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i was an element of art... 
a line that was curved
and perturbed as i swerved 
on the canvas;

i was the painted pessimistic part 
of the colors of 
purple, brown, red, black and orange... 

death, sorrow, worthlessness, anger, 
wounds, darkness, depression, loss, 
aggression, misfortune and alienation; 

i was an unappealing, 
peeling painting 
whose sole purpose was to be seen 
by the brown recluses and black widows 
who appreciated naught... 
even a depreciating and morbid 
painting of dying art 
who was decaying in the basement 
of a broken dwelling;


i am an element of art... 
a straight line drawn daily 
that ascends skyward 
toward greater heights 
by my free will 
that conforms to reform…
reborn on the canvas;

i’m the painted optimistic part 
of the colors of 
red, orange, yellow, green, blue
purple and brown... 

warmth, passion, birth, love, life, 
harvest, sun, wisdom, light, hope, 
expectation, energy, riches, growth, 
cycles of renewal, creativity, sky, water, 
sea, heaven, spirituality, cleansing, 
calm, loyalty, wealth, authority, 
resurrection, imagination, 
and new beginnings;


i am in reality 
an element of art... 
a line both straight and curved;


i’m a new man
with a new heart,
and a new piece of 
appreciated art. 

appreciated art

time walks past the "liberated" 

as he stands still for the incarcerated; 

unseen shackles hold the captured 

who await zealously to be raptured, 

god, free my soul! 


chances given were plentiful 

as sentences spoken seem too bountiful; 

lawlessness now births wisdom 

as sickness locked the portal to "freedom". 


god, free my soul! 


pay to the world their penalty 

as day-to-night is this reality; 

creator, the cost is being paid 

and so, pardon your child who has betrayed;  


god, free my soul! 


flesh is constantly motionless 

as a soul is sustaining without hopelessness; 

clouded years with a struggling haze, 

but in new pastures this soul may graze. 


god, feed my soul! 


transforming by the sun of day 

and reforming are the potter's hands with clay 

once stained and drained by the winter, 

but renewed and rescued by the summer. 


god freed my soul!

my soul

oxana malaya

a fragile vessel was broken 

and her tender pieces 

were thrown onto the dirt... 

crushed by those atrocious feet 

of her own blood 

to whom it never mattered; 

she was found 

on the ground splattered 

in her cold loneliness

and it seemed god nor mortals 

never even cared 

as this angelic soul 

was deserted there, 

but in the midst 

of her dark, despairing fog 

her “saviors" came... 

the dogs. 

when the conflicting, chaotic, cataclysmic, 
catastrophic circumstances 
of life are hurricanic and volcanic, 
i let it fall like rain 
down my back…
i laugh to keep from crying 
and i live to keep from dying... 
i'm not lying.


Michael Lone Wolf Orrell is an Irish, Cherokee, and Jewish hybrid who was born in Grenada, Mississippi, but lived most of his life in Amory, Mississippi. He's a humanitarian who does not condone violent behavior against the vulnerable such as the elderly, children, and the LGBTQ community. His work was first published in a book (Mississippi Prison Writing) from VOX Press in Oxford, Mississippi. Michael is presently the facilitator for The Prison Writes Initiative Art Program. Michael is presently an ABE Language Arts Writing Tutor, Literacy Math Tutor, and an Assistant Tutor in Social Studies at Unit 30 in Parchman, Mississippi. He and other residents at Unit 30 made history by being the first men in the Mississippi Prison System to be a part of a fraternity: PHI THETA KAPPA. Michael has no expectations of the future nor any visions or dreams. He wasn’t seeking to find them, but they sought and found him.

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