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!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Entry #633
Caught In The Action
My fed addiction,
vicious flinted smoke,
breathtaking eagerness
taking over a rebellious sobriety.
Feeling caught in the action,
fumbling battles, craving the raging sea,
caring grief, telling me it’s not too late.
Enraged game calling my name,
I can’t stop the hesitated high.
Appalled feelings are no longer sober,
craving addiction takes the floor once more.
I see stained glass as I look out my window,
I’m locked up

Entry #634
Passing addiction,
holding me accountable for my drunken love.
Anguish triumphant,
happiness dead.
The deep royal sky goes to black
fighting for my soul within these white walls.
Blue doors taunting me when I look forward,
drowning in the sunset beige hell I have created.
As my nights go to days,
my days go to black,
I still hope.

Entry #635
Forgotten in a Deserts Shadow
Collapsed behind the white walls
In the same position
I'm not a thug
Forgotten in a deserts shadow with ash on my face
In jail
Screaming twisted anger and anxiety building up in me
Loosening the cuffs
To be let out
Is magic possible?
Trying to remove the knife from my side
Terrible pain, dazed with shame
Victimized from all the lies
Attempts to bring back my pride
Grateful for all that I have.

Entry #636
Courage runs through my veins
indulging me with a sense of determination
to persevere through even the most melancholy of times.
As I sit on my slab of concrete I inquire feelings of helplessness
causing me to feel depressed.
Reluctantly I force the sweet memories of lemon grass and violet fields out of my head.
For now I am surrounded by flint smoke colored walls
in a cage with one deliberate locked door
providing me with the sense of a crazed animal.
Feelings of fatigue and liveliness collide within,
neither diminishing nor accepting my faith and optimism
which pumps my heart to keep me alive.

Entry #637
Worth Something
I believe that I should live every day like it’s my last. I believe I could be whatever I want to be. …that I should not be in this program. …that one day I will own my own business. I believe that two is greater than one. …that no one should get left behind. …that I will have a great life. I believe I will get out of juvenile hall and do well in life. …that I am worth something. …that every person is equal. I believe I like myself more than anyone likes me. …that I have to like myself before someone likes me. I believe that I like myself for who I am.

Entry #638
The Goer
Stink eyed stare at the teacher
he said, "go see the preacher."
Looking victimized
Feeling paralyzed
Jumping out the window
My Soon to be wife
Is a soon to be widow
Just feelin' the bliss
All I want is
One last kiss

Entry #639
Every Day Life Goes On
What is it that I fear?
A journey long,
Or a problem near,
Knowing that someone cares,
Or giving away the trust I hold dear?
What is it that I fear?
Knowing a loved one is lost,
Or understanding living life has a fatal cost?
What is it that I fear?
Believing that I can succeed,
Or knowing there are challenges that I cannot beat?
What is that I fear?
I fear special memories,
The ones that make me emotional,
I fear succeeding and leaving those who I am close to,
I fear failure because I did things I wasn’t supposed to,
And most of all I fear living,
For to live means to die,
And to die means my struggle was not worth the try.
As the end of this poem draws to a near,
My question to you is,
What is it that you fear?

Entry #640
Steel bolts locking in the blue doors,
Thin tile beds,
Delusional white walls observing my patients,
I'm powerless, neglected.
Cold steel sink reflecting off the angry cement floor.
Sober hate tearing me down.
Fake smiles and false affections from people who boil with envy.
They pretend they care but they’re steadily neglecting me.
Why stab your jealousy inside of me?
I put it aside so I won’t feel so empty,
Alone and also rejected,

Entry #641
Prison Dignity
Dreams of poinsettia cheeks
Soulless deceit brought on by grey scale sleep
Serenaded hope runs from me
Pitiful kegs full of demons
Citron money puffing green grapes
Saint swisher
Pounds of pride dripping wet
Prison dignity watching Netflix
Mom's regret fills my eyes
"By any means necessary."

Entry #642
As I arrive to this invention
An addressing glimmer reminds me of where I am
Holding the enraged addiction
Banned from my cobwebbed feelings
I realize my volcano is going to explode
Barefoot in the wilderness
My mind tells me, "Stop now. Confront the engine."
Breaking my teeth as I tell them my feelings
Safe and secure now,
I begin to imagine telling myself, "You don't have to be scared anymore."
Slowly I return to reality
Accelerated, everything stops.

