Home‎ > ‎2001 Poems‎ > ‎

Alive In Death's Stronghold

Again I awoke to the morning
In the dark of my prison cell
And again my Savior met me
In this place so full of hell
But I have a light within me
Which shone bright all night long
While God's spirit warred within me
Against the bonds so strong

As I stepped out on the tier
I saw two lighted eyes
Fueled by the same fire I carry
Which made my Redeemer rise
And right in that instant
I knew I had made a friend
A brother to love forever
Where friendships never end
No matter if I see him again

We sat and ate together
And shared of our love divine
We saw no outer difference
In color, his and mine
Though all around us thought that way
Fearing and hating the different
We simply praised our maker
For showing us what's true
God's revealed in his every child
No matter what his hue

I've asked to meet my Jesus
And gaze upon his face
Today I know even more richly
This beauty long open to me
How beautifully he lives through every race

Stephen Pursell, 9/28/01, This photo is of a typical cell in the California prison where this poem was written.  I my experience there are countless men in CDCR who like me have beautiful artistic gifts.  But the evil courts and prison system of California would rather punish and abuse the men for their mistakes than see them prosper in their gifts that would contribute to their home communities and indeed  to all mankind.