Poetry and Chapter – Unintended Consequences (edited)

Unintended Consequences

I never thought I’d have to live
in such a lonely place
I touch the walls on either side
I never thought I’d call this home
Memories here I can’t erase
Two thousand people all alone

I never thought this was where I’d be
My life would work it out
I never dreamed my window
was the only way I’d see
the beauty of the world outside
How can I continue?

An unintended consequence
Not thinking what will be
the end result, not thinking through
Pretending I was being free
I didn’t think, I never thought
my careless choice I can’t undo

I never thought what would I crave
the most if taken away
The touch of skin, your silken breath?
Sends goosebumps up my spine
I shiver once and cry for more
“You didn’t think,” I heard you cry

I only have my memories now
To keep me warm at night
I wrap my arms around my head
Pretending you are touching me
It will be years, will you be gone?
Touching someone else instead

An unintended consequence
Not thinking what will be
the end result, not thinking through
Pretending I was living free
But I didn’t think, I never thought
It would mean losing you

 

Sonni Quick ©2018

It is a process, writing, editing, chapters, blog posts, music, videos and poetry. I love doing all of it. It would be great if I could split my brain in two and do two things at the same time.

Today as I went through my notes I realized I had a half finished poem. That chapter was published about 6 months ago. Today I will post part of it for those who want to read it. Please subscribe for full chapters. Afterward just drop me a message and I’ll email the complete chapter to you.

last-note-2-sm

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

It was so hard to keep his head together. Jamie’s mind went all over the place. It was hard when there was no one to talk to. There was no reason to not let his mind wander anywhere it wanted to go. He was so alone. He could only talk to himself. He was in 24/7 lock up for a year.

Administrative segregation, or adseg, it was called. Solitary in other prisons. It was all the same thing. He had tried so hard to not let this happen. Did it matter if he tried or not? Why did he agonize over it. He tried to stay away from trouble but it always found him, anyway.
     Mentally, he felt himself going down and there was nothing to keep him from smashing headfirst onto the bottom. He didn’t know what was going on. But he tried to get it together. Before this happened he tried. He didn’t know if he could try anymore.
    Before he got sent to lock up he had made a change in his life. It was a pretty big one. He thought at the time that maybe it would help, maybe not. Some dudes he met told him about Islam. He decided to join with them. They still believed in God, or Allah they called him, but there were a lot of differences in what the two religions believed. There were a lot of Christians and a lot of Muslims all saying they were right and the other was evil. His can they both be right? Islam has been around longer he was told.
     These inmates weren’t like a lot of the other ones. They didn’t talk tough. Peace was way more important than violence, than who was bigger and badder.
    He decided to give it a try because everything he had learned through the Bible didn’t do anything to help him. It never changed anything for him, no matter how much he prayed. His prayers weren’t answered. It didn’t make any difference and he thought by now something would have happened to let him know God was at least thinking about helping him.
     One of them gave him a book about the Islamic faith so he would have something to read and study. It wasn’t and he was supposed to pray five times a day. He needed a prayer rug to do it right but he didn’t have a way to get one. Still, he tried to learn and went to their meetings.    Then this happened and he was more alone than ever.
     To have your life so controlled in prison was more than anyone could take without getting angry and wanting to bust everything up. How was he supposed to get rid of the anxiety? Eat now, sleep now, shower now, breathe now, take a crap now otherwise the toilet won’t flush and you have to look at and smell the shit all day. No, you can’t go to commissary. He couldn’t do anything unless it was at the right time that someone else determines.
     A year completely alone, meals alone and no one to talk to. It was too long. There was nothing to break the monotony, the boredom. Bits and pieces of thoughts swirled around in his brain and they wanted to make him crazy.
     Things were happening in his life on the outside he couldn’t control or fix. How could he deal with this confinement day after day and not be able to do anything about it?
     Not only that, he knew there was another man in Morgan’s life, but that had nothing to do with what they shared. But he couldn’t talk to her about it and it was killing him. He had to keep what they had separate from any other person. It was his sanity. The two ideas didn’t touch. He couldn’t handle thinking about it any other way.  They shared the treasure of a son together. Nothing could take that away. She wouldn’t be with this dude if he hadn’t screwed up. He needed to believe she was still waiting, but it was getting harder and harder to do that.
     It was his own fault – all of it. Trying to find the answer wasn’t easy and many days he wanted to crawl under the floor and give up – just cash it in. Stop thinking of the future. He might not make make it that far. He might not get out of here.
     He started and stopped hunger strikes. He would only pull himself out of a funk because he was afraid of what it would do to his son. How would he deal with his own life when he grew up if he knew his father gave up on his?

