Global Crisis

by Tom Wolpert on August 10, 2023

Darryl K. Blackwell’s Global Crisis

music: Wes Montgomery – Bumpin’ on Sunset

[This was performed by Darryl Blackwell recently as part of an inmate-generated, recorded program for other inmates at Pennsylvania’s Mahanoy State Correctional Institute, near Frackville, PA.  At Darryl’s request, I also post this link:

1. It’s a global crisis/Invisible enemy/Grips east to west
the ambulances speeding/No heat/Dirty sheets
Empty streets/Can’t enter/Nor exit
All the many places or shows/Emergency rooms
Are filled beyond belief/Casualty counts/I.C.U’s
E.M.T’s/Crushed by patients/Undertakers stagger
Can’t keep up/With massive daily numbers/What happened?
2019 a year to remember/In history’s foremost top pages
People cry out for relief/Mass chaos/Mass breakdowns
Mass layoffs/Mental health meltdowns
Mass disenfranchisement/mass shootings/mass murder
Insurrection at the United State’s Capitol
In possibly the most secure city in earth
Man said he got robbed/his rightful gain was stolen
He pledged to return it/it is not over
Panic, hostility, hatred, anger
Got to tote bangers/it ain’t safe/need a bigger hammer
Store shelves empty/ strong men, national leaders
Went into hiding/SARS CV2/better known as COVID-19.

2. It’s nothing ever imagined/straight out of Science-
Fiction/such an extraordinary time/spoken of long ago by
Amos, Joel, Hosea, Habakkuk, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and
Malachi/people losing everything/got to keep your faith
Broken dreams/live’s shattered/though being separated
In this temporal life due class, wealth or color/live’s swiftly
Don’t matter/science defines matter as anything
That has weight and takes up space/can I speak to you?
Stuck inside/getting fatter/while watching/last season’s
Home run batters/careers ruined/teams can’t roster
Covid positives/Corona variants, viruses
Afflicted with unthinkable, multiple diseases.

3. It’s a global crisis/what happened?
To my beloved/now dearly departed
It came like a sneak thief/they here today
Abruptly gone tomorrow/can’t attend any funerals
Burdened in overwhelming sorrows/headline news
Floods, fires, earthquakes/makes you wonder
How much more/can people take?
Delivery supply chains disrupted/factories, plants
Outsourcing, shutdowns, foreclosures, refinancing, terminations
Evictions/ now today top all this off/with out of stock
Higher prices/stinging inflation/what’s your dollar worth
The WSJ shows $97.40/it’s so prized across the entire earth
Con-men scheme/to exploit the weak
Creating many new things.

4. It’s a global crisis/somebody help me!
Huge hungry refugee caravans/walking from Sudan
To the coastline of northern Morocco
Ukrainians fleeing Putin wrath
Unabashed merciless cruelty
Latino’s exiting much of South America
Struggle to reach/the U.S. Border/new opportunity
Land of the free/workers and laborers/need to eat
Families need shoes/for their hurting feet
Each searching for a New World Order
Tales of Cities/paved in gold/dreamers hope
Fantasies will unfold/the Oligarchs, Conglomerates,
National, International Corporations/hold keys to
Political, lawmaking, power/Wall Street records increasing
Profits/let me ask?/are you invested for
Semiconductor chips, chemicals, cleaning supplies,
Household items, Internet communications
Controlled by wolves/titled as L.L.C.
Brokerage house/account managers/constantly shifting
Business models/Electric cars/E-cigarettes/Solar energy
Wind farms/Oh, I hear yik-yak about/tortilla, nacho,
Potato chips/now in a final blow/a hard pimp-smack
Used autos, auto parts/in high demand
Can’t buy a new one/no oil products/step aside to
King Gasoline/one gallon worth more than baby diapers
We think things might get better
Here comes some type pox/mad scientist
Unleash Pandora’s box/mass immunizations
1st shots, 2nd shots/still end up positives
It’s a global crisis/got me ducking and hiding
World-wide disaster/humankind being destroyed faster
No time for burials
Pyres non-stop on banks of the holy Ganges
Caskets line in rows/putting them in ground
With bulldozers and backhoes.

