The Incarcerated InkWell

Federal Inmate in a Canadian Prison with a Life Sentence writes about prison life

Pen Package December 2010

The Face in the Clouds?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Robert Sand

I?m lying naked in my room ? still poised upon this bed

I can?t stop thinkin? about you ? your face is pictured in my head

… You are the face in the clouds, ah the clouds

… You are my hopes all said out loud

I?ve never known no one like you ? so easily tore me apart

This bein? here all alone ? is like a fire burning in my heart

You are the girl of a million dreams

You are the roar of a million screams

You are the one that cameras seek

You are a prayed-for destiny

I gotta be there when you smile

I gotta hold you for just a while

I gotta no matter how far

I gotta wherever you are …

I musta seen you a thousand times ? heard your voice near every day

When my heart finally did see you? ? you were just walking away

… You are the face in the clouds, ah the clouds

… You are my hopes all said out loud

Girl I need to make you see ? that we are never complete

For without you I?m nothing an? our hearts?ll never be free

For all my life, I?ve known only loss

But I?ve bitten the bullet, regardless the cost

I?ve never given in, though I lose all the time

I?ve kept my faith that you I would find

Is it this easy to find my soul?s mate

Endure a few deaths an? survive all the hate

But if you?re not the one to set my heart free

Then thanks for being on Earth, same time as me


Robert Sand (1978?2023) was raised in a rural northern Alberta community, where his father trained him to wage war against the growing zombie hordes. The survival of the human race was posthumously attributed to Sand, whose sales and marketing of his Zombie: Kill or Be Killed ?How-To? classics were of little concern to the author ? a front-line gladiator who lived and died by the sword during the Dawn of the Zombie Age.


Dear Mother, Dear Mother???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Rod Schnob

Dear mother, dear mother I?m so sorry I could not help you. Being inexperienced, small and frail I could not defend you. This man you said was my father is so much bigger than I. I will not hold it against you because you lied. This mean man makes us bleed and leaves us pleading on our knees. I don?t understand why you make me carry his name. You never saw how he made me feel good by wearing the neighbour?s son?s blood on my clothes. At that moment in time, I was his champion. Dad?s lessons in life are so painful to learn.

The kids on my block jumped me and beat me up pretty good. I ran home with tears in my eyes and he leaned down and told me that cowards don?t live in his house when I tried to run home.

Similar lessons were taught to me by his mother when she armed me with a stick and garbage can lid in order to make my presence known to the neighbourhood kids. Is that how this phoney daddy of mine came to be so mean? All the other boys I hang around and walk to school with have the same kinds of stories. They tell me about the parties, the alcohol their parents drink, the voices that yell and fists that fly at one another. Like me they put their palms over their ears to stop the noise but it never stops the fear that races through our bodies. They get so scared like me and scream in silence hoping that our dads won?t hear. When mom and dad fight those familiar sounds of physical pain cast shadows on the wall.

As we walked and talked to one another on the way to school we tried to hide our homespun fears. Those fears gave us complexes in the names of helplessness, uselessness, worthlessness branding us with emotional scars like slaves. Never vanquished until the date of our deaths. After their drinking, fighting and witnessing of our beaten mothers lying in a fetal position their eyes trying to give us the impression that they?re okay. The sharing of our stories taught us shame and contempt as we needed to feel empowered. Our shame stood taller while we shared our stories of our weekend delights. Oh how we lied, hid and boasted in fits of phoney laughter.

?Hey, Roddy, my mom looks like Spot the dog?

?Yeah, Jake, I know what you mean mine looks like a raccoon.?

?That?s nothing, mine?s got the same look as your mother but she?s got a left hand turn on her nose.?

We all broke out in fearful shame driven laughter that gave us back our power. A power misunderstood by developing youth that had no clue beyond painful experiences of dysfunctional maturity. Only to learn later in our lives that not all authoritarian figures express irrational behaviours at the expense of loved ones.

Dear mother, dear mother I?m so sorry to make fun of your victimization that brought you humbled indignities that skinned your spirit inch by inch so painfully. Dear mother, I?m so sorry for being so selfish. I did not realize what you had to endure to give me a chance to have a life or to be whatever I wanted while discovering the magnitude of life?s embrace. I disrespected and squandered away all opportunities by blaming you for an unforgiving lie about who my true father was.

This story was first published in “Penned In- A collection of literary creations from both sides of the fence”, 2010 by Jupiter Literary Press.


Silent Hours ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?Rod Schnob

Silent hours floating in a cell

With tides of thought crashing in on mind,

Seething in a turbulent pity party

Feeling the rhythm of its blues

Embittered heart tells the news

Dreams shatter on the break,

The tales of unkind loneliness

Tumbles to the shore,

Another tortured spirit grasps for an ending.

Depression lassos regret for comfort,

And a mirror?s reflection becomes thy enemy.

Quickly turning away to defeat shame,

The muffled pleas for freedom screamed internally

As I struggle and drown in a cage of apathy

Strength depleting in the cold waves of death

A blanket tossed upon my face.

This poem was first published in “Penned In- A collection of literary creations from both sides of the fence”, 2010 by Jupiter Literary Press.


Rod Schnob comes from Vancouver?s infamous East End. He now resides in Matsqui Prison, learning the fine arts of mental and emotional torture from the academics of crime prevention. While working on a 25-to-Life sentence, Rod found an outlet for personal salvation through Matsqui?s creative writing program.

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