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Teachers Who Tried to Help Me

Dangerous Minds 

The same energy
that is used to destroy
can be used to build.

It’s a simple matter
of the application of knowledge.

The same energy
that is used to build a prison
can be used to build a palace.

It’s a simple matter
of the vision of the architect.

The same energy
that causes one to hate
can be utilized to show love.

It’s a simple matter
of understanding one’s self
and appreciating one another.

The same energy
that is used to commit murder
can save someone’s life.

It’s a simple matter
of correcting one’s values.

The same energy
that is used
can be used for good.

It’s a simple matter
of options
that you choose for yourself.

You can become a dangerous mind
or you can choose simply
to be a powerful mind.

It’s simply a matter
of the dangers
of not minding.

Life on a desperate road—
a manacle maze with no outlet--
with nothing to show but our empty hands.

A spoken plan
that I have yet to see manifest.

As episodes mimic each other,
I can’t help but to find myself
as part of the loop--
standing on a pile of expended shells--
raising hell.

As I aim for this star
for which I was told to shoot,
they want a scoop
on a man with no feet
that can’t run away from his reality. . . .

Handcuffed to tragedy,
tenacious as a toddler
a translucent man—
a token of traversity
that has touched it all
but still has empty hands.

Still swimmin’ laps in quick sand
with only weed, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine
to show him love.

Takin’ a shit and being quiet—
his only relief.

Spreading realism from hug to hug,
Blood to Blood—
we are forever young
as solid soldiers’souls
on a weary road
back to God.

Empty Hands

Our bodies grow old
as we dance
on the threshold of Supreme Oneness—
battered and bruised,
taking a tally of our losses
and wondering how much more we will lose.

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Understanding that what we carry
is too heavy for the average, simple man.

So, thus-thus,
we look close and see
the Power that is instilled
in our empty hands.

One Slip—A Rap Song

My loyalty was given up cheap.
I was a friend
till the end
or so I thought
--cause we fought our battles together.

I was wrong.
It seems all loyalty is gone
when da trouble comes.

Like bread crumbz—left to find my own way
back to da light--
eaten by greedy homies
now lost in da night.

My right-hand man
who shook hands with da left
took triple 6 steps
to kill me off with one breath.

A death by fabricated wordz.
Verbs like a spear,
they threw at da jury
that stuck me wit deze years—
that stuck me with deze tears
(that are not outwardly exposed).

My mind steady runnin’ scenarios.
Like a dog’s nose, I smell trouble
way before it’s near—
spawned by my own hatred
which comes from being here.

Switched to being enemies
what the homies did.
If I would have only seen it
when we was li’l kidz.

You would have been did,
with the same love
you falsely propagated—
initiated wit envy
within your soul.

Betrayed and lost a Homie,
soldier wit a heart of gold.
Left to grow old
like stories over bonfires—
losing all desire,
my visions runnin’ higher.

So I’m burning in
cause I stay surrounded by non-thinkers
that’re bound to crash.

Like a plane grounded,
I’m steady hounded
by the want to stop breathing air.

And tho’ I can’t blame God,
my life wasn’t fair!

“I don’t care!”
But if I utter that,
I’d be lyin’.

“I don’t fear!” nothing physical
and I don’t fear dyin’.

I’m steady tryin’ to forget the fact
that I’m forgotten—
left lost in forever
in dis realm of rotten.

Everybody seems to be plottin’
for a bigger plan.
Bodies belong to gangs,
but eyes reveal a lonely man.

What’s in my head is nothin’!
Same thing I was born wit—
no longer trippin’ off da menial
that I was torn wit,
scorned wit.

Wanting money
as a po’ kid.
Now I got life in prison
and I just want to live.

One slip,
One trip,
One fall,
One crude mistake
and you can lose it all.

Cause I lost it all.

Ronald Patterson