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[Abuse] [Hobby Unit] [Texas]

Staff Ignoring Assaults

I just want to thank you for the Texas Pack. It’s quite sad the things that are kept from us so that we ignore the corruption. Let me tell you what’s going on with me.

I did a I-127 to appeal a case and 40 days passed without me hearing from the grievance lady. Your packet came today and pretty much walked me through what I needed to do next, because I had no clue. The case that I’m appealing lowered my custody level to G4. This goes to the next set of problems I’ve encountered.

I did an Offender Protection Investigation (OPI) because an offender who was also G4 was Gun Ho on kicking my ass. They failed to investigate properly, then said “unsubstantiated evidence” even though officers seen what happened.

It’s so much that happened with not enough room to write. But I’ll keep it basic.

They moved me to another dorm. And a few days ago I got assaulted by another offender. That’s right man, hit on my right eye with a scratch under my eye. The officer that seen it said nothing about seeing it, yet she called an “ICS.” The offender that did it was G2 status and should not have been mixed with G4s. OPI was done that rank did not want to do. So a fighting case was wrote. The other offender denied of course and “I folded.” That was my statement. I walked out with a march and they allowed the offender to go to work.

Now they have me on a unit transfer, but this offender has not been held accountable for her action. How do I press the issue on this when no one is talking?

Before I walked out my building I had no marks, but as soon as I step outside in less than 2 minutes I’m being escorted to medical.

PTT from MIM(Prisons) responds: This report shows how much effort Texas prison staff put into protecting prisoners. Seeking protection from staff offers predictable results. Sometimes they’ll listen, and sometimes they’ll transfer you. That’s if you’re lucky. Most of the time they pretend they didn’t see it, never got the grievance, etc.

If we want to end the assaults, we can ask ourselves: what are the core issues causing these assaults? When that’s clear, we can ask: will staff do anything to address those core issues? It would probably benefit them to do so, but decades of practice shows they likely won’t put in the effort to make that kind of difference.

So this report also shows the importance of prisoners building their own peace in prisons. We have a slightly different approach to ending these assaults than this writer. This might sound crazy, but what we’re working toward is helping prisoners build a culture of comradery and peacefulness on their units, so that this kind of behavior is not tolerated among the prisoner population.

When this comrade asks us what we think ey can do to end the assaults, we don’t advocate for more punishment from admin on the people committing the assaults. We advocate for building bridges, improving communication, and standing together in a United Front for Peace in Prisons.

That work is NOT EASY. But if we want to end assaults in prisons, and if we want to build a society that isn’t centered around unnecessary violence, then we have to commit to doing the hard work. No one is going to hand us a world free of oppression and exploitation. We have to build that ourselves. And that’s a beautiful thing. To be alive and have the opportunity to contribute to the future in this way.

MIM(Prisons) does everything we can to help support prisoners in this task, including providing education opportunities, organizing materials, and resources (like the Texas Pack). What of those materials and concepts would improve the situation with these prisoners who seek to cause you harm? Grievances and OICs aren’t working, and probably will never really work. So what do WE need to do about it?

[Organizing] [China]

Thoughts on "The Wind Will not Subside"

Salutations MIM(Prisons), and appreciation for the book The Wind Will not Subside about the years in revolutionary China. I wrote specifically to donate these stamps and to comment on what I’ve rend so far – because I’m not done with it.

Mao was a true paradox: simple yet complex, intellectual yet humble, he know how to control by letting go, he was an obvious mystery. And he was a Gangsta! I never knew hes wife and kids were tortured, raped and killed. He never spoke on the personal motivations of his mission, because he knew that his was just one story out of millions of similar stories. Se he wasn’t special.

Politicians of today would’ve used that story to their advantage, solely to get votes. And once ey got the votes, ey would then use that power to do the same thing that was done to em. Ey would’ve exploited to the fullest that tragedy. That was deep to me.

He also had the courage to go against traditional revolution (Russia), and challenge the status quo by not being afraid to fail if need be. Mao had the vision and intuition to understand that you don’t hamper the youth’s growth by pounding into them what ey are doing wrong. Ey will lose enthusiasm and ultimately give up.