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Can Anybody Hear Me?

I  originally posted this on my other blog, Watch and Whirl. It is about much more than you can see here.  Some people have to live in an unwelcoming society. That behavior often brings unintended consequences.  Please – follow the link and then pass it on)

CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME?   by Sonni Quick   copyright 2016 You can add comments about the music under the wave form. You can see the comment I left to show you where. Written in support of all trans pe…

Source: Can Anybody Hear Me?

Another Day In Ad Seg – Unintended Consequences

unintended consequences
photo source:
genewhitehead.com

December 15, 2009

PURE PAIN      by Sonni Quick   copyright  2015

(Sonni’s note: Will Jamie be able to get out of prison some day and be able to put this experience behind him? Will he be able to adjust to a “normal” life he has never experienced? Will the damage be too great? Will he be able to adjust? Chances are not in his favor if he doesn’t have enough support. My thanks again to everyone who sent him a message at mynameisjamie2@gmail.com when I asked about a week go. I’ve sent off to him.)

Dear mom,

How are you? Blessed as well I pray.  As for me I’m doing okay. The property man brought me my things to me today. I have everything, except I still have no mattress. I’m sorry to have worried you, mom. It’s just things are hard in here. I’ve been stressing myself to a point. There’s a dude telling me I love Megan too much and that later down the line she will turn  on me. I don’t pay him no mind because of the stories he’s told me about how he’s treated women. However, this is what hurt mom. Later that day the deputy called me and gave me child support papers. So I’ve been stressing on that. Not hearing from Megan haven’t made it no better. I wrote to her grandmother’s address and asked why. Nothing, I’m still waiting. I’m just going to have to write again. All I can do is pay she writes back.

Then on top all that I just got a letter telling me my great grandmother passed. I’m holdin up but I was upset because my family hides  a lot of things from me. It’s like they don’t want to tell me anything until it’s all over. It hurts me that Megan isn’t writing me. I’m sure is because of this man she’s with. He’s the kind of man that uses a woman. I can tell. Me and him will cross one day. As for the new little one he’ll have a birthday in a few days. One year old. It’s good that you’re able to talk to little Jamie. I wish I could call and talk to the kids again. We had fun together at that one visit we had. I wish I could get a visit for Christmas our my birthday next month. Ill be 27 mom.

It’s hard to believe Megan got laid off. I couldn’t see it happening to her. It’s good she filled an appeal. Mom this is all my fault. Megan and the kids shouldn’t be going this. I blame myself for everything. I messed up her life and the kids lives by leYou're not to blameaving them alone. As for her anniversary, I didn’t know she was still married. She told me she had gotten a divorce. How can that be? The same goes for BJ. She choose to have a life with him, and that didn’t work. Now, if he’s not trying to have a relationship with his son then he’s no good. I remember you said you cried when she got pregnant again. Oh I know you love little Ben, but since it didn’t work out it was just so much harder for her.  I know one thing mom. Mine or not, Ill keep a relationship with them. I love them just like I love their mom. Even if they aren’t all mine.  So you see, it really worries me about not  hearing from her.  And I don’t understand the child support papers. It would have been different if she did that when I came home. Well, I guess there is a reason for everything.

I have to go for now. Take care, mom

Love you, your son

P.S. Thank you for the present you are sending Jamie for me. And Merry Christmas!

