maturity

Do You Know?

Do you know why this monster lives inside of me?
Why the heathens and the thugs show love and confide in me?
Do you know about the demons that I have evicted from my soul?
Why my heart was frozen cold since I was 12 years old?
Do you know the lies that I faced, how my mom despised my own face,
do you think you can keep pace if my past was retraced?
Do you know why I’m shy, why I’m cool being a loner?
Why I climbed trees to find peace and became a pill-head and a stoner?
Do you see me in my entirety or only pieces of the puzzle?
Do you see why God is the fountain I continuously try to guzzle?
Do you know how I was created and why I really became a beast?
Why I screamed “Fuck the world!” and on friends and enemies I would feast?
Do you know about my struggle, what I fought to overcome?
How I stood and faced the devil and chose not to run?
Do you know the man you married, can you see my hurt and pain?
Or do you only see the sunshine and choose to ignore the rain?
Do you know about all what makes me who I am?
Do you realize the roads I traveled, learning to become a man.
Facing myself in the mirror, for once I am loving who I really am…

~ Jah Soul

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If I Died Tonight

If I died tonight, I wonder if I will have fought hard enough
to implement the Truth; that God is part of us.
Can I truly say I gave it everything I had
and I stood on my square through the good and the bad.
If I died tonight, I wonder would you really miss me?
Walk by my wooden casket, drop a tear as you kiss me?
Did I touch your life or was I just a memory.
Spoke to you loud and clear but I wonder, are you really hearing me?
If I died tonight, would the lessons I was giving
continue on like I was still living?
Would you see the wisdom I was trying to interject?
We can change this world, through our love and intellect.
If I died tonight, would you carry on this torch
or would you leave it on the ground from the fear of being scorched?
If I left this earth, know that I tried to do my best
never had intentions of leaving this world a mess.
Just sitting here wondering if I ever will pass Gods test…

~ Jah Soul

This Cipher…

This poem was given to me in honor of my born day by my brother and friend, Lo, who resides up under the Five. Peace and blessings be upon him. -Jah Soul

This cipher is ~
for the brotha’ who sees his self as the answer
for himself and those with the will to become
This cipher is ~
for the brotha’ who envisions a reality then
lives that which is realized
This cipher is ~
for the brotha’ who recognizes our women lost
built back up the foundation
I am a King again and you are a Queen
black or white and every shade in-between
This cipher is ~
for the brotha’ who studies his universe
that I-You-We Are One
This cipher is ~
for the brotha’ who believes in truth, justice
and equality
committed to the actions that moves a people forward
that at the end of the day, we say:
This cipher is ~
for the brotha’ who makes each day worth living
This cipher is ~
for the brotha’ who is my brother
a Righteous King….

Lifetime Foes

Age and youth do not mix
Age is a marriage, a constant companion
Youth is the hot date, the quick fix
Age and youth go to war like opposing foes
Youth strikes without thinking
Age contemplates strategy and battle woes
Youth is spirited, wild and untamed
Age is calculating, reserved, claiming no fame
Youth is swift like the wolf
with lupine grace
Age is slow like the tortoise
moving in a set direction, keeping steady pace
They cannot, will not live forever
Age cares too much, youth is like whatever
Age is benign, youth I beseech
Age knows many things, youth I must teach
It’s a pleasure to try to make them co-exist
Now I’m experiencing them both in betwixt
As I live each day, I’m learning
Age and youth do not mix…

– Thomas D. Payne

Marvin Gaye

I am tired of this world we are living in.
Dividends… divided unequally amongst many men.
Keepin’ pace with the rat race,taking a toll on your soul.
People think you are rich because your heart is gold.
No relief…so we roll a leaf and light it up.
Or we pour it up and drink it all before the night is up.
Inebriated…God knows we needed that.
Give it everything we got but one day we will need it back.
The American dream, as it seems.
Is a nightmare to many, married to that pretty penny.
Single mothers being left to pick the slack up
because the daddy packed up and left her with no back-up.
This is a curse, the roles have reversed.
That’s why her spine is strong.
Raising those babies by herself and bringing the swine home.
Marvin Gaye… what the hell is really goin’ on?
Where did we go wrong?
And why did everybody tag along?
It’s time we man-up, do more than put our hands up.
Start a real revolution. Get off ya ass and stand up!
Unite as one…
There should never be a separation.
Elevation can be achieved with preparation…

