Tag Archives: Restorative Justice

Angelic Tempest

Angelic Tempest

I feel from grace
at least from Man’s
Not from His grace
I guess the plan
The prism
from prison

Is birds don’t fly
Not jailbirds
there’s no wind
beneath their wings
But infused with spirit
when someone saw my worth
To be more
than a dirt of Earth

You were the wind
beneath my wings
Now my imagination soars
with greater possibilities
That my life could give meaning
to the world

by C-Note

©2018Donald “C-Note” Hooker

Out of Time and Out of Words

Winter’s cold
or evening night
fireplace warmth
Bearskin rug
the meeting place
out of time
and out of words

by C-Note

©2018 Donald “C-Note” Hooker

Tender Caresses

Tender caresses
a cross your face
back handed fingers
travelled with grace
a wisp of your hair
fell out of place
clasp of my fingers
leans to embrace
essence of our eyes
the meeting place
soulful connections
in outter space
motions of kisses
a lipstick trace
from tender caresses
across my face

by C-Note

©2018 Donald “C-Note” Hooker

Goodness In Virtue Everyday (Give)

When you were born God gave you the gift of life. Then you were given nourishment and clothes in able to grow. You were given the opportunity to live life as you see fit. Given the strength to make it through ups and downs. Given the chance to make mistakes and the fortune to make it out. You were given breath, a past, a present, and an idea of hope for a future. You were given choices whether good or bad. You were given a chance to laugh, to cry, to play, to learn, to have experiences. All of these things you were given for nothing more than the love of God. You did not earn it. You did not ask for it but it was given. Life is to give and to give is life. You can’t not give without love and you cannot love without giving. What you give shall be returned. You will be given things you do not deserve. Everything you got in life will be given to someone else when you die. You cannot receive without being given.

The question becomes: Do I give to get or do I get when I give?

Jesus gave his life for the sins of men.

Muhammad gave his vision which produced the Koran.

Buddha gave us a way to be enlightened.

War gave us hope for peace.

Give of your SELF and your SELF will be given!

by Dar`cy Bolton

I Reached

I reached for a pen
and there was no ink
I reached for a pencil
and there was no lead
I reached for a heart
and there was no blood
I reached for you
and there was love.

by C-Note

©2018 Donald “C-Note” Hooker

The World’s Greatest Threat: Being Black With Self-Respect

They never likeded my swag
cause it was rooted in gang culture
cause out here in L.A.
Nineteen Sixty-Five
ain’t never died
year of the Watts Riots
cause thirty years later
Nineteen Ninety-Two
We kicked off some shit too
year of the L.A. riots
But who really brought it your way
You know what dem Niggas had to say
about dem cops
Police brutality had to stop
But that was before Black Lives Matter
and that shit came from the Town
Oak Land
Where Huey P Newton was the Spokes Man
for the Black Panthers
and its Organization for Community Defense
you see it all makes sense
that video recorders dun came around
But it didn’t to Rodney King’s jurors
who saw his Black ass take a beat down
from six cops standing around
six cops actively participating
in the demise of an uppity ass negro
cause who he think he was
that he can get away with running from the fuzz
It only took a dahz
of whites
to say
Hell No! To Black Liberation
if that shit didn’t disturb your sleep
Why are you surprised of white criticism
when Beyonce speak
of Female Black Liberation
so join Her Formation
But again this ain’t nothing new
in the Red White and Blue
maybe because whites refuse to have
that conversation
about Nationhood reconciliation
don’t talk about chipin in dem funds
for reparations
They can for the First Naytion
and American Japanese
but when it comes to Black folks
we only get sympathies
from overseas
Because whites don’t wanna
do nothing about changin
the situation
about Black acclimation
into fabric Americana
wit your dirty lies
about apple pies
and second amendment aggrandization
Cause when was there ever a time
we could do
what we wanted to do
as a Black man or woman
legally armed
with a gun in our hand

