“This New Armada” by Conway


My correspondent “Conway,” a prisoner at a supermax facility in central California who’s serving 25-to-life under the state’s three-strikes law for receiving stolen goods, reports in his July 13 letter that conditions have improved since his transfer to a new facility. He now has a job as education clerk, grading GED’s, and access to a typewriter and a library of donated books. (Unfortunately, I have no way for readers of this site to send him books without revealing his name and location, which he’s asked me not to do; instead, if you are so moved by this post, donate some quality reading materials to a prison in your area.) Here’s one of his latest poems, written on the back of a news story from several years ago about brutality at Corcoran prison:

This New Armada

I never understood this loss
   till cuffs were locked behind my hands;
I should’ve seen it comin along
   slidin past my hourglass’ sands.
Inside heaped stones, heavy of time
   forever life’s boulders climb
out of reach my memories leach
   reminisce the cloudless sky
clinging to my heart, like a lover apart
   caught in a hurricane’s eye…

Treading the sweating dust, with lust
   after a desert storm,
bringing the singing lightning along
   in its jagged twisted form.
On this unwholesome Armada —
   of prisons, marching across the land
waiting to crush the abandoned souls
   into miniscule grains of sand
These inescapable islands adrift
   dark sentinels of injustices thirst
a land of chain webs-n-mazes
   cunning nets, sworn to catch you first…

High walls with strung wires
   broken strings on an old guitar
reminding the unforgiven alone
   left serenading “The Morning Star”
it is bad when you run away
   “They say” that Razor wire hurts
Those ominous ropes reveal —
   past attempts, you can see
their decomposing crucified shirts…

One comment on ““This New Armada” by Conway

  1. deckaircraft says:

    Good site. I will go more often to you

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