(When I think of my life and the many twists and turns I’ve gone through and I look at those same years Jamie has gone through I can almost interchange the dates of his prison letters no matter how many years apart they are. Nothing changed except Megan’s letters began to get further apart.  All he has is his memories because anything else is not something he wants to remember. All he can do is escape into his mind. He still loves a woman that in his mind never changed – never went on without him, although she is on her third or fourth “serious” relationship since he went in. She cried so sincerely she would wait for him. She meant it at the time but there was no way she could continue to raise her children by herself with her income potential. She went on with her life looking for elusive man who would be a good father for her children and good to her, as well.  She even got married again and she had another child. Four children with four fathers and another one is in San Quentin.

Jamie is not responsible for her happiness or her unhappiness. He should not be carrying the guilt by himself.  Megan’s life was set in motion long before she met Jamie, and so was his.  Their lives collided.  Because of the way they made their decisions is the reason for the outcome.  Many different choices could have been made along the way.  But when there is no thought of the consequences life just slaps you around and you spend more time running around picking up the pieces instead of moving forward. it doesn’t mean they would not have ended up in the same place.  It means another path would have gotten them there.  Megan would have met someone else to have a baby with, just like she met yet another man and did have a fourth child.  Her causes for her life were made long ago.  And Jamie, just because he might not have met Megan, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t be in prison right now, but it could be for a different reason. 

Things don’t happen by accident.  But unless you have a way to learn these lessons about life you don’t realize the power you have to change the things that cause you unhappiness.  That is why, some years ago I started to teach him the principles of Nichiren Buddhism – the law of cause and effect.  Where you are today is the effect of previous causes and where you will be tomorrow comes from the causes you make today.  Simple.  A plan is not laid out for you for mysterious reasons – you make your own plan.  It’s just easier to think you didn’t make that plan.  God did. When you think like that, life just keeps knocking you sideways, until learn to make a different cause  This is why many people really don’t start searching for answers until their life is a mess and you are willing to listen.  For some people – inmates in this case – they find God.  There is chaplain in every prison.  There are many good things to learn through Christianity. This is not a slam on Christians.  I grew us in the church, but I didn’t see people living what they were being taught.  It was easy.  Do what you want and ask for forgiveness.  That didn’t work for me.  I wanted better answers, so decades ago I started searching.  Christianity does teach you how to be a good person and the reward is heaven.  If the lessons are applied they will be in a better place.  Buddhism teaches a lot of the same lessons, but it also explains the real consequences in your life today as you live it.  Some inmates find the Islamic faith, which Jamie tried for awhile.  That faith in prison teaches peace, not violence, but in the end it still didn’t have the answers he needed. He grew up knowing Christianity, but even that never explained the law of cause and effect even though it teaches – you reap what you sow – but it doesn’t teach why.

My purpose here is not to get into a religious discussion.. But what I see in society is a lot of very judgmental Christians who aren’t good people to people who don’t think like them.  I do NOT see that in the Buddhist community. I have used Buddhist teachings to show Jamie how to understand why his life is the way it is and to apply them to his life so it makes sense.  Then he can work on changing it.. What he knows now he didn’t know before.  Even so, it doesn’t make the struggles go away.  Things don’t change just because you want them to. And nothing “out there” is going to give you a benefit without you first making a cause for it – you reap what you sow – period.  Buddhism has helped him keep his head on straight and to be able to pick himself up when he falls.  There will always be obstacles – because that is how you learn and grow, All of us needs to respect others choice of faith.  That alone will make this world a better place to live.  Respect.

**************************************************************************

Megan has been with someone now for a year and a half and so far she seems to be happy.  But she is still in the “getting to know you” phase.  The work hasn’t even started. But while Jamie still loves her like time stopped, she doesn’t care about him anymore and gets angry if I mention his name. She won’t take “their” son to see him so the last time was when I visited him at the prison 2 years ago. Some men don’t want to be a father. Jamie does. How will their son feel when he grows up knowing she could have made the 3 hour drive to the prison, but won’t. I can see the possible effect of that, but she isn’t thinking of that. I’m not saying it should be all the time, but maybe his dad’s birthday? Father’s Day? I think this will have unintended consequences – a word I tried to teach many times.)

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