Some prisoners have gophers, lizards, sparrows, praying mantises, black widows, and other spiders and snakes as pets. The very idea of incarcerating other beings in cells is absurd. Prisoners of all- all people must know how it feels to be caged and deprived of freedom. We went on lockdown at New Folsom, which meant confined to cells. And movement only to medical in handcuffs.
First batch of Canadian geese arrived and homesteaded this mor. One pair of geese made it their territory, defended it from other geese and humans, that walked too close to the nest site. There was even one video of one officer who fell down in his haste to get away from the nest. It became a joke around the prison.
I blended nature and bird images throughout my poetry because I wanted to show how we as human creatures, as fellow creatures, share space with other beings. Too long-time poet friends, Judith Tannenbaum and Kate [inaudible] send me a book, on all the North American birds, which was a blessing. Coming to prison, from the heart of the high desert, the only birds I knew were sparrows, pigeons. Rare road runner sightings, a domestic Fowl we raised on our little bottom lot.
I strive to allow the bird images and stories to come to me and not impose my will on them. I want to blend our lives together as fellow beings of mother earth. I sat in front of the arts and correction for days and watched a rock dove with a long homemade dart on his chest that looked like a knitting needle.
As it tried to eat with the other birds, I had to figure out how to catch the bird and remove the dart.
(Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.