Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I'm not afraid of death
I'm only afraid of dying
I'm not afraid of life
I'm just afraid of trying
I'm not afraid to face God when it's all said and done
I'm only afraid that when He looks at me He won't see his son
I'm not afraid of the future
But I'm afraid of the past
For there lie my skeletons waiting to dance
I'm not afraid for my family
But I fear for myself
That I'll forget how to love them
While confined in this cell
Or that they will forget me as the years go by
That my last shred of hope will wither and die
I'm afraid of nothing
Yet I fear everything
But what I fear most
Is the fear that fear brings.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I have struggled to understand this life. My studies have led me down many paths in a search for wisdom. After some time I came to a foundation, four core concepts I felt could explain who I am and what I believe in. Call it my war cry for a New Nation of Intellectual, free-thinkers bent on striving for something higher. They have led me to a state of becoming, that has led me to Divine purpose and laid a path to the perfection of the soul.

Refuse, Resist, Rise Above, Regret Nothing!

1. Refuse to Conform: Conformity leads one to a loss of individuality. It is the individual that makes the greatest contributions to a society. The free-thinkers, and fiery souls that ignite the passions of those they touch. So think for yourselves, be opinionated and never compromise what you hold dear.

2. Resist Oppression: Oppression leads to repression and soon one forgets the things he once held to be true. The oppressed man stands for nothing and loses their identity. Their masters think for them. Be your own master and rule your life.

3. Rise Above All Expectations: Continuously strive to better yourself in all things. Let no man cast a 'label' upon you. Be better than what anyone thinks you capable of and then reach for even higher goals.

4. Regret Nothing: Everything in life serves a purpose. Learn from your mistakes, don't regret them, for they have taught you a great lesson. In all things strive to do what is right, so you will have no cause to 'regret'. Be remorseful when you do do wrong but never regret the action - learn from it and move on with your life, continuing to Rise Above...

*** NOTE: Dan has sent numerous entries so I am going to start posting them twice a week at his request. Poetry/songs will be posted on Tuesdays and essays will be posted on Thursdays. Keep reading! Thanks for all of your support!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"My Brother....My Friend"

I am Dan's sister. I had originally intended to post my brother's blogs every Thursday and since I am new to this, I mistakenly posted a new one this past Monday. So, I decided to fill the void today by taking a moment to shed some light on who Dan really is.

As you know, he is currently incarcerated in a Correctional Center in Virginia. He is a prisoner and although he has brought it upon himself he is not really this person who sits behind bars in his dismal cell. I know him to be kind, funny, considerate, artistic and above all, my friend.

I never had many friends while I was growing up. My family and I traveled with a theatre production company and I was around adults the majority of my childhood. While my brother was quite a bit older than I, he was my best friend. He and I would put on shows, play with little army men but mostly we would just go exploring. I adored my brother and always wanted to be like him.

Now that I am older and our situation is as such, I still want to be like him. Don't get me wrong, I do not want to end up behind bars. I do, however, want to be who he really is; a writer, a lyricist, a creator, a musician, an artist, a conversationalist. He is so much more than a convict. He's my brother...my friend.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Into the Dark"

Driving in like nitroglycerine knives,
Piercing and explosive;
My words disected to find reason...
But in me lives only contradiction,
My desire is for the good! But...
Why do I try?
Evil is so easy to master;
A seductive mistress;
A simple way to build my own confidence
By tearing the next man down...

If I held the world in the palm of my hand,
I fear I would crush it,
Simply to rid myself of the burden.
The humble man is trounced upon,
So the Arrogant Man may be feared...

I go into the dark
and think,
Why do I try?
Because if I don't,
then who will.
And so I suffer the pain,
of love;
of life...
And try to escape myself.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Acts of stupidity are not uncommon in prison, as you can well imagine, but we are not alone. Stupidity is everywhere. Foolish people are breeding foolish actions at an alarmingly increasing rate. The further we advance technologically, the less capable our world seems to be at making wise decisions and thinking for ourselves. Quick reference of fact is replacing man's capacity for logical thought. It has become a world of people who can navigate the Internet as easily as we once changed channels on the television and yet many have trouble comprehending basic math and spelling. It is disheartening to think that this media-entranced, zombified world is the one my nieces and nephews will grow up in.

The true root of all evil is ignorance, for it is in a state of ignorance that all wrongs are committed. This does not excuse the evil act, for in most cases the guilty is fully aware of the crime he commits and that it is wrong. It is in his ignorance that he finds justification for his action or overlooks the depths of the consequences.

Even so, how do we hold the ignorant man accountable? By recognizing that each of us, with the capacity to think, had the opportunities to seek out knowledge and wisdom and by wisdom we had the ability to be logical and make the right decision.

Education can lead to freedom of the people and act as a light to burn away the darkness of ignorance and evil. The wise man will seek righteousness, for it would be stupid to do otherwise.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I have often been questioned about my life in prison. People wonder if it's like they have seen in movies and television. They imagine it to be some violent world filled with rape, extortion, robbery and assault. While these things do occur, my experience has shown that in most cases the victim of the crime was as much to blame as the one who committed the act. This is not always true but more so than in the 'free world'. What I mean by this is that the victim has in some way violated the unwritten codes of prison life. I don't necessarily agree with these retributive actions, but I agree that these codes should be followed. It is a wise path that leads one to survive the hardships of prison life. Yes, prison is hard, even if it's not as difficult as often portrayed. The fact is that the prison officials cause more trouble and give rise to more problems than the inmates ever do. We only want to live our lives and make some attempt at establishing ourselves in productive manners. At least most of us do.

So what are the prison codes?

  1. Mind your own business: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. If it doesn't involve you, don't worry about it.

  2. Keep your mouth shut: If it's not about you personally, you don't know anything.

  3. Pay back whatever you owe: There is nothing wrong with getting in debt but make sure you can pay.

  4. Watch the company you keep: If you don't wish to be labeled as a homosexual, don't regularly associate with homosexuals.

  5. Do not allow yourself to be exploited or taken advantage of: Establish yourself as a respectable person that can be respected.

  6. Be friendly and sociable: You don't have to be friends with everyone but you don't need to carry an arrogant attitude either.

  7. Settle in and keep yourself busy: Write, draw, read, do whatever you can to stay active with 'legal' activities.

It is by following these rules that I have survived 12 years without many worries, at least stemming from my fellow convicts.

Direct correspondences can be made to me at:

Daniel Jackson #1182398

Powhatan Correctional Center

State Farm, VA 23160