S1. E4. Humanizing the Incarcerated with Keri Blakinger

Rev. Bri-anne sites down with Marshall Project Investigative Reporter, Keri Blakinger.  Together they discuss her new book, “Corrections in Ink”, the dehumanizing nature of the criminal justice system, and how public safety might be best served by actually treating prisoners with compassion.


Keri Blakinger

Bible Bites

Matthew 25:34-40
Read by Bri-anne, outside the Huntsville (“Walls”) Unit of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville, Texas.


My Best by VAULTZ
What My Heart is Looking For by Bonner Black

Episode Clip

Relevant Links

Corrections in Ink by Keri Blakinger (Macmillan Publishers)
Corrections in Ink – Amazon
Keri’s Twitter
Keri’s TikTok
Keri’s profile on The Marshall Project

Wilderness Times Links

Wilderness Times Website
Jubilee United Church Website
Jubilee United Church – Facebook
Jubilee United Church – Instagram
Jubilee United Church – YouTube
Jubilee United Church – TikTok

Resistance Church Website
Resistance Church – TikTok
Resistance Church – Instagram
Resistance Church – Facebook
Resistance Church – YouTube

Wilderness Times and Resistance Church are digital ministries of Jubilee United Church, an Affirming (2SLGBTQ+ positive) congregation of the United Church of Canada, committed to the work of being an anti-racist congregation, as well as Right Relationship with Indigenous Peoples.  The space on which we work and gather is the land of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnaabe, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples, and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples from across Turtle Island.

Resistance Church reaches out to those for whom traditional church models are not always relevant or accessible. Rest. Hope. Community. Subversive faith & radical love in response to extraordinary times.


You’re listening to Wilderness Times, a podcast exploring the intersection of faith and justice, brought to you by Resistance Church and the Jubilee United Church in Toronto.

HOST – Bri-anne Swan
Hello, and welcome to season one and episode four of Wilderness Times for October 12, 2022. My name is Bri-anne Swan, and along with Norm Seli, I am one of the called ministers at Jubilee United Church in Toronto. I also offer leadership to the Resistance Church community, one of Jubilee’s digital ministries.

For those of you in Canada, I hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving with friends and family. Or, if you simply needed time alone for rest, I hope your Thanksgiving was just that…everything that you needed. Also, for those of you in Toronto, I’m actually don’t even know what to call that game. I’m trying to keep the language clean on this podcast so I can’t even say the words that I think that that game warranted. But this is not a sports podcast. So I suppose we can leave the Blue Jays to the talk radio pundants who are definitely filling their own airtime.

Our guest today is Texas based journalist, Keri Blakinger. Keri is also the author of Corrections in Ink, a memoir tracing her path from figure skating to heroin addiction to prison and, finally, to life as an investigative reporter for The Marshall Project covering mass incarceration, and particularly the death penalty. I have a connection to the Texas prison system because I have been a penpal to a number of men on Texas’ death row and I’m currently a spiritual advisor for one man in particular. I was in Texas this summer for scheduled execution that was stayed and ended up returning to Toronto earlier than expected. While in the airport, I downloaded Keri’s book and by the time we were forced to make an emergency stop in Indianapolis because the toilet stopped working (true story) I knew I had to ask Keri to have a conversation. Kerri’s work as a journalist has resulted in a prison rape perpetrator being charged, changes to the food options provided to inmates (although if you follow Kerri’s Twitter you will discover this is really an ongoing battle) as well as the treatment of incarcerated women. We’ll be hearing more about Keri and her book in a few minutes. But first, we have indie pop artist VAULTZ and their song My Best. You can find links to VAULTZ and their music by going to our show notes.

[MUSIC: My Best by VAULTZ]

(text has been autogenerated with minimal editing)

So, thank you so much for being on the show, Keri. It’s really, really great to have you here. I’ve been a subscriber to The Marshall Project for a few years now. And so I’ve been I’ve been following your work since you started there, I think in 2019. Right? Is that when you…

Keri Blakinger
I officially started in January of 2020. But yeah, I mean, I announced that I was, you know, moving in, like, in 2019. So yeah.

