Timothy, 46

Timothy, 46

Meet Timothy…

I wanted to remember my mom with good memories, and the good person she was.

Timothy, 46
Incarcerated: 27 years
Housed: San Quentin State Prison, San Quentin, CA

The Butterfly
The butterfly represents
Your beauty,
Your beauty carries love.
Don’t let nobody take your love away,
And you will always be beautiful!

Her Majestic Dignity
This poem is to honor my mom, who passed away from cancer. I was in a prison while she was dying of colon and cervical cancer. Even though she was really sick, she still didn’t want me to worry about her. She told me to make her a list and she’d send me a package, which I’d never gotten before. She told me, “Jesus had healed me.” But my sister said, “What are you thinking? She has no hair. She’s dying.” The package never came, but a dark time did. I went into solitary confinement where I was really depressed. I started doing an enhanced outpatient program and with classes and medication, I got to a better place. I wanted to remember my mom with good memories, and the good person she was. She raised four kids by herself, and she did the best she could, what was needed.

Arise, for your highness is now here.
Do favoreth honor and fear.
For her, within all purity is absolute royalty.

Excellent in appearance, such glorious beauty to behold,
Her countenance is of greater radiance than shiny gold.
The splendor of her mighty acts tell all
Her great fame and strong pride mounts up in triumph.
No soul could ever forget such a victorious name.

Her greatest grandeur
Not the ornament of her beauty compared to shiny gold.
Nor is it her majesty’s strength which is exceedingly more
Powerful in abundance being multiplied more than a hundred fold.

Nay, the glory of her greatness,
You’ve seen it a thousand times over,
tis, that true heart she possess –
for you and for me.
I call it
Her majestic dignity.

Chimezie, 40

Chimezie, 40

Meet Chimezie…

Through her letters, poetry, song lyrics, phone calls, visits, deep thought provoking conversation, and mental stimuli, Beauty helped me elevate beyond the wallows of my self pity.

Chimezie, 40
Incarcerated: 20 years
Housed: Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center, Shirley, Massachusetts

In the early years of my bid, I never slowed down long enough to write letters. I was always in some form of trouble. If I wasn’t lifting weights, I was chasing someone who owed money. If I wasn’t in the hole, I was headed to the hole. An intellectual connection with a female was the last thing on my mind. I lived in a crime college, and criminality served as my solace. That changed when a friend introduced me to a young lady, I’ll call Beauty.

Beauty and I began exchanging letters, then phone calls, and eventually she came to the prison to visit me. I remained non-committal and detached. My primary focus was on the wrong things. In 2013, the Supreme Judicial Court denied my direct appeal, and the reality of a lifetime prison sentence became a realistic reality. I was devastated. I was on the floor y’all. I tried to pull away from Beauty, but she pulled me closer to her. Through her letters, poetry, song lyrics, phone calls, visits, deep thought provoking conversation, and mental stimuli, Beauty helped me elevate beyond the wallows of my self pity. My mind was able to transcend the imposed limitations of prison and depression, through Beauty’s otherworldly devotion to our bond. Beauty nurtured me back to form with love. When I was close to defeat, I rose to my feet. The universe sent me an angel that changed the trajectory of my life. I’m humbled and forever grateful.I’ve learned firsthand, love is the only emotion strong enough to override human nature. Love is divine power. Inspiration through love is a divine influencer.

To Beauty, you saved me from myself. To the women loving incarcerated citizens of our communities despite conventional wisdom telling them to do otherwise: You are the heartbeat of an often forgotten tribe. To my fellow incarcerated citizens, follow your hearts, and dare to love. Love truly conquers all. May peace be with you. Always and forever.

Receive more inspiring stories and news from incarcerated people around the world.