April 24, 2011


by Patrick Rathsack (author's profile)


Smaller is the world in which I reside,
Fences surround my body on each side.
This place is made to punish and restrain.

With guards all around to keep me inside,
My spirit also they try to restrain.
Dark is the cell in which I must reside.

Speaking the gospel no one can retrain
Through darkness attacks from every side.
Even here the body of Christ does reside.

When I came to reside here how was I to know
That inside these walls my faith would grow.
At each side walk my brothers in Christ
As we learn to live the abundant life.


About Unrestrained
This poem was written by me for a contest the Community Bible College had in 2009. Originally it had been titled "Restrained But Growing". My efforts resulted in it taking second place in the competition.

The poem did not turn out as well as I would have liked. I did not accomplish what I started out to do. The goal had been to use meter and word repetition to cause it to flow rather than a rhyming scheme. I failed completely. The result is a kind of lopsided composition.

Even though I see mistakes in the poem, it does a nice job of encapsulating my prison experience. A lot of people seem to like "Unrestrained". They tell me that it encourages them. I hope you too are encouraged.'

When reading the poem, there are four key factors I want to be clear to you. The first is that I am in prison. Secondly, that prison is not a comfortable place to which to live. Thirdly, that I am not in denial about my surroundings but have learned how to live a productive, useful life within the institution. Most importantly, that Jesus Christ is the source of all that is positive in my life. I welcome any feedback you may have on my poem "Unrestrained".

Patrick Rathsack T-45624
M.C.S.P. C-14-221up
P.O. Box 409060
Ione, CA 95640


Replies (1) Replies feed

grace Posted 8¬†years ago. ✓ Mailed 8¬†years ago   Favorite

I think you captured your reality. The poem needs stronger words in the first two sections. Maybe you could have the second section match the density of the final section in length.

Write more about the emotions that placed you where you now reside. Write about your childhood..good or bad. Did you grow up in CA?

Keep writing.


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