Set Free In the Ink

WoW Found Poem from G. Lynn Nelson’s Writing and Being: Embracing Your Life through Creative Journaling 

(The first half is a Collaborative piece with Christina Gillespie and the second half I began to shift out of the Found Poem format and let the piece go where it wanted to go)

Written in June 2020 during Red Clay Writing Fellowship

You live in a prison,

many prisons. 

We all live in prisons 

being the children of our parents,

of being male or female,

Or not being male or female 

of our prejudices,

of our cultural training. 

We really are pressed beneath

the masks and

the training and 

the expectations

Of who we “should” be.

We have been taught by the media 

our schooling 

that what we seek


outside ourselves.

We know more than we know we know.

This is why we write freely;




We are not trying to write answers. 

But, we are writing to make the great escape;

to save ourselves.

If I do not say my hurts, 

do not cry my tears, 

do not shout my anger,

do not tell my stories into the healing skylight of my journal

they will eventually translate-

 into other languages 

and publish themselves

 into my very being-

 into the acts of my life-

Keeping me further imprisoned 

Besides my wounds and my fears.


So, I write my way through healing;



And spiritually.  

I write

In order to survive, 

To grow, 

To find meaning, 

To see purpose 

And to sit with peace within me. 

This work starts within me. 

Not outside of me. 

So, I own my feelings. 

I speak for myself and to myself 

I say “I” 

I expect the unexpected

I leave the critic and the judge in the courtroom 

And make myself at home in my writing.  

In my writing, 

I become like a child again-

All the while, parenting the child hurting within me.


I am gentle, yet loud. 

Letting my child-like tantrums and pains release. 

I stay grounded in honest speech-

In heart speech,

In healing speech. 

When I name my feelings,

 I honor myself 

And my story.  

It reminds me 

What I am quick to forget 

That I too am 


When I enter into the pages 

I never want to let the pen 

Run out of ink. 

I never want to let the sorrow 

Stay stuck within me.  

I never want to allow the anger 

Suffocate me.  

I want to be free. 

Sorrow and Joy 


in a dance 

between each blue line.


So, I reach for my pen

Let the ink bleed 

And let all of me bleed along with the ink.


I write outside of the lines

I break the rules 

On these pages.


I unveil myself from the mask holding on tightly 

I shatter the expectations 

I break through the prison cell

And begin to see that the door has been opened all along 

I just didn’t have the strength to walk through- 

To write through.

But, I am walking and writing now.

I am Reaching inward-




Page by page 

Word by word 

Tear by Tear.


I step out of judgement 

Out of competition 

Out of my selfish ways 

Out of the pride within me begging for nourishment.  

I don’t nourish it

I let it shatter besides my expectations 

And instead, nourish the honest, yet starved child inside of me.


As I reach down,  

I hold that child 

And heal.  

That child then reaches out 

To be free-  

To reach outwardly


To brings others into the embrace of 

Innocence’s pain.  

The child grabs a hold of any hand that it sees

And invites others 

Into Breaking 

Into Braving 

Into Being.

You are

Free to breathe and to let the ink set you free. 

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