About study groups. I have come to realize the less formal ey are, the more successful ey are. If we tell youngsters that we are going to start a “study group”, it reminds em too much of school. Although in essence, that’s what it is, the title rubs em the wrong way. I pass literature, books, ULKs around, then after ey’ve read them, I ask questions, give input and feedback. It is a slow process, but it works. I’m not perfect, and I am only one of many, but I have found the method that works for me. Maybe it will help a comrade who is sincerely trying to bring about change.

Salutations to all who labor in the name of communism


Under Ground Revolutionary

I'd rather die for the people
Than bow to the enemy
I will never be a cog
In this so-called penitentiary
United in the struggle
With my comrades i will stand
Equality reigns supreme
For every single human
We fight to end oppression
We'll educate to overthrow
If we unite and organize
They will never stop the flow
So if i'm speaking revolution
You need to open up your mind
Listen to the truth i'm spitting
Pay attention then you'll find
We're giving power to the people
Red banners flying high
Revolutionary fists
Raised proudly to the sky!
[Organizing] [Beto I Unit] [Texas] [ULK Issue 70]

Ambivalence in Texas Prisoner Organizing

I have been trying to organize a new group but I am failing. People here want things done but don’t want to do it themselves. I help with what I can. They don’t want to grievance the officers because they are worried about retaliation. In short, they are scared of a case and not making commissary.

I am fighting them and putting paper whenever I can. Shortly after I received my packet of Texas campaign materials, I got a frivolous case for failing to go to work. I was on my way to my wing from work and didn’t make it out the door. I had two offenders, a sergeant, and a kitchen captain as witnesses. The lieutenant running the case said that he didn’t give a f*** and that I was guilty. This was in May.

I filed a Step 1 but never got an answer. I did a I-60 request for the Step 1 grievance number. I got it with a request for a 40-day extension, 89 days after I filed the grievance and 11 days after I requested it, but predated for the week before I requested it by I-60. I did file a Step 2 without the Step 1 attached (I never got the Step 1) in October 2019.

I can’t wait to hear from Huntsville and the Ombudsman over all of this. Since I have no family out there, they are trying to ignore me. I refuse to go away.

In the meantime, I will keep writing and fighting this injustice $ystem that we are in. I will keep sharing my Texas Pack. I could use some group information that might help me if I can get one going again. They want to but don’t want to. I don’t get it.

MIM(Prisons) responds: We commend this comrade for sticking up for eirself, and “staying committed even when your homies ain’t with it” (shout out to Dead Prez). Even though it can be totally baffling and frustrating when people want to but don’t want to, know that you’re not alone in facing that challenge. Prison life is designed to make people ambivalent (or even completely disinterested) and handling that ambivalence is all part of the process of building for revolution and a new society. Accepting it as just part of the process can help us to not get frustrated by it.

We had a lot of discussion about the topic of how to organize people who are ambivalent in ULK 66, which was on the topic of Recruitment and Retention for Revolution. We are sending this comrade a copy of that ULK and a few more to study and share. And we encourage everyone to continue to send us updates on what it’s like in the facility where you’re held. We publicize conditions reports on our website, and conditions reports about organizing help us consolidate and support the national liberation struggles developing inside United Snakes prisons. In Struggle!

[Censorship] [Minnesota Corrections Facility Oak Park Heights] [Minnesota] [ULK Issue 70]

The Censorship Is Real!

Not many people understand what censorship is. They may have a vague concept based on the albums sold at Wal-Mart that block out cuss words, but they have no clue as to how deep censorship really goes.

And that’s mostly because of the censorship in and of itself. You can’t hear about what is suppressed. And this has been happening ever since words were created.

I am currently dealing with illegal censorship of at least three publications. Each of them has a few different things in common. One: They are all free to prisoners. Two: They are all political news oriented. Three: They are all against the prison industrial complex in any of its forms. Four: They are all being sent to a prisoner who has filed a Civil Suit against the Minnesota Department of Corrections: Myself.

This all started after I filed under the 42 § 1983 for guards messing me up in my last facility. All of my legal mail was opened outside of my presence before being given to me. Then they started refusing to send out mail seeking counsel to national organizations if it was in a sealed envelope. I had a stack of over 30 envelopes that clearly indicated that they were legal correspondence. So I went through the chain of command, and anyone who’s ever dealt with that already knows the outcome of the subsequent grievance & grievance appeal: staff denied all wrongdoing.

