Monday, March 05, 2007

'When All Else Fails'

When All Else Fails
By:"Tear Drop

"What should I do when I have tried almost everything? I can think o fevery thought, every idea and nothing seems to work. There is one thing I have not tried and that is lying or telling stories about how I feel. If I did, maybe then you would want to listen to me about how I feel. But I can't, I won't and I probably never will. So when all else fails, at least I can say I never lied to you. I know it's hard for us (well, for me anyways, because I'm so emotional, or let's just say I'm a simple man with feelings).

I care for you all: the females and playaz lost without a clue. There must be something holding me back, pulling my heart from a cold world or pulling you away from me. But I continue to care for this world anyways. 'When all else has failed', when separate paths have been taken, when I can no longer cry and all my tears have dried, I can still find the strength to touch life.

I am at peace knowing I have tried and I am the voice that has cried out about the "whole of my people". The low income wages and jobs where my people are over-worked, under-paid and unappreciated, but who still feel blessed to have survived the "struggle" for their families.

These eyes still envision the crack-corners, project buildings, alleyways and street-life junkies doing what they do. Dope fiend excuses are useless, except to provide prison and escape from reality. But our responsibility remains to be "men" for our women and fathers for our children.

But I realize, "I am my own worst enemy". I was and have been (and still maybe) lost. As I walk, I realize someone must be with me, but who? Whoever it was, had to have carried me a few miles into life, because I wear shoes and his feet were bare. So my prayers were heard throughout the city blocks…different sets, hoods, and ghettoes.

In these places, our children out grow the mature adult. They embrace fear and respect, or accept the grim realities of dying, even before they learn what it is to live. So they are "gangstas". I am a 'disciple,' disciplined inside to follow what life teaches the lost. I have become a leader, called upon to lead and not mislead, because I too was once misled.

I'm telling you all of this, because I know where most of our younger generation is heading ... without love , comfort, strength and support to guide them.. I have been there, for I am them back then, just as they are me now. This road leads to "prison" the "brink of death". Destination: "destruction. So I ask my folks to grow with me.

I make the commitment to grow into a better man, better father, with a stronger mind. Reaching out for a better life and a new "positive development" ."I am growth and development" when all else fails.

By: Tear Drop
R. W. F.2006
Tear Drop is a young black man, presently incarcerated in the USP system.

Hit 55 Baby!!!

Hit 55 Baby! Answer the phone Baby Girl, just hit 55. Can't you hear it calling you? I need to hear your voice tonight. Cameras to the left of me, guys to the right. My desire standing up for you, wanting to be heard.

That's it, right after the recording girl, hit 55. Come on now baby, we're burning up my minutes!I thought you'd never push that button, what took you so long? I've had you on my mind 24/7, missing you, loving you, thanking the man for blessing me with you. Where have you been? What have you been doing? Have you heard from the kids?

I haven't heard from the courts yet on my appeal. As soon as I know, you'll be the first one I call. I can't wait to come home to you, my daughter and my mama. This cage life has me in, hasn't been fun. Walking around like a black cat on light feet. Protecting my best asset, which is me!Men snapping to the left of me, dying to the right, I'm nothing but a termite in Sam's woodshed. Pumping out office furniture for pennies on the dollar.

Read the paper from home the other day. Saw two of my homies on the front page. They burned life and dissed the creator. Now they're in a time capsule and will never see daylight. That could have been me baby, but he saved me. Mama tried to tell me, I never should have put my hand on that gun. But what's a man suppose to do with his daughter's mouth open like a hungry little bird. I have a date girl to come home. I've seen men in here, buried in here, their time deceased.

Time is nothing, when it comes to loving you. Wanting your soft flesh, not touching you, not seeing you in the morning. Give me some sugar baby girl, that was our first beep. Whisper in my ear, tell me how much you love me. Don't give up on me, don't leave me. I can see life's door opening up for me and smell the fresh air.

Come here baby girl, let me wrap my arms around you. Another beep and time is slipping away. If you only knew what just hearing your voice does to me. Long after our time has run out, I stand here, my mouth moving, Waiting for all of my desires to wind down. Cameras rolling, guys standing in line, my respect for our love won't let my feet move. Here comes some sugar baby girl, stretch out next to me in your dreams.

The next time I call, don't take so long to hit 55, With all of the beeps, buzzers and clangs, you'd think we were celebrating life. No not me, I'm just doing hard time, Fed time, with heavy tags. Have to keep moving my mouth, remembering her voice, waiting for my feet to move. Cameras to the left of me, CO's to the right, guys standing in line waiting to touch life. Every time I call, she'll be there.

Just hit 55 Baby and we'll tear these walls down, one brick at a time. Hit 55 and touch me, Tell me how much you miss and love me.My feet are moving now. Just hit 55 and blow me some soft sugar. I'm ready now Baby Girl, I'll meet you in my dreams.

By: T-Bear, in the FCI system.

