Her Voice

Her voice
was like an ancient,
and sad,
musical instrument.

God only knows how long she’d traveled for,
and where she’d been.

Tears falling in the dark,
unheard and unnoticed.

I know nothing about her,
yet her voice still speaks to me,
and tells me things she cannot say.

I hear her pain,
but I also hear her strength.

I see her in my mind,
somewhere far away,
on a green and blessed hill,
taking everything that life has thrown her way,
and then turning it,
into her sad and beautiful melody.


The Shoes

My feet are bloodied and bruised,
from all my earthly travels.
Thorns of rejection and jagged rocks of disapproval,
are strewn and scattered everywhere.

For all my life,
I’ve tried,
without success,
to pave the earth with leather.

But now I walk in peace,
without any fear,
for I’ve put on the shoes of self-acceptance.


A Hand Made of Letters

June 1, 2019- 10:50PM

I’m an hour and ten minutes away from my thirteenth anniversary in prison. Had you told me thirteen years ago that I would survive 3 years in solitary confinement, 6 terrifying years in the Special Handling Unit, and nearly 4 years in Millhaven Maximum security prison (where I still live), I would not have believed you.

Indeed, man was created to come through.

Though I have trouble with many of his views, Professor Jordan Peterson was right when he said: “In some sense, human existence is so contradictory that in a manner, technically impossible. We are limited creatures and we face unlimited catastrophe. Everything we know will disappear and everyone we love will die. And so that makes human existence in a sense existentially impossible. But the religious impulse combats that in a sense; because the religious impulse opens up for the human being the possibility that there is sufficient absolute within to serve as an antidote to the absolute without.

The notion that is necessary to have an individual relationship with the Absolute, God, is a statement of the fact that we are adapted to the nature of reality, and that if we draw on everything that is within ourselves, without fear, then we can develop the sorts of personalities that are powerful enough to confront any catastrophe.”

I want to thank you for joining me on this journey. You have no idea how it feels to reach out from this cold underworld, using a hand that’s made of letters and then feel the warm grasp of a living being reach back.

Almost everything you read here is being written as my story unfolds; I have no idea how it will end, but I certainly hope that you’re still there with me when it does.

Your brother,

Zakaria Amara

To read my story, click here: The Boy and His Sand Castle


500 Hours

Although I’m not a big fan of Friedrich Nietzsche, I think he was right when he said “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”

Victor Frankl once wrote:

“An old doctor consulted me in Vienna because he could not get rid of a severe depression caused by the death of his wife. I asked him, “What would have happened, Doctor, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?” Whereupon he said, “For her this would have been terrible; how she would have suffered!”

I then added, “You see, Doctor, such a suffering has been spared her, and it is you who have spared her this suffering; but now you have to pay it by surviving and mourning her”. The old man suddenly saw his plight in a new light, and revaluated his suffering in the meaningful terms of a sacrifice for the sake of his wife.”

Even if this story is well known to you, what is unknown is a comment, which was given by an American psychoanalyst some months ago. After hearing this account, he stood up and said, “I understand what you mean Dr. Frankl; however, if we start from the fact that obviously your patient had only suffered so deeply from the death of his wife because unconsciously he had hated her all along…”

If you are interested in hearing my reaction, here it is: “It may well be that after having the patient lie down on your couch for five hundred hours, you will have brain washed and indoctrinated him to the point where he confesses, “Yes, Doctor, you are right I have hated my wife all along, I have never loved her at any time…”

But then I told him, “You have succeeded in depriving that old man of the only treasure he still possessed, namely, the ideal marital life that he built up, their tru love… while I succeeded within a minute, in bringing about significant reversal of his attitude, or let me frankly say, in bringing consolation” – Psychotherapy and Existentialism

After reading this story, I was inspired to write the following lines:

One thousand hours,
split in half,
with a couch,
can teach a lie.

One split-second,
without a couch,
just the truth,
can get you by.


Life Plan

I wrote this poem to inspire a friend…

My hopes are now homeless
at the shelter of broken dreams.
I’m not happy,
this was not the plan,
not my youthful fantasy.
“Life is passing by,”
the mirror keeps on whispering,
“I love you,” now rings hollow,
and no one seems to care.
This can’t be my life,
so now what is the plan?
Wither away in sadness?
like a flower in the fall,
like a prisoner in her chains,
like a dying sick old man,
Begin to change the seasons,
break the iron shackles,
and find eternal youth.

To read my story, click here: The Boy and His Sand Castle



Christian Spiritual Rebirth And Glory With Symbolic Butterfly Graphic  Background Stock Illustration - Download Image Now - iStock

They said to her,
though a child she was,
Why were you ever born!
She looked at them,
but could not speak,
so she began to crawl.

They said to her,
though a child she was,
Nothing you do is right!
She looked at them,
but could not speak,
so she began to run.

They said to her,
though a child she was,
We wish that you would die!
She looked at them,
but did not speak,
and instead began to fly.


The Boy Inside

the boy inside drawing

He whipped his soul,
his entire life,
for what was not his fault.
And now the scars,
from all the wounds,
we’re there for all to see.
I saw the boy,
I saw the whip,
I saw through all the pain.
I told the man,
he was the boy,
and he was not to blame.
The man’s tears fell,
he dropped the whip,
and hugged the little boy.
His burdens fell,
his wounds were healed,
and now he tasted joy.




There was once a 78 year-old Scottish man named Andy in my unit who did not own a television, and so I decided to lend him my own.  This was not an easy decision for me to make because on that night the sequel of the movie Sicario was premiering.  So there I was on a Friday night with nothing to do and so I began writing this:

Tonight, Sicario the sequel is on
but my T.V is with an old man
I’m sitting alone in my old cell
with no movie to watch but a story to tell

You know what, I have no story to tell
I’m going to bed….