jail

At Last

It seems a lifetime…
I’ve waited; hoping, dying, climbing mountains, scheming, praying and more.
Just to have you.
I have pined, cried, ached and dreamed; fearing the silence and darkness.
Ceasing to never forget about this day.
Longing, wishing, always thinking, not knowing, overwhelmed with anguish
and gentle pain…
Now you are here, at last you have come.
After waiting all these years, vision of my heart and dreams.
Welcome Sweetheart! Welcome my love! Welcome at last!
Freedom…

– Thomas D. Payne

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Konscious Thoughts

I want to share this quote with the masses. “You have to become that which you are not before you can become that which you are”. Now at first glance, you might be thinking, “what?” so allow me to expound on it a little.
How would you know tall if there was no short? How would you know hot if there was no cold? How would you know if you were a bad or good person if you never encountered a bad person?
In my younger days, I was not the man I am now. I had a temper, was unfaithful to women and had no regard for my life. But, as I got fired from jobs because of my temper, losing and hurting good women that I dated and putting myself in situations that could’ve cost me my life, allowed me the opportunity to be the man that I am now. These past situations, along with my incarceration caused me to decide that I no longer wanted to be the man I was before. I know what’s on the other side of the fence and what comes with it. I made the choice not to experience that nonsense anymore. I now choose peace instead of chaos, love instead of hate and to seek knowledge and wisdom instead of ignorance and foolishness. I also appreciate these things more because I know and understand the pain and tribulation that comes with its counterparts.
So, do not beat yourself up when you find yourself wearing those layers of cloth that were not cut from conscious fabric. Acknowledge them, realize them and decide if they are conducive with the image of who you really want to be as a person. If it is not, change them immediately so that you may become that of which you are; Konscious…

– Jah Soul

Soul Cry

I can’t see it coming down my eyes, so I gotta let my soul cry.
Been accused of so many lies, but I refuse to let my soul die.
So I press on. Even when I trip, I don’t stress long.
Hard-headed brotha, head harder than your chest bone.
Refuse to give in, can’t lose; gotta win.
But they tell me that’s a sin.
Forgive me Lord, I’m going in.
I can’t see it coming down my eyes,
so my pen drops tears every time this ink smears
across my note pad, filled up with sad quips.
Made this paper talk to you like it really had lips.
Nobody knows how this pain flows
through my blood stream, give me some damn morphine.
This is what my blood screams.
I couldn’t see it coming down my eyes
so I cried in my sleep as I let my soul weep…

– Jah Soul

Since When?

Up at night with God discussing habits
Exchanging knowledge, conversing ’bout supreme mathematics
Coming to clever conclusions again and again
At the end of our session, his question was “since when?”
Do we not compliment our women but address them as ho’s and bitches?
Hang around cats, and knowing rats like it’s cool to
congregate with snitches?
Since When?
Do we support chumps that abuse our mothers, daughters and sisters?
Let these youngsters disrespect our elders by using their name
instead of Miss, Mrs. or Mister?
Since When?
Has the government stopped the rhetoric they spoke in the Declaration
Loosening up the rules in the book they used to run this Nation?
Since When?
Did we start hating each other acting like a bunch of crabs in a bucket?
Giving up on the next generation, no influence and just saying “fuck it”
Since When?
In the black community, we stopped offering what we got?
Can’t go next door to borrow sugar – too much have and have-nots
Since When?
Could we not sit out on the porch without bullets flying by at night?
What happened to settling our differences by talking even probably a fair fight?
Since When?
Did shooting become so manly and the final say?
Why did these cowards shut down Ms. Harriet’s candy house
by robbing and assaulting her yesterday?
Since When?
Did we let music and television raise our kids or run from
opportunity when it knocks or kicks the door in?
Since When?
In the streets there is no respect, love or loyalty?
When did we start treating our elders like lepers instead of royalty?
Since When?
Did disciplining my child get equated with abuse
or the 360 (degrees) I spit get twisted, becoming obtuse?
Since When?
Would I even have to write this to get my peoples attention?
We’re supposed to be further down the line, steadily rising to ascension…
I’m just saying, since when?

– Thomas D. Payne

Caught Up

A country boy who was raised in them city lights.
Many fights got my heart right.
And plenty nights, momma stayed up;
worried about me, prayed up.
Could’ve been laid up in them streets
sprayed up.
Back in the day, I lost my way
I tried to creep light.
No one cared about my nightmares, couldn’t sleep tight.
I tell you man, that Boogeyman was a doozy man.
Had me drownin’ in my liquor, I was woozy man.
PCP and THC, lost in a clouded daze.
Them corners and blocks was nuthin’ but a crowded maze.
Callin’ plays from the stoop…
The hood quarterback, clique thick.
Youngin’s wanna be part of that shit.
But eventually I’d see the penitentiary.
A bunch of lonely days and lonely nights.
Pain, stress and misery; was about that life.
Now I’m sittin’ in this cell with strife.
Cuttin’ through my mortal soul, like a butcher knife.
Don’t worry though, because I promise I’ma make it up.
Fight the system until the Governor comes and breaks it up.
Change it up and be the man I was supposed to be.
Stay tuned because I promise there’s more to see…

