Prison Poetry

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     "Behold, I make all things new".
     In the terrible days of Son of Sam,  David Berkowitz wrote.
     He wrote taunting letters to both the police and the media.  These
letters poured forth darkness of soul, satanic bondage, torment, and evil
     His soul was under bondage to the Druid satanic diety, Samhain, who
called for human sacrifice.
     Those letters are part of the dark legend of Son of Sam.
     Those horrible days are gone, and the Lord has forgiven, and poured
the balm of Forgetfulness over David's mind.
     Philippians 3:13---"forgetting those things which are behind, and
reaching forth unto those things which are before..."
     In the newness that Jesus gives, David began to write again.  This
time his heart poured forth from a refreshing fountain of sweetness from
the Lord.
     He began to write poetry.  The remembrance from childhood of the
love of his grandfather.  The weeping heart of a prisoner longing to be
with his baby son.
     The loneliness and regret in the hearts of men behind bars.
     The beauty of nature in God's creation.
     Presented here are a few of his best works.
     The heart that wrote these poems is not the same heart that wrote
those taunting, tormented letters back in the dark time.
     Read them with your heart. 


What can we do
But pity a tarnished life
Of Immoral conquests
And failed dreams
Empty of merriment
Of a yearning for hearth and fireplace
Wife and love
Everything now in fragments

                                       October 6, 1989
Nature Call

I heard that call again, I did
Deep within my soul,   amid
Cries of loons
And woodcock tunes.
Moors and swamps
Dressed in cattail browns,
Foxtail ornaments
With foxfire crowns.
Dark at night the only sound,
A hissing of nature sprites
In the ground.
And hidden dandelion kings
Whisper at being clothed
Yellow, red, brown.
A humming bird with a sing-song tune
Croons, croons, croons
While shrouds of evergreen jeweled shrubs
Dance under a cloudless moon.

                                     October 11, 1989 
Corn Stalk

The corn stalk
Stands tall not rigid,
Swayed by a tender breeze.
One thin stem it stands on,
Leaning north or south with ease.
But man is most unyielding,
And won't bend on his two stems.
Yet they both will wither
And wilt down to the ground.
The man he fades to ashes,
The corn just fades to brown.

                                                              October 17, 1989
I Remember Grandpa
Note:  This poem is dedicated to David's beloved grandfather, Harry Schwimmer.  "Grandpa Harry" lived in a tenement in the South Bronx at 940 Kelly Street, where he died in his sleep in 1959.   David was about five years old at the time.   David has fond and priceless memories of sitting on his grandfather's lap in a tiny kitchen.       Whenever David visitied his grandparents, Harry and Helen, his grandpa would hand him five brand new pennies, which he would take home and put inside his red plastic piggy bank.
       Sadly, "Grandpa Harry" died suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving a big hole in David's heart.

So long ago
Just a blur
You held me
Made me laugh
Always a smile
A happy time
I won't forget
Your five pennies
Your wet kisses
Your prickly wiskers
Before death came
To take  you
To the graveyard.

                                           June 22, 1989
Grand Canyon

A canyon so vast-
It doesn't seem to have
A beginning or ending.
How can one grasp
What it's like to stand
Looking north, east,
South, west into eternity
Attuned to nature,
Aware that I'm just a speck,
Like a sand particle
Empty of mind and powerless-
This canyon humbled me.
Showed me that its
Brown baked walls will
Outlast me.  Millions
Of  years before I was born,
Millions of years after I'm gone,
These dry sandstone cliffs
Will live on.

                                  December 11, 1990
In Forever

       the doors
                  of hope.

      ourselves in,
              and now
                      we can't
                                get out.

                                                             September 14, 1993
We're Prisoners

As babies crying
For mothers
Long dead.
As children crying
For fathers gone to graves.
The ghosts
Of dreams
That died.
The prisoners
Of our
Own  hands.
The killers
Of ourselves.

                                                  September 13, 1993
The Angry Young Lions

The lions sit meekly in their cages
Held now in captivity after a
Lifetime spent hunting their  prey
In the jungles of concrete and glass
Wasting away the remainder of
Their days
Staring at the flourescent lightbulbs
in the ceiling.
Lion tamers, dozens of them,
struting about with clubs,
Seeking to tame these wild beasts,
Fearful of being mauled
By their own charges.
Angry young lions,
Most in the prime of life,
Full of power and strength
Locked in a cage.
Full of murderous rage,
Having to walk in single file
When once
They roamed free,
But without purpose.
Roaming the open roads
Preying upon others,
Others preying upon them,
In jungles full of concrete and glass,
Taking their freedom for granted.
But then capture!
Arrest and incarceration!
Now the lions sit in cages
One by one
under the watchful eyes
Of their tamers,
Whose job it is
To re-orient
And re-educate
The beasts.
With force if necessary,
To teach them how to live
in the jungles
Without stalking and killing.
To live honestly
In a dishonest world.
To teach them principles
in a world where
Principles are non-existant.
And politicians steal,
And those with money
Can kill their prey
Without having to be stained
With it's blood.
Angry young lions
Bewildered and confused,
In a violent world. 
All their lives surviving by wit
And courage
And instinct,
Now  held captive
By those who fear them.
Yet waiting for the day
When the tamers must meet
And decide
And determine
That these lions
Are no longer dangerous.
That they no longer
Will seek live game,
But will gladly settle
For a bowl of lettuce.
And will willingly revert
To a passive existance
That is as alien to them
As the lives of their keepers.
Morning Song

In the early morning hours
Before the dew leaves the flowers
As mountain mists lift from the earth,
Before the dawn sun leaps from her berth-
A Path is now open for meditation,
Concentration, reflection, contemplation.
Before the birds rise from their nests,
It's the perfect time if one invests
In praising, prayer, and leaving
Behind all care and grieving.
From the pain of the world,
A world filled with dark despair,
Embroiled in hatred,
Bitterness and strife----
It will quickly end your life.
The early morn is best for me,
The fading stars and pale moon
Blend with the coming soon,
Of sun and birds and flowers-
The heat of long daylight hours.
You see, the dawn is really a time of rest
And one who understands this is truly blest.
In the quiet center of  one's mind
The voice of Jesus you will find.
An invitation from the Son
To walk with Him before the day's begun.
For what my Savior has in store
Is to help me, heal me, and so much more!

                                                                 January 3, 1991
Goodnight, My Son
A prisoner's thoughts about his little son

Goodnight, my son,
Goodnight, my son,
Have sweet and pleasant
A watchful eye I'll keep for thee,
 Tho I'm far away, it seems
Goodnight, my son,
Goodnight, my son,
May serenity
Come to thee.
Many miles away,
I linger, thinking
Of you and me
Oh, if this could be...
I'd like to be free
One day, as free
As a bird in flight,
To hold  you, hug you,
Kiss your cheek,
And wish you a  pleasant

                                                       October 22, 1989




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