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Pyramids. Plantations. Projects. Penitentiaries

We went from Pyramids to Plantations, to Projects, to Penitentiaries
and you think America has love for me/we –
We went from Pyramids to Plantations, to Projects, to Penitentiaries,
and you think America wants to give Us Free.

1

I was born at 8:10
Died. Revived. Then, born again.
With fight in my blood
Storm and rain
War and sin
Then again, I am the statistic
The government enlisted for prison
With standardized testing
Repeated helpings of failure
Through public school systems
The PROject’s projected
Only one would erect
From city streets
Swamps meets
Generations of derelicts
‘Let alone’ from a mother
Who birthed 13
And a mother’s mother
Who bore the exact same thing
Let’s not forget Prince Charming
Whose abuse had substance
Longed for peace
But served a country that lacked justice
Points infiltrated the veins
Molested blood
relaxed the complexity pain
Which left me logically to believe
[That] if time heals
The incarceration system is doing the damn thang
Now, if we can bypass the root of plausible evolution
It would be safe to say
I was born in confusion
Subjugated to the media’s illusion
Of who I be
Which leads me to the point
Rocks. Water. Leaves.

​ ​2

Follow me to the Good Book
Where people are metaphors for trees
And peace is found
In the stillness of streams
Follow me to the Good Book
Where the end is known in the beginning
And the beginning known in the end
[And] those who pain us most
are either family or friend(s)
Lead me beside still waters
And watch the branches
On fertile trees
Fall like leaves
Because of the season
And there you will see
My pop of ages
Rockin(g) congregation
Of these city streets
With the solid rock of the cocoa leaf
May I borrow a line please?
My dad rocks
No really, my Dad rocks!
Sometimes in his weed
Sometimes he melts
But it makes his arms bleed
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Reverse what you heard
The natural herb
Could no longer satisfy the need
Cocaine baptized the weed
The Audacity of Hope
Tried to make my pop believe he could stop
Cain killed Able
What about that verse was forgot
Watch how system the depicts
The second hand
When you hear the tick
Of time bomb
Stuck in a pit
Of a habit trying to quit
This​ ​is​ ​the​ ​last​ ​time
Daughter, I will be there I won’t forget
This​ ​is​ ​the​ ​last​ ​time
Baby, I pawned the ring for a hit
This​ ​is​ ​the​ ​last​ ​time
Mama, I sold the TV shit
This​ ​is​ ​the​ ​last​ ​time
God help him
He’s sick!

3

No one knows who’s in control
Depending on the stroll
The rhythm the catch the taste
The smack the look the feel the taste
See what the childhood remembers
The wounds of the past
Are brought to present figure
The man becomes a nigger
The preacher turns into a pimp
Black panther infiltrated by the government
The son fell off its axis trying to orbit
Traveling 135 miles per second
And still falling
While we are hem hawing with prison
I wish they would privatize the addiction
Then we could rehabilitate the illness
When it duplicates in form of cell mates
Are you listening?

4

Water, rocks leaves.
Drown the mind of insecurities
Bathe the checks
Wash the feet
Weep at the garden
Of Gethsemane
Can I get a witness?
Well let me hear you speak
Cause if you don’t cry out
The rocks will cry out
[And] I don’t want no rocks
Crying for me
We went from Pyramids to Plantations, to Projects, to Penitentiaries
and you think America has love for me/we –
We went from Pyramids to Plantations, to Projects, to Penitentiaries, to Poplar   trees,
and you think America gives Us FREE

Tasha Jones is a writer, poet, womanist and educator. @iamtashajones.

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