Poem from Jamesy Boy – A Young Man’s Resolve to Keep Moving Forward in Spite of Incredible Life Challenges
In my mind, there’s a boy who exists in chains.
Inside a cold, dark room of painful solitude is where he will remain.
Behind these walls, the sorrow is inevitable, as relentless as the passage of time.
Mentalities corrupt and dark, brainwashed, and hopelessly blind.
Prisons are packed with crowded spaces, lifers and guards with hollow faces.
Shackled hearts afraid of changes, and weakened wills become complacent.
Yet, I maintain with patience, time can limit but not shatter my will, strength blazed across my chest as solid as penitentiary steel.
But the silence speaks, it tells me all I need to hear, it confirms my beliefs and its promises I have to fear.
It reminds me that without freedom, I’m alone.
And these whitewashed walls don’t make up for blackened souls.
I’ve given 95% of my boys a handshake than a pound, before they were either locked down or buried off in cemetery grounds.
What I’ve done is who I am, but who I am is what I do now.
I won’t let up or cease to fight.
Just time, I plan on doing it right.
And what’s right lies within me.
I’m learning to appreciate my struggle for it would be hard to find the joy of accomplishment without it.
We live and we learn.
We rise and we fall.
Like the heartbeat of a sleeping giant, with bittersweet dreams.
Stay up, never down.
—— —— ——
Watch: Jamesy Boy 
A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.
But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
~ Maya Angelou
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bow from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrow may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
~ Kahlil Gibran
—– —– —–
Source: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sign
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
~ Robert Frost
Mind is the master power that molds and makes
And man is Mind and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought and, shaping what he wills
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills.
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking glass.
~ James Allen
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.
We passed the school where children played
At wrestling in a ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.
We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.
Since then ’tis centuries; but each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.
~ Emily Dickinson
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
~ Emily Dickinson
’T is so much joy! ’T is so much joy!
If I should fail, what poverty!
And yet, as poor as I
Have ventured all upon a throw;
Have gained! Yes! Hesitated so
This side the victory!
Life is but life, and death but death!
Bliss is but bliss, and breath but breath!
And if, indeed, I fail,
At least to know the worst is sweet.
Defeat means nothing but defeat,
No drearier can prevail!
And if I gain,—oh, gun at sea,
Oh, bells that in the steeples be,
At first repeat it slow!
For heaven is a different thing
Conjectured, and waked sudden in,
And might o’erwhelm me so!
~ Emily Dickinson
If tomorrow starts without me, and I’m not here to see,
If the sun should rise you find your eyes all filled with tears for me
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things we didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me, as much as I love you
And each time that you think of me, I know you’ll miss me too.
But when tomorrow starts without me please try to understand,
That an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand.
He said my place was ready, in heaven far above
And that I’d have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned and walked away a tear fell from my eye.
For all my life I’d always thought, I didn’t want to die.
I had so much to live for, so much left yet to do.
It seemed almost impossible that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays the good ones and the bad.
I thought of all the love we shared, and all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, just even for a while,
I’d say goodbye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized that this could never be,
For emptiness and memories would take the place of me.
When I thought of worldly things I might miss come tomorrow
I thought of you and when I did my heart was filled with sorrow.
When I walked through heavens gates I felt so much at home.
God looked down and smiled at me from his great golden throne
He said, “This is eternity and all I’ve promised you”
Today your life on earth has passed but here life starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow, but today will always last
And since each day is the same there’s no longing for the past.
You have been so faithful so trusting and so true.
Though there were times you did some things you knew you shouldn’t do.
You have been forgiven and now at last you’re free.
So won’t you come and take my hand and share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts with out me don’t think we’re far apart,
For every time you think of me, I’m right here in your heart.
—— —— ——
Watch ‘If Tomorrow Starts Without Me…’ on Vimeo
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
~ Maya Angelou, 1928 – 2014
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Click Here to see Maya Angelou Read this Poem herself!
I am standing on the seashore.
A ship appears
and spreads her white sails
to the morning breeze
and starts for the ocean.
She is an object of beauty
and I stand watching her
till at last she fades away on the horizon,
and someone at my side quietly says,
“She is gone.” Gone where?
Gone from my vision, that is all;
she is just as large as when I saw her last.
The diminished size
and the total loss of sight
is in me, not in her;
and just at the moment
when someone at my side says,
“She is gone,”
There are others who are watching
her coming and other voices
take up a joyful shout,
“There she comes!”
—— —— ——
Source: Today Matters by John C. Maxwell
By Dale Witherington
Today is the most important day of my life.
Yesterday with its successes and victories, struggles and failures is gone forever.
The past is past.
I cannot relive it. I cannot go back and change it.
But I will learn from it and improve my TODAY.
TODAY. This moment. NOW.
It is God’s gift to me and it is all that I have.
Tomorrow with all its joys and sorrows, triumphs and
troubles isn’t here yet.
Indeed, tomorrow may never come.
Therefore, I will not worry about tomorrow.
Today is what God has entrusted to me.
It is all that I have. I will do my best in it.
I will demonstrate the best of me in it —
my character, giftedness, and abilities —
to my family and friends, clients and associates.
I will identify those things that are most important to do TODAY,
and those things I will do until they are done.
And when this day is done
I will look back with satisfaction at that
which I have accomplished.
Then, and only then, will I plan my tomorrow,
Looking to improve upon Today, with God’s help.
Then I shall go to sleep in peace … content.
—— —— ——
Source: Today Matters by John C. Maxwell
You will be what you will be;
Let failure find its false content
In that poor word, “environment,”
But spirit scorns it, and is free.
It masters time, it conquers space;
It cows that boastful trickster, Chance,
And bids the tyrant Circumstance
Uncrown, and fill a servant’s place.
The human Will, that force unseen,
The offspring of a deathless Soul,
Can hew a way to any goal,
Though walls of granite intervene.
Be not impatient in delay,
But wait as one who understands;
When spirit rises and commands,
The gods are ready to obey.
An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”
By Will Allen Dromgoole