Juvenile Hall

Juvenile Hall

Writing Exchange 2006-2018

This blog was created to display some of the powerful writing being done by incarcerated youth. Participants currently include juvenile hall facilities in Siskiyou, El Dorado, 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

Planned Exchanges 2018: May 24; June 27; July 25; More To Come!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

For a printable version of this month's exchange, click: http://www.bcoe.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_747631/File/news/sept_exchange.pdf
Many of the poems from this month’s exchange will also be entered in the POETRY 99 Contest with the Chico News and Review.  That publication is due out October 17th!   http://www.newsreview.com/chico/home

Entry # 350

Perennial breaths of poison cloud my perception of vitality,
my mind.
A grave of which feverish venom seeps through like an intruder,
so many nights of invitations compel this demon forward,
my heart.
A tomb of failure in which I try to change,
but why would you change a winner?
An abundance grasps my body with a numb temptation,
the desire of my being is that of an aristocrat, noble.
I am loyal to my decision;
death feels nice when inhaled from a glass pipe.

Entry # 351

Abandoned white walls, stressed thought
was all I knew because of the disgusting charges.
The frightened Samaritan did not feel heroic, but instead defeated,
a menace to the lost soul that wandered around himself,
confused as he tried to read the lines in this unknown book. 
Where was the writer? Lost, but never forgetting that he had time,
to marinate inside,
the excited void that now was feeding on his person.

Entry # 352
Whispering Walls

Lost, looking at these delusional brick walls
Regardless of how hard I try I continue to return
Stuck in this room
Treacherous, deep down inside
Unable to blossom and show my full potential.
The darkest place at night, walls of ice
Insecure thoughts swiftly enter my mind
The affectionate yet dirty white walls
Whisper to me as I sleep
Blue doors of insecurity
The tense bolt clicks and I'm alone.

Entry # 353
Heading For Bliss

I turned the corner towards bliss,
a narrow path that slowly winds its way to the river.
Once there, a vengeful jump to the water,
a 65 foot drop,
Dismal darkness,
can’t even see my hand.
The water subdued to me?
But I don’t know if it’s the other way around.
Running out of breath,
I reach the surface and inhale.

Entry # 354
A Blaze Of Color

Endearing yet rabid
letting his emotions blindly
run through him;
perfect marksmanship driving
the arrow
Vitality of my emotions
I accept naively
begging this not to be
a savage mirage.
Three fateful words
meant to destroy
or to rebuild a tattered heart.
Once said, can and will
be used against you
as evidence, as if
I was in court.
No one can judge me.
To be a blaze of color
in your black and white
to be the sound
in your wordless film.

Entry # 355

What, do they think I'm the Cowardly Lion?
That trait is absent.
Mocked, like the Great Oz,
so I'll hide,
these tears?
Concealed with anger,
dark, mortifying, violent anger.
These blasphomists will soon curse their ground,
While I?
ascend on a white cloud,
but not the cloud they'll predict,
"She'll never change."
I have, without your help.
No more murderous toxins filling me,
filling my days, meaningless hours.
Instead of being the witch on which the house fell,
I'm Dorothy,
three clicks,
one walk, the yellow brick road
away from,
white walls and locked doors.
I don't even shiver.

Entry # 356

I walk inside the baby blue doors of juvenile hall.
Mom thinks I’m crazy, but I don't;
I feel like I can touch the sky.
Honorable I am.
Striding through the depths of one mile.
Thinking I have an option of whether I should stay or go,
I stay with a decision.
Uncomfortable, private,
Later belligerent.

Entry # 357
No Flat Tires

I have these lost hands to carry me where I’m found
Riding in a life that shifts gears
I fell off and landed on a stage.
Looking up from the dirt with blood melting from my eyes
I stop, smelling the abandoned forest
Where flowers stick in the ground and my face shines in the sun
My arms stretched for the wind to take me.
Now, cruising through life without flat tires
I’m free.

