Volume 17 Issue 2 January 29, 2015


Volume 17 Issue 2 January 29, 2015
Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation
Volume 17 Issue 2 January 29, 2015
Page 2
Making Choices
Kolbe House at Assumption
2434 S. California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608
Kolbe House Catholic
Jail Ministry
Editorial Team
Fr. Dave Kelly
Lamonte Lay
Making Choices
Combines the voices of those who are
incarcerated at Cook County Juvenile
Temporary Detention Center, Cook County
Jail and institutions throughout the state.
It is published as a means to give a voice
to those who wish to speak out.
It is a project of Kolbe House,
the Catholic Jail Ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago and
Precious Blood
Ministry of Reconciliation
Lost in thought
By Shawn
As I sit in my cell lost in thought,
It’s like being on a fast moving
train that has no end.
As I look out the window I see
scenes of my past, some good,
some bad.
Some I wish that will never pass,
some I wish will never last.
As a tear drops from my eye I
find myself lost in thought,
picturing my mother’s face
without a smile that my pain
caused to erase.
I never had to picture life without
a father because I lived it
growing up, so why should I
I see scenes of my brothers
sitting at home listening to Xzibit,
while I sit here lost in thought
waiting for a visit.
I hear them telling me no matter
what life’s problems come your
way, hold your head up there's
gonna one day be a greater day!
As a few more scenes fly past I
start to realize that the train has
come to an end, also my
burdens were being lifted from
Lost in thought,
just when I thought there was no
I opened up my heart and God
stepped in.
Page 3
from within
the walls
A true friend
By Mary White
Logan C.C.
For a long time I traveled through sin and
much despair,
not knowing who to turn to, I thought no one
My life was full of turmoil but you could
never tell,
that I was hurting deep inside and on my way
to hell.
But then one night it happened I heard a
voice within,
I gave my heart to Jesus Christ and
repented of my sins.
My life will never be the same, we will never
be apart;
I have a friend until the end he lives within my
So now I walk in victory and you can do the
he is waiting at the door just call upon his
By Raul Arteaga
Green Bay, WI
I found a woman with beauty
so rare, I
Promise to show how much I
By giving her the attention she
The love and support everyday
she spends with me.
Heaven will be a reality instead
of a dream
In my arms she will always be.
The treasures on Earth can put
a smile on your face;
Skies will be the limit once I
leave this place.
Above every problem we will
To wash away every tear in
your eyes.
Always happy you will be
Fill your heart with joy from
Your mind will be at ease as I
take you on this trip.
Life for you will be full of
happiness unlike our
previous relationship.
With open arms I’ll be there
Nothing bad or any harm will
come to you.
But I will catch you when you
Love is the one true thing that
conquers all.
I will now close leaving you with
one thought in mind,
please read the first word at the
begging of each line.
Page 4
By Raul Gomez
Pontiac Seg.
Out of sight, out of mind, dead to
others, but still alive.
It’s better to be remembered in
death then to be forgotten alive.
Day dreaming waiting for that day
it become that dream.
Missing the women that taste like
peaches and cream.
Why can’t women just
get alone
By Marva Carmichael
Why can’t women just get along?
Have we forgotten who died on
the cross, have we forgotten
Black History month?
There have been people who
hated African Americans, Asians,
Mexicans, Puerto Ricans etc. for
so long and in some places it’s
still going on,
but Dr. Martin Luther King didn’t
care if you were purple or orange,
he died for all races to just get
We women look at each other
and just feel hate, I feel that’s just
the devil getting his way.
Instead of looking at a woman
and rolling your eyes, give that
woman her props and put away
your pride.
If you feel like a woman is
dressed better than you, ask her
where she shop so you can
shop there to.
If you feel like a woman is not
keeping up her hygiene, slide
her some soap instead of
talking about her.
Why can’t women just get
along? Because woman tell on
each other instead of being each
other’s backbone.
Who knows one day it may
come to an end.
Instead of us women fighting
over women and men, we to
shall overcome and hold each
other’s hand.
And tell each other we can make
a change, 99.9% of us woman
don’t have friends
because we think they’re out to
get us or our woman or man.
Why can’t women just get
My mini me at home keeping me
strong while these people try to
play with my dome.
They gave me 90 years, but I still
can’t shed any tears,
not even for all my fallen peers.
R.I.P. Ralo, R.I.P. Miklo, R.I.P.
Shorty Ruff,
Is all I can say and I’m not trying
to be tough.
I ask God to soften my heart and
release this pain,
then maybe I’ll be able to remain
I was told I’ll never be forgotten
and wonder if they forgot what
they said,
because I feel like I’ve been left
for dead.
All that time spent on 59th and
Spaulding, now I feel they forgot
all about me.
Dedicated to all those forgotten
but still alive, keep your head up!
Page 5
How do I continue to
have hope?
