The following was written by a member of The Committee on Unjust Sentencing. The words are posted exactly as they came in.
Cries in the Wind
My name is of no importance. I am just one of the ever-growing many. I am no better and no worse than each of the people I am warehoused with. We all try to keep learning and growing. We hold the memories of our families close to our hearts, and we try to make them proud of us. We pray in earnest that we not be forgotten.
A woman called me to her, and in sort of a revelation she let me know that she hasn’t forgotten us and never will. She wants to help, but she cannot, not until a loud and united cry from you – her people – is heard. She is filled with worry, sadness, and confusion as to why the people – individuals such as yourself – haven’t yet demanded for her return. I know she wonders if she is still loved and wanted.
This is the story of the revelation….
I found myself standing in sand, the birds overhead and the waves at my back. There before me was a lady of immeasurable beauty. I’d seen her before in history books, but she looked of stone then. Now her skin was as pure and white as fresh virgin snow. Her hair flowed in soft, never-ending waves of brilliant red. The eyes she possessed were like jewels. They were deeper and bluer than all the ocean around us. Compassion filled her aura, as did righteousness.
As she held her head proud and her hand high above her, an infinite flame from the torch she held brought me warmth, peace, and protection. I felt like I’d known her my whole life. It was as if her light of brilliance had always directed my path and that of her nation – America. She told me her name was Liberty – Lady Liberty. She was so proud to watch over the birth and upbringing of a new and free nation. She was here before the statue marking the harbor’s spot ever was. She was here before this country ever had a name.
Her dream has been for a perfect and upright nation to be an example for the others to follow.
As the waves rolled up on the shore behind me, I could see in her eyes the masses of people arriving to live under her flame of protection and justice. She called them from every land the earth held. She adopted them all as her own, and her people loved the freedom she bestowed upon them. The masses multiplied into a strong, civilized nation. One that was prided for its honor of justice and righteousness. She battled continually to keep it so, as she fiercely fought to uphold the laws she had projected for our land. The laws she had spoken to our forefathers who scribed it on paper and named it “The Constitution.”
All of this she told me in unspoken words as I sighted its visions in her eyes. My mind just filled with her thoughts.
The wind blew through her soft gleaming red strands of hair, and she let me hear the cries the wind had carried. It was the sound of many voices from her children. It rang from the sea that encompassed us – to the sea lain on her far side shore across this great land.
As her vision engulfed my senses, I could feel past storms that raged on her people. People she herself called to be a part of this free land. There were many small storms. There were also storms of great immensity – such as the wickedness and inhumanity of slavery, and of the atrocities done to her first born, the Native American Indians.
I watched through these past storms as her proud smile turned to determination, and she labored to stand taller above her mount of sand – fighting to hold the torch higher as to gain notice from the masses. In her silent and unspoken words she implored of the people, “You must call for me, for my justice and call loudly. Do not wait too long, or I won’t be allowed back.”
I realized that she had – over the centuries – formed this country for the protection of her children, and when dictatorial unfairness arises we – her children – must call for justice loud enough to be heard in every courtroom and legislative body, or she cannot return to enforce her law.
I could detect her frustration and her sorrow as her protective duty to righteousness became harder to bear. When the cries in the wind became loud enough to be heard by all – the storm at hand would be frozen in its strength.
There were men in black robes. I could see that these were her chosen amongst the masses. When the cries of the people became loud enough to freeze the storm she silently whispered into the minds of these black-robed men and they acted upon the insights she bore in their souls. The black-robed men were her army and they pulled the nation back to the Constitutional laws which she had instructed upon them through our forefathers. The storm would lose its hold over the people as it dissipated. Always after each storm the people would relax with their daily lives and let her fade from their minds. Every time they and the black-robed army let her voice of justice slip away, they slowingly and unknowingly let open the nation’s door for future storms to form.
I felt so at ease as her smile returned and the visions ceased. Her beauty is such that the deeper one looks the more captivated one becomes… though as I had feared, she had more of America to show me. Reluctance imposed upon my heart, but I could not look away. I could feel what she envisioned into me. As her thoughts welled deeper within my being she instilled in my mind to compare between the generations of people after each passing storm.