Entry # 358
Lately I’ve been blinded by all of the obscene
Here with a bunch of naive juveniles
Inaccurate marksmanship blindly evading the savage truth
We're all trying to make sense of the nonsense
Mirage inside our heads
Wouldn't we be mystified by the bizarre suspense of the real world, our parents have been unsuccessfully hiding us from?
I've been in a daze and when I come back to reality, I think the world must have changed.
I sit and think, it must have been me
Maybe one day we'll understand.

Entry # 359

Alone in a mystifying cell,
Where dreams deceive.
Incarcerated by my own routine,
Where an enraged locked door keeps me away from freedom.
Guilt stabbing me, with blood dripping from my chest.
Frustration beat me down with vengeance,
Sadness accepts me with open arms.
A day will come, happiness will shine.

Entry # 360

Running down a self-wanted path of unrighteousness,
blind and shameless of my vanishing future.
All the motherly love in the world, but none to reciprocate,
just a fake smile,
So I conjure up discreet ideas of tactile hope,
I'm still going down the path, thinking it's harmless.
Almost lost in the sweltering smoke,
The feelings like lying on top of a cloud,
But I'm actually getting lowered through the smoke to a burning hot fire.
A hand reaches out, grabs my arm and cuffs me.
A tiny spark of hope ignites.

Entry # 361

Occasionally I would whisper to my pristine intellectual self,
how courageous, gentle and generous I am, or,
thought I was.
But now I feel distant,
reckless and submissive.
My once calm dynamic is bleak by this new profound
dignity and the thoughts dwindle on.
Occasionally I ponder my intellectual self.

Entry #362

I sit here in my cell
waiting and thinking
missing my family and all.
Lost here and there
but I manage to be everywhere.
I remember my mom saying "It's never too late to change."
I change and somehow,change back
I don’t know why I need that drink
the one that makes me feel
free and wild.
The bitter taste in my sinning mouth
will I ever get over this disgusting habit
or will it imprison me?

Entry # 363
Identity Crisis

Aside from myself, I am my only friend.
Trapped in the asylum-
I've imprisoned myself in.
This villainous taunt reflects my ambition to fight.
I am inseparable from my own way.
The right way?
My impartial mind is diseased, agreeable to accept support, knee deep in stagnant waters.
Drowning in my own repetitive thoughts,
I don't know who I am anymore.
My mom wants her little girl back,
but I've grown strong from the monster.
My voice is of a demon,
possessed by harsh implications.
Who am I now?

Entry # 364
the poem

The deep sea comes out on its ambitious day,
Censor to the cold night that’s slipping around the corner of amazement,
He sees generous clouds that shine ambition.
Sophisticated spirit of man,
Coming through the waters without a struggle.
You can hate a man, and still respect him.
Why this far out, were you lost?
Saved from the invisible face, his echo shudderd to a thunderous roar.
The opponents done.

Entry # 365
Hanging On

Army in my fist
White from his tongue, he moved quietly.
No noises, I assure you,
He's been hanging on tightly.
The smoke sinks into the air that goes from tension to a stain.
It calls to the sun, burning near his bearded shame.
Treachery of change tore from cities to the smashing sounds of pity.
His glare came once, but only to give his enemy some gritty.

Entry # 366

Here I sit confused, scatterbrained,
I am flourished to a life inferior from the last,
To a place where I am not scared to be loved,
Reconstructed with confidence, understanding, wisdom.
Once an animal,
Now I’m just a stupid human of society,
Former honor and pride,
I had to leave it.

Entry # 367
A Loss

Yes, I am bad, but I’m not the worst.
Everyone has brought me down at least an inch,
I’m anticipated, ready for another shot,
But she was there to call it off.
I’m there mom, have you forgot,
This was it--the time to rise,
I didn’t find it hard to try,
Lost from what you took in your despise.
Whether it was a he or she, it would've been mine.
Surly others have gone through it before,
I was there mom; you could've given a chance,
So yes, it’s your fault, I’m here no more.