Entry #643
Favorite Things
When I come home and he knows I’ve been tweaking, these are some of my least favorite things.
Getting all sucked up not eating for days, these are some of my least favorite things.
Getting all spun out doing anything for my next high, these are some of my least favorite things
Being up for days lashing out at anyone in my way, these are some of my least favorite things.
When I’ve been clean for a while and he knows it’s my choice that’ll be my favorite thing.

Entry #644
Hesitant for my freedom,
Confusion dominates my overwhelmed mind,
Anticipating the demons that I know will show up with gold,
Greatness will tempt me to cheat and turn cold.
Fear is not involved and determination will get me through,
The clear morning sunlight and the deep amber glow of evening will not be blocked by brick walls,
I will not be tricked,
But if the devil gets ahold of me,
I’ll be walking with 36 in my clip.

Entry #645
The Sun Rise
Ruby Red sunrise is negotiating with the darkness.
I don't even know what to expect besides
lonliness, anger, and regret.
Opinions keep mocking me,
screaming you're a fool.
Family is appalled,
not understanding why I seem so crippled and fall.
Rays of hope dry up my tearful eyes,
still feeling victimized from my tortured high.
I'm not a creature lurking in the shadows,
I'm a timid girl, afraid of the dark,
ready for a new start.

Entry #646
Should Be Free
I believe that nobody’s perfect. Everyone has their own personality. Everyone has their own unique laugh and smile. Everyone has their own swag. Everyone makes mistakes--some of us learn from them and some don’t.I believe in myself because I’ve changed my ways and every time I fall down I don’t give up. I just pick myself up and keep moving forward.
I believe in love.
I believe in GOD and that He’s by my side all the time no matter what I do or go through.
I believe in Martin Luther King, Jr. and that he fought a good fight and did whatever he could to get equal rights.
I believe in Rosa Parks because she stood up for herself.
I believe in fairness, fairytales, spirits, and hard work.
I believe in marriage.
I believe that education is important because without a high school diploma or GED you really can’t get a job.
I believe in my goals.
I believe in magic.
I believe in good and bad luck.
I believe that I should be free.
I believe in talking loud and giggling.
I believe in my dreams.
This I Believe……

Entry #647
Broken Lens
Breathtaking bullets aimed at another youth.
Police cars speeding, flashing red and blue.
Wrong choices off filthy dope.
All I hear is ringing from the shots and
screaming sirens in the distance.
No longer enraged, seeing the murderous red on the ground.
Frozen on the spot, detached from reality.
Back of car, fatal cuffs locked on wrists.
No longer seeing things the same, I don't think I ever will.

Entry #648
My New Life
I walk through fields of pavement
All I see are walls of death
Dry blue skies
Dope is so lonely
Now sitting behind a steel door as if it's some sort of new world
Controlled by masters
I guess it’s time to learn some manners
Sitting in my pod for 8-14
Why me
Missing the fresh smell of lemon grass
Now sitting in class and trying to graduate
Maybe everyone was right, it is too late
I must give myself faith to show everyone different
It is time to change for the better
For my family and friends

Entry #649
I believe life is hard, but I can succeed. All that I will ever need is my belief to become something in life, not a miserable person who threw his life away. I notice more and more obstacles pop up from out of nowhere. One day can be the best day of your life, but it can change within a matter of seconds. You can be on the right track in life and make one mistake and everything changes like getting locked up for example. People then start to look at you differently. You are no longer that person who can succeed in life; you’re a criminal who just got released. People also tell you that you will never amount to anything in life. I believe some people can change, but only if it’s what they really want to do. I believe I have all the support I’ll ever need from my mom, my siblings, and teachers. They all try and lead me down the right path, but we’re all human and we make mistakes. I always seem to get locked up for things I repeatedly do, so I no longer consider them as mistakes. I believe money doesn’t bring happiness to everyone. I believe that you can make it through any struggle and can get far in life. I also believe I can change everyone’s thoughts of me and I can finish high school and become certified as a real estate agent. I believe no one should ever quit believing in themselves.

