This Blog is comprised of the works of youth ranging in age from 17-22 who are serving 3-15 year sentences at Pollsmoor Prison located just outside of Cape Town, South Africa.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Young Poets

One of the major obsticles in teaching in prison is that the youth are constantly exposed to programs that basically present the same information over and over. One of the major goals of the Literacy Program is to be original. The program has been called unconventional by the social workers. I think that this is their way of saying I am a fool, but the youth do change. The major obsticle is breaking down their natural responses to questions. We are constantly trying to pull the real feelings, thoughts and dreams from the youth. We want to empower this part of them, their authentic part. Here are their words.

"Stand Up"
walk, talk, laugh, scream, cry, jokes.
everyday the same
eat, drink, sleep.
fuck, money, cars, jewels
what more do we want?
drugs, clothes, walking the street.
going to miami, dressed like 50cent
who am I?
girls, night clubs, cake, EX, brandy, whiskey.
poker, cards, gamble
hit the jackpot
hear the music
the sound of smelling money
get drunk, get fucked
hear the ambulance
tick tock, tick tock
everything is silence
everyone is watching
the darkenss is crying, praying
blood pumping pain
hear the sound
smell the dead
familes crying, friends dying ---BY: Taswell Fortune

"The Classroom"
I hear them coming
shifting tables and chairs.
waiting for someone to say,
sitting, waiting to be told what to do.
"teacher may i be excused from class?
my butt is sore
i don't know how i can hold it in anymore."
excuse me for not writing my homework,
my dog at my paper
what can i say, but
please help me.

the bell
ding dong, ding dong.
can't wait to see what mom put in lunch.
i have cheese,
i have peanut better
i have jam
its always fun playing soccer, rugby
hide and seek.
look there, the tuck shop
who has money?
buy me chips, buy me sweets.
I'll have this, I'll have that.
ding dong, ding dong.

can't wait to go home
listen class
tomorrow this must be done
look at the blackboard.
write this, take notes, and listen carefully
ding dong, ding dong.

children pack their bags
i'm going home
going to play with my dog
i'm going,
where are you going?
let's walk together.
we're both going home brother.

last thing children
don't forget to do your homework.--------BY: Eugene Willis


Anonymous marcus said...

very well articulated in some form of poem. it's time to think and reflect on both "Stand Up" and "The Classroom".

12:11 AM


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