JH Artwork

JH Artwork

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!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Entry # 617

Hidden behind green eyes of folly and growing puddles of wet fear
Thoughts seem to creep like an addict in the night- to a shadowed corner of familiar demise
So desperately screaming to be helped, healed. But what lies within is much more than a spirit gone astray
Memories gather like a crowd and taunt feverishly. The image of an addict trapped within a little girl, mirroring dreams of pipes instead of prosperity.
The mind is a beautiful cave; one too familiar seems more dangerous than forgiving, darker and unchanged than most.
Being broken would be a much easier pleasure. To have to face green eyes would be an unfathomable fear.
Years pass, slowly the concept of a pulse and a life fade distantly.
How have green eyes become so destroyed? Years ago thoughts could not imagine the things seen, the smoke inhaled, or the suffering inflicted.
Virgin eyes once more view the demon addiction: glass, rock, and this way of life.
Does this mean I will never succeed in the dream I once believed?

Entry # 618
I Believe

I believe in myself when no one else believes in me
I believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself
I believe in rehabilitation and the fact I know I can make it,
this time…
I believe in the new me and the fact that I will stay clean
I believe in setting the old me free
And pray to God that it will leave
I believe I can change
Even though the thought of it is alien and strange
I believe in starting over
And it never being too late
I believe I can make it and maybe you can too.
I believe

Entry # 619

Drinking is my curse,
Demons are surrounding me,
In the darkness they will lurk,
I try to confront them, but they no longer disperse.
In my short years it’s been hard to survive,
having these demons torture me from on the inside,
It’s hard to hold on,
but I’m still standing strong,
holding on to my humanity before it is gone.
I’m trying so hard to learn from my mistakes,
I now look to God and pray for his grace,
while struggling every day with these demons I face.
I’m looking in the mirror,
seeing wasted years,
brining my family nothing but tears.
I need to learn before it’s too late, I don’t want to fall victim to a disastrous fate,
So one day I can enter those gold pearly gates.
I know what I need,
No longer will I plead,
I will be successful,
This is what I believe.

Entry # 620
Pointing At Myself

The door is locked and the lights are dim
It's been three hours but retrospect still won't let this night end
How am I supposed to accept a life absent of intimacy and void of love
What if my mom stops coming when I tell her it happened just because
I would like to point fingers or say it was because the devil and I had a contract signed
But in reality no ones to blame except for myself and that compact nine

Entry # 621
All The Good Stuff

        My belief is that my family comes first because a long time ago my brothers always put me first. They used to take me places and do a lot of things with me when I was little even though I was so little they probably didn’t really want me around. They sometimes told me they were doing grownup stuff and I couldn’t be there. However they would usually stop and go take me out somewhere. One special moment with my brothers was when they took me out fishing one day to the river in Miami Oklahoma. It was a nice not day and we were fishing for spoonbill. It’s a very big fish. I threw my line out and brought it back in and threw it out again repeatedly. Finally, I caught something on my line. I thought it was a big stick at first but then it started pulling me in the water. My brother had to grab me before I went in and I started to reel. When it was on land that damn fish was bigger than me. It was 101 pounds! My brothers and I were in the newspaper. That was the best day I ever had with them when I was little.
 I also I believe that family comes first because I have a little girl. I don’t want her to have the same type of life I did. The first time I held her in my arms I wanted to be in her life because my dad was not there for me. When I was little I wanted my dad to show up and take me to the park, or to take me swimming, or on a hike, or even to the candy store. It would have been a great experience with my dad, so that’s why I’m going to be there for my little girl and do all the things I never did or got to do with my father. I'd like to be able to take my daughter to the park and to the movies .She will like that and I want to take her to go swimming. I even want to put her in mixed martial arts so she can learn control and can watch out for herself even when I can’t be there. I’d like to take her shopping for clothes and little things she needs like toys, shampoo and stuff like that. I would like to take her to the penny candy store and show her all the good stuff. Also I would like to take her to the fair to ride rides, win prizes and stuff that I never really got to do with anyone. So I’m going to be that father for my daughter. She’ll have a lot of what I never had or for myself. And that’s what I believe……   

Entry # 622

I believe that my Mom is hurting.
 that I need to do good.
 that I will do 8-14 months.
I believe that I will have a wonderful future.
 I will be with the one I love.
 I will be an honorable man to her.
 I will have a great job.
I believe I will have 2 kids.
 I will be an excellent role model for them.
 I will try my hardest.
I believe
I believe I can behave
 I can be a positive person to society.
 I can help my MOM.
I believe I need to move out of my hometown.
 I need to get my diploma.
 I need to STOP being stupid.
I believe I told the one I love to stay out and that she came back.
I believe I haven’t left yet.
I believe that it is August 2014.
I believe that she is a great young lady.
I believe we will be together someday.

Entry # 623
Individual Effort

I believe that people are people but when they are put in facilities and in front a judge they are seen as wild animals and a disgrace to society. I believe that some people are raised in hostile families and been through so much that they feel like there is no more hope. I believe that there are so many people that have so much potential to bring to the world but they are so afraid that other people won’t accept them because of the life that they lead or the way that they look. I believe that if there were more parents that took better care of their children, kids would be more motivated to stay at home and do more positive things with their time. I believe that we all can make the world a better place by giving a helping hand to that one person that really needs it, or welcoming those people that you know have potential regardless what their background says they look like, but it starts by people putting their own individual effort in.