I seen that with every storm-past the people grew colder, more calloused, and self-duty became more significant with the advancement of modern technologies and economic opportunities. Each time the people’s cries for her return were slower to come forth, almost unabling her to beckon her black-robed army to calm the storm. The degradation of the generations through insensitivity ached within my soul. What caused the most pain for me, was that I’d seen myself – there in her eyes – amongst the crowd of busy people. I perceived that for her – the pain was much greater. It was to a degree that no mortal could ever bear. For a time, stillness enveloped us….
Loud clashes of waves began to smash against the shore behind me. The wind blew with such force it was hard to stand. Water was thrown the distance from the sea to where I stood with each clash of wave. My knees grew weaker as I was filled with awareness that a storm of great magnitude would be shown me. From her I sensed that these storms do not gather black, rolling clouds as a visible warning to every eye. Their destructiveness starts in a small spot within the nation, and like an acid it slowly and silently erodes away the foundation of freedom and justice. A foundation of protection meant to be secured for each one of us in America.
The wind and pelting sea water grew numb to me as I stared into her eyes – a looking glass on present day America. Everything seemed calm and civilized, but appearances can surely be deceiving for over all the land a brutal storm had formed and was growing in force – to rage imperceivable havoc. I saw the people – most totally unaware. I saw the black-robed army – they too were oblivious to the dangers ahead. My Lady’s feelings of sadness and confusion bore into me. Then an overwhelming sense of fear gripped me and instantly my whole being was filled with panic…. I screamed, “Will the people not call for your justice…? Will the black-robed army fail you…?” I wanted to jump through her eyes of vision to run and scream in our streets – to alert you – and all the people to wake and see the dangers ahead, but I could not move … frozen in fear….
Her intensity held my eyes paralyzed to hers. Through her silent and unspoken words she warned me that a storm of this making – if not stopped – will equal or even exceed in magnitude the holocaust once seen before in the history of mankind. Its destructive force will be as devastating as the one that encompassed a foreign nation – Germany – and brought every country into war.
My heart felt every wrong that was being inflicted upon our people. I could see her black-robed army spanned across present-day America. They with all of their knowledge and wisdom have let themselves grow so cold and calloused. They don’t seem to remember the message of justice and righteousness instilled in them from storms-past, nor do they see that they – themselves – help to supply the storm with greater force!
Oh, my God, how could they have gotten so far away from the Constitutional duty they had sworn to uphold?
With every injustice I shed a tear, and my tears alone totaled into the millions.
Adrenaline exploded in me as thoughts of salvation impacted
my mind. With growing hope and expectation I cried out, “The People!
Yes, their voices of righteousness can stop this!”
My Lady’s eyes and mine were locked together as our surroundings spun ever faster around us. In her eyes I seen the blood of a nation that never seems to learn. I seen that the rivers and the oceans are actually filled with the tears of those who mourn for justice. I seen that a land of people who allow the trade of justice for money is a land of people trading their souls – good for evil.
Today whole families cry in silence for the injustices done. Silence – only because their voices aren’t mixed with yours. They cry for themselves and the millions separated by incarceration from loved ones in happy times at home, sad times, times of need, of growth, and in times of death.
With the flood of emotions and grieving thoughts I could feel no more – comprehension had surpassed me. I thought I saw a tear slowly roll down my Lady’s cheek. Greyness formed around the outer edges of her ever-perceiving eyes. As dense clouds look when they blow across the full of the moon, slowly and silently the cold grey enclosed the brilliance of her blue jeweled eyes completely.
I was left limp, drained and mentally numb, except for a question that bore deep within myself… I had to gain mobility and force strength within to ask. As I moved I realized I was not standing as I had thought, but lying in the cold salty sand. I struggled to my hands and knees to ask. Moving my head slowly to lessen the aching pain, my eyes traced the sand to the mount upon which she stood. Her sandaled feet and robe looked of stone…. In a panic rush I threw my head up and before my eyes she was only the statue I remember from history books.
A whirl tightened my stomach to the confusion and fear. Gripping pain crushed my heart. My soul hurt so badly I had to force the breath in and out of myself. With all that I had I screamed for her return. My voice was but one – ununited like the families in anguish I had seen. “How could she leave me without giving me instructions on what to do?” I cried.
On the beach the quiet stillness was broken by the evil laughs of the sea gulls overhead. The sun burned hot on my skin. I lay flat on the sand and I sobbed until my tears ran dry. I passed into a slumber.
