Thursday, June 04, 2020
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The Swish Says Column: W-A-N-T

prisoner of desire

Something wise I heard, went a little like this:

Think About It…

It’s never enough.

“Come to me to the most populated prison in the world.”


The facility has more inmates than bunks.

More prisoners than plates.

More residents than resources.

Come to me to the world’s most oppressive prison.


Just ask the inmates; they will tell you.

They are overworked and underfed.

Their walls are bare and bunks are hard.


No prison is so populated,

No prison so oppressive,

And, what’s more,

No prison is so permanent.


Most inmates never leave.

They never escape.

They never get released.

They serve a life sentence in this overcrowded,

Under provisioned facility.


The name of the prison?

You’ll see it over the entrance.

Rain bowed over the gate are four cast-iron letters that spell out its name:

W – A – N – T

The prison of want.

want more

You’ve seen her prisoners.

They are “in want.”

They want something.

They want something bigger.

Nicer. Faster. Thinner. Thicker. They want.

They don’t want much,

Mind you.

They want just one thing.


One new job.

One new car.

One new house.

One new spouse.

They don’t want much.

They want just one.


And when they have “one,” they will be happy.

And they are right — they will be happy.

When they have “one,” they will leave the prison.

But then it happens.


The new car smell passes.

The new job gets old.

The neighbours buy a larger TV set.

The new spouse has bad habits.

The sizzle fizzles,

And before you know it,

Another ex-con breaks parole

And returns to jail.


Are you in prison?

You are if you feel better when you have more

And worse when you have less.

You are if joy is one delivery away,

One transfer away,

One award away,

Or one make-over away.


If your happiness comes from something you deposit, drive, drink, or digest, then face it –

You are in prison, the prison of want”




#Hearty Talks

#Fuzzy Walks


I Am Ink.

Chelsea Mugayapi
Chelsea Mugayapi

Twitter – @the_scribb

This poem was first published on

Swish Says


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