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D.C. Youth Show Off Poetic Prowess

New America Media, Feature, Beat Within Youth Posted: Dec 18, 2009

Young D.C. poets from The Beat Within provided the entertainment at the fourth annual "Models for Change" conference in Washington, D.C. The event was hosted by The Coalition for Juvenile Justice and the MacArthur Foundation on Tuesday, December 8 at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel. The Beat Within hosts workshops twice a week at New Beginnings Youth Center in Laurel, Maryland. The young men were followed by Tyrone Jones, a current intern at New America Media/The Beat Within, who helped publish a book of poetry "Concrete Dreams" with six other youth over the summer. The audience gave the poets a standing ovation and requested signed copies of the book after the performance. Roughly 150 people attended the event.

Paste alt hereBeat Within intern Tyrone Jones reads from "Concrete Dreams."

Too Far

I cant go too far
My mother wants me home
Very early.
I cant go too far
Its too late.
Too far I cant go
Why not?
Cause my mother wants me home
Too far, way too far I cant go
I want to fly
My mother said, no
Thats way too far.

Paste alt hereBeat Within Youth in D.C.
Two Steps Back and One Step Forward

I take two steps back and one step forward
I play life like a game but the game
Aint enjoyable
The step that you take might make your life horrible
So be careful of your steps and hold yourself
Accountable for them.
I take a step forward, without looking back
Because thats the old me, Im now the
undercontrolled me.
No one has to hold me, I take care of myself
The old steps that I took wasnt good for my health.
I take another step forward but can see the past
In my peripheral, Im try an get away as fast but I guess
it has to live with you.
If I take another step forward theres
No looking back
So now its three steps forward
And no steps back.

Paste alt hereBeat Within Youth in D.C.
Lost Figures

To be a man is something thats lost its touch.
They die or lose time they cant make up.
If only I had that figure that everyone needs,
I can be a man added to the ones that succeed.
Should I wander off and stay on a right path,
Or should I go behind the father I never had.

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