Change California law
when Huey went to the State capitol
opened and carried
Killed Philando Castillo
in Minnesota
as a illegally armed
Black motorist
Standing on her own property
as a licensed gun owning Black woman
Michigan would rather imprison
a pregnant Swatu Salam Ra for two years
than let her use
their “Stand your ground” law
Due take notice
these were all liberal States
It’s like fake news
in prison blues
that’s why my pants sag
and my Blue Rag hangs low
I’m all that’s negative
bet believe
If I didn’t make myself that way
they would have
wit their lies and alibis

A great wrong was done to
you my Black children
A great wrong was done to you
my Black child
A suspicion has been casted upon you
it’s called revenge
for the wrong done to you
for the wrong done
by hands pure as the white of snow
They just don’t know
when you will recomeuppance
You’re under suspicion
My children
My child
Just look into their eyes and you’ll see
Dis is why me brudda
Dis is why mee sistah
Dis is why mee children
you’re under suspicion
What y’all brewing in da kitchen?
We know it gots to be a special stew
full of wicked concoctions
each with our signed I.O.U.
CAUSE YOUR God is dat Voodoo
so we know He’s stirring dat stew
so we don’t want nothing from you Black America
cause we know you’re itchin
to get us in your kitchen
to serve us this brew
and watch it see
do what it do

So Black man whoa
So Black woman whoa
and that’s why you’re always remain
a threat
Da Black man or woman, with self-respect
So Black man whoa
So Black woman whoa
and that’s why you’re always remain
a threat
Da Black man or woman with self-respect

By Donald “C-Note” Hooker

Editor’s Note: To For more epic poems by this poet, check out: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF OUR AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (This Is Not A Manifesto)

Here are audio links:
The Criminalization of our American Civilization (This Is Not A Manifesto)


at the crossroads
Trying to figure my path Cautious
as I get to walkin
Lord tell me Why You’ve forsaken meS Since the beginning it’s been rough feeling fucked with no luck

Can somebody tell me why
I can’t sleep with no lights?
Had to lay in bed
Praying to God
till I see the light

You took my brother from me!
No longer do I have a treasured friend
to confide
in, late nights

This day I’m filled with rage
with secret hate
Would you believe?
I was out cast of 13
going through something

Beliefs built on tragedies
and from being ridiculed at school
Cause I couldn’t read a sentence
Excuse me
but please Bitch
Give me distance

If I told you I’m a product of the 80s
incubator baby
So my comprehension ain’t like the rest
So I acted out in school
Started breaking the rules
Now these White folks want me doped up
Hard bitten
from all these ruinous blows
Lord please
don’t let me go

Is it my FATE
to face elimination
at a fast rate
despicable me
I turned into something
I thought I’d never be
I’m on my knees
Like please
Lord Save me!
And even when I turn from you
You never left me alone
cause You cared for me
And when my family left me alone
You was there for me
Thinking about what big mama used to say:
“You was choosen to stand with Christ in the end
so take hold yah shield,
Grip your sword real tight
And stand up!”

Big mama say pray
for yours
and help those
who are too weak to help themselves

But I’m still runnin
through the city
really livin
Cause them suckas try to kill me
Now the feeling’s mutual
21-gun salute
I’m quick to shoot
Just like in them Western movies
Used the bottle to drown my sorrows
thinkin I’ll stay shermed-up
to keep from getting wet-up
See I’m just try’n to protect my soul
they said the Lord knows your heart
cause I’m out here on my own

Gotta sleep with the chrome
cause I ain’t got no damn home
Had to do a lot of shit
that I didn’t want to
but I really had to
Survival the fittest
my inauguration to this gang living
Really started robbing
and stealing cause I hate that hungry feeling
Really trying to avoid the killing

Only robbing drug dealers
trying to stay morally correct
Although I disregard Christ
trying to stay morally correct
Although I disregard Christ
I felt his shield right above me
When them dudes hovered above me Feeling his unbounded love
had an effect on my mental state
No more blasphemy

by Darryl Burnside

The Ghost of Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol

by Donald “C-Note” Hooker
In Honor of: Alice Marie Johnson (Imprisoned African American playwright)

The Ghost of Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol is a play about an assisted living home (past), a boys home (future), and a transitional home (present). Every Christmas, the boys home, and the transitional home, go into the woods to cut down fresh Christmas trees for area assisted living homes. Besides cutting down and donating trees, they also help with the decorating of the trees with the residents at the assisted living homes.

