A Few Poems

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All of my poems are a reflection of how I was feeling at that time. Certain feelings inspire certain words. On 10-29-13, I was inspired by my amazing wife and our beautiful love (see: The Power of Love). So I grabbed my pen and paper and wrote this poem:

 

FOCUS ON LOVE

Life is a mixture of joy and pain,
blue skies, dark clouds, sunshine and rain.

All days can’t be bright, this we know is true,
what you choose to focus on is always up to you.

Seek out the positive in your life and cherish every day,
focus on the things you love and your blues will fade away.

Show a smile instead of a frown,
look up instead of down.

Shine your light a little brighter,
and watch your burdens get so much lighter.

Life is good life is great,
focus on love ignore the hate.

If you live in love with a heart that’s true,
then love will reflect in all you do.

And when love reflects in all you do,
it takes from the time of feeling blue.

* * *

If I knew back then what I know now…I wouldn’t be in prison. Early on in life I was on a dark path that lead to destructive behavior. Violence, suffering, hate, turmoil, conflict…they were all a constant theme in my life. As a result, my writing reflected that.

This next poem was written during my middle school years. There is no title. It says:

 

Now I lay myself to sleep,
I pray to hell my soul will keep.

No one knows what I plan to do,
but you’ll find out when life is through.

Through for who is what I wonder,
but you’ll find out 6 feet under.

 

As I read this today I shake my head in disbelief. I was around 12 years old when I wrote that! I could easily shed a tear right now. Left to my own demise, I didn’t stand a chance.

As I reflect back to my childhood, I can remember a re-occurring statement that teachers, principals, coaches, and other adults would say. They’d say that I was going to end up dead or in prison.

The first time I heard the “prison” version, I was in the 3rd grade.
The first time I heard the “dead” version, I was in the 9th grade.

Sure enough, I escaped death only to land in prison. Considering my options, I got lucky.

Even after I got locked up, my mindset didn’t change very much.

Here is a poem I wrote back in 1994, just 6 months after I arrived at the Snohomish County Jail. It’s called “Who’s Lucky” because that’s what I used to ask myself every time someone pissed me off in the jail. Am I lucky because I have a release date? Or is he lucky that I have a release date? The poem goes like this:

 

WHO’S LUCKY

People are lucky I have a release date,
or taking a life I wouldn’t even hesitate.

I’m already in jail paying a price,
I often times wonder why am I so nice?

Hatred and violence run through my veins,
murderous thoughts invades through my brain.

I use to think my thoughts were something I’d inflict,
now I see without thinking my thoughts come out sick.

I feel like killing for little or no reason,
look at me wrong and your death would be pleasen.

And for all you punks who talk too loud,
I like watching your blood drip like drops from a cloud….

with a big fat shank piercing through your gut,
dying slowly, you deserve what you got.

By all means don’t cross my path,
if you’re a punk ass bitch who won’t take a bath.

You’re better off staying in your cell,
because your life will expire if I get one smell.

When I was drinking these thoughts I’d be thinking,
but now that I’m sober it’s starting to sink in……

That maybe I was born with blood to kill,
because every thought that I get is way too real.

 

Today I wouldn’t have the slightest desire to write such non sense.

Behind all the mental madness, there was a little place of peace and love. Here’s a poem that shows a glimpse of sunshine in the midst of a storm. It was written in August 1996:

 

LOOK FOR HAPPY THINGS

Look for happy things in life if you desire peace,
appreciate all that’s done for you and watch your love increase.

Things like a loving gentle smile or sincere words of cheer,
a sunrise or the precious time when twinkling stars appear.

Seek out the good in people and cast errors to the side,
fill your heart with love because that’s where good resides.

Drink in soul deep pleasure that nature gives to all,
enjoy the beauty of a rock bound shore or a cascading waterfall.

And do not forget the value of just a humble prayer,
it doesn’t matter where you are because God is everywhere.

Open your heart to children they fill this life with bliss,
who can deny the love of a baby’s tender kiss?

I hope you see just what I mean, look for happy things,
If you do that, then you’ll have love within a heart that sings.

 

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Steven Jennings

 

PS – Dear Readers, I thought twice about sharing these violent poems with you. I wish to be transparent about my transformation and my journey. Would you rather I didn’t share violent poems on my blog? Let me know. Thank you.

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4 thoughts on “A Few Poems

  1. Faith Unlocked says:

    These are part of your story, and today they come with context and commentary from the man you are now – on their own they might shock, but placed in context they testify to the changed man you have become by grace. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Ann says:

    “Know the truth and the truth will set you free”…the violence in your past life is part of your truth and you are now set free. Writing it may help set others free. I dislike violence of any form but do not have a problem reading your stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alison and Don says:

    Please continue to share *all* the steps along your journey. Your journey has been, and continues to be, remarkable, precisely because you came from such a dark painful place. You are a light for others and the light shines all the brighter in contrast to the black suffering that preceded it.
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

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