Entry # 368
Stained Parchment

Heavy Lids
Closing in, racing towards
Bought strength
Hidden form of humility, to be honest
The desire to go on
But all they do is hollow me out
Your face, her voice, their sobs
Misplaced memories
Resounding through this emptiness that was once a brilliant mind
The lock never works
Or maybe it just breaks
Perhaps it’s just my will
Flowing out into this void
Once a heart, now an enchanted shell

Entry # 369

The fire blazes as it goes through my mind
fatal to the touch of reality,
I struggle to find my way
navigating insanity, I scream!
Only the sound of my vicious regret calms my heart, because I'm not alone,
imagination bleeding as I retreat my thoughts and words back into my shell of fatal consciousness,
longing for these white walls to disappear.
To once again know freedom.

Entry # 370
Empty souls, empty brains
Dark hearts, evil faces
What’s next? Could I be concerned?
I can’t even think.
Like a zombie I am so boundless,
I don’t even know how to function,
I can’t even feel pain or be cold.
I wish I were human,
To have fun or walk fast or talk?
I wonder if humans will be scared or even run from me?

Entry  # 371

Inside I’m screaming; crying
a horrible pain,
His torture, my memory
I talk and act as if I’m okay,
Emotions run deeply
Eyes only betray,
Inside, I just run
Wishing, to never look back that way,
Look what he’s done!
Changing my lifestyle
Now part of my history,
Yeah, I was little
Careless, he still got a taste,
Family full of denial
While cops want the case,
Inside pleading you were family
That was his huge mistake,
Now look at me!
A mess created
Something impossible to change.

Entry # 372
Not For Me

As I touched my point,
gazing down the walls of terror,
I stood looking out at that one shiny day,
when, if I could I'd be out there running and ripping.
While the inside of me wished that one of those sunny days was going to be the one for me,
for continuous time the only thing that I knew were the walls that I couldn’t see through.
I would run as fast as I could from this place but I was way too cool,
and it would sometimes catch up and see me,
so, I would stay even thought  I knew it wasn’t for me.

Entry # 373
High and Alone

High and alone
On A beach is where I like to be.
Listening to the waves,
Watching the people walk by
Instead I remain bleak
On this very shady beach
Most of the looks on people’s faces are melancholy.
Everything’s getting boring
Time to find something more luring.

Entry # 374

Want to hear a story about how life can be?
Look in the sky, then you’ll see,
The clouds and blue sky, is that a dove?
Wow! I smell cookies! Or is that love?
The sound of pots clinging, and the hummingbirds.
And whispering sounds of the people’s words.
While children are dancing in the street,
To the music playing. Move your feet!
Where people walk their dogs in the park.
Where they play rough to hear a bark.
Night falls so now it’s time to go inside,
To have dinner, enjoy your meal.
And that’s the story tonight.

Entry # 375
Making Out

the kiss of death
is a roller coaster ride
not sure when it began
not sure if I’ll live or die?
life is hard, much too hard
without the kiss
lingering in the distance
taunting me,
calling to be felt again
the sun comes up again and again
the days blur together
will there be no end
I fight to keep my eyes open
body in pain, mouth dry
wishing I had stayed away
for the kiss of death
will take my life
a life of destruction
a life of pain
a life of misery
with nothing to gain

Entry # 376
Victorious Defensive

The projection of my pencil on this page
is perhaps a victorious
defensive instinct to assure you
that opinions are endless,
Criticisms senseless,
desire to be free will only be inside your conscious,
Feel cautious of the trials and tribulations upcoming
toward the beginning
as unable to express feelings on a piece of paper,
does the bible speak the truth?
when we die will my punishment begin?

Entry # 377
My Little Girl

My little girl passed away September, 4 years ago. Damn I miss her. There were so many good things we did while she was alive. When she was born I was declared godfather. She had blond hair and blue eyes just like me and my sis. She was the best thing that ever happened to me. The first time she got to see my dog ( Irish-wolfhound, so he’s really big) she said "Unc, when can I ride him?” That’s what she calls me is "Unc." She used to bug her mom to come over to Unc’s house just to eat the snacks and jucies and ice cream. But that’s not the only thing she came over for. She loved the water, so I’d take her swimming a lot. Damn, she loved the water even more than me. All right, well, I don’t know what else to write, except, I love you baby girl.

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