The Confined Arts - Gallery Opening

Art work by incarcerated artists. Gallery opening  Friday 19th in Harlem. Spoon will be reading poems over the phone.


Unnatural Desert II

First, there was a war on crime, then a war on drugs and then a war on war. Now there is a war on education, the poor, the hungry and the artists, a war against schools, colleges, uneducated, prisoners, musicians, poets, writers, actors, dancers, composers, painters and singers. There are wars against being real and living your truth. There is an unnatural desert being foraged across Mother Earth.
Yes, I am just a prisoner, a poet that has been locked up for decades, looking at the world from the inside out. But even I behind concrete and steel can see the devastating war being waged against the art world, the educational world and against teachers and peace makers. No matter how freeing, engaging, positive and growthful such programs have been, the programs are looked upon as a cancer, when such programs are life savers.
 Where will this war end? Mother Earth is calling us artists in individually and as collective consciousness to rise up and keep the peace and realness flowing. We must keep mentoring peace and creativity. We must push back with peace and release our collective energies as one. If I can feel this peace power through concrete and steel, surely you out there can feel it! We can meet in that collective space of solidarity that is beyond walls, governments and war makers. I am particularly speaking to teachers, you teaching artists and conductors. If you loose your jobs, you must continue to mentor and not loose your heart and soul, your spirit to love and create.

When your light is not shining bright, there is something clogged inside you that does not allow You to connect with Mother Earth. To re-connect may be as simple as smiling to a flower, a silent walk or a long look into the sky. Truly listening to bird song or seeing a flock in the sky. It may be as simple as dipping your toes in sweet waters or soft sands or feeding pigeons and sparrows from your hand.
Stay Real!


If I become a free man again...

Drawing by Spoon
Technology I’m sure would blow me away and yet I’d be more interested in connecting with lakes, deserts, mountains, parks, plants and animals and being grounded by them.
I’d be taken away by deep conversations, especially romantic conversations, and by meeting tons of relatives and friends here in the USA and Sweden. They were young or infants when I last saw them and are now grown.
I’d be blown away by playing my flute by a stream, under a bridge or tree and see what birds would come around. I would be taken away by playing my flute for a woman on the beach, or at sunset, moonrise or sunrise. To play my flute in a band.
I would float to teach a poetry class and do poetry readings and see a poem touch hearts and souls.
I would take a plane or ship for the first time to live in Sweden and France.
In peace and realness.


Commutation - Support

I have been told that the Governor looks at a few commutation applications a year and that he does not have to look at or respond to any commutation paperwork at all.

Therefore, support letters to the Governor's office in my behalf can bring light to my commutation application. So please, if you feel from the heart and realness, write letters to Governor Jerry Brown's office in my behalf. let him know why you believe my sentence should be commuted.

Every support letter is very appreciated and a great help.

Thank you!
Send your support letter to:
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814


Paws For Life

Their barks and wags
In the mornings
Eased my mind
And hugged my heart

Each morning I smiled
Instead of frowned
The dogs were two days from death
When rescued, and sent to prison
To start their lives over

There was Oreo
Who I always loved from a distance
I did not know how to get closer

There was Eddie
The spotted dude
Who looked like he smiled
Whenever he looked at you

There was Chewy
Bold and semi-bow legged walk
And white nose
Who sometimes loved to bark
To let you know he was alive

Then there was Shelby
Little princess, smooth
Beaded black fur

Don't get it twisted
She had the energy of the sun
Who never stopped
Playing and loved water
As much as air
Who softened everyone's heart
Even old poets

Finally, there was Randall
Regal and witty
He was my buddy
From the start, a philosopher
Cool and calm

They all left today
And as I look out of my cell
At the five vacant sheds that housed them
I am that emptiness
Spoon Jackson

Karma Rescue



Secret policy

The laws and courts system, particularly in California seem to be insane, racist, and bias. They apply them any way they want without set standards and then blame ordinary people who don't know the law and the computer game like rules the lawyers and judges create that only they themselves understand and the utter ignorance of the law is not an exuse.
So regular people are penalized for not being a lawyer or educated in the secret policy of games, laws and rules they create to keep the public ignorant and lost in the woods. You see something straight forward like a blue sky and it's not blue in the eyes and ways of the court who create new waves and interpretation of the laws whenever they see fit without standards.