Before me as beautiful as ever she was in my dreams, easing my soul with her flame of protection. My mind and heart will be forever etched with her appearance – her soft red tresses, virgin white skin, and blue jeweled eyes. As she smiled at me in my dream, I felt the need to ask my question, “My Lady, how long will it take for the people to band together – to cry for your return?” She didn’t answer though I knew she could hear me. She was just letting me know that she’ll always be watching over me, and you, over all her people. She’s waiting in expectant hope.
Bang! Bang! Bang! The sounds put immediate shivers in my soul. “How did I get here?” I wondered as I awoke in an ill-formed alertness. I could tell I wasn’t on the sand any longer. Maybe, I thought, I never was. I had no idea where I was. The floor was of marble, and sitting next to me was a strange man dressed in very expensive attire. The room seemed to be spinning. God, I felt sick! My heart raced and pounded so hard I knew it could be seen through my clothing. The man next to me stood. At his nod, I rose to my feet.
Clearly before me was one of my Lady’s black-robed army! I felt this was another vision or a dream. Eeriness was all around me. My body began to shake. Then my panic-filled heart told me this was real! I looked at the flag and the colors reminded of her, sweet Lady Liberty, but I couldn’t feel her protection around me here.
Her black-robed man with his eyes of steel unemotionally stated: “Life, life in prison until natural death.” He was looking at me! I heard a scream, it sounded like my mother’s voice. I turned around and in shock saw my whole family there – behind me. They were all crying. My parents looked faint. “No, Daddy, don’t cry… oh Mama!” I felt anger as I whipped around to face the Judge, “What is going on here, Sir?” He said some things about drugs and no parole in the federal system, something about having to follow Guidelines. He was so cold, so unsympathetic. My anger melted to tears as he gave me a cold icy stare. Through the sobs I tried to explain, to reason with him, “Sir, I’ve never been in trouble before. Yes, I did drugs – illegal drugs – but I didn’t see the harm in it. I don’t even smoke or drink, statistics show those are more harmful than the drugs I did. I never hurt anyone…. I didn’t steal anything….” The black-robed man, looking a little bored, said, “Sorry, Miss, but this is the law.” He banged his gavel, stood, and turned away ….
My Lady Liberty hasn’t yet been called loudly enough though I know she’s watching. She’s wanting to help, but she’s made her country a democracy. She can’t return unless the masses want it.
Since the calming of the last storm, when the people cried out against ‘Nam, they’ve all relaxed and haven’t thought the need to question their government. Her Constitution has slowly been deteriorating to where it’s nearly gone today. Some say it isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. All the people hear this but they don’t listen.
It has been thirteen long years since I met my Lady on that sandy shore, and the fate that was destined to me. One would think that incarceration gets easier to bear with time, but in reality each year is harder to bear – for myself as well as my loved ones.
Daddy seems disappointed I haven’t tried another appeal, but he doesn’t understand that Congress and the Supreme Court have declared ‘only one bite at the apple’ – a colorful wording for ‘one appeal only.’ Without thousands of dollars for an attorney there is little chance for success. A prisoner who does his/her own paperwork is normally ‘rubberstamped’ (denied). Even if I could find a way for a second appeal – the heartbreak my family would suffer through escalated hope is not worth the risk when the chance at a win is so very slim.
I think about my Lady often. As I live in incarceration – every single day spent – my unanswered question to her bothers me. While I labor as a slave for the men on Capital Hill and other investors to gain more wealth through Federal Prison Industry shares, and prison businesses, the answer I never got haunts me. As I toss and turn on a worn-out cot that they here call a bed, the non-answered question to her brings tears of anxiety and frustration all through the night.
In my heart I know that she could not answer my question. If she herself knew the answer she would not have been filled with such overwhelming pain and fear. If she herself knew the answer she would not have called for me to spread this message – this revelation – to you.
Today Justice means Just-Us. We, the People. Today I realize that she could not answer my question, because the answer can only come from you. So now, if I may, I ask this of you, “How long will it take for you to band together and implore a loud and united cry for her return – a return to Justice and Liberty for All?” Please, remember my Lady’s words of warning, “Do not wait too long, or I won’t be allowed back!”