See, I’m not stupid. I have all the DOC Policy in my cell. I keep a full legal bin of State and Federal Law along with citations of case decisions. And even when I showed these fools every piece of where they violated not only their own policy, but Minnesota and United $tates Law, they only had this to say: “Well, if I have to go to Court, I guess I will.” That was the Discipline Sgt. Glen Lissowy as I showed him all of the evidence.

So after proving that the internal grievance system was completely useless, I filed a Civil Action in the District Court, only for the Judge Gregory G. Galler to deem it frivolous, and that I did not state a legal claim. Two months go by, and then I receive a notice that I am receiving a discipline for lying/misrepresentation. I was literally getting punished for filing a lawsuit against the DOC. Under Minnesota Law, this is only permissible if you lied, or filed a malicious lawsuit. I did neither; you figure that one out.

After that bit of nonsense, I received another astonishing piece of mail. A Non-Delivery Notice stating that the newspaper The Abolitionist was being censored due to it allegedly constituting a risk to the safety and security of the facility, with no further explanation. Again, I know the policy, and so I filed an appeal, which was to be forwarded to the Correspondence Review Authority (CRA). But, instead of following Policy, the Mailroom Lead Worker Natalie Leseman, responded to the appeal.

So I had to go up to her supervisor, Lt. Jason R. Hills, and cite the Policy and the Law only for him to also not follow policy and to reply to the appeal rather than forward it to the CRA. So finally, I had to mail it to the damn CRA myself. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to their response?

The Correspondence Review Authority, comprised of Chris Pawelk-AWO, Sherlinda Wheeler-AWA, and Byron Matthews-Captain, stated that they had read the material and determined the content should be denied for violating MN DOC Division Directive 301.030 Contraband because one of the articles allegedly advocates for organized disturbances within prison walls and activities in violation of facility rules.

Obviously, we all know this is not adequate to legally censor material, plus, it’s complete bullshit. So I used the second appeal and sent it to the Assistant Commissioner of Corrections, Nate Knutson. Confusingly, his reply was that the newspaper had a graphic depiction of violence and that that was why it had been denied.

While this was taking place, I received another Notice of Non-Delivery for a publication from MIM Distributors in San Francisco, CA alleging it was a “Risk to Safety & Security of Facility.” And again no further explanation was given. So I began the whole process anew. And again, Lt. Jason R. Hills failed to forward the appeal. And then the CRA failed to respond within the time permitted by Policy, and I am still awaiting word back from Nate Knutson.

The CRA did finally reply 15 days late, saying literally nothing of substance. And now I am awaiting to be approved to proceed In Forma Pauperis for a Civil Action against these poohbahs again.

But all this goes to show the lengths to which those who seek to oppress those with differing views, or who are in opposition, are willing to go. These people are willing to stake their livelihoods on performing illegal acts to people in prison, just to shut us up. And 90% of the time, they succeed.

When there are no witnesses, and no one to speak out, this type of thing goes unnoticed, and unpunished. You know they say absolute authority corrupts absolutely. If I can suppress your voice, your mail, your movements, your very life, no one will notice until you’re gone for good. Censorship is men playing god, and you’re only hearing about it because it was allowed to be said. Let that sink in.

MIM(Prisons) responds: Much respect to this comrade for all eir work fighting the censorship in eir prison. The other reason you are hearing about this censorship case is because of the independent newspaper and website run by MIM(Prisons). You won’t read about this stuff in the mainstream press. This underscores the importance of these independent institutions.

[Street Gangs/Lumpen Orgs]

No intentes derrotar la mentalidad gángster ¡abrázala!

La mentalidad gángster puede significar cosas diferentes para cada un@. Una pandilla es un grupo de personas con un objetivo común. Quiero enfatizar que todas las palabras y/o conceptos están sujetos a connotaciones que no tienen porque tener buenas intenciones. De la misma forma, pandillas/gángsters tienen tanto connotaciones negativas como positivas, igual que otras palabras como socialismo, anarquismo, comunismo, etc. El objetivo de MIM(Prisiones) ha sido educarnos respecto a estas ideas a través del uso apropiado de la ciencia.

