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How to Overcome a Life Sentence

Life+in+Prison+sentence

How do you wrap your head around the fact that you have been sentenced to spend the rest of your life behind bars? How do you free yourself from the chokehold of this giant? One that is loose enough to keep you from dying, yet tight enough to prevent you from living?

For many years, I have fought this Monster using different swords. Every time one broke, a new one needed to be forged. I remember the first weapon I used against it was trying to convince myself that being in prison was better for my soul than being free. I often used to quote the Soviet prison camp survivor, Alexander Solzhenitsyn who wrote:

“And anyway, would you yourself want freedom after so many years; would you want to go outside into the frenzied whirl, so inimical to the human heart, so hostile to the peace of the soul? Would you not pause on the threshold of your prison and peer anxiously out; should I or shouldn’t I go there?”

Indeed, prison has many virtues; it is a place where you can meditate over the deepest questions of life,  a place where you can form a very real relationship with your Creator. Prison is an Alchemic environment that can transform your soul into Gold or Lead, depending on your attitude. Victor Frankl once wrote:

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.”

This was a very powerful weapon that lasted a long time, yet it eventually wore down and broke. A new approach was needed for which I had forged a new sword; one that was built on the idea that “to live is to suffer”. I said to myself that suffering is a reality of life that no one could escape. People out there who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses, or face a calamity that has no end in sight, feel exactly as Lifers do. It worked well when you were in the eye of the storm, but offered no way forward once the winds subsided. I once again was reminded of Solzhenitsyn who wrote:

“However clever and seemingly irrefutable such philosophical systems as skepticism or agnosticism or pessimism may be, you must remember that they are in their very nature condemned to impotence. They cannot govern human activity, because people cannot stand still and so cannot do without systems that affirm something, that point to some destination.”

I needed to discover the missing element whose absence caused the previous two swords to break. After a long period of introspection, I came to realize that while both approaches were based on solid truths, a spirit of despair animated them. Take for example the approach of telling myself that being in prison was better than being free and enumerating all the very real virtues of incarceration; what drove this approach was the subconscious despair of ever being free. No matter how many philosophical and spiritual arguments one could come up with, there is something in our very being that yearns for freedom. As for despair, it is a poison that slowly eats away at our souls and spreads throughout our bodies until we finally lose the will to live. Its ultimate manifestation is suicide, but it all begins once we give up on hope and choose to despair.

It took me 11 years to finally realize what hope actually meant. I used to think that you may only hope when you at least see a glimmer of light; when you at least have the flimsiest of reasons to do so… but that is not what hope is about. Hope is most real when there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Hope is most real when you see no land on the horizon but instead see oceans stretching infinitely in every direction. Hope is most real when you have no tangible reason to hope.

The Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him) once said:

“If the final hour of this world arrives and one of you has a sapling in their hand, then let them plant it”

The act of planting a tree in the dying moments of this world is one of the greatest acts of hope imaginable. Therefore, live your life with hope. Wake up every single morning hoping that somehow, something will happen that will bring joy to your life. It may be something as small as a letter from a loved one or as big as the wonderful news that you might be free again. With hope, nothing is impossible.

Having realized all of this, rays of hope burst forth from my heart illuminating everything in sight. The Monster’s cold hands began to warm up and his grip began to loosen. He let go of me but as he turned to leave he paused for a moment and said: “A thousand of your swords could do no harm to me. On the despair of souls I feed, you are no longer of use to me”.

On that day, I thanked God for His deliverance and wrote these words:

I remain hopeful,
Even when I see no reason to be;
The walls are high as heaven
The doors are sealed shut
Darkness envelopes me in layers
Yet the Sapling of Hope is in my right,
And I dare to plant it…
Knowing the world might end tonight

Afterword

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote;

“A world without religious faith is a world without sustainable grounds for hope. It may have optimism, but that is something else, and something shallower, altogether.”