Entry # 624
I’m Done

I was released in May from a small one month sentence and I got out on ankle monitor. My first night home my dad told me he was super happy to have me back home. The next morning I was gone; I cut the Ankle Monitor and left a note. I was on the run for a month and all I did was run around smoke weed snort cocaine and drink. I tried to convince myself I had everything going right and that I wasn’t doing anything wrong but in the back of my head I was telling myself I’m stupid, I should have stayed home so I didn’t have to look over my shoulder every day. I finally got caught for stealing.  Although I was upset I got caught I was also relieved that I could finally move on and do good. I was committed to a program and it’s a total of 6 months. You do 3 months in and 3 months out. I served an uncounted month before I was committed so I’ve served a total of 4 months so far. I have been doing really good. I’ve been doing my counseling,  getting my home visits, not getting in trouble and I think I’m set to be getting out fairly soon. I’m really excited to go home, feel free, go to school, start being social again, and seeing all my friends and family. I’m going to get a job and make up lost credit. When I turn sixteen I’m going to try and get my G.E.D. Once I complete probation I’m going to move out of my dad’s house, stay with someone else, but continue the right path. I’m done with this lifestyle. I want better for myself and I want people to think better of me and not be a disappointment anymore.

Entry # 625
Showers, Buttons, and Last Time

The first thing I will do when I walk through the doors to the outside world is yell inappropriate phrases into the sky, and I hope everyone hears me! During the 45 minute car ride home, the only thing that will come across my mind is that I can take a shower that will last longer than 3 minutes. After my my shower I will drag myself to my room, take all my cloths out of my drawers, face my fears and try them on.  When my pants don’t button, I will swear, cry, and yell. The upside is that I’ll get some new clothes. I think I’m getting a fresh start until I get to school and I hear all my "friends" saying, “She’s out. I wonder how long it will last this time.” Hopefully there won’t be a next time and this will be the last.

Entry # 626
Second Chances

I believe in second chances. I have screwed off most of my life doing stupid things that don’t benefit me or anybody else around me. I'm locked up, and for the first time to be honest, happy to be. I probably would have died out their robbing and being the thief that I was. Selling drugs for a quick buck when I could have got shot in the process. I was being careless and stupid in a certain part of my life where I had no room to screw up. When I got locked up I was pissed off at the world at first. But then I realized it was for my best interest and it was my second chance to make things right, not just with me, but the people I have hurt the most, my family. I get to see them again and to show them that I really care about my life and most definitely want to make them proud. I used to be the wrestler everybody talked about. I used to me that football player everybody wanted to see play. But even though I have screwed up I’m in for my second chance and plan to be the successful person that I have always dreamed of. I want to raise my son right to look up to his father and to be there for him when he needs me the most. To not being involved in criminal activity makes me feel good about myself. Crimes were a way to make money for my boy and as long as he had a smile on his face that’s all that seemed to matter. But being locked up made me realize that it was the biggest mistake I have ever made in my entire life. I now know that it was pushing me away from the people that cared about me the most. I’m most thankful to my parents and everybody that I have done wrong to give me this second chance. I will be able to be a success with my life now that I can see clearly.

Entry # 627
Fresh Out

Sitting in the hall is a struggle when you have a baby on the way. Especially when your locked up and aren’t there to be at the baby appointments even when you really want to be. I wish I could be there at every one and it puts a lot of stress on me when I think about my baby being born when I’m locked up. The good thing is I’ll be out hopefully before my baby’s a month old and possibly be able to be there when it’s born. That would be really amazing. Still, I will have no money to buy my kid what I want to because I’m not on the outs to have a job. Hopefully I can get a job when I am fresh out so I can start to help out.

Entry #628 (deleted)

Entry # 629

As I walked down the road
I have nothing to spare
My thoughts flow through the air
as I reflect on my life
I sit her now and stare
at white walls
with problem unsolved
and I’m still scared
The thought that I might not make it
The real world might bring
me back here
But I have to make it
I’ll get out and be the best me
and nobody will believe
what I’ve done.

Entry # 630
Could Be Positive
I believe in Karma, in what goes around comes around. This could be a positive or a negative thing, which goes hand in hand with the golden rule; treat others how you want to be treated. This I believe.  

Entry # 631
The Choice To Be A Role Model

 I believe in the choice to become a role model. Growing up, I never had a role mode, l but I am the oldest in my family and I am learning to  be an example.  As I sit in my cell and stare at white walls, I think about my life and how hard it was growing up. My life was not set in stone and I was kicked out of home at the age of 9. Little did I know, so did a friend of mine and he became like my little brother. We had to struggle to live, but eventually we found our way: me being sent back to another town and him being locked away. That was the first time I was not a role model when I should have been.
 Now, I sit and think of the future and what lies ahead, but as I do I wonder if I even want to be a role model. Those are the thoughts of a boy and I have become a man, so I push away the past and all of the pain because I’m going to become a father such a short time from now. When my son is born I must do what I can to make sure he doesn't follow the path of his old man, uncles, or cousins.  Some say were a "menace" or a pain, but I realize that the old me is fading and I am a shadow of my past. I choose to be a shining example of the future and of change.

Entry # 632
Nothing But Good

I believe in mind over matter. It’s the way I think that matters in each situation I’m in no matter how big or how small. The day I got locked up was a day of pain, regret, and sorrow. It hurt like hell to be away from my family. I had regrets about the choices I made and felt sorry for myself because I thought of all the time I’d miss out in the real world. I ended up getting 10 months and thought it’s the end of the world. But as time has passed I’ve realized this axiomatic curse was actually a blessing. I sat back in my room last night and thought about all the programs and how healthy I am. I’m going to college and looking at getting a job when I get out. Nothing but good has come out of getting locked up.