By Darvell Dewach
Pontiac C.C.
How do I continue to have hope
when all I see from my window
are pieces of shattered dreams
scattered on the urban concrete.
Tainted with my mother’s blood
Yet, the brother that died last
night and identified this morning
with no name, his death was
celebrated over a cup of coffee.
As the number of drug addicted
was minus one,
but do believe that another
brother just took his first hit and is
about to take that trip that I
almost couldn’t come back from.
And my sisters then tripping too
and my mother don’t care,
Daddy no where to be found, and
I’m choking from despair.
How do I continue to have hope?
Play grounds are dirt filled lots
and schools have become war
Learning to survive is the lesson
plan and I no longer feel safe at
How do I continue to have hope?
We all want to get out, but don’t
know how.
The path used by those before us
doesn't exist anymore.
How do I continue to have hope?
I will be great
Soul Cry
By Vernon Granville
By Alexis J.
God all I want is my life back
even though I know I don’t
deserve that.
I’ve wronged a lot of people and
took a lot of things that was not
45 to life, that’s a long time!
I’m only 35, I can’t do 20
Praise be to God he is the
controller of my fate.
I’m human, I make mistakes, but
in Jesus Christ I can and will be
As long as I got Jesus it’s never
too late.
Through pen and paper
everyday I try, I try to let my soul
Sometimes I go on an emotional
ride, but I never allow the tears
to leave my eyes.
So instead everyday I try,
I try to let my soul cry.
I get so frustrated back here in
this cell,
it feels like I’m walking all alone
through hell.
Sometimes I’m ready to just shut
get lost in myself oblivious to all
but instead I write, and I try,
I try to let my soul cry.
Page 6
When I say I am a
By George Sherman
When I say I am a Christian I’m
shouting I’m clean living,
I’m whispering I was lost, now I’m
found and forgiven.
When I say I’m a Christian I don’t
speak of this with pride,
I’m confessing that I stumble and
Christ to be my guide.
When I say I am a Christian I’m
not bragging of success,
I’m admitting I have failed and
need God to clean my mess.
When I say I am a Christian I’m
not trying to be strong,
I’m professing that I’m weak and
need strength to carry on.
When I say I’m a Christian I’m not
claiming to be perfect, my flaws
are far too
visible, but God believes I am
worth it.
When I say I am a Christian I still
feel the sting of pain,
I have my share of heartaches, so
I call upon his name.
When I say I am a Christian I’m
not holier than thou,
I’m just a simpler sinner who
received Gods good grace some
“Our ambitions must be broad enough to include
the aspirations and needs of others for their
sakes and for our own.”
By Cesar Chavez
Trapped in between
concrete and steel
By: Robert Montanez
Lawrence C.C.
Trapped in between concrete
and steel,
sometimes I wake up and ask
myself is this s**t really for real?
With just the thought of being
here makes me want to scream,
but I know someday this will all
fade away like a bad dream.
The guards count us like cattle in
the night,
But I often tell myself that
everything is gonna be alright.
I can’t wait until my time here is
Because once they let me out
that gate only makes me want to
Once I get out of here I only
want to do what’s right, because
I never want to have to come
back here again and fight.
Now I lay me down to sleep and
pray when I awake, that none of
this was real that it was all just
Father, Where Are You?
By Charles Hall
Pontiac CC
Father where are you?
What did I ever do that caused
you to walk out on your child,
before you even seen me smile?
Nope, I’m not mad.
I just wanna get to know you
Momma, has truly tried,
but I suspect that I needed my
father by my side,
cuz’ I stay in a world of trouble,
and now I’m trapped inside a
that’s known as Pontiac.
Damn, my life has really been
off track.
Man, father, where are you?
Are you safe?
How could you just disappear
without a trace?
Daily, I wonder are you alive
or are you six feet under?
I would never leave
my daughter or son
For nothing or no one.
Do you remember my birthday,
or miss me some days?
Well, father, wherever you are
I pray that you are doing fine,
and hopefully someday
you will read these lines.
Page 7
Day and night
BY Robert McCullough
By Alexander Villa
Western C.C.
I rise between concrete , and as
youth wasted energy unused,
and now I’m feeling like a turtle
in a shell.
Hoping the Lord can set me
free from jail.
Locked in this cell my life got
bars on it
Reminder of the streets my body
got scars on it.
Fighting for my life minus life
support and IV’s,
I let my pen drip like a line of
My lawyer keeps telling me
“Everything is fine.”
But I ask “Why’s the state
offering me so much time.”
I try so hard to clear my mind
because I know crying won’t
bring back that crime.
I know God is going to give me
another chance to shine.
Heaven or hell, freedom or jail,
a few places we can go so
please pick well.
I’m tired of being behind these
I can’t really see the moon, the
sun or the stars.