Finding Meaning Behind Bars

Follow your dreams, silhouette of man at sunset

Some of us wake up some mornings and see nothing but rows upon rows of prison bars for as far as our mind’s eye can see. On those days, we wonder if we have forever lost the chance to make something of our lives. We look back and see nothing but a haunting past littered with shattered dreams… we look ahead and see nothing but a future as dark as a raven flying on a moonless night. We wonder if our lives even matter anymore. It kills us inside to think that we achieved nothing significant, to think that our lives might be as worthless as the froth on the ocean’s surface.

Rabbi Harold Kushner tells us:

“I believe that it is not dying that people are afraid of. Something else, something more unsettling and more tragic frightens us. We are afraid of never having lived, of coming to the end of our days with the sense that we were never really alive, that we never figured out what life was for.”

We may not realize it, but the drive to seek a meaningful existence is as necessary as our need to breathe. Without air, our bodies die; without meaning, our souls die. In every one of us is a void that cries out to be filled. Those of us who sought to fill it by climbing the summits of fame, fortune, power, physical appetites, and even knowledge, have all found themselves consumed by the very void they sought to fill. Mitch Albom, the best-selling author, writes:

“There was a stretch where I could not have worked more hours in the day without eliminating sleep altogether. I piled on accomplishments. I made money. I earned accolades. And the longer I went at it, the emptier I began to feel, like pumping air faster and faster into a torn tire.”

So how then do we attain a meaningful life? Is it possible for a prisoner to even contemplate such a goal? Rabbi Kushner tells us that we must first get rid of the illusion of the “Grand Solution”. He writes:

“Trying to find one Big Answer to the problem of living is like trying to eat one Big Meal so that you will never have to worry about being hungry again… We never solve the problem of living once and for all. We can only deal with it day by day, a constant struggle to fill each day’s worth of meaning.”

How can we achieve that? By responding to the demands of the moment. Whether you are free or serving the longest sentence ever handed down to a human being… Every moment of your life beckons you to respond to it. The Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him), said that on the Day of Judgement, God will say to a man: “O son of Adam, I became ill yet you did not come to care for me!” The man will reply with astonishment: “O my Lord, how could I have cared for you when you are the Lord of all Creation?” God will respond: “Did you not know that my servant so and so became ill, yet you did not go and care for him. Indeed, had you gone and cared for him you would have found me with him.”

Therefore, even in prison, when you find a sick man, care for him. When you come across a hungry woman, share your food with her. When you see a sad face, make it smile. When you see tears flowing, gently wipe them. When you see fires of conflict raging, strive to extinguish them. And above all, when it is time to worship the One who brought you into existence, then humbly present yourself in gratitude before Him.

By fulfilling the rights of the Creator and those of His Creation, our own need for meaning is inevitably fulfilled. Ironically, what we are seeking from an elusive distant dream is right before our very eyes. These simple acts of kindness and devotion are what the Qur’an calls “Eternal”. They take a transient moment that could have been wasted on a meaningless pursuit and transform it into an eternal memory that transcends time itself, like a dove gracefully ascending ever higher towards the celestial realms. Endure.

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, while referring to a parable given to Tolstoy, writes, “Once there was a traveler who, wandering in the steppe, sees coming towards him a ravening beast. To save himself, he climbs into a waterless well, but he looks down and sees at the bottom a dragon, its jaws open, waiting to eat him. He dare not climb out and he dare not fall. So he clutches hold of a wild bush growing in a cleft in the wall of the well. This alone suspends him between the death awaiting above and below. But his hands grow tired. He feels he must soon let go. Then he sees two mice, one white, one black, gnawing at the roots of the bush. So even if he manages to keep hold of the bush, it will break off and he will fall into the mouth of the dragon. At that moment, he sees some drops of honey on the bush’s leaves and reaches to lick them. That, says Tolstoy, is life. The dragon is death, the white and black mice, our days and nights. And all our pleasures are no more than drops of honey on a bush that will soon give way.”

