Foolish dreamer

Today I finished the Libretto I am writing for my Swedish brother Stefan. We are creating a musical based on my chapters in my memoir ”By Heart” that I wrote with Judith Tannenbaum, and based on the lyrics and music from the two CD's ”Freedom for the prisoners” and ”Words of realness”. Of course Stefan and our director will create other music and flows for the piece. Stefan projects it will take up to three years for the musical to come to stage in Sweden. 
My dream, my hope is that I can attend that opening! Oh, I am just a foolish dreamer. I have dreamed I could fly. I have dreamed I could talk to animals. I have dreamed that plants and flowers whisper songs and poems to me. Sometimes I have brought them back through the doors of dreams. I have dreamed I was on stage sharing my work and wonderful things were thrown at me. I have dreamed I live beyond any kind of prisons, beyond hate and revenge. I may be just a foolish dreamer, but I'll keep dreaming beyond walls. I'll love some of you who will never love or forgive me for my past wrong – something that happened decades ago. An event you still chose to see and color your perception of my life. Forgive for your own good, your own balance, your own love and light. Perhaps, when you can forgive yourself, you will forgive me. The foolish dreamer, that will keep on dreaming beyond walls. A dreamer that believes in love as swans do.


Middle May

Today middle of May, winter is back full of thunder and lightening. Heavy storms in the mountains. Heavy rain and wind here in New Folsom, Mt. Represa, California, even some funnel clouds sightings.
I sit in front of the art room and ponder how can I be nicer and not so agitated in my dealings with folks, especially the teaching of my writing groups. I hope I don't become too jaded, too impatient to stay open and to learn and grow because we are all students and teachers... seekers and creators wanting to do better.

(New posts on the Bird Blog)


After Rosanne Cash’s visit

A guard who was one of Rosanne Cash’s escorts at the second coming of Cash to Folsom Prison, came up to me as I sat in front of the art room playing the flute and asked; would I be interested in doing a video for troubled youth. I had remembered this guard from the show and he told me how much he liked the poems I had read for Ms Cash. I was silent for a few moments as the guard continued "the video would be presented for continuation school students. Students that had gotten kicked out of regular school." I could relate to that, I had been kicked out of regular school and had to attend continuation school as a youngster. The guard asked "You are not in a gang are you?" 
"That is correct, don’t believe in them", I replied . "I am open to inspiring young folks not to join gangs or let go of gang banging". The guard assured me the video would not be exploited by media or used by the Department of Corrections to put down prisoners.
I sensed the guard asked from a real and honest place in his heart and soul. I was cool with that, and I agreed to do the video.


At night I fly - Images from New Folsom

Michel Wenzer, who has earlier made "Three poems by Spoon Jackson", a short movie with Spoon reading his poetry, that gained publicity and won a documentary movie price has recently completed a full length documentary about Spoon and other prisoners in the Arts in Correction program at New Folsom prison. It's the result of five years work. The title comes from a poem by Spoon. World premiere at Sheffield documentary film festival in June. It will later show on Swedish and Danish National Television. 


New Folsom Graduation

The vice principal asked me to write a poem again this year for graduation ceremony. The theme being “Change“. Graduation day, New Folsom, 2011, like education and art programs everywhere in the USA have been cut in most communities.
For the past six years, I have been asked to read a poem at the graduation ceremony, and each graduation class has gotten smaller each year, going from a river to a drying stream in the desert.  This year only four students received their General Education Development (GED) and one a high school diploma. There were a few certificates of completion in the remaining trade, office services here at New Folsom.
Still the graduation ceremony itself was real, and some prisoners' families were there and showed their appreciation for their loved ones' accomplishments. I enjoyed the realness and joy of the graduates and their families who came to the visiting room for the graduation. It was an honour to read my new poem “Change” I wrote for the ceremony.


Sometimes we must fail
To rise, sink to swim –
Sometimes we must be ugly
To be beautiful

The goslings fell and fell
Their first second and third
Attempt at flying

But they kept getting up
Running and dancing
Backwards and forwards
Lifting and flapping
Higher with each attempt

Sometimes we must lay
Down our pride
Like a sword
And bare our souls and hearts

Sometimes we must anchor
Ourselves in pain
To lift the veils of change

For change can come
Like a twister
Or grow steady like a tree
Sometimes we must fail, we must let go
To grow…and

One never fails when one
dares to change
One never fails when one
dares to fail

© Spoon Jackson 6 april 2011