My legal status

As you may know I have two issues before the State Courts at the moment. A Writ of Mandate on having taken me to the Board of Prison Terms* in 1990 and commended me on my in custody behavior, but said I did not have enough time in for parole or commutation in 1990. I was supposed to return to the Board of Prison Terms in 1993. They never called me back and repealed the law in December 31, 1993. Both the Superior Court and Appellate Court have now denied my petition under Prima Facia* which is absurd. So I will take the issue to California Supreme Court next.

I have filed a Habeas Corpus on Penal Code 1385 which gives the Trial Court the option to strike Special Cicumstances** from a sentence in the interest of justice based on a prisoner's age, in custody behavior and good programming. Well, there was this white guy on the Honor Yard here at Lancaster State Prison who had three Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP)*** sentences! Based on his age, in custody behavior, time in prison and being on this Honor Yard, the court stroke all of his Special Circumstances from the three LWOP's and gave him one 25 to Life**** sentence and in that same breath took him to the Board and released him. He did not even have 25 years in prison. I have  1 LWOP and 38 years in. I have a great in custody behavior record and accomplishments and I'm on the Honor Yard.
The Superior Court denied my Habeas Corpus, but the judge commended me on my productive and great behavior in prison. He said it was out of his jurisdiction to strike the Special Circumstances. The Appellant Court also denied my Habeas Corpus with no explanation. So I am poised to take both issues to California Supreme Court. There is no time bar to 1385 Penal Code.

*A background to the appeal to The Board of Prison Terms:
Prima facie may be used as an adjective meaning "sufficient to establish a fact or raise a presumption unless disproved.
It means more or less that Spoon is asking the Court to 'mandate' an agency to restore parole hearings for those prisoners who were sentenced during a time when even LWOP prisoners received parole hearings.
California sentencing laws, at one time included 'all' prisoners going before the board once they had hit the bottom of their matrix (years they must serve before they could be considered for parole). When LWOP was first instituted in California in the '70s, it seems like no one actually believed that it would really mean 'never ever ever getting out' would the person have a chance at release. Instead, California moved to an even more barbaric sentencing structure and began sentencing people to years beyond their natural life, even when they weren't sentenced to LWOP. 100, 200 years or even more.

Basically it is society saying "were mad, we're in charge, and we are going to show you how mad we are" and the Judge going along with it. It could be called revenge sentencing. It serves no purpose if the point of sentencing is to create some balance between societies safety and incentive to rehabilitate.

So Spoon has been denied by the Court, his request for them to review CDCR's (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) change in policy, and ordering them to restore it - no longer giving parole hearings to the conditions he was actually sentenced under at the time of sentencing. The Court denied it saying it didn't state a prima facie claim, or in other words, on its face, the claim of what he was asking wasn't a cognizable claim or wasn't apparent.

 While it was still CDC (California Department of Corrections), they were so backed up in parole hearings for prisoners who actually had a shot at parole, they made an administrative decision to stop doing parole hearings for prisoners who they see as the walking dead. They still got further behind as the level of incarceration in CA boomed larger and larger each year.

Then came Marcy's Law, an initiative which passed by the people and said something like if there is no chance of the person being parole eligible under the Board's determination, they could deny you up to 15 years at a time (prior it was 3 maximum).

All that history is to say that Spoon's case/claim is very interesting because, in the case of Marcy's Law, there was a class action filed on behalf of the prisoners that said exactly what he is saying but on this issue - if we were sentenced to a term that gave us a parole hearing every three years - you can't mid sentence change the terms of our sentence - it is ex post facto which is illegal. They won, and anyone who was sentenced prior to Marcy's Law being passed, once again is under the regular term of hearings at 1, 2, or 3 years maximum.
Background summary by Christine Thomas

** The Special Circumstances in Spoon's case were fabricated by the court only because the District Attorney (who in many jurisdictions in the US, represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses) wanted Spoon on Death Row. The Special Circumstances were attempted rape and attempted burglary. There was no evidence of either one, it was only based on findings of unidentified finger print smudges on a window sill, but without this the court could not have sentenced Spoon to LWOP. He did not comit the special circumstances nor plead guilty of them. But this fact does not give him any chance to appeal the sentence itself, only his behavior and accomplishments in prison.

*** Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP) Wikipedia

**** ”25 to life” generally means a life sentence with parole possibilities after 25 years.


The Gosling Five Week 11

One of the Gosling Five was missing! I imagined it had flown away on its own. When I went to the small yard there were only four goslings left. I looked around for dead bodies or missing feathers. The Gosling Five have no more baby fur and perhaps it's a good thing he or the is gone. If I could fly I'd fly far away from this place too. Yet, I ponder did some mean humans that control the rotunda on the weekend separate the Gosling Five, one from the rest of the family? There are some hateful correctional cops around that don't like any prisoner programs or even positive interaction with what nature we prisoners can find. However I discovered a much greater tragedy, I found out that someone had gone and smashed one of the remaining eggs in the corner nest and it was not infested with maggots. The mother goose had taken off. An Indian brother had cleaned up the nest in the hope that the mother goose would return and sit on the three eggs that remained and she did.

Back in the cell. A fat moth is in the window sill seeking shade from the ninety degree sunlight. The moth had been there since noon.

This is the last chapter of The Gosling Five.


The Gosling Five Week 10

I found my geese family on the big yard this morning, and so, I herded them towards the gates and corridor that lead back to the small yard where the Gosling Five were born and are safer. They were all a little reluctant to move today. All five look grown now and only slighter smaller than their parents. With a little help from a cool yard worker my geese family strolled through the corridor without dropping a turd on the concrete, that I would have to clean up. I went around my business and did my bar work and ran a few laps and then took some bread to the Gosling Five. They were at the top of the yard near cell block five and six. The geese took to the sky flying as if they had been doing so all of their lives and landed right in front of me and we did our geese greetings. I wondered why they allowed me to herd them through that walled and gated corridor in front of the art room, since they all are expert fliers. I squatted down on one knee and placed some bread on and near my leg and the goslings came and rubbed up against my leg as they ate. The parents always stand back and let them eat.

Not a good day for the mother goose sitting on her eggs in the corner of the small yard. Another egg was stolen, now it has gone from seven down to four eggs. I wish the rest of the eggs will hatch quickly to avoid anymore hatred by whoever it is that stole the gosling filled eggs.
The Gosling Five seem to have decided to stay here and partake of my company longer and continue to share space and bread.


The Gosling Five Week 9

The Gosling Five are still here, and all of the baby fur is gone. They are healthy and bulky now and making adult sounds. Yet they have not flown away. Today some huge back of the cell block geese appeared on the small yard. Four young geese and their parents. They have seen more of the world, and there was another family of three that tags along with the new family. I remember seeing them through the cell window as they grew. This is one of the first times the Gosling Five had direct geese company. I fed them some bread. At first the Gosling Five were hiding on the tiny hill among plants. By noon they were out socializing and doing their geese thing. It was cool to see all the geese but not what they left behind.


I went out on the small yard to check on my five kids and I found them huddled up in a corner with their parents. Two local bully geese had intimidated them until they saw me approach. The bully geese backed up, but not too far and tried to come back and pick on the Gosling Five as I sat there feeding the young ones. I chased the bullies away and again and again they came back acting like King and Queen geese on the yard. Again I chased the bullies away, but this time the Gosling Five family joined me and flew about twenty feet. I walked away and called to my geese family and they again flew to me. They flew to me three or four times. I didn't know I knew geese talk. Suddenly they all flew low about forty yards to the lower part of the yard. The first time I saw the Gosling Five fly!


This morning I went to the small yard for my gosling meditation and again found my Gosling Five family stuck in the corner with the bully pair of geese not allowing them to move about. The bully geese saw me coming and took off. One bully goose came back and attacked a gosling and the gosling flew thirty or forty yards to get away. So the goslings can fly skillfully. After I chased off the bullies I started watering the grass and one gosling came near me. I turned the water hose on him and he enjoyed the shower and pruned his feathers. Soon two other goslings came over for the shower. It inspired me to go water the egg sitting mother goose in the corner of the yard. She loved it and even stood up as I showered her. She sipped the water from her feathers. I counted her eggs and two were gone. Somebody had stolen two of her eggs. It saddened my heart.


The Gosling Five Week 8

Well, the Gosling Five except for a few stings of baby fur looks grown and even have big chest and neck flesh now and stroll slowly now making a statement to the other geese. I did my gosling meditation today and spent over an hour with them and listened to their roars and to the facet water. I played my flute and it soothed them. They closed their eyes and took a nap. They have all of their feathers now. I believe they can fly. All five look healthy. What a surprise the world will be looking down from the sky. When high looking down on lakes, valleys, trees and hills. I won't be able to tell them apart from the other geese soon.