Whether we are free or incarcerated, the clock is ticking down for all of us and life is far more fragile that we realize. Tomorrow is not promised to us but today is here, and it beckons us to respond to it. We all have the opportunity to live meaningfully; “The sad sight of human life untouched by transcendence” is what we manifest when we choose not to.

Surviving the Dark Night of the Soul

BBC Olympics - Torch Relay - RKCR / YR - haystackonline

It’s been called the Void, the Abyss, the Cave, the Womb, the Dark Night of the Soul. Those who never experienced it can never fathom its reality, while most of those who are in its depths have no idea where they are. I was once trapped there for many years, but now I am slowly emerging. Oh! how dark it’s been!… I wrote this message because someone that I care deeply about has just descended into its depths. I hope that she and others like her will find it and use it to make their way out. I often stop to look back towards the center, towards a massive whirling cloud of menacing darkness, hoping to see a sign of her.

The void is not an evil place; it is a universal human experience. It sometimes manifests itself physically in the form of a prison, a cave, a belly of a whale, or a serious injury or illness. At other times it manifests itself socially in the form of an unhappy relationship, loss of a loved one, broken dreams, or the feeling of permanent entrapment beneath the rubble of bad life choices. However, in all cases, the void is a psychological and spiritual struggle; an inner state that forces us to transform our inner selves or be forever condemned to languish in its depths.

In it, all the lies we lived are exposed, the games we played no longer function, and the stories we told ourselves are challenged. The void’s main tool to achieve all of this is simple: pain in the form of a near constant depressive state that ebbs and flows. At its peak, your head feels like it is weighed down by a heavy invisible hand; as if you are being forced to look deep down within your soul.

Despite how horrendous all of this seems, this experience is actually an opportunity of a lifetime. Carol Orsborn eloquently writes: “However you refer to it, one experiences it as the period that comes between what was and what’s next. Within its darkness, it has no boundaries and no landmarks. When you are inside it, it feels that there will be no end. Fortunately, there are many ‘survivors’ who have journeyed through the void and emerged more vital, more integrated, more connected to life’s possibilities, not despite of, but because of the experience. The void is, after all, perhaps the most effective place of reordering of one’s cognitive processes to take place, for that is where one is least invested in the structure that once circumscribed meaning in one’s life.”

In the beginning, this place was so dark that I could not even see myself. We all intuitively know that in the midst of darkness only light can save us, and so I began searching within my soul for torches to set alight. After years of searching, I found ten torches whose collective light could pierce through even the darkest core of the void. These torches exist within you as well; all you have to do is find them.

  1. The Torch of Surrender: The void is like a physician who is attempting to save our lives Our unwillingness to cooperate with him could lead to death or serious harm. We have to peacefully surrender to the process rather than try to fight it or escape it.
  2. The Torch of Painful Embrace: We naturally guard against physical and emotional pain. Yet emotional pain is somehow regarded as Taboo; we are often ashamed of displaying it because we’ve been taught to see it as a sign or failure and personal weakness. Since pain is unavoidable in life, this attitude only makes it worse by adding layers of guilt, shame, and frustration. Ironically, pain is actually a well-meaning, misunderstood friend that we must embrace if we ever hope to heal. Pain is sometimes a warner that is standing at the frontlines of a looming disaster, yelling at the top of her voice, hoping that we would heed the alarm and make a course change in our lives. At other times, pain is simply inviting us to heal from old open wounds that are buried beneath the sands of time.
  3. The Torch of Divine Friendship: The darkness of the void is overwhelming. We simply cannot face it by ourselves. The only being who can give us company in its loneliness is our Maker. Most of us don’t realize that we are worthy enough to speak to Him directly without the need for intermediaries and saints. The prayers of a sincere heart can echo beyond the limits of the Universe itself. Unfortunately, many people are unable to have this spiritual connection because ‘God’ is simply a projection of their Egos. Being vainly self-righteous and following our self-serving desires at the expense of doing what is right, is a sign of this disease.

