Old Soul


Old Soul's journey currently takes place within Petersburg Federal Corrections Complex.  He is currently enrolled in the Automated Computer Aided Drafting 

program, and is also working on his Veterinary Technician certification.

A defout vegan, he intends to incorporate his passion for animals in his future endeavors upon his release in 2026.

The Interrogation

Does the system need amended,

        or do the people within it?

That depends on your perspective-

is the machine in disrepair,

        or are the parts just ineffective?

Are there objective answers to these complex questions

or are the respective sides determined after the fence is erected?

What if we select to bestride the fence,

       do we then abet it's construction;

aiding who's paid to protect justice in perpetuating it's obstruction?

But how can any side obstruct justice when it's context is malleable,

       and subject to an industrial complex-

yes, for them it's valuable to keep a full inventory

with products stocked on metal shelves in cell blocks;

to package taxes and sell thoughts of their propriety

       as membership to society,

and justify these "investments" as vital to it's protection.

Well, I have a question:

When did we legalize extortion?

How can we dehumanize a portion of individuals

     and claim they're no more than criminals,

     when they're still people?

Aren't inalienable rights instilled equal, and imbued by our Creator?

Isn't imprisonment cruel and unusual by nature?

Then why are our prisons full; and when did legislation become a tool

      to mill the judicial branch into paper

      on which they create their rules?

Who's accountable for this system of pipelines from schools to prison

      whose spigots flow without restriction?

Where are the picket signs for those decisions- protests or petitions?

Yes, we'll fight for the environment or animals rights,

      but who will stand for our own citizens??

I understand why politicians hope to disregard the latter-

when a group is disenfranchised, their vote no longer matters.

They come to know that ladders of social mobility 

are akin to walls and fences around those facilities-

        an offender cannot ascend them;

they're defended by henchmen who contend that any offense 

        can never be transcended.

So, how can a sentence end when it is unedited,

and it's subject remains defined by the predicate of time served

        and the crime that led to it?

Who does this paradigm benefit when it's rooted in retribution-

and the institution would rather remove a tooth or an eye

        than arrive at a solution?

And why, when asked to reply to these inqu


No Matter What


July 29, 2018

I hope to you I'm known, as more than just a stepping stone,

or a romantic means to an end.

I never intended for our ending to be unhappy,

I'm just prone to tragedy-

and our first draft had to be rough to make amends.

What makes love tough is it tends to be a fortress,

where pain has formed this moat that's almost to vast to cross.

When you're cast into it's deepest end, and depend on love to float,

you're tossed by each wave;

and you sink when she waves goodbye.

You may think you've weathered the storm,

but you're caught within it's eye.

Whether I'm lost in her eyes, or why they're glossed by tears-

I realize in my reflection that it's I that broke those mirrors.

I know why we haven't spoken in years-

broken hearts won't break their silence.

I've awoken- no longer blinded by love;

so I wince when I see her photo,

reminded by everything that was.

Because that's past-tense,

I'm past tense physically, ill-at-ease.

I'm still feeling these sentiments, it's evidence of my grief.

I knew she'd leave, with part of me I could never retrieve.

I can hardly perceive what's ahead,

when I'm always gazing back;

instead of an ideal future, I see her in replays of the past.

Although, these days, I've passed through most of the grieving process;

my progress was deceiving-

to process her leaving meant believing she was gone;

still I denied it...

until I could no longer fight it.

I was angry - not with her - but at me,

and this reality that had me crying so hard I couldn't see,

that I was lying to myself--

acceptance must be an exception to the rule;

or a variable in an equation, of a lesson never learned in school.

Yes, she's my ex and my why

I strive to live a perfect life.

Why, when I dream of paradise, I see only a pair of lines,

signed by our names when she became my wife,

But then my eyes open--

and in my mind, I still hear echoes of "you may kiss the bride."

I know this is why I seek my empty bed;

to hide behind curtains of sleep where we can be wed;

and "I do" is said with certainty,

and it's "til death do us part,"

but part of me dies when I awake from this break in my heart,

It's subject to beating - I can feel it -

these wounds are bleeding; they won't heal.

When I resume repeating "this isn't real"

or "I can't believe this,"

I'm just ignoring the chore of sorting the pieces.

Love is a jigsaw I can't solve,

although each morning I've resolved to attempt forming it's border;

a false wall I assemble for a semblance of order-

but I'm still puzzled.

I can't hide this rubble and debris where we've crumbled.

When I stride to rebuild, I stumble-

falling over my heart.

I fell for her, we fell in love,

but now we've fallen apart.

If this was all in the cards, I should have asked for her hand,

fell to a knee, paired king and queen, 

and called for wedding plans,

Instead, I folded - I'm on both knees pleading

"hold it, please don't leave.