Scene One: Takes place in the woods and consists of half of the transitional and boys home cast. One of the transitional home members received a phone call that due to van trouble the other half had to turn back and will not make it. This means they will have to take on double the workload.

Storyline: Based on those who resent having to take on more responsibility versus those who are willing to do so for the greater good.

Scene Two: Takes place at the assisted living home. One of the residents has just died.

Storyline: Based on each individual’s relationship with the deceased; along with personal introspection on how they have lived doing the long arc of their lives.

Scene Three: Takes place at the transitional home and consists of the half that did not make it to the woods.

Storyline: Based on starting something and not seeing it through, or getting in one’s own way.

Scene Four: Takes place at the assisted living home, and involves the whole cast, delivering and decorating the tree.

Storyline: Based on coming together and community.


Assisted living home:



Pedro (Cuban)

Boys Home:




Transitional Home:




[Scene One]:

Scene One takes place in the woods. TAFUGA, EDDIE, and JESUS, Are waiting for the arrival of the rest of the transitional, and boys home to join them. TAFUGA receives a phone call that due to car trouble no one else will be arriving.

TAFUGA: [Mimics just ending a cell phone call] That was Kwame, no one else is coming.

[EDDIE and JESUS, both are exhibiting physical disgust.]

JESUS: What happened?

EDDIE: What do we do now?

TAFUGA: Cut down some trees.

JESUS: All these?

TAFUGA: Of course, why not?

EDDIE: That’s not fair.

TAFUGA: They’re depending on us guys.

EDDIE: No, they’re depending on a whole lot of other people too, not just us.

JESUS: Why we got to cut down some Christmas trees for a bunch of old people anyway?

EDDIE: Yeah, what’s in for us? Ain’t no old people ever done anything for me, for free.

TAFUGA: What about your foster mom Eddie, you talk about her all the time since she’s passed?

EDDIE: My foster sister told me she was getting a government check for me. She was always ranting and raving about the mailman, and did the check arrive yet, or go get the check.

JESUS: One time our pastor took members of our church to feed some homeless people.

TAFUGA: And how did that make you feel?

JESUS: I felt good.

TAFUGA: See Eddie, good can come from helping others.

EDDIE: You see those trees over there [Pointing.] Yeah, that one, it’s gonna to take six people. That’s double the work. This ain’t slavery.

JESUS: He’s got a point Tafuga. This ain’t slavery, and besides, we can come back later with the rest of the crew.

TAFUGA: Unfortunately we don’t have that type of time schedule. Besides, sometimes in life you have to pick up the slack for somebody else.

EDDIE: Picking up the slack is one thing, doing double the work is another. And them church people who be cooking that food ain’t never had a kind word for those who don’t show up to help them out. And one thing them church ladies taught me, “God don’t make no fools.”

TAFUGA: [TAFUGA starts walking towards some trees.] Come on Jesus. Come on Eddie. Let’s get started. [JESUS walks towards TAFUGA, and together they walk off stage. EDDIE just stays put and walks off stage in the opposite direction.

Scene Two:

[ Takes place at the assisted living home. MARCO, MIGUEL and PEDRO, are all mulling over the recent passing of Pedro’s cousin JUAN who lived at the facility with them.]

MIGUEL: The nerve of that guy. You hear him. The corner just took Juan’s body to the morgue, and these guys are already discussing who’s moving in his room.