In the Qur’an, God is called “The Ever-Subtle One”, therefore as you embark on building this relationship, do not expect a grand vision or a thundering voice, but rather learn the subtle art of reading between the lines. Rabi’a, the 8th century female mystic said:

O God,
Whenever I listen to the voice of anything you have made
The rustling of the trees,
The trickling of water,
The cries of birds,
The flickering of shadow,
The roar of the wind,
The song of the thunder,
I hear it saying:
God is One!
Nothing can be compared with God!

  1. The Torch of Truth: We enter the void as impostors but only our true selves can emerge. For many of us, our true selves are buried alive beneath a mountain of lies and broken promises. They are suffocating, gasping for the air of truth, trying to dig their way out from beneath the dirt of deceit. They wail, weep, and call out to no avail. Every time an opening is made revealing the rays of truth, a lie snuffs it out. Therefore, no more lies, manipulations, broken promises, unfulfilled commitments, two-faced deceit, and false claims of love.

Be truthful with our Maker, with yourself, and with everyone else. Only then will you find yourself, and only then will you be able to see the path ahead with crystal clarity. Only then will you be able to distinguish right from wrong. When we lie, it is our own spiritual vision that we damage.

Emerson once wrote, “Any attempt to make a good impression or a favourable appearance will instantly vitiate (spoil) the effect. But speak the truth, and all things alive or brute are vouchers, and the very roots of the grass underground there do seem to stir and move to bear witness.”

  1.  The Torch of Hope: This is the central torch. Its light is the most illuminating, when there is absolutely no hint of light anywhere else. You must never give up the hope that beyond the seemingly infinite ocean of hardship the land of relief awaits.

I remain hopeful,
Even when I see no reason to be
The walls are high as heaven
The doors are sealed shut
Darkness envelopes me in layers
Yet the Sapling of Hope is in my right,
And I dare to plant it
Knowing the world might end tonight.

  1. The Torch of Humility: Humility means having a modest view of our own importance. Our Ego is the Dragon that keeps us locked up in the prison of our self-centeredness. An indication of our progress in lighting this torch is how often we place the needs of others over our own needs.
  2. The Torch of Integrity: In the void, you will be tested by many situations that will pit your personal desires directly against what is right. Every time you make the right choice, you will move forward, while every time you choose wrongly, you will violently be tossed many miles backwards. Hidden motives and self-serving actions are the vipers that lurk in the darkness of the void. The fourth Torch of Truth can help expose them.
  3. The Torch of Meaning: There comes a point in many people’s lives when they realize that what makes life rich and meaningful is being strongly connected to everyone from their Maker to their neighbor. The Prophet Jesus (Peace be upon him), summed it all up when he said: “The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And love your neighbor as you love yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
  4. The Torch of Myth: The most important story is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Our lives came to a grounding halt because our story could no longer sail us forward. Yet we fearfully cling on to it, like passengers refusing to jump off a sinking ship. The truth is that there is nothing to fear. We may still hold on to parts of our story that continue to be valuable. We can still honour the story that we wrote as children for despite its dysfunctional elements, it was the best story we could tell in order to survive. However, now that we are beginning a new phase in our journey, we have to realize that only the adult storyteller within us is fit to be the narrator.
  5. The Torch of Patience and Flow: The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), said: “Victory is intertwined with patience, relief is intertwined with hardship, and with every difficulty there is ease.”

If hope and divine love are what move us forward, then patience and flow are what saves us from sliding backwards when faced with obstacles, setbacks, and provocations. To be patient is to hold ourselves back from acting out of frustration and instead choosing to remain calm until the storm passes. Flow on the other hand stems from the realization that our control over what happens to us is an illusion, and therefore like a river, we gracefully flow over and around obstacles instead of allowing them to hold us back. Those who do not flow with the river of destiny are always stuck in the stagnant waters of frustration, anger, and resentment. They are like a hissing cat that is being dragged, while its nails are dug deep into the ever-moving carpet of life.