What if I told you I need you, without you I can't breathe."

You're a necessity; the breath I see on my coldest days,

you're warm air - always rising.

When her storm looms on the horizon, I'll need no warning;

she's on my radar all day,

and it rains most in the morning.

The pain is too close in the morning,

it's claimed her side of the bed-

where once we laid together, a cold front is forming instead;

and that's a forecast I can't weather.

In her last letter, she said "always and forever, no matter what:"

but there is a what that mattered,

and I wholly understand.

I was supposed to have and to hold-

have her back and hold her hand,

When I chose not to, she had to change her plans.

She never demanded, only wished for, a man that was loyal;

and she was granted a boy, like a preprogrammed toy-

pull his string, and he'll say the right thing,

what she wants to hear;

but I was just playing with words, like her trust was a souvenir-

but it's not given for free, or unconditionally loaned;

it's an agreement that means I need to repay what's owed. 

I was shown the fine print, I had known the conditions,

still I faulted on the payment-

the result was the day when my whole world was repossessed;

yes, that's when my heart broke. 

I've heard it spoken: "it's better to have loved and lost,

than to have never loved at all."

But at what cost? 

Because when I lost her love...

...I lost it all



 June 13, 2018

I hope my actions are captured in pictures-

without captions;

graphic mixtures of my biography and photography,

these ought to be my scriptures.

Oftentimes words won't suffice

to highlight our plights in life;

and I can write about what's right,

but you need to view my wrongs-

through dark nights of an Old Soul

that was renewed by dawn.

Where no light shines on darkrooms strewn with prints

and their evidence of innocence lost;

with unrinsed fingerprints on their surfaces embossed

by dirt and grime;

and hurt can wash away with time,

but pains gashes will remain.

Red eyes in those photos aren't caused by flash,

but by strain.

Those spots aren't printing flaws, they're stains-

my scarlet letters.

An alphabet of regrets framed by chains and fetters,

and if you rearrange the letters,

these pictures contain words;

and we've arrived full-circle on that mixture to which I referred.

Each circle bears resemblance to the circle of life,

and my narrative ends where it commenced

when morning blends with night.

When the end appears in sight- it's only an illusion;

but near this chapter's conclusion,

when my film's roll is removed-

I'm positive that my negatives will develop into proofs

that in each frozen moment, I've chosen my own design;

and it depends through which lens you view it

if it's blurred or shines.

Where my words have maligned,

that are burns left behind,

and cold-hearted actions

fueled by an Inferno's mind;

where thoughts race as fast as flames-

fed not by gas, but the names

of loved ones whom I've shamed.

The remains of this creation are cremated ashes.

The flames weren't abated by rain,

but tears shed through lashes

of their closed eyes;

because of years of my exposed lies

are easier not to see.

That's why out of sight, out of mind,

is where I prefer to be.

Then unkind words you heard from me,

and pain I've purposely inflicted,

would have never been depicted

and could simply be fiction.

Instead the script I've written 

is a self-inflicted prison sentence,

where I've cast the protagonist behind a mask of repentance.

Hence, my decision to create this persona;

I wanted a character with honor and integrity-

it was my attempt to divert all attention away from the 

appalling deeds that Peter did;

that kid pretending to be a man.

To rid my closet of skeletons;

P.J. was gelatin in my hand-

I could mold and transform him,

the possibilities were endless;

I could be normal and conform to a perception

and use deception as my defenses.

But these false pretenses were transitory,

a new character emerged in my story-

and I could sense this presence...

But common sense says God's existence needs evidence, 

and the prevalence of belief is a pipe dream of peasants;

I don't care--

I'm aware that God may not exist,

still I dare to believe.

Please don't be deceived, when I say believe

I don't mean religion-

that's man-made, and man can make believe 

he can see God in visions,

or a deity has arisen.

What defines God is not my decision,

It's that which defies description.

In my mind what's arisen are questions,

and their origins are not within lessons

from the Bible or Koran,

the Talmud- I don't understand.

This may sound rude, but I'll be damned

if I allow man, with pen in hand, to transcribe rules:

what can or can't do-

describe what I shall or shan't do,

or thee and thou...

it must be lost in translation-

the permission to speak for God

or the mission to convert nations.

That the use of persuasion or intimidation

is justified if we just evangelize;

it's not exploitation of the people; they're not equals,

they're non-believers.


It's worth repeating, when I say believing,

I don't mean religion;

which means my decision, my spiritual journey-

is - in many of your eyes - simply unworthy

at life's end of heaven, the promised land, or nirvana-

whatever you wanna call it.

That I'm fallen, I'll go to hell, I'm and infidel,

or not enlightened.

Some may say: "He needs the fear of God in him!"

Well, I'm not frightened!

I know, I know...