MARCO: I tell my daughter all the time when she comes visit me, that these people are heartless.

PEDRO: Maybe it’s a woman.

[MARCO and MIGUEL state simultaneously]: What???

PEDRO: You know a mujer.

MARCO: Pedro, man, that was your cousin.

PEDRO: I know. But he would want me to have a little fun with the ladies. They didn’t call him Donito Juanito for nothing.

MIGUEL: And look what that kind of thinking got him. Broken and alone. That man had 19 kids from 17 different women, and not once did he get a visit.

MARCO: Even I get visits from hijos, and I wasn’t there for them growing up.

MIGUEL: Just face it Pedro, your cousin wasn’t smooth, but rotten.This bottle of medicine [Holds up bottle], it goes down smooth, cause that’s how medicine goes down. But Juan was poison, and went down sour, or bitter.

PEDRO: What’s your beef with Juan, cause he wouldn’t let you beat him in chess?

MIGUEL: Its not that. Your cousin was a good man, once you got to know him. But that’s just it, no one seemed to know him. He had a real mean streak.

MARCO: You mean that temper?

MIGUEL: Yeah, that temper. Come on Pedro, even he treated you like crap sometime.

PEDRO: Sometime? Hell, a whole lot of time. And one thing about that bastard, he never not once apologized.

MARCO: Then how is Father Mahoney going to eulogize him?

PEDRO: Shit, who’s going to notify his kids?

MIGUEL: What makes you think they want to be notified? None of them ever came to visit.

MARCO: But they have a right to know; he was their father.

PEDRO: [Begins to cry.] Shit, why did he have to die? He was my only familia.

MARCO: That’s not true Pedro; your kids and grandkids come see you.

MIGUEL: Yeah, Pedro, don’t you think you’re being a little dramatic?

PEDRO: [Sobbing.] You don’t understand; we are from Cuba! Juan was like my brother over there. Look at me! My familia has no love for me. My kids are raised in the United States, and they dumped me off at some assisted living home. There is no respect there. That’s not Cubano! We love our abuelos and abuelas We would never dump their wisdom and knowledge off to a bunch of strangers. [Scene change.]

Scene Three:

[Scene three takes place at the transitional home. KWAME, MICHAEL, and HUAN, are discussing the repercussions of not meeting the others in the woods to chop down Christmas trees.]

MICHAEL: Damn, Kwame, you just got a new transmission put in a week ago what’s up with that?

KWAME: I know. There is nothing I can do.

HUAN: I was looking to get out of the city.

KWAME: I know, me too, But what can we do?

HUAN: Did Tafuga sound upset?

KWAME: Nah, you know him, don’t nothing bother Big Tafuga.

MICHAEL: This is rotten. How many trees can they cut down without us there?

HUAN: There’s going to be some very disappointed old people at those homes.

KWAME: Who cares about those old people, their families don’t.

MICHAEL: We’re their family now, Kwame.

HUAN: It’s the only time I see them light up. With their cigarettes, and dancing to old music.

MICHAEL: Look, if none of us don’t get our own acts together, we are going to be just like them, old and alone.

KWAME: I don’t see your point. They’ve lived their lives. They’re winning. You and I can get snuffed out at any moment.

HUAN: You don’t feel a little something that you won’t be able to come through for them this year?

KWAME: I suppose.

MICHAEL: I’m thinking about Tafuga and the others, they don’t have us around.

KWAME: Tafuga knows we got his back.

MICHAEL: Yeah, like you did last year Kwame?

KWAME: That was a mistake. That couldn’t be avoided. We talked, and we’re cool.

MICHAEL: Well I’m just saying Bro. You’re always not on point.

KWAME: I see your cigarettes you be hiding around here, not letting the counselors see you smoke.

MICHAEL: Oh, you’re just going to put my business out there in front of the kid.

HUAN: Man, what you talkin bout. I see kids doing more than that in the boys home.

KWAME: You know what Michael, man, you’re always trying to make it about me, it’s never you.