The Gosling Five Week 7

The Gosling Five started their seventh week. Their wings and bellies are bigger and almost fit their bodies. The baby fur is just left on their necks and lightly on their backs. I can see the deeper colors of their black and white neck and head. They are young adults now and practice flapping their wings every chance they get. They have layers of adult feathers. The birds have no idea what is in the sky and beyond the cell blocks. Two of the goslings have huge feet, bigger than their parents. I wonder if it's like with wolf pups with big paws, does it mean the goslings will be large geese?

I did not hang out much with the Gosling Five today. I called them over to the fence beside the art room (you can see that fence on the cover of my poetry book "Longer Ago") and fed them. They are young adults and are acting more distant.


The Gosling Five Week 6

Due to TB tests today, I got out of the cell late, and I went directly to check on the Gosling Five. Of course the biggest and most aggressive gosling nipped my finger before poking hard for the bread. He also has the largest head. The other goslings are more gentle when they take food from my hands. Over night another layer of feathers appeared on the birds and the blues stemmed wing feathers for flying are much larger. Today a guard who has watched the geese said in about two weeks the goslings will fly away. It's too early I said, that will only be week seven and I think they at least must be eight weeks old. That is how old my Gosling Buddy was when he flew away.

Although the Gosling Five are acting more distant now and think they are more grown up sometimes teenagers think they are grown up too soon. Sometimes the goslings, especially the finger nipper leads the family around. They have attitude changes, sometimes when I call them they barely look at me. It's sad sometimes how soon we grow up or think we do. I'm sure they will fly away in a couple or a few weeks. It doesn't matter, still they will be gone.


The Gosling Five Week Five

Wow they are so big now, the Gosling Five starting their fifth week with more and more attitude and antics. I was feeding two brave goslings and one napped my finger on purpose. It didn't hurt though. So cool to have them eating grass and food from my hand as I sit next to them. This past week tiny tail and wing feathers, plus belly and back feathers are replacing the baby fur at a rapid pace. They have enough tail feathers to swash in the air now. The blue stemmed wing feathers are growing like weed and their wings are as big as pigeon wings. The goslings are the size of ducks, maybe a bit bigger.

I sat at the tiny pond and did my gosling meditation, while my gosling family played in the pond and in the currents of the water facet. The pond is a five feet circle about four to six inches deep, but it's heaven for the Gosling Five and a meeting place for the black birds, cow birds, pigeons and red-winged black birds.

I know the goslings are only one month and a couple of days old. Yet they are teenagers already and my other Gosling Buddy flew away after only two months. They are already at moments acting grown up. They are changing a lot each day. It sees like over night their wing and tail feathers have grown a couple of inches. Week five is a heavy transitional week for them. They are feeling their wings and tails. Today I flapped my arms and jumped around and the Gosling Five ran towards me.


Today my Gosling Five family returned to the little trench in the grass where they took their first drink and waded in the water. The first or second day of their lives after weeks of drinking the yolk in the eggs. They were not bigger than chicks at the time. But today they are more than twenty times that size. When I turned the water on in the tiny trench, they had to sit on its shore and sip water and catch the bread crumbs I sent down the stream. The goslings are twice as big as a seagull, and their underbelly feathers are like their parents. Their wing stems are like blue ink fillers. It's like the grasses they eat are treated with Miracle Gro and it makes the goslings flourish. They are getting their second layer of feathers on their back, chest, tail and wings. Still there is some yellow baby fur on their heads and other parts of their bodies. I can now see the black and white colors underneath their yellow down on their heads and neck. Week six starts in a few days. The biggest and most curious of the Gosling Five makes sure he naps my finger once as I offer him food.


The Gosling Five Week Four

Tuesday the Gosling Five will be a month old and yesterday an today the two most adventurous goslings took bread from my hands with attitude. It was cool. The other three ate too, but stood back and were more shy. I fed my crow friend that I shared food with when it was a young bird before the last long race based lock down. It came down from the roof to take cake crumbs always conscious of its surroundings. The loud sea gulls he must contest with that often fill the skies have gone somewhere to nest. Looking out of the cell window this morning I saw a squirrel on this side of the razor/electric fencing. It was too far away to see what he was doing in the grass. I assumed he was eating seeds or insects.

I made a cup of coffee and came back to the window and I saw a jackrabbit circle around near the boulder tree, and under the tree I saw two young deer bouncing around. Then just outside the window, not ten feet away there was the squirrel, standing on its hind legs with its mouth full of straw. It was building a nest near the fencing inside the prison grounds. I watched him vanish into a hole some thirty or forty yards away from the cell block. A hole in the open grassy field not six yards from the lethal fence. I pondered is it safe from ground attack, from coyotes, foxes or other ground predators. Yet, the skies soars with red-tailed hawks.
The Gosling Five came running as I ran towards them, they flapped their wings and I flapped my arms. People looked on in amazement.


