Poems About Prison by Lemuel Johnson

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the clammy cement

sucks our naked feet

a rheumy yellow bulb

lights a damp grey wall

the stubbled grass

wet with three o’clock dew

is black with glittery edges;

we sit on the concrete,

stuff with our fingers

the sugarless pap

into our mouths

then labour erect;

form lines;

steel ourselves into fortitude

or accept an image of ourselves

numb with resigned acceptance;

the grizzled senior warder comments:

‘Things like these

I have no time for;

they are worse than rats;

you can only shoot them.’


the large frosty glitter of the stars

the Southern Cross flowering low;

the chains on our ankles

and wrists

that pair us together



We begin to move


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