MICHAEL: Look Bro, I’m not trying to make it a career staying at this place.

MICHAEL: You couldof fooled me. What’s it been, six years?

HUAN: Dwag, man, you’re a lifer.

MICHAEL: [Scratching the area of the arm, where it bends. Between the upper and lower arm.] It’s not that, sometimes I got issues.

KWAME: You can say that again.

HUAN: You’re using man?

MICHAEL: What makes you say that?

HUAN: It’s what Kwame said.

MICHAEL: Fuck Kwame, he ain’t said nothing.

KWAME: You know what Michael, I’m about tired of your shit. Yeah, I lied. Ain’t nothing wrong with my car.

MICHAEL: I knew it.

HUAN: Last year you got me in trouble with the judge. He tacked on another two years of community service.

KWAME: That judge is an idiot. This is his favorite community service, that’s all.

HUAN: [Seething with anger, pushes KWAME.] That’s all?

[KWAME socks HUAN in the eye. HUAN falls to the ground; holding his eye. KWAME goes in to hit him again while he’s on the ground. MICHAEL grabs KWAME to stop him from going in for the kill.]

MICHAEL: He’s just a kid! He’s just a kid! [End of Scene Three.]

Scene Four:

[Takes place at the assisted living home, and involves the whole cast decorating the Christmas tree.]

KWAME: Huan, put the star on top of the tree.

[HUAN comes running up and takes the star from KWAME. KWAME lifts up HUAN from behind; hands under HUAN’s armpits, and lifts him up in the air. HUAN puts the star at the top of the tree, and KWAME lets him back down. HUAN and KWAME embrace (hug). All the cast begins to sing “Deck the Halls.”]

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
‘Tis the season to be jolly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
Don we now our gay apparel
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la
[This will be the final stanzas, and must be sung as tho it’s the end]
Troll the ancient Yule-tide carol
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

The End

Copyright 2018 Donald “C-Note” Hooker

[Editor’ Note]: Besides being a playwright, and known as the King of Prison Hip Hop; C-Note is also the poet who wrote the poem, THE LOST INNOCENCE OF CHRISTMAS . A performing artist, and award-winning painter, his works have either been exhibited, performed, or sold, from Alcatraz to Berlin. In two and a half years of fundraising, audiences have contributed north of $500,000. In 2017, Google search results, listed him as both America’s, and the world’s most prolific prisoner artist.


goes the clock
On the mystery
of the history
who am I
who are you
who are we

to better understand me
I should try and understand you
So when I heard of the demise
of the Indian tribes
from the White perspective
was that they had put too much trust
in the treatise they signed

Now you
can better understand
why Sandra Bland
told that policeman
and ended with
losing her life

But that has nothing to do
with the perversion
of the aversion
towards the Chinese
whereupon our first immigration law
was to get rid of them all

or the Japanese version
who will tell you
that internment is a diversion
it was imprisonment

You see history
is His story
but what about
Her story
now that you’ve heard
some of Their story
all we ask
is just a simple task
Can’t Black Lives Matter

You see no one knows
what the Poles went through
in World War II
where six million died
half of them Jew

or in 1891
the single day
mass lynching
in America
took place
in Louisiana
against the Italians
cause being a Catholic back then
was like being a Muslim today

or that
in 1848 through 1860
in a twelve year span
out here in California
they lynched

You see history
is His story
but what about
Her story
now that you’ve heard
some of Their story
all we ask
is just a simple task
Can’t Black Lives Matter

No one knows what a Black woman goes through
cause it was a Black woman who started
hashtag Me Too

and White privilege
means many different things
to many different body
but to the Black family
it means access to their body

How many times did the slave masters rape Black women
so many times I ain’t got a clue
so you’re not a clown
when you look around
and see a lighter shade of Brown
just ask the African, the Aztecan, and the Mayan
how that happened
These women had no choice!
there was no Twitter to give them voice!

