New Poetry by Conway: “Lost in Translation”

Happy 2016! We’re hopeful that this will be the year of liberation for my prison pen pal “Conway” (Richard C. Jackson). He’s been waiting for a hearing on his early release petition since 2012, when California repealed the three-strikes sentencing law for nonviolent offenders. His case has just been picked up by Stanford Law School’s Justice Advocacy Project. If you’ve enjoyed his writing on this blog and would like to send a letter in support of his case, please contact Michael Romano.

Lost in Translation

In this shadowed space,
each word’s a button, a worried rosary bead.

Green flares announce one possible survivor.
How I found my soul interested.
I fell with the moon
I wait with white face.
I couldn’t know the danger,
though, coming home a stranger.

Yesterday has been left in ruin.
Someone piled prisoners, abandoned
their value like legless dolls.

Nothing stopped the way I left it.
In the shower mirror, crows’ feet
reflect an age complete, bubbling
down the drain, through the years
waving goodbye to the night in my eye.
This silver hair shows, like paint
from a previous life (chipped to primer).

If something came by for me to swallow
as do mirrors, another world appears.

Two moons, one in the window
over my shoulder, an unfamiliar egg
floating in space, in solitude
which has truth, which meaning?

This sphere of thought, birthed
by reflections, brought about
an inner directed connection.
New possibilities to do something,
discover a pattern, an opportunity to re-engage.

On this new stage stands
a mature embryo.

I am an offering, a need
begging to be cracked
spilled onto the fired skillet.
But still lost in translation…

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