lost everything. I lost my family, money, car, phone, clothes, freedom, and my girlfriend. I am used to being locked up, but this time I was not prepared. My family started complaining about how it’s my entire fault and this and that. Nobody cares when you get locked up. You find out who are your true friends and family. I had a job, phone, and lots of new clothes. All of a sudden I’m getting booked in. I got a couple of letters here and there, but mostly for bad news. I was told I was fired, phone disconnected, and other things. I felt like I was real slick, but not anymore. There are lots of things that been happening since I’ve been locked up. Most of this stuff that is happening is because I’m in here. I know my life is starting a bad stretch. Regardless, I know my life will probably be better when I get out. If I have to go back to my old ways I will. I just hate having to do time, but sometimes you just have to do it. I get my home passes, but stuff will still be happening. I can’t say what’s going on because it’s not appropriate. There is just lots of tension between me and lots of other people. Well I just wish I could change the past, but I guess I can’t. I will always remember you can never change the past just work on the future in the present. So I guess what I have to do is work on the problem and solve it together or by myself. I don’t need anybody else. I just need to stay living the good life or the pleasant life and try hard to forget the past. Clearly the worst day of my life started when I got locked up.


Journal #123
Death is where
I’m headed
Romanticizing the high
Unrealistic expectations
Getting me in trouble
Self-indulgence
Journal #124
RESPECT FOR OUR WOMEN
Roses are red, Violets are blue,
Where I come from you got to stay true,
I got to stay high, I got to stay mellow,
Where I come from is a city called ******,
My peeps stay true, They stick like glue,
You make the money don’t let it make you,
Once you hit the block, Once your selling rocks,
There will come a time when you might get shot,
There once was a girl, Who walked into my life?
She had me thinking crazy-- should I make her my wife,
I told the girl hours are long, Minutes are short,
As the seconds pass I love you more,
Sugar is light, Chocolates are dark,
Don’t leave me now because you’ll break my heart,
I give a holler to the ladies on welfare,
I care, And nobody else cares,
Most men like to beat you down a lot,
And when you come around the block brothers clown a lot,
Don’t cry, Dry your eyes,
Never let up, Forgive but don’t forget,
Little mama keep your head up,
I wonder why we take from our women,
While we rape our women, Do we hate our women?
I think it’s time we kill for our women,
Time we heal our women,
Be real to our women,
Respect our women.



Journal #125
Heart and Eyes I cover my internal bleeding with a smile I feel non human Not cryin in a while I hurt so why won’t these tears fall over Maybe I cried enough for a life time I’m becoming mentally strong Where I take blows from life and move on I’d rather get over it then let life pass me by Cause life does not stop just cause I cry sometime I feel as if my heart and eyes never come in touch Like they’re beefing And my heart says to my eyes, “I’m leaving” Because we lost our connection And I’m not receiving
---
Journal # 126
I Am
I am a man that doesn’t know how to walk on his hands
But will always stand I am a person who can hold his water
I am alone with a mind of my own
I am a heart that won’t stop a beat
I am pain that can hurt so many people with my game
I am the rain and also the tear that will always drop
I am a leader and I still have to follow to survive
I am a forgiver and not a forgetter
I AM

Journal # 127
I’m in class, listening to all the other stories of people blaming their problems on their crack addict moms. It is all bullshit. You do what you do because YOU want to do it. Take responsibility. No, I did not grow up in a “Beaver Cleaver” world. My mom is a meth addict and left me to take care of my brothers. I just don’t see the point of sharing my life and things that happened to me with a group of people I don’t even know. I’ve learned to take responsibility for my actions. Because, if I choose to get high (I don’t) or get pregnant (I’m not) then it’s on me, not my meth addict prostitute mom who I do love with all my heart no matter what. I’m in therapy and have been for awhile. Maybe the people blaming what they do on everybody else rather than just realizing that it’s them, nobody else, should try therapy.
Journal#128
Hours Pass By
Hours pass by
And you’re still not here
I called you hours ago
I don’t know what it is about you
But I want you near 1 hour gone
And my emotions fly 2 more hours gone
And I begin to cry 4 hours later I
want to call you But my hand won’t let me try
I then grab a tissue, look at my watch, and realize
Hours passed by