Flow, Flow, Flow …
Through every hardship and delight
Flow, Flow, Flow …
Through the darkness and the light
Flow, Flow, Flow …
Like a Monarch in its flight
Flow, Flow, Flow …
Like a river in the night

What I have just described is the enriching and noble inner work that you will need to embark on. If it seems overwhelming, then remember that “a journey of a thousand miles always begins with one step.” You are fully capable of completing this journey. Why else would you be called on to undertake it at this moment in your life?

Whether you realize it or not, you are a hero in the making. Joseph Campbell taught us that every hero that ever came before us, whether they were a noble Prophet or a mythical adventurer, had to go through the phases of Separation, Initiation, and Return. In Separation, they were physically or psychologically separated from their people. In Initiation, they were internally transformed by the knowledge, wisdom, and special powers they gained. Finally, in Return, they went back to their people and shared with them the gifts they were granted.

O Night of my soul, ever so dark
Into your darkest corners I shall embark
Swimming through the deepest oceans of tears
Withstanding the howling winds of my fears
Seeking what every noble soul has sought
A treasure that is neither sold or bought

Image courtesy of http://clipart-library.com/clipart/6cp5j8gxi.htm

 

 

 

 

The Boy and His Sandcastle

Spring of 2018

 

My beloved 12-year-old daughter asked me to share my story with you. I am having a difficult time deciding what to write, and from which point to start. Perhaps I should begin from the present and work my way back to the past.

I’ve been in prison for 12 years now. I received a Life Sentence after pleading guilty to being one of the ringleaders in the “Toronto 18” terror plot. Thankfully, no one was physically hurt. I was 20 then, I am almost 33 now. In pre-trial custody, I was deemed a radical threat to the inmate population, and so I was involuntarily placed in solitary confinement for 3 years. After receiving my sentence, I was once again considered a radical threat and sent to Canada’s only Super Max prison (usually, you have to kill or stab someone inside to be sent there). I spent 6 difficult years there before finally getting transferred to Millhaven Max, where I currently reside.

Based on what you just read, it is easy to imagine me as a tough, violent, angry man with a threatening demeanor. The truth is that I am the exact opposite of that image.

Guilty, I am. Radicalized, I was. Yet I still find my entire situation incredibly surreal. I often go back in time in order to retrace my steps and figure out how I ended up here. Every time I engage in this exercise, I find a young man who was caught up in a perfect storm of internal and external influences. The inevitability of it all is what I find most remarkable.

After any major terrorist attack, there is usually a fierce debate about what makes individuals susceptible to radical ideologies, (unfortunately, this rarely occurs when the perpetrators are non-Muslims – e.g. Right Wing extremists in the U.S). If I had a noose around my neck, and the only thing that could save my life was the answer to this apparently dumbfounding question, then I would have to say that it is the emotional state of feeling utterly worthless.

I have always felt worthless. I still struggle with this feeling to this day. Perhaps I feel this way because I carry within me a strong inner critic that has been ripping me apart since childhood. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I have always felt like an outsider. You see, even though I am a citizen of this country, I have never felt Canadian. That is because ever since I arrived here as a 12-year-old-boy, in my mind, to be a real Canadian, you had to be white.

Prior to immigrating here, I lived in my mother’s country of birth; Cyprus. There too, I felt like an outsider, since I was keenly aware that my Arab features automatically disqualified me from claiming to be Cypriot.

Prior to that, I lived in Saudi Arabia where native citizens are infamous for looking down upon all non-Saudis. I still remember the words of a Saudi boy who referred to us Palestinians as “Phalas-Teezi”, (a hybrid word that combines “Palestinian” with the Arabic word for “ass”). The sad fact that I was sexually molested while living there could have only intensified my inner feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy.

