Bird Stuff Suite in July

Drawing by Spoon

It's warm and windy out. The tall blondish brown grass is swaying on the other side of the razor and electric fences. The grasses, dancing to Mother Earth's song. A few blackbirds and cowbirds just outside the window. Looking out I saw the mother turkey and beside her the baby turkey I had seen weeks ago. It is about four or five times bigger. They cross the dirt road to the boulder field, where in the distance the hills fall into a drop, some kind of valley and more sky. It was so great to see the baby turkey is still striving and growing.
I don't know which side of the dirt road and fields the mother turkey and its baby lives on. I never see them walking up the road at late dusk near the fences like grown gobblers and turkeys without babies. I imagine they travel under the cover of tall grasses, there must be a route through the grasses and tiny hills.
Wait! Wow, amazing, moments ago I spoke about not seeing any mother turkeys and their young walking up the road towards where I imagine the turkey trek, looking out the window I see two mother turkeys walking up the road with about twelve chicks! I guess the young are quick and strong enough to bring out in the open now.


The next day, after the rains I got up early and watched the grass outside my window to see if the brown grass had greened any since the night rains.
The sky over the fields, by the tree and small hills are filled again with swallows darting about. A true dove is back on the razor wire. The squirrel is in the shade under the tree on his second look out boulder, where weeks ago I saw the turkey hen hanging out with her baby. I don't know what you call a baby turkey. I wonder what the squirrel is watching.
Maybe there wasn't enough rain, enough wet for the fields of wild grass to turn green. I'll await the true dove and watch the dusk from the window.

Lime yellow canary

I waited at dusk again looking out of the thin thick window hoping to see the new geese family. The turkeys pass on their way home from the feeding fields. The gobblers follow the hens. The males hang out in groups of threes. Their legs are like long popsickle sticks. I wait and again the true wing-tail dove appear atop of the razor wire, only four feet up from the lethal electric fence.
I put a window cover in, but something keeps making noise and I take the covers out of the window and see a tiny lime yellow-green canary staring and fluttering up and down the window. We stared at eachother a few moments before it flew away.


A new day and the bushy tailed ground squirrel is standing tall on one of his look-out boulders near the shaggy evergreen tree. I was so blessed yesterday to see two wild mother turkeys taking a rambunctious group of baby turkeys up the road to the turkey tree. First time I ever saw that. It made my day. I suppose my day isn't hard to make. A smile can do that too.
Peace and realness

Bird feast

I see now what countless swarms of insects the swallows, starlings, cow birds, red winged blackbirds, crows, kill deer and some other kind of birds I don't know the name of, that spread their wings like a cape or umbrella to shade the ground as they catch something to eat.
I don't think the true ring-tailed doves or pigeons were eating the tiny insects. They are on the cell window right now. They hop and fly like tiny grasshoppers. They definitely have been the feast the swallows and other birds filled their bellies with. There must be tons of them, for more than ten days the birds have been feasting and yet at dusk today, I still see the insects boldly all over the window sill, darting about in the sunsetting sky and I think the birds must be sated or burnt out for the moment.

Twitter and Facebook

Spoon is now on Twitter. Tweets also appear on the public Spoon Jackson Facebook page. These are started to try to help promote the blog and Spoon's books.

The Editor


Bogged Down (Jim Crow)

Mass incarceration for a whole
generation of the poor
so that the one-percent
can fill their pockets and soar

A lockdown for all the black and brown
in all the cities and towns
You have no keys to the doors
and no carpets on the floors

The walls are already closed
in on you chosen before you are born
leaving you no place to go
sometimes no place to feel

Cages are opened from the outside
but, transcended from the inside
Sometimes you must close your eyes
and the walls will fall

Mass incarceration for a whole
generation of the poor
so that the one-percent
can fill their pockets and soar

They bog you down
in the worse parts of town
low or no income and low
or no education

They tell you, you have no keys
to life, no value and no souls
that you are forever
criminals, gangsters, hustlers and hos'

Ghettos and barrios, starving,
homeless, hopeless, fatherless, loveless
places, with liquor stores, cops
economic faces and educational and judicial traps

Mass incarceration for a whole
generation of the poor
so that the one-percent
can fill their pockets and soar

You are deemed a criminal
and disposable in their eyes
even before you are born
and fodder for their mass incarceration farm

The new caste system to waste
the youth, while the one-percent
who owns the drug profits legal
and illegal, rich and poor

War on drugs war on crime, war on black
and brown youth is a pipeline to clown
suits, a smoke screen
to mass incarceration

Mass incarceration of young men
fathers and sons lives
who are having no other options
do what they must to survive

Survive in this society
where all they have to do
is see you as a criminal
that makes you expendable

A new caste system to waste
a whole generation of poor blacks
and browns, with no human rights
and a scapegoat for all America's woes

Mass incarceration for a whole
generation of the poor
so that the one-percent
can fill their pockets and soar

Why is the war on drugs
waged only against the poor?
Who owns no land, no ships, no planes
no ware houses, no barges, no stores, no trains

Mass incarceration of a whole
generation can set in motion
for all the smallest infraction
a lifetime of commotion

A lifetime of incarceration
no way to clean the slate
especially in California, the richest
mass incarceration state

No matter what you do
it's still your fate
in California the mass incarceration state
in California the mass incarceration state

© Spoon Jackson


Winter and spring gone

Winter and spring gone, all spent on lockdown. Now the seventh month, still only black prisoners are on total lockdown and still only because of the color of their skin.
My skin longs to be touched and blessed by the sun as I look out of the window and watch the warmth lay on the blondish grasses. On the other side of the two razor topped fencing and lethal electric wire, the grasses are taller and a more blondish tan near the squirrel boulders. No direct sunlight ever shines through these boney cell windows, although it's dusk and the sky is heavy with sun. I can feel none on my skin. My once dark skin is now high brown.


The Brave Six

Lockdown continues, going on six months now, so I don’t have my writing classes to teach. Fortunately, Professor Tom Kerr, who teaches writing at Ithaca College in New York, contacted me to do the Brave Six project with a new batch of young students at his school. Tom and I first orchestrated this essay/letter correspondence with his Ithaca college students and my New Folsom writing students in 2008. We have done this project now three or four times.  It has been an enlightening journey for both free world students and my incarcerated writing classes.

Just this week Tom wrote me with a new batch of questions from both his persuasive and argumentative writing classes. Because of the lockdown, I cannot contact my students, so I answered all the questions myself and sent them in.

The Brave Six projects started when my friend Margot, from Switzerland, sent me a printed-out copy of Tom Kerr’s web page and his address. She wondered why, though I had many projects going on with people in Europe (mentoring students as well as film, book and song writing projects) I had few in the USA and she suggested I write Professor Kerr. I read that Tom had worked with well-known writers on Death Row at San Quentin and that he saw them as human beings. I felt there must be some realness there inside Tom, some courage – an honest appreciation for the power of words, forgiveness, love, service, redemption, change, education and growth.

I pondered Tom’s information for about a year and then sent him my articles, “Speaking in Poems” and “Shining in Darkness.” I had no expectations and figured he might enjoy the articles, but that I would not hear anything back.

Weeks later I received a letter from Tom telling me how the two articles had inspired and primed him... Read the whole essay at ALT/space published June 12.