Si tengo en cuenta todo esto, me considero un gángster. Puesto que creo en la idea de trabajar junto a otros para alcanzar un objetivo común, para mí no se trata de "derrotar la mentalidad gángster", sino de abrazarla y redirigirla hacia el "Sendero Iluminado." Tenemos un enemigo común y resolver nuestras pequeñas contradicciones no significa necesariamente que tengamos que vencer nuestra mentalidad gángster. Este tipo de lenguaje es lo que, en muchos casos, causa el rechazo por parte de las organizaciones lumpen (LO). Este es el lenguaje que utilizan las organizaciones financiadas por el estado y los grupos/organizaciones cristianos.

Entiendo que la dirección de MIM es diferente, pero aquell@s que tomen la ULK y le echen un vistazo, puede que al ver este lenguaje, la dejen. Mi enfoque ha sido, y seguirá siendo, uno que politiza la mentalidad gángster. Aquí es donde se encuentran a l@s camarad@s más dedicados y que, como son respetad@s, se encuentran en una posición desde la que pueden hacer cambios reales que borren la división entre las diferentes pandillas y promuevan nuestra lucha en la dirección correcta. Se trata de aprender y enseñar cuáles son nuestras pequeñas contradicciones y trabajar para superar estos pequeños obstáculos.

En ULK 67, USW 11 se escribió sobre cómo el estado de Washington está haciendo todo lo posible para despolitizar a l@s prisioner@s y cómo en aquellos lugares donde reina la mentalidad gángster es donde se encuentra la mayor resistencia contra el estado.(1) Cuando los LOs entienden el poder que tienen si trabajan en conjunto, las cosas empiezan a cambiar y a coger formar. Al fin y al cabo, las pandillas contrastan con la mentalidad individualista de Estados Unidos y son una respuesta a las condiciones socioeconómicas que enfrentamos dentro y fuera de la prisión. Es una forma de sobrevivir en un lugar donde el sistema opresivo y capitalista enfatiza el individualismo.

Notas: 1. USW 11, Analiza las condiciones locales para organizar oportunidades, ULK 67, abril de 2019.
[Migrants] [Spanish]

Un activista se enfrenta a 20 años de prisión por prevenir la muerte de migrantes

Scott Daniel Warren se enfrenta a 20 años de prisión por su trabajo voluntario distribuyendo comida y agua a migrantes en Arizona. Warren colabora con el grupo No Más Muertes que ayudan a l@s migrantes que cruzan la frontera en el desierto de Arizona. Por realizar este trabajo y por ofrecer a dos hombres un lugar para dormir, Warren fue acusad@ de dos cargos de felonía por prestar asilo y otro cargo de felonía por conspiración. Su juicio concluyó el 11 de junio con un jurado en desacuerdo.

Warren fue arrestad@ en enero de 2018 junto con otr@s voluntari@s de No Más Muertes. Los arrestos se produjeron horas después de que el grupo lanzara un video donde se veía a agentes de la patrulla fronteriza destruyendo jarras de agua que se habían dejado en el desierto para los migrantes. El caso todavía no está cerrado; los fiscales federales podrían optar por re-internar a Warren.

El desierto de Arizona es una de las fronteras más mortales para los migrantes debido al calor extremo. Pero las personas se ven obligadas atravesar por esta área debido a la política de "Prevención por disuasión" de 1994 que surgió en la era Clinton con el objetivo de hacer más mortal el cruce de fronteras. La idea era forzar a que el cruce de fronteras tuviera lugar sobre terrenos más hostiles, poniendo más vidas en peligro, y así desalentar a los migrantes a que intentaran el viaje. Los cálculos del plan tuvieron éxito, incluyendo las "muertes de extranjeros." Llevando a cabo esta medida, el plan funcionó. Se redujeron el número total de personas que intentaban cruzar, sin embargo, las probabilidades de morir incrementaron considerablemente.(1)

Cientos de migrantes son encontrad@s muertos cada año. Las políticas fronterizas de Trump son solo una continuación de las políticas antiinmigrantes de todas las administraciones imperialistas estadounidenses, incluyendo la de Obama. Mantener las fronteras cerradas es una fuente barata de mano de obra y recursos naturales para los imperialistas. De esta forma, se preserva la riqueza para aquellos que están a expensas de la pobreza de los que se encuentran en el exterior. Las muertes de migrantes son solo uno de los resultados de estas fronteras. Combatir el muro fronterizo de Trump es una distracción del problema real. Luchemos en contra de las fronteras, no de los muros. Abrir las fronteras; devolver la riqueza robada a las naciones ocupadas, en casa y en todo el mundo.

