New Poem by Conway: “Tree of Uncertainty”


My prison pen pal “Conway” sent this poem in his Aug. 31 letter, written on the back of a disciplinary notice he received for participating in a hunger strike to end inhumane conditions in California prisons. Sign the online petition to support their protest.

Tree of Uncertainty

Begin with a gallery
  hung up high.
     Who was I, was I not
        a lost thought,
         or shattered thinker?

Fingers point, look closer
  in-out at everywhere.
    Full-blown kaleidoscopes
      show new-views
        if hopes dare.

Paint chips, in the musical time
  of crackling things, tripping
    over too many, themed questions.

How many more designs, laws
  years, flaws, locked-up tiers?

Stacked absence, bad dreams
  muffled screams, slipping
    while existence’s sad smile
      silently cracks;
      Like the sidewalk, Avenue
    you used to skip
      on the way to school; Now
      A void, now a prison
      no win, deep end,
  as chain-bound sleep
    blankly yanks away
    another dusty,
      day plus day.

Still
  I miss, what nothing needs.
    (Excepting maybe weeds,)
      That feed upon, another caustic dawn
    which was lost again
       when I was found, gone.

So, escort mere mourning
  that drove time here
    minds migrating
      to counts we cleared.

Leaf through these pages
  like History, or listen
    to leaves, fall off this tree
      burdens of, uncertainty…

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