"You'll pray for me, I'll see the light, and everything will be fine.

It's all by divine design."

Well, where can I find the blueprints?

Why can't my path be mine?

I don't want to follow in your boot prints,

or march in step with your movements,

groups, and branches.\

If each had its own room, God's house would be a mansion,

and would still need expansion-

a plantation.

I propose a renovation:

let's bulldoze the whole foundation-

it's made of sand and can't stand the inundation

of wind, rain, and waves;

it caves and it crumbles,

but through all of life's stumbles,

that same sand cushioned my fall.

I realized - it's not for construction of His shelter,

but reduction of pain felt when we've fallen

and have to crawl.

Only then can we walk or run,

but never run from adversity;

learn from the hurt,

it's a universal university-

I'm sure that's why when we grade the severity of burns by degrees.

We learn the ABC's in kindergarten, then junior high,

as life gets harder we wonder why 

our grade card still says incomplete?!

Perhaps we graduate when we're deceased?

...or then the circle just repeats.



June 5, 2018  

Our lives are merely minutes, seconds and hours;

each year a petal from a bouquet of flowers.

Today, this world loves me; tomorrow's ugly-

she loves me not.

This monotonous movie plot - it's just me against her;

and I must convince her

to trust that my sins are just dust in the wind,

where once my footprints were.

Since my memory is a blur, I'm still unsure of the trail;

once the veil of dust settles, the breadcrumbs have gone stale.

My legs numbed by nettles - lost, then found in the weeds;

dyed brown by dirty deeds,

ands bound to die young and return to the ground.

These seeds grew new roots in an old hole,

the ripe fruits of an old soul.

Our life's role in the greater whole,

leaves with the breeze - forgotten.

But these leaves will change color, my life's tree is nearing autumn.

My drinking glass, though half-full, I'm peering up from it's bottom. 

Sinking in my past's pool of heavy thoughts and problems.

I'm tired of treading water,

my tire's tread is losing traction;

heading head-on at disaster,

and dreading that late reaction.

Better late than never?

Rather, better never late-

although I've never met her, I'm set with death: my blind date.

My days are numbered, a "short-timer" yeah I'm "close to the door".

Will it be heaven or hell?

I can't tell anymore...

Before my hourglass can reach it's end, I'll remove each grain of sand;

and one-by-one, through wind and rain, I'll build a beach by hand;

and when that task is finally done,

I'll bask beneath a setting sun,

a happy man, a brilliant tan, a life lived regretting none.

The sun can turn my skin brown, which technically-

is closer to black than white.

But black is not actually color, in fact, neither is white;

just differing reflections in the spectrum of light; 

and we're not "colors", just brothers, that look different at first sight.

If diversity breeds controversy, convert me to a believer;

because I believe, you and me, we-

collectively can look deeper.

Skin-deep is so shallow if we allow it to seep

through our pores, from our cores, where our values are deep seated.

How you treat it is your call, your ball, in your court-

you can score, draw a foul, or serve an ace,

because "race" is just sport.

This life is a marathon, a relay race; where's your baton?

What legacy will you pass on?

Correct me if I'm wrong, or if this sounds like the same old story...

They fly a flag, but it sure can't be Ol' Glory.

Tell me, when you flew the red, white and blue-

was that America to you?

America to me is no longer "Land of the Free"

especially when the B.O.P population alone-

could populate a nation on it's own!

The stars and stripes have flown and shown where it's colors are true:

Red Blood

White drugs; police brutality-

black and blue.

They're attacking me and you, knives at our back;

taking lives, breaking homes, giving life for grams of crack!?

Let's face the facts-

we're all citizens in peril;

they're pumping toxins in the air; concoctions that make us sterile.

Obnoxious programs on TV, so we don't see what really matters;

disguised with a veil over our eyes- 

a whole arsenal of cloaks and daggers.

Arsonists with their smoke & mirrors, stoking fires with our fears;

but who's to blame when we return to their flames,

surprised a burn appears?

Just numb the pain, dumb your brain, take a pill to cure your sadness.

It's all in vain, we're all insane, prescribed to medication madness.

Chose the red or blue pill-

an election with side effects;

on their Capitol Ant Hill - true to those who sign their checks.

Left and right, bipartisan, these politicians line their pockets;

we're left to fight wars they begin, and live in fear of nuclear rockets.

Drilling wells and bullet holes=

their war machine fills up with oil,

that spills into our oceans, while blood saturates the soil.

Decide who's loyal-

and simply decimate the rest;

designate it heroism, and pin a medal to their chest.

Retaliation's terrorism-

only our nation can sponsor slaughter.

Lady Liberty's sons and daughters have fought her war,

and brought her proffers;

and all to often, shipped home in coffins--

Stamped: Return to Sender.