– Jah Soul

Something To Think On

“In the practice of every way of life and every kind of work, there is a state of mind called that of the deviant. Even if you strive diligently on your chosen path day after day, if your heart is not in accord with it, then even if you think you are on a good path, from the point of view of the straight and true, this is not a genuine path. If you do not pursue a genuine path to its consummation, then a little bit of crookedness in the mind will later turn into a major warp. Reflect on this” this is an excerpt from “The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi-
All of us have stories we have carried around for years about who we are and what we do. Revise and reject any of those currently hampering your progress. Those stories and ideas keep you anchored in the past instead of living in the present.
The more you learn, the more you will challenge those old assumptions. Do not be scared of this, it is okay to let those beliefs from the past go. Once you are able to think from a better perspective, you will see that things you have done in the past was wrong. You will be able to see a positive change in your life. This is called growing up, everything we did in the past was not always correct. We must live and learn. This is a new year and instead of making resolutions we will never keep, it is time we assess our situation and put in the corrections and life style changes necessary to live a happy life.

Peace and Blessings,
Thomas D. Payne

Diggin’ On You

We’re two peas in a pod. Two monkeys in a barrel.
Me, the tree branch and you, the cute sparrow.
Got hit by cupid, didn’t even feel the arrow.
All I see is you, damn, I guess my vision has narrowed.
Hey, we fit together, like a pot of peas and carrots.
So whatever is in my future, baby, we both can share it.
You’re my other half. The peanut butter to my jelly.
And your sexy smile puts butterflies in my belly.
Like Bonnie and Clyde, ready to ride.
I’ll tattoo your face on my ribs,
so I will always have you by my side.
Hide my secrets in your soul,
place my dreams in your essence.
Etch my name in your heart
and thank God for your presence.
Your existence is the reason for this sentence.
Our love is a marathon and I’m ready to go the distance.
This love thing that we claim is so intense.
I fell hard for you girl,
but it was really common sense…
– 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

Texas, It Is Time For Change…

In the State of Texas, jail is a big business and the great state loves to lock people up…and for a long time, I might add. Many people that are serving life sentences are first-time offenders. It has been said that young people, especially males, do not reach a full level of maturity until they are at least 25 years old. Look at car insurance companies; the rates are higher until you reach 25, right? Is it possible this is because these young people have more accidents? Could it be that these young people do not demonstrate responsibility? Although these emerging adults make poor decisions, most of the time, they mature and learn to make conscious decisions. A United States Department of Justice report states, “Many juvenile offenders do not continue their law-violating behaviors into adulthood”. This statement alone, proves that young people are not mentally mature enough to make sound decisions, but as they get older, they change.
Ms. Edna Watts is a concerned mother of a son who is currently incarcerated. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison for aggravated robbery when he was 19 and this was his first offense. Although he has matured, is a Christian mentor to his fellow inmates and is a certified paralegal, he is not eligible to apply for parole until he has served at least half of his sentence. Texas does not consider good conduct time, work time and flat time credit for 3-G (aggravated sentence) offenders. These offenders can show signs of maturity and rehabilitation and the state will not allow them to apply for parole.
Ms. Watts started three online petitions asking the State of Texas to reconsider these rules. Her goal is to collect over 50,000 signatures from people in the “free-world” so she can lobby city and state legislators to adopt each of the petitions as bills. Although these petitions are being directed to legislators in the State of Texas, she is asking everybody in the United States to participate. We believe that once Texas recognizes the need to change some of their policies, other states will follow suit.
It is our sincere wish that our followers will consider learning more about these petitions, sign them and pass the information on to family and friends. We pray that these petitions can help inmates, like Ms. Watts son, be able to apply for parole and be an asset to society instead of our tax dollars being spent to keep them behind bars.

Below are the websites with more information about the petitions:

http://freeinmates2014.wix.com/texasinmatesmercy

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/mandatory-short-way-release

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/reduce-the-parole-eligibilit

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/mandatory-short-way-release-1