– Jah Soul

The Caged Bird

The clear sky, sun high
The grass is green, new blossoms spring
Calls of the wild, you are nature’s child
Trapped behind bars, wings stringing old scars
I know how the caged bird feels…
Sitting on the porch, about to go berserk
Dreams ripped away torn
Facing isolation’s scorn
The constant self-doubt, pain within without
He wants to fly, wings clipped; denied
I know how the caged bird feels…
No song, no glee, unable to fly free
He squawks and cries, slowly he dies
Til’ he feels the wind, his wings flex again
He bides his time, freedom on his mind
I know now how the caged bird feels…

-Thomas D. Payne

Your Letter

I wait now…
Every day, every evening for your letter.
Reminiscing…
Your voice, your smile, your hand, your eyes.
Waiting for the officer to say;
“Payne, you have mail to read.”
to ruminate, to laugh, to think…
to contemplate my next reply
but the guard passes my cell.
Now, I’m aching, lonely, waiting, hoping
to hear anything; a joke, a song
an old story about the past.
I wait…
Then, the guard comes back and says,
“Payne, they have you in the wrong cell.”
A letter…
your scent, your smell,
your words at last.
I smile, elated; my day has begun…

– Thomas D. Payne

We Are…

It seems that they want me to be the last bad guy,
so I sit up in my cell watching days drag by.
No tears in my eye, I can’t cry now.
Spiritual, so I gaze up at the sky now.
My heart bleeds as I breath in the strength
that I need to achieve greatness.
I believe that the seed is planted.
and every wish will be granted.
All prayers have been answered.
So there’s no need to panic,
you gotta look at every tribulation
with your eyes wide; keep your mind sharp
and you’ll never have a blind side.
Look within yourself, find that place that’s phenomenal
and realize your spirit’s not abominable.
You’re amazing, feel that fire blazing
deep within your essence; doesn’t it feel pleasant?
That’s the fuel you will need
when you wanna speed towards every dream and every goal
that resides in your soul.
Don’t let anyone tell you what you’re worth.
We are beautiful and perfect,
from the day we were birthed…
– Jah Soul

What’s in a Name?

Brethren, why do we call ourselves everything under the sun but the one thing we are supposed to strive everyday to be: a man. I’ve heard story after story about who used to do what, be this or was that; but in these conversations I never hear “I was a good husband”, “a loving father”, “a doting son”, “caring brother” or a stand-up person: a man.
I’ve parlayed with the pimps, played with the playa’s, hustled with the hustla’s, swapped clips with the gangsta’s, macked with the macs, jacked dope boys for their sacks, and stole from thieves; it didn’t get me any closer to being a man.
Been a brother to the ones who didn’t have a brother, a father figure to the fatherless, and a friend to ones without a friend. Done broke bread with males considered weak, advised those needing advice. Made friends with those which thought of me as their enemy. What did it get me? I grew some, but still wasn’t a man.
Showed love to people who never loved me back, given to those who never even thought of repayment. Was there for friends and loved ones beck and call. Who was there for me when I fell? I stood alone, still a boy.
While standing alone, it dawned on me that those friendships, kinship’s, imitations and participation earned me nothing because although I used every name and moniker I felt I had to be in my dealings and travel, I still was not a man nor did I ever consider myself to be a man.
I showed the ability to provide, be unselfish and generous. Had attributes that was considered honorable; displayed friendship, loyalty and trust. Doing the things that I was supposed to do, things all considered as having respect. But these things were done all under the false pretense of being everything else but a man. These things didn’t make me a man, actually they made me selfish, self-centered and unilateral in my thinking.
So today my brethren, I say, it is time to become a man. We need to stop calling ourselves names we never meant to be. There is a lot in a name! The world respects men, not those boys that are pretending to be a man. Don’t give yourself a name, unless you plan to live the life of that name…

– Thomas D. Payne

Our Delight in One’s Misery

As I was watching the movie, The Grinch, I was intrigued by the change of heart the Grinch displayed due to the unwavering faith that Cindy Lou Who had in him. I began to think as that movie played out in front of me about how we make and watch movies which display the total change of heart in a person or how we think of a person but yet it doesn’t seem to happen in real life? Why do we believe that once a person displays a certain type of characteristic, that he or she will stay that way? Why is it we can believe in hatred but it seems hard for us to believe in change? Why do we say we welcome enlightenment, but yet we close our minds to it?
I was recently informed there is a show that has been replaying a particular episode which tells the story of the case in which I was involved with. It has played many times over the past six months. The show has portrayed me in such a way that if I was on the outside watching that show, I would be ready to lock that man up and throw away the key as well. I guess what concerns me is that this incident happened 14 years ago, but yet this show failed to research what happened to all the people involved now. The show failed to inform the viewers about how I have matured, the issues I was experiencing at the time and how I have recovered from them. The show failed to expose the growth in my spirituality and the man I have become today. The show cannot possibly display the remorse I feel regarding any involvement in this situation that I will continue to carry for a lifetime. This show just continues to portray me as a monster without even trying to understand the man…all for the sake of entertainment.
So yes, it burns me a little that people will create and watch feel good movies about a lost soul finding redemption. About discovering the beauty of love, kindness and helping our fellow man but we don’t look for that feel good story in reality. The movies are great in concept but not great enough to live it. We refuse to allow our fellow man the opportunity to show redemption and enlightenment in real life. You can’t possibly imagine how many feel good movies are behind these prison walls. People can and do change even in prison, but hey, who’s watching us?

– Jah Soul