Two Poems

July 25, 2023


A stylized illustration of the author on a dollar
Illustration courtesy of the author

Julius D. Jones is a talented and thought-provoking artist who cares deeply about humanity, justice, and peace. Despite being incarcerated for more than twenty years, Jones has independently published three books of poetry. To celebrate Julius’s birthday on July 25, two of his favorite poems along with one of his drawings are featured here with his permission. Jones’s “Ida B. Wellas” explores facing injustice and speaking back to it with dignity, integrity, and vulnerability. “Treal Forgiveness” meditates on what it means to forgive for a crime you did not commit.—Karlos K. Hill


Ida B. Wellas

As the pool of my sorrows swells
Pondering the fear of what retribution quells
Reflecting what disenfranchisement sells
Civility and actual truth stales
Clarion to what deflection of transparency entails
The premise of equality hightails
We’re choking on the fumes off the blind lady’s scales
Wake up America! I’da be wells
This injustice reeks, Oh how it smells
Widenin’ the crack in Librty’s alarm Bells
Address what the American dream dispels
Shine your light on the drkness in which capitalism dwells
It’s not just my life’s expectancy that’s fleeting as gazelle’s
But your opportunity to judiciary Cabals and Cartels . . .

from Juwels of Life, self-published, 2020


Treal Forgiveness

They wanna know if I care
Better yet, if I scare
But how do I even dare
Let alone even decide to declare
When I’m fully aware
Of the deceit in their stare
Of the hate in their prayer
They say, come, sit, share
But if I take the time to prepare
I can see the menace in their glare
They wanna trap me like a hare
Shoot me down, like some useless mare
With no concern for how my seeds’ll fare
Because they feel there is nothing to spare
Not even with my son’s emotions revealed bare
For treal (True and Real) 4giveness is beyond rare
Especially considering I’m not the one who
Squeezed the hardware . . .

from Juwels from Death Row, self-published, 2015

Julius D. Jones is a self-taught poet and is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a murder he says he did not commit.