The Gosling Five Week Three

I sat out on the little hill near the tiny pond and fed the Gosling Five. I was now totally accepted by the mother and father goose. The goslings nearly eat off my boot, and their parents trust me so much they left me with the Gosling Five as they frolicked and bathed n the pool and sipped the sweet waters.

Finally the babies realized their parents were down the hill and scooted off to join them. Moments later I did my goose call and the most adventurous gosling Brave one, came running followed by its brothers and sisters. I sat there surrounded by the Gosling Five for nearly an hour. A part of a goose family enjoying Mother Earth's flow, on a slightly windy spring day.


The Gosling Five's personalities are coming out even more. I keep giving them nicknames that I'll probably forget. The independent gosling is even more of an adventurer running to walk beside me and to ask for food on its own, or just to go off and eat grass by itself. They all have ”red-winged black bird”-size wings now.


The Gosling Five Week Two

Now bigger than pigeons, today the Gosling Five became fourteen days old. It's so great I can call them from across the small yard and they come running with their parents behind them. It trips guards, free staff and other prisoners out how the Gosling Five family has accepted me. I have a calm pensive, peaceful sharing contact with both parents of the gosling five. They seem as curious about me as I about them, so we share precious space and air. We share the sun, wind and sky, we share the honor of watching over the goslings.


The Gosling Five Week One

The geese nest near the corner of the small yard hatched five goslings yesterday at 8:09 am – The Gosling Five. It was like an awakening for all who saw the birth, a guard and a few caring prisoners. The mother goose sat the nest the whole time over 21 days through rain and wind while the father goose stayed afar, fat from heavy eating and dipping the waters. Now he has showed up and is there as the protector of the goslings, but no more than the mother goose. She did all the hard work and is just as vigilant to protect her babies.
My other Gosling Buddy eight weeks and three days old flew off with his parents the day after the Gosling Five arrived. I thought he was too young to fly.
The goslings are six days old and way more animated than my Gosling Buddy who had no siblings to play or grow with. I don't know how they learn so quickly but they are already displaying most of the grown up goose gestures, even hissing, but they have no sound yet. Still they hiss and bob their dime sized heads. So cool and cuddly, with their heavy egg shaped bottoms sometimes tipping them back.
The Gosling Five are even showing differences in personalities, two more independent and adventurous than the other three who clings more close to their mother's wings. I turned the water facet on and watched the goslings first dip as they warmed up to the water. One gosling, I call her Sitter because she always sit down in the rush of the waters, as it fills the low places in the grasses on its way to the tiny pond. Another gosling, I call him Stay Back, likes to let the family move away a few paces and then jumps up and rushes to catch up with them. I soon saw the mother goose do a new dance I called The Stump. She stood in a low place in the grasses in a puddle and stumped her feet in place as if she was stumping grapes. I had never seen that dance before.


Diary New Folsom June 2

Good morning Earth Mother, and thanks for your early morning mist on this soon to be hot and sweet day. I envision not putting anyone down or zap anyone's energy in a negative way or allow anyone to zap my positive energy. I'm striving to share energy that creates forever growth, love and realness. I'm striving to share balanced peaceful light and darkness that empowers and creates and not hinder and destroy. Looking out of my theater window a red-tailed hawk flies low and lands on a boulder across from a telephone pole. She looks better on a boulder than on a pole.
I got another mile run before the heat was too heavy to run in. I met my little geese family on the small yard and did my gosling meditation. Later in the day I went to the big yard and saw that my geese family had flown over to that crowded yard and was back at the corridor gate that lead back to the small yard. I got a guard to open the gate and I marched them through. By noon all the geese on the yard was panting like dogs from the over 100 degree heat. I had the tiny pond full of water for them, but the big Folsom lake is only seconds or minutes away from here.

Thank you
I want to thank all Peace G's, Peace Poets and all the realness folks on Facebook and Twitter that follow me and that we follow. Particularly my people in Sweden that have embraced me with realness, love and inspiration over the years. I hope I'll continue to inspire you to be real and keep glowing and growing. To look at us all as human beings because underneath we are all the same. We must call for non violence and racial peace and respect for all people. We must heal together and allow Mother Earth to seep into our hearts and souls and be one