Letter #20 from UPIII



JVA Köln, 28th June 2018



I’m not sure what is on my mind

there’s a saying in English, “sage advice”

the little grey green herb in a lid of sugar watertight

soaking up the last of the sun

leaves pointed upward

resting gently against a bar

perhaps the evening breeze 

might just topple them over.

I think of the visit this morning

three people

one new face

could I have said more?


Today is a low low low

one sentenced, two years

another denied a visitors

the only chance to catch up

with her two teenage daughters

“you cannot save anyone” (did I mean “everyone”?)

I know

but I wish I could do

more than give a hug

“I’m sorry” and my time

what am I going to do when I go free

and they’re left behind?

Where is my head at?

Why is it so hard to find?

What am I doing here?

And who is going to walk out of here when I’ve “served my time”?

It won’t be who walked in, head high.

My mind is hard and my heart more still

what is left of “me”


if I can't even recognize


It’s not all “woe is me”.

I promise.

There’s good things, too.

Stuff to light a fire in.

What feels like a husk

of burnt out heart and soul

a bar of chocolate

thoughtfully given,

an old line of poetry in a book

to pull away the walls.

“I went to the woods

because I wished

to live


(From dead pets society.)



In art group they told us

“this circle is your heart

draw the things that live inside it.”

But what are they exactly?

Do I draw my friends

the forest

a hundred faces

for every act of support

and each “stay strong, hold on,

you will go free one day”

Hambi bleibt

in the houses up the trees

“real anarchists wash dishes

or it creates hierarchy”

or do I draw

the life I had

wage slave weekends

cooking steak in a kitchen

all so I could afford

a little flat’s rent

but it was my space

 a place just for me

no “expectations” bullshit

foraged furniture, a friend

an escape to just “be”

how strange it is

when I think of home,

I only see trees

with the smell of aged and ancient earth

sitting cross legged, mouth full of chunky ginger tea.

I wrote a poem

perhaps I’ll find it

rewrite it here

or in a following letter

my late March heart

when I could still believe

another few days

maybe a week

of how I miss the mud

rustle of the leaves

it’s nearly Summer now

no Spring in the forest for me

and how I miss my filthy hands

the responsibility for things

water canisters

carried slowly along a lane

wheelbarrows full of tofu

and a few tired humans

groaning “not for dinner again!”

sleeping huddled together

slow breathing, a snore

that one day I woke early

ecstatic to see snow on the floor

laughing madly, leaving tracks all overcooked

rolling slush into haphazard spheres

being told “if you dare throw that ball…“

(It’s not my fault, you stood so near.)

Moments like this

help keep the fire alive

the world still exists, and

one day I’ll be outside

“Ich hoffe für dich,

I hope for you”

eventually this will all just be

a long, crazy bad dream

for me and all those here

stuck in the inbetween

sleeping and waking (or so it seems)

“the worst isn’t my body, it’s

my head that’s a prison”

(a friend said to me)

“there’s too many thoughts

and they won’t let me leave”

at least I can get out of my mind

a dozen photos to flick through

so many letters to read

this poem to write

which I’ll finish here,

with endless love from UPIII.

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