Some say Thomas Jefferson was a great man
but how many times did he have to rape that woman to produce six children
and when we called him father
he denied us
and all of America told us
Yousa lie!
But in 1998 DNA gave us proof
that for over 200-years Black folks had been telling the truth
then I heard somebody scream who did not look like me

You see history
is His story
but what about
Her story
now that you’ve heard
some of Their story
all we ask
is just a simple task
Can’t Black Lives Matter

I want to set the Record Straight!
hashtag Black Lives Matter ain’t got nothing to do with no cops
It got something to do with a civilian
and his name was George Zimmerman
and he shot and killed an unarmed Black teenage boy
by the name of Travon Martin
and there was NO JUSTICE FOR US!
and just like all the other civilians before him
with Dey Lynch Mobs
and Dey Gang Rapes
so much was going on Rosa Parks had to investigate
and this was some twenty years before she refused to go to the back of the bus
80-years removed from slavery so much horrors had been thrusted upon us

In 1944
in Alabama
Recy Taylor
was twenty-four
she was walking home from church
when she was abducted by six Caucasian boys
She said, “Please don’t hurt me, I have to go home to my children.”
Five hours later
Her father found her on the side of the road
beaten and raped
Now I comes from a woman!
We all do
And when I heard this story
I cried
but when I heard her sister tell it
I died inside

Dem boys wasn’t content with just raping my sistah
Dem boys played inside my sistah
My sistah never had any children after that
Dem boys went all up inside my sistah’s body
My sistah never even gotten pregnant after that
Dem boys played inside my sistah’s body!

You see history
is His story
but what about
Her story
now that you’ve heard
Our story
We have a daunting task
Such an overwhelmingly daunting task

by Donald “C-Note” Hooker

Here is the audio version:

Editor’s Note: To For more epic poems by this poet, check out: THE CRIMINALIZATION OF OUR AMERICAN CIVILIZATION (This Is Not A Manifesto)
The World’s Greatest Threat: Being Black With Self-Respect

Here are audio links:
The Criminalization of our American Civilization (This Is Not A Manifesto)


My country
is still not free
This sordid land
of hypocrisy
Of thee I sing
Land where my fathers died
Land where the slaves did cry
on every mountainside
Prisons reign supreme

About Paintoem
Poem by: C-Note
Painting by: C-Note

Incarceration Nation is an original work of ink, graphite, and wax on paper. Done by Donald “C-Note” Hooker in 2017. The painting was inspired by the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in August of 2017, and is the sequel to his first political work Black August-Los Angeles. The red dots represent the location of the state sanctioned deaths of: Travon Martin in Florida; Michael Brown in Missouri; Sandra Bland in Texas; Philando Castile in Minnesota; Freddie Gray in Maryland; Ezell Ford, Wakiesha Wilson, Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF) & Oscars Grant in California; and Charleen Lyles in Washington State. The poem written later in the year was inspired by the NFL players “Knee Protest.”
” I was looking at other iconic American verbal expressions of patriotism,” says C-Note. “And My Country, Tis of Thee, also known as ‘America,’ is probably third on that list. The creative juices to create the poem had nothing to do with the painting; however, together they make an excellent one-two punch, as a political work of art.”
The painting Incarceration Nation was given to the California Prison Focus as a donation. However, you can still buy prints of this piece, and other related products, at Fine Art America

[Editor’s Note ]: This Paintoem, like all Paintoems, are given to the public, to have free use rights, so long as acknowledgement is given to the artist(s).

Links to other Paintoems:
My Dilemma
Tears of the Mothers
Black August-Los Angeles
More Paintoems

Incarceration Nation (Paintoem) available in prints.

California Prison Focus is a 501(c)3 non-profit whose work as a prisoner’s news source needs generous public support. Click here to their website’s donation page

California Prison Focus • 1904 Franklin St • #507 Oakland, CA 94612 • contact(at)prisons(dot)org • (510) 836-7222