Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

It seems the more I pray to thee, 
the more the devil preys on me. 
Constantly attacking and testing
my faith and integrity.

Being incarcerated during this pandemic
is hard to endure. The feeling of being
hopeless has superseded the feeling of being hopeful,
because hopelessness is what’s being displayed more. 

It seems the more I pray to thee,
the more the devil preys on me.
Constantly attacking and testing 
my faith and integrity.

Who can I turn to when there’s no one to turn to?
San Quentin is on lock down,
so what can I do when there’s nothing to do?

It seems the more I pray to thee,
the more the devil preys on me.
Constantly attacking and testing 
my faith and integrity.

This pandemic makes me think of the 
book of revelations or the great depression.
But once I conclude my contemplation, 
I find myself in a state of dejection.

And the guards make it no better; 
they have no respect nor diplomacy
and it’s causing my feelings of dejection to grow into aggression.

It seems the more I pray to thee,
the more the devil preys on me.
Constantly attacking and testing 
my faith and integrity.

I need someone to talk to.
Someone with a kind word and a calm tone.
But since there’s no income coming in,
there’s no money on the phone.
Unfortunately, my family is not able
to get paid to work from home.

It seems the more I pray to thee,
the more the devil preys on me.
Constantly attacking and testing 
my faith and integrity.

It’s hard not to feel exasperated and full of rage,
when the world is full of hate,
but yet,
Society expects me to change.
My mind is running rampant,
how do I maintain my sanity?
When will I be shown some compassion
so that I can reciprocate the wonderful acts of humanity?

It seems the more I pray to thee,
the more the devil preys on me.
Constantly attacking and testing 
my faith and integrity.

They say Black Lives Matter, (yeah, right!)
I’ll have to see that before I can believe that.
But as a Black man myself,
I recognize that we also have to change our mentality first
before we can attempt to achieve that.
As a Black man, I deal with Black on Black violence,
racism and police brutality.
Now with the emergence of COVID-19, 
that’s four different, but yet plausible fatalities. 

It seems the more I pray to thee,
the more the devil preys on me.
Constantly attacking and testing 
my faith and integrity.

I need a shoulder to lean on.
Some emotional support or a spiritual high.
But growing up in Oakland California, 
I was taught early that a man don’t cry.
Now at the age of 42, I wonder
do those same asinine rules still apply,
because if so, I think it’s time 
that I relocate so that I can release 
these tears from my eyes. 

It seems the more I pray to thee,
the more the devil preys on me.
Constantly attacking and testing 
my faith and integrity.

Is there any light of hope for me at the end of the tunnel?
My vision is blurry. 
God, if you can hear me, please send a healing for my soul.
I need it in a hurry!

It seems the more I pray to thee,
the more the devil preys on me.
Constantly attacking and testing 
my faith and integrity.

Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Harold Ford

Harold Ford is a writer incarcerated in California.