Saturday, July 21, 2012


dateline: July 21, 2012

Early morning

I wake to the songs

of birds outside

my small window.

To the east

Blue clouds turn pink,

the sky brightens

with the coming dawn.

From a storm drain

a young cat creeps,

feral, velvet black, white feet,

fixated on the singing bird above.

Florida's true orange,

the sun, bursts forth

above the distant tree line,

a symphony of light.

Clear beams illumine

cropped green fields beyond

And rouse bees from sleep

to tend the clover.

Such pastoral calm

is blemished solely by

the grumbles of gun trucks

Securing the prison within.


Sunday, July 8, 2012


Dateline: July 8, 2012

“Norman, Stop Writing!”

“I stand in a steel-barred, and concrete room, my hands tightly cuffed behind my back, waiting for a hostile and profane officer in a tiny office to receive instructions over the telephone whether or not to lock me up in solitary confinement for writing a poem. Everyone’s a critic! If other poets risked 30 days in lockup every time they wrote a poem, there would be far less poetry written in America. It is the day after July 4th.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Actually, Charlie received 90 days mail restriction for his poem, “How Should I Look?” That means he cannot send a letter to anyone, not even his mother, until October 12, 2012. This is a blatant U. S. Constitution First Amendment violation by the prison officials, since the U. S. Supreme Court has ruled that prisoners have the constitutional right not only to write, but also to correspond with people in the outside world. Charlie is appealing that illegal sentence.

If you disagree with gagging a prisoner and denying this award-winning writer his chance to express himself, you can help by writing your own letter to the Florida Department of Corrections’ leader expressing your disapproval, referencing Charles Norman, #881834. That address is:

Ken Tucker
Florida Department of Corrections
501 South Calhoun Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-2500

We will keep you posted. Thanks for supporting the First Amendment.