The "Old Man" & "Touchdown"

"Touchdown" was a young boy born in Memphis, TN, raised in theScutterfield District. A young boy of 8 or 9 years of age, growing up in the projects and being raised by his grandparents. Like many young boys at this age, he was extremely impressionable, his eyes full of wonder within his dysfunctional environment, an adventurous young boy to say the least. His area of Memphis was like many hoods, impoverished, riddled with crime and street games. Individuals involved in life's struggle, just trying to survive the times.

Growing up with two older Uncles in their late teens involved in "street life", "Touchdown" became enamored at a very young age with the "street games" and "preying" on those weaker within life. He would often listen late at night to the older teens and young males talk of their endeavors within "drugs, pimping, robbing and gang banging". Late in elementary school, he was excelling in sports and had many friends due to his Uncle's position in the neighborhood. He soon followed in his Uncle's shoes and portraits of negativity, turning his small "click" into his crew of "neutral"followers. Not yet "plugged" into a gang, "Touchdown" looked for "youthful" ways to attain money for himself and "crew". They played arcade games, ate pizza and hung out with the older teens and male individuals within their "hood". Often they would make "beer runs" for the older gang members and this seemed like an honor to them. But they all wanted to be like the individuals around them who sported new cars, jewelry, girls, smoked dope and partied.

There was this "Old Man" who lived down the street from the projects who had two dogs. He had a fence around his yard and often left the dogs in the yard to take fresh air. This "Old Man" was a centurion in his neighborhood. He had survived time and was filled with life's knowledge, pain and suffering. He would watch all of the coming and goings on his street. One day the "Old Man's" two dogs got out. "Touchdown" and his "crew" walked by and the "Old Man" asked them if they had seen his dogs? If he found them for him, he would reward them."Touchdown" knew where the dogs had gone.

Everyday the "Old Man"would take the dogs for a walk to the park. "Touchdown" knew this was where the dogs probably were. So he and his friends went to the park in search of the dogs. Sure enough, they found them running and playing in the park. They took the dogs back to the "Old Man". Grateful and true to his word, he rewarded the boys. He gave them enough money to get a pizza and play a couple of arcade games.

It wasn't long before "Touchdown" turned this event in life into a money making game. He and his "crew" would go by the "Old Man's" house and let the dogs out. Then go and hang out with older gang members for a while before walking past the "Old Man's" house once again. They knew there was only one place the dogs would go, to the park, the only place the "Old Man" would take them. They'd come by and the "Old Man" would ask them to find his dogs again. This left the young "crew" with inflated egos, because now they had a money making game too, just like the older gang members in the neighborhood.

At 40, "Touchdown" is now doing a heavy sentence for gang related offenses and organized crime. Being "plugged" into the "GangsterDisciples" in his young teens by his "Uncle", he soon rose through the ranks of the organization. He had his own crew and set. He was also a star athlete. Many within his neighborhood protected "Touchdown" hoping that he would be one of the "lucky" survivors who made it out of their hood. True to their dreams and hopes, "Touchdown" excelled in sports in High School. He became a protected fixture in the neighborhood. He was left out of the harsher side of "gang banging". He became a State All-Around Athlete and attained a Football Scholarship to a University where he played Quarterback. In his sophomore year of College in one game he blew out his knee. His dreams and desires came to an end. He returned to his "hood" and those in his "crew".

All of this time he had been protected, family and individuals within the community were counting on him. Once again "Touchdown" picked up the "street life" within the GD Organization and excelled. After all, in his heart he owed many of those around him who had protected him from the darkest chapters within life.

At age 40, one-third of his life spent behind bars, "Touchdown" is one of a handful from his set that has reached 40. This is only due to the fact that he has been incarcerated within State and Federal Penal Facilities. As he sits now in his cell, buried within time, many of those he shared life with taken by the "games" and "plays" of the streets. He sits back and thinks about that "Old Man". Was he as stupid as they all thought, or was he truly one of life's Angels? He knew everything that went on in his neighborhood, he had nothing better to do, then sit and watch time pass him by. Did he give the young boys money, hoping that they wouldn't follow in the footsteps of others in his neighborhood? Was he hoping as he saw these young boys open his gate and pass by his house, that they would be the future and the real "warriors" in life? Could they possibly by the ones who wouldn't fall into life's traps and pick up the "struggle" where he left off.

The "Old Man" now gone with the passage of time. "Touchdown" sees life through his eyes a little late and the hard way. He lies in his cell and thinks about these younger days in his life. The "Old Man"didn't look so stupid anymore…for "Touchdown's" only desire now, was to take up life where the "Old Man" had left off. Sitting in a small house, in front of a window in his neighborhood, watching the "struggle" and "the life" claiming its victims. Maybe, just maybe, he will be able to finish what the "Old Man" had started and find the new "Warriors" to fight the "struggle" before "life" claims them.

I leave you as I came with a great deal of love and respect for life.
Lady Gray
This article is dedicated to "Touchdown" presently incarcerated in a Federal Penal Facility in the State of TN