But when I was out there I was
quick to grab a gun, but now my
sweating hand only wants to
hold my son.
Life is crazy behind this wall,
“Lord please help me, these
cells are to small!”
The mice are my allies because
we’re trying to do the same
thing, which is survive and the
way that they feed us we can
barely stay alive.
Almost lost life to once again
fight for it,
Fighting for freedom I set my
sight towards it.
This my life’s testimony my
writing be the scriptures,
As I watch my daughter a row
through pictures.
Love turn to pain what a mixture,
Karma came colder than the
By M. Bravo
Menard C.C.
You said you loved me but you
really don’t.
All you did was drag me along
with this false sense of hope.
I tried to cope but the pain was
just too extreme.
It felt like someone was slowly
killing me.
You turned my dreams into
nightmares which caused me to
be scared.
You turned your problems into
And now I recognize that you
were never mine.
I guess it was never love, just
pure lust.
But I still have to ask,
Why did you do this to us?
Our love was supposed to
conquer and defeat,
But instead you left with a part of
me, and now I am incomplete!
Page 8
Prison walls
By Brother Billups
Jacksonville C.C.
I’m sorry
By Jesse Villagomez
Kankakee County Jail
I know these trails and
tribulations seem hard
But baby I pray and hope that
God bless you right.
You’re an amazing women with
the most gorgeous eyes,
The soft tenderness of your lips
I sit back and visualize.
I had something so genuine but
was too naïve to realize,
The love you had for me and the
feeling you felt deep inside.
I know I’ve hurt you so much
and made you cry a million
But baby I’m truly sorry for the
things I put you through; what
seems to me like I was just a
waste of time.
All I can say is I love you and
pray for your troubles you go
through every night.
No game
By Maurice Tyree
Vandalia C.C.
Your love to me is like nectar
sought by the honeybee.
When I think about wonderful,
your beauty is all I see.
I long to walk beside you
beneath a moonlight sky.
We’ll put this time behind us no
more shall your eyes cry.
The time that kept us apart has
filled our hearts with hope.
It has made us stronger and
taught us how to cope.
But no more will I forsake you
nor fill your life with shame,
no more will I just tell you I’ll
show you… My love is no game.
It’s the separation that kills my
hope, the wire, the fence and
It’s the inability to see my girl, or
get her to answer my calls.
It’s the birds that fly in and out,
but they live inside with me.
I can’t get past the simple fact,
of why don’t they just leave and
be free.
It’s the solitude from the rest of
the world, and the loneliness it
It’s the brick walls and concrete
floors, and the steel that’s hard
and cold.
It’s the worry that makes me
doubt and the anxiety that’s full
of pain.
It’s the continual same routine
that depresses me again and
It’s demanding how the world
treats us because they turned
their hearts from you.
They treat you like you’ll never
be right, and your words can
never be true.
These prison walls are nothing
nice so, please stay on the other
Stay within the law in all you do,
to avoid that final bus ride,
Because when those gates go
closing behind, these walls start
closing in too.
Then you find yourself all alone
and cold, with the knowledge of
what prison walls can do.
Page 9
Away from family
By Darnell Ferguson
I am sitting here in my cell away
from my family, friends, kids and
Sometimes at night I lay back in
my bed and think of the bad
choices I made in life and who I
might have hurt.
I come to realize that the only
person I am hurting is myself
because I know better.
At times I get mad when my
family don’t write or send
But I got to realize they aren’t the
one’s who put me here I did.
I cry at night because I miss my
freedom and my love ones
because the pain I am putting
them through.
Now it’s time for me to wake up
to reality and get my life on the
right track, instead of doing
wrong out there.
To all you younger brothers here
is your chance to get out and get
back on track and also be back
with your love one’s.
Remember don’t let these people
lose you in the system, so be
smart and try to go home sooner.
Remember you aren’t locked up
for the crime you've done, it’s for
all the ones you’ve got away with
think about it.
Falling out of love with
By Kemoy Dunn
Menard C.C.
You say you are in love with me
but, your actions prove
Firm we once stood but, things
are now shakey.
I can’t conquer you, you can’t
conquer me.
I can’t change you, you can’t
change me.
I can’t make you. You can’t
make me.
There is no compromising, there
is no balance here unfortunately.
Memories start to fade, good
times become rarely.
I talk, you listen, but really do
you hear me?
What happen to you inspiring
What happened to you being
there for me?
What happened to the woman
who said she was in love with
Who had my back no matter
what , are you kidding me.
How can a four letter word be
such a mystery?
I can feel you drifting away and
I’m not talking about gravity.
I forgive you and in time I pray
you’ll find it in your heart to
forgive me.
To be or not to be well I guess
this was not meant to be.