Notes: 1. Leah Varjacquas and Jessia Ma, "To Stop Border Crossings, the U.S. Made the Journey Deadlier", New York Times, May 29, 2019.
2. Gabe Ortiz, "U.S. attempt to punish humanitarian worker for giving migrants water and food ends in hung jury", Daily Kos, June 12, 2019.
[Migrants] [Spanish]

Cientos de personas en huelga de hambre en el centro de detención ICE de Washington

Más de 200 detenid@s iniciaron una huelga de hambre el 18 de octubre en el Centro de Detención Nordeste de ICE (ICE Northwest Detention Center, NWDC) en Tacoma, Washington. El NWDC es una prisión privada dirigida por el Grupo Geo. Esta instalación puede albergar a más de 1500 personas y en ella se encuentran l@s detenid@s de redadas de inmigración transferid@s desde la frontera de México con Estados Unidos y otros migrantes atrapad@s en el sistema Amerikkano. Esta es una de las mayores cárceles de inmigración del país.

Desde 2014, los detenid@s han iniciado 19 huelgas de hambre para protestar por su detención y sus condiciones tras las rejas. Esta última protesta exige una comida comestible, un tratamiento humano y much@s también exigen el cierre total del NWDC. L@s prisioner@s se encuentran gusanos, sangre, cabellos y otras cosas en la comida. L@s trabajadoræs de la cocina informan que las ratas corren alrededor del área de preparación de alimentos. L@s guardi@s abusan de los prisioneros. Y el Grupo Geo ignora estas quejas.(1)

El Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de los Estados Unidos (ICE) refleja las condiciones que hay en otras cárceles del país. De hecho, l@s prisioner@s del Centro Correccional de Clallam Bay en Washington también iniciaron una huelga de hambre y de trabajo a principios de octubre para exigir mejores condiciones, sobre todo, respecto a la calidad de los alimentos.

L@s funcionari@s de ICE emitieron una declaración negando la existencia de dicha huelga: "El hecho de que no se coma la comida que se ofrece en el centro no es un factor determinante por que se pueda declarar la presunta o proclamada huelga de detenid@s. Los artículos alimenticios del economato permanecen disponibles para la compra para los detenid@s". Después de esta declaración, realizaron un recorrido para la prensa por el NWDC, en el que se presentaron condiciones impecables, una sala de atención de urgencias bien abastecida y una biblioteca agradable. Al parecer, ningún prisioner@ fue entrevistad@, ni siquiera fue filmad@ de cerca durante la visita. (2)

La mayoría de l@s 54,000 detenid@s de ICE en EE UU se encuentran en prisiones privadas. Y la detención de migrantes constituye la mayor parte de la población carcelaria privada del país. Pero esto no se trata de la diferencia de condiciones entre las prisiones privadas y las estatales o las administradas por el gobierno federal. Las condiciones en todo el sistema de injusticia criminal son abusivas, peligrosas e inhumanas. No estamos luchando por una cara diferente del abuso. (3)

Es cierto que los arrestos federales en general han aumentado en los últimos 20 años, sin embargo, entre 1998 y 2018 los arrestos federales se incrementaron en un 10% entre l@s ciudadan@s norteamerican@s y en cambio, el aumento entre l@s no ciudadano@s fue de un 234%. El aumento más dramático fue entre 2017 y 2018, que creció un 71% el número de arrestos de los no ciudadan@s. En 1998 el 63% del total de arrestos federales fueron ciudadan@s estadounidonses, mientras que en 2018 este número cambió y el 64% de todos los arrestos federales fueron de no ciudadan@s. La porción de arrestos federales se ha ido centrando, cada vez más, en la frontera entre México y EE. UU., con un aumento del 33% en 1998 al 65% en 2018. El 95% de este aumento es a causa de detenciones de inmigración.(4)

