This poem was written a few weeks ago by one of the guys from our choir in HMP Featherstone; he would like to be known by the initials ‘OC’.
As a spoken word enthusiast, OC usually takes any rap solos that feature in The Feather Tones’ performances, but as also been working on his poetry as a way of reflecting on and processing his experiences inside. Here, he explores the stark patterns of self-questioning that can emerge from a prison environment and lays out a possible path from cycles of regret to action and change.
A frightening time when in the mirror you see
The excuse of a person you wanted to be.
A realisation that you need to evolve
Before you become like the last man – and he dissolved.
Stand out from the crowd and prove everyone wrong,
You’re not the same person you’ve been for so long.
A moment of clarity? An act of fate?
Either way, remember, it’s never too late.
Don’t be so eager to prove to the earth
That a life behind bars is all that you’re worth,
Instead, be inspired by the spirit within
And prove to the world that you too can win.
It’s so easy to choose the life that you know
But life cannot change if you go with the flow.
Instead be an example for all those to come
And show that a life of crime’s really just dumb;
Criminals exist but other people live,
Criminals just take when other people give.
A man is defined by the choices he makes
And learning from life and all his mistakes
Don’t deny your regrets: think, act, put them to use.
Too many people make their past an excuse.
Instead, aim for the stars from the depths of the sea
And then be the person you aspire to be.
All I’m trying to say is our life is not set
There’s a new you inside – the one that I’ve met.