5. It’s a global crisis/calling for few choices
Massive migrations/mobs rushing leaky borders
Asylum seekers/running from overseas wars
Today, can I fill/a monthly grocery cart
Or car gas tanks/prices climb/through the roof
All my hustle, all the sacrifice
Hard work/goes poof!/3rd World welcome to America
It’s a global crisis/man reaches for distant planets and stars
We can deal with rockets and dreams
But reality what will it mean!
We currently pay for a debt
On something we never touched, tasted or seen
250+ years have passed by/since that transaction
All the Banker cares about in reality/is just interest
Their mind is you ain’t never got to pay off an Old loan
We’ll hold it and if we can’t get it from you
The present and future labor/posterity and bones
It’s a global crisis . . .
Ya’ll get out and vote – vote for me,
I’ll fulfill the promissory!

copyright Darryl Blackwell 2023]

Here is some additional poetry by Darryl, inspired by Jeremiah 31:3

To Thee

The words have been spoken
clear and personalized
chiseled in stone
written upon our hearts
can you hear what I say
that I have love you
with an everlasting love
and shall continue
for I have found
you to be worthy
in spite of
each fit of anger that is displayed
each moment of displeasure
and every harsh word spoken to another
I stand ready
with My arms opened wide
for you to come in and enjoy
as I display
through thoughts, words or deeds
giving abundant blessings
so that in turn
you shall be able
to share abroad
and spread an everlasting love

A couple named LaCosta were important in Darryl’s life.  He writes that LaCosta was a spiritual father who is deceased.  A West Philadelphia resident who worked for Phila. Board of Education, a church member plus Jr. Choir director. LaCosta’s wife was also involved.  Darryl writes that she was a spiritual mother who is now deceased.  She was a resident of West Philadelphia, Philadelphia School Board employee, and church member.

Thinking of you  . . . 
My hear is indicting
a good matter
Thinking of you  . . .
and my pen is that
of a ready writer
Thinking of you  . . .
with glad tidings
of great joy
Thinking of you  . . .
Beloved, apple of 
my eye
Thinking of you  . . .
in rejoicing 
and son
Thinking of you  . . . 
as I walk
along the way
Thinking of you  . . .
as we go from strength to strength
Thinking of you  . . .
at the sunrise
of this new day
Thinking of you  . . .
and I give thanks
for the blessing

I Say That I Love you!
It is a love for the spirit and soul that is within you
it is a love for the compassion and understanding that you exhibit
it is a love for the strength and wisdom which have carried you through tough times
it is a love for the blessings of having someone like you being there for me
it is a love for all the sincerity which has blessed you with longevity
it is a love for the cheerfulness extended unto others
it is a love that shows me there are some people in this world
  who rise above mediocrity and all are not evil
it is a love which is rare as precious gems
it is a love that lifts my soul being all things aren’t enjoyable
it is a love that when I hear your voice new inspiration comes upon me
it is a love compelling me to do good
it is a love made in story books
it is a love keeping joy in my life
it is a love so unique
So, if I say that I love you please do understand
how much You mean to me.

(©copyright Darryl Blackwell 2023)

Wilderness (to Miles Davis ‘He Loved Him Madly’)
     I’m out here in this wilderness, sun blazing, blue skies, blue people
the heat is amazing!
     Wolfpacks stalking/ stench of gunsmoke in the air/ hungry buzzards circling
fumes of sour diesel sizzling/ slimy snakes slithering
the sounds of cookers and spoon boiling/ greasy rodents
running from the light of day . . . 

     O’ it’s not the Gobi, Sahara, Sahael, Mojave or Sinai
its the mean vicious streets of the cities.
     I’m out here in this wilderness, we need the angels to help us,
my Lord, this life’s a mess!

     I peep/ here it comes, the Tempter drops on deceptively
hear the babies crying/ women hollering/ stomachs growling
HEY MAN!/ “If you be a son of God, take these stones from me
and turn them into bread!” / but I shoot back
“big face bread won’t fix these problems, only God’s word
can keep us alive!” / HEY MAN! listen / “team up, pick up that stick”
“I’ll put all these cities and streets in your hand!”
“but it’s not God’s will I take that chance”
5 million dollar bail and screen visit /  non-contact romance
WHOA MAN! just listen / one more thing / worship me! / follow me
“I’ll give you KEYS / all the KEYS to my kingdom!”
“Oh no!  Only my God can set me on high for eternity
only he can give all things to me.”

     I’m out here in this wilderness, we need the angels to help us,
my Lord, this life’s a mess!