Entry #650
6 Hollows
It was a cold summer night,
I felt the summer breeze as I reached into my bag of paint,
Graffiti runs through my veins,
Deep in the yard with my crew,
Lost in the world that I once knew,
Trying to be like the one I look up to,
Suddenly I saw a young dude strolling through,
My boy asked him what he was up to...
He pulled out a gun and said nothing new.
I told him, “It's cool, no need to shoot,
Keep it pushing and we will to.”
My bro hot and ready
began to say something dumb and edgy.
He pulled out his steel and let 6 hollows loose.
I looked around and saw someone on the ground.

Entry #651
I believe that we can achieve anything if we try.
I believe that everybody is different in their own ways.
…that we can all use some change.
I believe that the ocean works in mysterious ways.
…that the world is here to stay.
I believe that we should help the poor.
...that when somebody falls to pick them off the floor.
I believe that everybody is special.
…that love has no price.
...that everybody has to take chances in life.
I believe that there’s nothing that we can’t do.
...that everybody needs an education.
...that we make our own decisions.
I believe that America is a good country. 
I believe that everybody has a good side and a bad side.
...that people get incarcerated to learn lessons.
...that everybody makes mistakes.
...that we have to respect our elders.
I believe that we can change the world.

Entry #652
Stolen Youth
Inferno bullet, offending, yet intrusive,
Aggressive glock, fatal shot, resentful wanderer
Shallow grave, stone legacy,
Affected family, detached mother, threatening father
Stolen youth, virtuous soul
Benevolent patron, supreme rapture

Entry #653
The Change of a Man
Anxious to learn the news of my future.
Is it a bright path? Or a dark tunnel of despair.
Hope for the best and expect the worst.
That's all I can do in this time of helplessness.
Nobody's there to witness my sins.
They say he's always watching, but can it be true?
If so then I'm guilty of all.
If not then I'm innocent with a clean conscious..
Pondering on the things I have done.
I can't take it back, but sometimes I wish I could.
I have been told this is called regret,
Something I have never felt before.
Today I will accept the consequences for my the actions of my past.
It's the mistakes we learn from that make us who are.
I will forever hold my name from birth even though it's a new person I have become

Entry #654
Level Head
When I was younger my Dad kidnaped me from my mom. I was only three years old so I didn’t know what was going on. My dad took me all the way to Wyoming. It only took my mom three days to find me and get me back. My mom always told me that God picked her to be my mom, because he knew she would be the best mom for me. Right now I am locked up in juvenile hall and my mom is going through a struggle with my brothers and sister. She has been addicted to drugs for many years and rock bottom has just caught up to her. Even though my mom is going through a lot and is on the verge of losing everything I still have to have hope. I think it is a miracle that I am here. If I was out there I would be caught up in all the drama. Don’t get me wrong I still feel bad for my brothers and sister, but someone has to have a level head in the family. Also maybe I am here to learn the ins and outs of addiction so I can have some insight for my mom when I get out. I believe that God has a plan.

Entry #655
Deep Space
Forgotten dreams flow from the wrists of the children left behind.
Left to wander the deep space that they know as their mind.
I'm forever searching for the answers that i may never find.
Simply craving the gentle touch only provided by the kind.
Longing for the one day where I'll finally have my chance to shine.

Entry #656
A Single Flower
absolute and complete all in itself
pink and green water groves
sitting next to it is where I think about the sun, stars, and a beautiful rose
where I am and where I’ll go
mirrors filled with smoke, or,
rehab and hope I guess
I’ll never know until I go
it’s worth a chance
recovery or dope
it’s a blessing I even get the choice to go
will I sink effortlessly, or,
frighteningly stay afloat
the future only knows.

Entry #657
Feverish Thoughts
Dusty mountain train
drifts in deep royal torment
Intrigued by optimistic speed
Racing through alienated thoughts
Kicking trash
glass bottles and cash
Festivals of regret
Unbearable light shifting through flames
of flashing sand washed driftwood
If you’re caught believing
Sympathy is lost
because of the monsters acts.

Entry #658
Being The Change
I believe that I should change to make the world a better place…
I believe I should speak up for what I believe in…
I believe I shouldn’t be scared to express my feelings…
I believe I shouldn’t be indirect about my feelings…
I believe I should love myself because no one else will…
I believe I should have love for others…
I believe I shouldn’t have hate or anger toward others…
I believe we should get along…
I believe there should be no such thing as stereotypes…
I believe we should not be prejudice…
I believe there should have never been a thing as prejudice…
I believe we all were made the same…
I believe color doesn’t define a race of a person…
I believe violence should stop…
This is a poem of what I believe in…


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