Journal#129
A Wish
I have a wish for my little brother
The wish is that being a young father
He’d be one of the best daddy’s he could be to his son
It was obvious my nephew was not a mistake
Because God does not make mistakes Instead,
I call it a blessing and a gift from God
I pray that he will accept responsibility for his action
And realize that raising a child
Takes more than just money out the pocket
But TLC Learn from his father’s mistakes and apply it into his son
Will do for the family what no one else has done
Put into him the tools he needs
To do better than him
And let their relationship be as one
When his son hurts, he hurt
When his son has a problem, he takes it on as if it were his own
And if he didn’t own anything in the past, he now does
Something that takes 24-hour care
And let these days with his child
Be some of the happiest days of his life I don’t know if it hit him yet
Or did he ever see it coming’
But again, he has the responsibility of something so precious
And something with the proper fathering
Can become great in whatever he decides to do
Or even leave his own legacy
He received the best gift you can receive from God—Life
A new one I hope he looks on the bright side of being a teen father
---
Journal#130
Upon a Dream
I’ve seen you once upon a dream,
Your smile so precious,
The likes of which I’ve never seen,
The touch of your lips, leave me gasping for air,
Getting lost in your eyes, the fruity scent of your hair,
God sent me a blessing, an angel from the sky,
The joy you bring into my life,
Everyday, you’re by my side,
Though you’ve been hurt,
I’ll tell you now,
Our love will stay for real,
For as time goes on, and on and on,
Your broken heart I’ll heal,
I’ve seen you once upon a dream,
The things in life all have no means,
For the only thing I want is you,
To have a love so pure and true,
Your voice so harmonic and oh so sweet,
Every time I hear it, it sweeps me off my feet,
I’ve seen you once upon a dream,
Your love is all I’ll ever need,
Each day our love grows more and more,
So much that heaven knows how high it soars,
I’ve seen you once upon a dream,
As me for you and you for me….
---
Journal#131
The Game of Life
If life was a game,
That money could buy,
The rich people would live,
And our people would die,
I have seen so many soldiers drop,
And not one,
Make it to the top,
Seen how my folks struggle,
And work all around the clock,
I’ve seen the man,
Train a another to pop,
But bullets have no name,
So who does it drop,
I’m trapped in a maze,
But people say,
It’s a phase,
Will this phase,
Bring misery,
On the rest of my days.
---
Journal#132
Change-like Symptoms
I refuse to stay in park and become rusty and old
I want my value to go up so
I’ll always be worth being sold
You can be stubborn and stay the same
But I’m going to make a quick change
Like a vehicle switching lanes
Trying to get to its destination
One thing people failed to do
Is make change revelation
You need it to get places in life
Well I’m going to make an upgrade
While you clowns stay in clown stage
I hate the saying “One apple can spoil a bunch”
Comparing apples with humans
Apples don’t have brains, humans do
I’m glad unique sticks to me like glue
I’m daring to be different
I’m feeling sick with change like symptoms
---
Journal#133
The Future
In the future I see a beautiful angel,
In the future I see her name is ___,
In the future I see her #1 fan.,
In the future I see they call him __ Man.
In the future I see he’s a hell of a guy,
In the future I see __ Man is I.
In the future I see he’ll give her the world,
In the future I see she’ll think of being his girl.
In the future I see I’m never frowning,
In the future I see me always smiling.
In the future I see honesty and trust,
In the future I see you & I turn 2 us.
In the future I see there will be haters;
In the future I see that will make us greater.
In the future I see there will be obstacles indeed,
In the future I see if we stand together we will succeed.
In the future I see our relationship being the best,
In the future I see our relationship lasting longer than the rest.
In the future I hope those words will be true,
The day you say you love me
And I say I love you

(Drawing By Freedom Teacher Bill Feavor)

Journal #134

I wonder in this life if there is a plan or do we float around aimlessly, coasting through life? I believe in life we wander around aimlessly and there is a plan. Confusing, I know, however I am an atheist and therefore don’t believe in a God or in many gods. If there was a plan, we couldn’t make decisions. It would have already been decided from the day you were conceived from your father and mother.