     As I walk along the way / Eye in the sky / GPS / dash cams
search engines / browsers / oxy’s / dog food / heads bobbing and nodding
white / hard / soft / deuce / brown / tree / molly / schizzing / rocks
szurp / ice / tweaking / 211 / speak easy’s / Hennessey / blame
it on the alcohol / Casinos / Lotteries / communities / circus acts
women /  men / wave and shout / love for sale! / blank stares
double edges / teeing off like Tiger at the U.S. Open
tipping like La Cosa Nostra on St. Valentine’s day
tune up kits by Jack Johnson / loud clapping / lighting up the sky
mean mugs / curses / ice grills / I see colors / signing / flags flying
the many mighty nations / I see another flag of many colors and wonder
who that be? / I see flowing elegant robes / extravagant headpieces
all extending / offers of embrace / promises to set me free
there’s Yakob-ben-Israel, star of David / shouting shaloms!
over there, Dar-al-Salaam, waving the crescent and star, offering bahdins
look at Devadip Krishna with is countless deities and polite namaste’s  . . . .

     But there’s only One Name, One Way, One Trust, One Light
shining against the darkness that will get me to the other side  . . . .

     I’m out here in this wilderness, we need the angels to help us,
My Lord, this life’s a mess!

     Sit down and Google the address / it comes back
house of mourning / in the first 48 / teddy bears / flowers / candles
mark the spot / and I see / photo’s on T’s / large bold letters, R.I.P.
friends and families / mourner’s / head and toe / in black
standing room only crowds / major networks /  FOX, CNN, NBC
traffic jam /  red lights / city block lined up with the / flower filled
slow moving Cadillac’s.

     “HEY MAN!” what did you say? / they was all D.O.A.
they was my friends /  kids / never made it to one high school dance
I just seen ’em / rocking fresh designers and matching tennies
now they carried by six / I can’t believe it / yellow jumpsuits
armed guards / cuffed and shackled / on a bus 
Momma’s baby done did it now! / facing big time in the penitentiaries
orange is the new black /  “and what about them?” 
wounded beyond recognition / identified by dental records and D.N.A.
give public viewings or private memorials / tearful eulogies and obituaries
laid flat in their caskets /  headed for cemeteries
and the Preacher, preaches on . . . / “ashes to ashes / dust to dust
Lord may You grant them an eternal rest!”
in el nombre de la Padre / el Hijo / ye el Espiritu . . . 

     Yea, the hoods peeks over the valleys and mountains
streets say / they be lurkin’ / but I just want / to read
these local headlines / all the deceit, fighting, lying, cheating
stealing, robbing, killing, drug dealings, conflict & danger
we have met the enemy
and it is right here within  . . . 
     I’m out here in this wilderness, we need the angels to help us,
my Lord, this life’s a mess!

     And now, we seek You O, Lord, forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us
and lead us not into temptation / but deliver us from evil
for Thine is the Kingdom / and the power / and the glory
forever and ever / and let the Church say
Amen / Amen / and Amen!

Wordkey for Wilderness

wilderness:  bleak, barren
sun blazing: oppression
blue people:  police
heat: law presence
wolf: robers
buzzard: predators
diesel: pot
snakes: evil people
cooker, spoon: dope
rodent: snitch
light: exposure
stones: crack
bread: cash
big face: $50/$100’s 
stik: AK-47
keys: coke
eye: camera
oxy’s: opioids
strip: dope sub
dog food: heroin
white: coke; Hard: crack; soft: powder
deuce: K-2
brown: tobacco
tree: pot
edge: razors
teeing: hitting
tip: violence; tune up: beating
clap: shots
colors: gang sign; flags: gang sign
nations: gangs
many colors: LGBTQ
David:  Jews; Salaam: Islam; Krishna: India
six: pallbearers
yellowsuit: prisoners

(right now let me shout out to my ol’ head Taji Lee who inspired creativity)


Rising in the east /  to set in the west / a rare and brilliant son
Most beloved One

     We watched you / you moved / ESPN / pre-game / warm-up
Sports Nation / live interviews / opening tip off / sweet spot 
halftime lead / baseline / pass off / 3 point circle / hurtin ’em
foul line swish / closing out / fourth quarters / MVP / all star
whoa / Olympic scenes / ya’ll hear the fans scream / my man’s
puttin’ in work / all about da team . . .

He pulled down 5 chips / 5 krazy blings / ya’ll hear the fans scream
my man’s / putting in work / MVP / all about da team ! ! !

     All about da team / takin’ B-ball / into red hot / sizzling beams
makin’ it a world-wide thing / everybody wanna play / but we know
they could never / get your sway / dribblin’ / defending’ 
blindin’ speed / slammin’ / settin ‘ hoops on fire / oh !
so mean / good play! / to the line / ya’ll saw dat / winna 
it’s another V ! ! !