Los centros de detención de ICE dejan claro el propósito de las cárceles en Estados Unidos. Esta es una opresión nacional. La mayoría de est@s detenid@s que no son ciudadan@s estadounidenses están siendo procesad@s por el "crimen" de estar en Estados Unidos sin el permiso de los imperialistas. Este "crimen" representa el 78% de los casos. (4) Unas fronteras cerradas es un requisito del imperialismo. La riqueza se mantiene dentro de estas fronteras para l@s poc@s afortunad@s que nacen bajo este privilegio. La riqueza es robada fuera de las fronteras; la explotación de la mano de obra y el robo de recursos naturales aportan grandes ganancias a los imperialistas. Y l@s imperialistas comparten esas ganancias con l@s ciudadan@s de sus países para mantenerl@s pasiv@s y cooperativ@s. Esta diferencia de riqueza es obvia; es latente incluso entre l@s más pobres dentro de las fronteras estadounidenses y la población media que viven en el tercer mundo. Quienes viven fuera de estas fronteras están desesperad@s por acceder a esta riqueza robada de su tierra natal. El papel del ICE y del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional está claro: mantener esta riqueza dentro de las fronteras estadounidenses en exclusiva para l@s ciudadan@s norteamerican@s.

Apoyamos las demandas justas de l@s prisioner@s en NWDC y de todo el sistema de injusticia criminal. Este sistema ha decaído tanto que las personas se ven obligad@s a morirse de hambre para luchar contra las condiciones peligrosas e inhumanas. La solución no es mejorar las condiciones en una prisión, ni siquiera cerrar una instalación. Pero estas demandas encajan con la lucha antiimperialista mientras luchamos por unas fronteras abiertas y el fin de un sistema en el que una nación tiene el poder de encerrar a otr@s solo por el crimen de haber cruzado una línea invisible.

1. Huelga de hambre en Tacoma NWDC pide tratamiento humano y el cierre de la instalación, La Resistencia, 18 de octubre de 2019.
2. Cientos de detenidos de ICE que se niegan a comer alimentos provistos en el centro de detención de Tacoma, The News Tribune, 18 de octubre de 2019.
3. Reconociendo el DOJ Report on Private Prisons, Bajo Llave y Candado 54, agosto de 2016.
4. Mark Motivans, Immigration, Citizenship, and the Federal Justice System, 1998-2018, Bureau of Justice Statistics, August 2019.
[Medical Care] [Terrell Unit] [Texas]

Forgery of Grievance and Denial of the Right to Grievance

To Whom it May Concern:

Greetings, I am writing in hopes you may be able to help and/or advise me. It is my intention to file suit against the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) director and employees concerning TDCJ failure to address grievance issues such as:

  1. Denial of insulin to insulin dependent diabetic

Transport Officer Mr. Ballew stated in the court hearing on 30 January 2019 that I must provide my own insulin during transport. I filed grievance #9019034096 on 6 February 2019 concerning this issue and unit grievance office claims to have closed this grievance on 1 January 2019. I must pay for a copy if I want to see the response given. (How is it possible to close grievance before it’s filed?)

  1. When I was released from the UTMB hospital and transferred to this (the Terrell Unit) I requested my property from the Carole Young infirmary unit be sent to me. I was told it was sent to the Byrd Unit and to date I have not received any property from the Byrd or Carole Young Units and my grievances step two, dated 12 April 2019, has been completely forged including the signing of my name to the document as if I wrote it.

It is my intentions to bring suit under violation of government code S.504 rehabilitation act for the following reasons:

I am denied to participate in TDCJ and UTMB programs and services or the benefit of those services provided to all other prisoners.

UTMB Galveston hospital orders that I take insulin three times a day. Note: I am not a type one or type two diabetic. I do not have a pancreas after it was surgically removed leaving me a severe diabetic with an auto-immune deficiency. My life depends on insulin and when I am not receiving insulin as ordered I am denied the right to complain through the TDCJ grievance program.

I request you send me the additional resource application to the federal courts and a copy of TDCJ grievance codes manual and any additional advice or information you may provide will be helpful. Also know that I talked with the Terrell Unit Assistant Warden Mr. Antony Patrict about these issues and he said “Sue me!” And the grievance office refused to allow me to complain about the forged grievance from 12 April 2019.


Darkness & Fire

Fire is this time in solitary.
Outside my window — darkness.
Gaining strength at a fiery pace,
this knowledge I must harness.

Fire is this time in solitary,
burning me like a thousand suns.
But the swords are forged in the hottest fires,
so I sharpen my faith so it's compared to none.

Outside my window — darkness;
freedom can seem afar.
But we must always remember,
it takes a certain darkness to see the stars.