If loving you was a crime I’d be
locked up for centuries and if
loving me was a test you failed
No need to be derogatory there
is one thing left to do now walk
way and bring this to an end
Sincerely, slowly but surely I can
tell you falling out of love with
Page 10
Lonely times
By Terrell Bullard
Pinckneyville C.C.
Paint brush
By Bettie Young
From Elizabeth Jett
I keep my paint brush with me,
Wherever I may go,
In case I need to cover up,
So the real me doesn’t show.
I’m so afraid to show you me,
Afraid of what you’ll do- that,
You might laugh or say mean
I’m afraid I might lose you.
I’d like to remove all my paint
To show you the real true me,
But I want you to try and understand,
I need you to accept what you
So if you’ll be patient and close
your eyes,
I’ll strip off all my coats real show.
Please understand how much it
To let the real me show.
Now my coats are all stripped
I feel naked, bare and cold,
And if you still love me with all
that you see,
You are my friend, pure as gold.
I need to save my paint brush,
And hold it in my hand; I want to
keep it handy,
In case someone doesn’t
So please protect me, my dear
And thanks for loving me true,
But please let me keep my paint
brush with me,
Until I love me, too.
Lonely times feel so wrong!
Sitting in this cell waiting for the
day I go home…
When you got no mail coming
through and the phone bill is
Family saying they don’t know
when the next time you’ll be able
to get through.
Yes, them times are lonely!
Even though you standing in
front of you peer,
With a mug on your face trying
not to shed a tear…
But you know deep down inside
loneliness is there,
You wishing you had one
person, but when you look
around no one’s here!
So during them lonely times
thank the Lord you still got air,
At least he’ll listen;
Tell him all your problems and
see if he’ll care,
And watch as all your loneliness
and fear turn into love and
Page 11
A Victim
Inside self
My Daughter
By Anonymous
Sheridan C.C.
By Leshard Jackson
Ina, IL
By Craig Prendota
Stateville C.C.
It takes a victim to make a victim,
A horrible cycle this I know,
But if we learn to forgive we’ll
learn to grow,
Scar can run deep and some will
never fade,
We cover them in drugs and
alcohol so they’d never show,
But if we seek help from God our
skin will glow.
I often think about what I’ve lost,
and never about what I’ve
am I’m lost or just plain
I know that you’re old enough to
Why I can’t be there for you,
And share your joy and hold your
My heart cry’s to know the truth
that always seems to hide,
or it’s just my own one track
only if I knew how to address
my deepest feelings,
without the help of my pride.
I wish I was there to give you all
the things I never had,
to love and protect you and to be
your dad.
Violence is a horrible thing to get
sucked into,
It ain’t easy to move on,
But trust me the strength you gain
is a foundation to build on,
The strength of a woman is one
for the ages,
The things you can take,
Wow, they can make a diamond
The wisdom that you have is hard
Nothing comes easy in life,
But soon someone will realize
that you’re special,
and want you for his wife.
Soon the victim will be the victor,
You’ve already won in my eyes,
So start to rejoice and forget
about those cries,
Stay strong and don’t give up,
You still have plenty of love to
receive and more to give,
You still have plenty of life to
make and eve more to live.
War it is, I am, with myself,
because of the free will the
creator has given us,
take a time out and think a little
and enjoy what is good and
forbid what is evil.
Even though I can’t be there to
see how beautiful you’ve grown,
My thoughts and prayers are
always with you,
So in a sense you’re never really
I pray and ask God to be the
father to you that I can’t be,
And that you always remember
just how precious you are to
Ther e ar e a lot of good people
who are trying to make a
difference. They are not always
the people in the news or given
recognition for what they do, but
often times they are just the
mother who goes out of her way to
take care of her kids and a few
more. It is the teacher who really
shows that she cares for her
students. It is the probation officer
who doesn’t just say no, but works
to help the young person to
We have had a lot of violence in
the last weeks here; went to the
funeral today of the stepfather of a
couple of the youth that come to
the Center. He was killed in front
of his little girl. The church was
filled to overflow capacity—
standing room only. You could
tell that he was loved. What really
struck me was how many young
people came to his funeral. He
was not a youth, but a man with a
family. He was a good man and
well loved.
The thing is, the more you really
take the time to get to know
someone, the more you start to
understand that they are good. I
don’t mean they are not without
their faults—their sins—but
deep down they are good
We do peacemaking circles
regularly. One of the reasons is
that when you sit with someone
and truly listen to them and try
to hear them out, you tend to
understand where they are
coming from.
Making Choices Newsletter is
a project of Kolbe House,
the jail ministry of the
Archdiocese of Chicago and
We are trying to do more
Peacemaking Circles in criminal
justice system….now that would
be something!
Take good care,
Continue to send your
articles and poetry to :
Fr, Kelly
Kolbe House
2434 S. California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608
Label here
Precious Blood
Ministry of
Reconciliation .
Making Choices
2434 S. California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60608