Even in Jordan, my own country of birth, I never considered myself Jordanian since I belonged to a family that originally came to Jordan as refugees after losing their land to the Israeli Occupation.

Many of you have probably wondered why the Muslim world has produced so many radicalized individuals in the modern era. Blaming Islam for it is incredibly simplistic, if not absolutely wrong. When I look at what the people of that region have been going through for over 100 years, I am actually surprised that there aren’t more radicals, not less. I can’t imagine how utterly worthless many of them are made to feel. The culprits are foreign and local governments who systematically strip the people of their dignity.

What happens to a street vendor who can’t sell his fruits without having to pay a bribe to a policeman?

What happens to a young man or woman who just graduated from university, but can’t find suitable employment because all the jobs have been given to those with special connections?

What happens to a people who have no say whatsoever in how their governments are run, and are treated like cattle, if not worse?

What happens to a people who have to live under the deadly shadows of drones?

What happens to a person who witnesses their entire family get wiped out by a “precise” missile strike?

Desperate for belonging to a people in my teen-age years, these are the only people I ever felt I belonged to, and as they radicalized, I radicalized with them. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq and its resulting massacre of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, represented the crossing of the “rubicon” for me. You can pretty much draw a straight line from there to my arrest in 2006.

How does it feel to be radical? You feel worthy, righteous, and heroic. You see yourself as a savior of your people. Your mind is obsessed with the injustices that they are suffering from, and that’s all you wish to talk about. You see the world in strictly black and white terms. Deep inside, you suspect that there may be other colours, which subconsciously drives you to engage in constant re-enforcement of your beliefs. It is said that those who are the most dogmatic are usually the least certain. A vivid depiction of this internal struggle is that of a boy who is perpetually fortifying the walls of a sandcastle built too close to the waves.

When I arrived at the Special Handling Unit, (Canada’s Super Max), I was willing to give change a chance for the sake of my family, but unfortunately, the administrators, were unresponsive. Feeling rejected once again intensified my radical state, and I in fact, I became more extreme in the SHU than I ever was on the outside. I adopted a standoffish attitude towards the administrators and refused meeting my parole officer for many years.

This state of affairs continued until ISIS declared its Caliphate, and news of its atrocities began streaming in. Prior to ISIS, whenever innocent people were killed, I would simply tell myself that it was “collateral damage”, if those killed were non-Muslims, or a “mistake”, if they were Muslims. Every atrocity committed by ISIS was like a tsunami that would violently demolish my sand castle, and leave no trace of it behind. Yet, I kept frantically rushing back to rebuild it.

Eventually, the hideousness of this group led me to periods of depression that followed every massacre. At the time, I did not see my radical ideology as separate from my religion, and this caused me to fear that abandoning it would lead to abandoning my faith. I also feared confronting the reality that I may have thrown my entire life away, and brought so much suffering upon my family for no good cause.

Holding on became harder and harder, until it finally became impossible and I simply had to let go out of sheer disillusionment. What followed was not a free fall into a dark abyss of disbelief, but rather a surprising spiritual ascent that is best captured in a poem I wrote called “Servant of the Ever-Merciful”.

If you are not as beautiful as the sun,
when it spreads its light,
upon the face of lands and seas.


If you do not glow as the full moon does,

in the midst of darkness,
illuminating the way for life’s travelers.

If you are not as graceful as the lofty clouds,

spreading shade over life’s scorched inhabitants,
raining water upon their parched lips,
bringing life to their dead lands,
then I am afraid,
you have misunderstood
what it means to be
a servant of God.

I felt liberated to finally be able to see the world in its true colours. This feeling only intensified as I slowly took the shackles off, one by one. This process began a few years ago and continues to this day.