He pulled down 5 chips / 5 krazy blings / ya’ll hear the fans scream
my man’s / puttin’ in work / MVP / all about da team ! ! !

     A game plan / husslin’ / coast to coast / rockin’ / with the Big Fella
look at Uncle Phil / pointin/ the way / cities hollerin’ / sharp shooters 
nasty / laster light aims / team player / gum bands / bustin’ / pockets swollen
mega contracts / cash flowing / like the might Nile / jewels shinin’
gear fresh / Lovely ladies / flossed ouot / perfumes / fillin’ the stands
they lost / cryin’ / while sittin’ in a daze / staring at the brilliant son
upon a sea of glass / inside majestic halls / everybody got together
for all stars / of B-ball ! ! !

He pulled down 5 chips / 5 krazy blings / ya’ll hear the fans scream
my man’s / puttin’ in work / MVP / all about da team ! ! !

     We sad / to see you go / surely / goodness / and mercy
be like a giant umbrella /  shall follow you  / dwell in the house
of the Lord / forever / rare / and brilliant son
Most beloved One ! ! !

At first when seen
there he was
in a position of prayer
finally he moved
it fascinated me
when I reached out
slowly as unthreatening
to touch him.
He returned to a 
position of prayer
when picked up
and carried inside
as a humble guest
to share the same room.
I amazingly watched
and in wonder
what would he eat?
Was he thirsty?
Or how could comfort
be provided?
Then it became evident
that God provides
each and every need.
Turning away while
still in thought
I looked at him
again, there silently
resumed to a
position of prayer.

Put down those weapons of war
a shield, a suit of armor
defenses to hide behind
a bow and arrows – 
offensive tools which cast
forth injurious barbs.
Use the energetic fire
which can destroy
to create
a lifegiving warmth.
Be a warrior in the most
real of battles
ever known to mankind
until you surrender.
Yes, that very thing
which is the heart,
that has suffered and bled – 
until then never can it be
experienced –
joys and of blessings
with a strengthened ability
to endure – 
until you surrender.
Come truly from the heart
unfeigned, oh yes give.
Be an ultimate.
Don’t even seek returns.
Only allow the love
we are blessed to have
shine brighter than the
sun and stars
high above.
copyright all, Darryl Blackwell 2023)

On the walls
and on the bodies
so very odd and 
very few really do
I want to know what
is going on that is
thrown out in the the
three simple letters.
Then one day it did
come unto me as the 
messenger displayed
this writing on the
bodies and walls
across this land.
A strange look in his
eyes, unkempt, forlorn
forlorn, emasculated
and emaciated while
reclusive and overly
He looked me in the
eyes and said FTW.
I thought briefly and 
then replied to him
“free the whales.”
He said once again
FTW, ain’t nothing here
for us so FTW.  We do
not care cause no hope
Lies ahead.  So for now
we won’t and don’t
want to do and we’ll
Live by the thought

I like to rap
we all like to rap
Living in the era
of rap and many
rap artists
rap takes on many
styles that mirror
spirit and soul
speaking of love or war
speaking of peace or hate
speaking what’s within
speaking of self-talk
speaking to family
speaking to friends
speaking to the masses
You go on and shout
but learn to put
that heavy rap down
use the chisel and stone
that rap bringing out
and forth
deep thought or
powerful messages
strong connection let
not pass away but that
it be read today
or at another time
help on my brother
Rap on, Rap on!
and make impact as 
that rap takes new form
chisel it in stone for
lasting memorials
to those peering
through this mask

The table is spread
with many filling items
and as one views
an appealing array
there arises a desire
and so attests a need
in us all to be fed.
Our whole person
wants to live
and not die
so as one partakes
of the array
a filling is received
to satiate the 
emptiness constantly
crying inside.

            Electric Atmosphere 
It’s an electric atmosphere
can you feel it
flowing through your veins.
Electricity is flowing
strong in this atmosphere.
At times I wonder
how I played to
get here, stuck
in this electric atmosphere.
Energy, energy
flowing, flowing hard.
Life in motion
like a thundering crash
but held in check
just like the 
on and off switch
upon the wall
that tells a bulb
what to do
because, oh yeah, tis
an electric atmosphere.
Can you feel it?
Flowing through your veins
making you want to shout
making you want to jump
and it keeps you wondering –
How do I keep from
going under
in this electric atmosphere?

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