How do I view my experience? Despite its hardships and painful losses, I see it as a blessing. Sometimes I tell myself that I am acquiring a PhD in Life Studies from the University of the Incarcerated. I live a very meaningful life despite living behind bars, and I am incredibly optimistic about my future. To God I am ever grateful for all of this.

I ask the Canadian public to forgive me for betraying their trust and welcoming arms.

I ask the Muslim community to forgive me for causing them so much apprehension by helping to cast them under a dark cloud of suspicion.

I ask my dear parents to forgive me for breaking their hearts.

I ask my brother and sister to forgive me for causing them so much stress and sadness.

I ask my ex-wife, whose loss I never recovered from, to forgive me for abandoning her and devastating her in such a way.

I ask her entire family to forgive me for turning their lives upside down.

I ask all the young men who became involved because of me to forgive me for everything.

I ask their families for forgiveness as well.

Last but not least, I ask my beloved daughter to forgive me for leaving her without a father.

Princess, when I see you in my dreams, I sometimes hold you in my arms,and weep, and weep, and weep ‘till I awake.

Beloved, knowing what I know now, if I could go back in time to be with you, I would be there in a heartbeat.

But grieve no more, for I once heard that “the Truth shall set you free”…

And now I know…

That what I heard is true.

 

When I am Gone

Zak&nour

When I am gone these words shall stay
For you to read at night or day
In them you’ll find me cheer you on
Declaring, “Darkness must end by dawn”
I missed the day you learned to walk
And your first words as you tried to talk
When you were sick I was not here
To hold you tight and give you care
Seeing your friends in their Dads’ embrace
Is a sin of mine that I can’t erase
I was not there to wipe your tears
A regret I’ve held for all these years
Leaving you was my greatest crime
I wish I could turn the hands of time
But now I’m here between each line
Sending my love with every rhyme
These gems are a gift from me to you
Always have hope, always be true.

The Eagle’s Flight

Image result for eagles flight

Oh, how my spirit soars!
above this place of tears and gloom,
resurrected after dying,
from the ashes of my doom.
Like an Eagle in full flight,
released, unleashed,
shackles broken, decimated, left behind
forever.

Never ever to be locked again,
delivered from despair’s deepest pit,
bearing words of hope and wisdom that I spit,
into dying hearts of people down below,
in the darkest, coldest, saddest places that I know.

Oh, how my spirit soars!
above this place of tears and gloom,
resurrected after dying,
from the ashes of my doom.

Planet Gazing

Image result for prison cell window

I stood before the limits of my world,
and peered through the windows of my cell,
to gaze at a planet I was told,
was better than this “ever wretched hell.”
The people over there appeared so sad,
for pain was in the air they had to breathe,
with busy lives that drove them ever mad,
like hordes of mice chasing after cheese.
I stared with confusion at this scene,
and that’s when I heard an angel yell:
Contentment is the heaven of our being,
and lack of it is its greatest hell”

Gentle River

Image result for gentle river

My body dwells within a hopeless tomb,
while my spirit soars beyond the fullest moon.
Where my journey takes me I shall go,
like a peaceful gentle river I do flow.
My heart is free of any expectations,
no room remains for plans or reservations.
The rhythm of my hope beats like a drum,
for I believe the best is yet to come.

Purpose

Image result for sky

O One who made this universe,
and gave each one their own purpose.
I sought you out throughout my life,
in every valley and every height,
in every secret cave on land,
in every trace of you I found,
up in heaven or on the ground,
I call on you, broken.

My tears ascend towards the sky,
I’m filled with pain that is no lie,
my life is hard I can’t deny,
I’m reaching my limits.

I journeyed on for all these years,
wiping away my lonely tears,
withstanding pain and piercing fears,
for only one purpose.

If all of those who are on land,
and those in heaven or beneath the sand,
or in the oceans and seas You made,
had turned away from me with hate,
and all I got was a loving glance,
from you to me and a second chance,
achieved is my purpose.