So can you tell us a little bit about like, what it what your role with The Marshall Project is?

I mean, I’m, I’m a reporter, we’re a news outlet. I’m a journalist. And I, you know, I mostly cover prisons and some death row. But, yeah, sort of, broadly, anything, criminal justice falls into our purview. I just have been the person that’s sort of focused most on prisons and prison conditions. And so that

That would include a lot of the covering a lot of the death row?

Yes, um, yeah, Maurice Chammah and I are the two people that sort of cover the most death penalty stuff. And this for me, I started covering death row when I was at my prior job at the Houston Chronicle. I’d been there about a year and the and I’d been there on a fellowship. And when I got hired permanently out of the fellowship, my editor was like, oh, you should take on some sort of like, you know, be to have some sort of specialty. And at that point, the longtime death penalty reporter had just retired. And she said, Hey, why don’t you know, my editor said, Hey, why don’t you take over the death row coverage, and that’ll be your sort of side beat. So I did that, and, you know, ended up that sort of expanded into covering, you know, not just death row, but prisons more broadly. And then jails and sort of all these other related criminal justice issues. And after moving to the Marshall Project, I, you know, kept up with the death penalty coverage. And, yeah, I don’t know, I’ve this has been, it’s such a big, it’s, it’s such a big and such a deep beat to cover, like, just the sort of the learning curve to be conversant in the basic amount of legalese that you need to understand that is, you know, kind of prohibitive in that, like, there’s a lot of reporters who, who can’t put in the time for it, or who, you know, in many states, it’s just not a big enough portion of the job to really become an expert in it. So, you know, given that Maurice and I both already have had this knowledge him from the Texas Tribune, and from then continuing to cover Death Row stuff at the Marshall Project and me from the Chronicle. You know, we’ve ended up being I think, the people that are doing the most of the death penalty coverage at the Marshall Project.

And what what is that like, getting to know some of the I mean, mostly, guys, I’m always I’ve always just sort of default to guys dudes and stuff like that, just because like a good most of them are at the Polanski unit and most like, what is that like getting to know people a little bit as they’re approaching their execution dates?

So I think it’s different when you’re talking about like, when they’re approaching a date versus when they’re simply on death row. Oftentimes, at the point, if I’m meeting them for the first time, at the point at which they are approaching the date, I know I’ve seen like a very specific slice of them, you know, I don’t think it’s you, I don’t think you can really get a picture of the whole person when you’re only meeting them within 90 days of when the state is going to kill them. And, you know, so So you You know, I mean, some of those interviews, I feel like I get a really good sense of the person. But I also know that it’s not necessarily the person that they were even a day before they got set, you know, but in terms of sort of more broadly what it’s like getting to know people on death row, you know, I think that one of the things that a lot of people don’t have any sense of is the sort of person who’s actually on death row. And when I say that, I mean, specifically, I don’t think people have a sense of how impaired some, you know, many of the folks are, like, many of the people on death row are extremely intellectually disabled or extremely mentally ill, and certainly not all of them. But I think it’s a much higher percentage than your average person thinks. And I think it’s much more severe than your average person thinks. I think, when people read about death row cases, if they see that someone, it says in the story that somebody is intellectually disabled, or mentally ill, there’s such a tendency to assume this is Mullin green, and not actually legitimate. And I think if you actually, if more people had the experience of actually speaking to people on death row, I think they would have a sense that, you know, have a better sense of how severe some of these problems are, that they are not malingering. And that, you know, some of these cases where people talk about, you know, remorse, and, you know, seeking redemption. You know, I think people are also very quick to assume the worst intentions. And I think if people actually had the chance to speak to folks on death row more often, you know, they might feel differently about that. Sometimes. You can, you can sense the sincerity. And sometimes you can’t, you know, sometimes it’s just unclear, you know, you’re only getting a small slice of the person. But, you know, the firt, one of the first times I visited the row, I interviewed a guy who was mentally ill, and intellectually disabled. And I remember walking away from that interview, feeling like I just spent an hour talking to like a fifth grader. And it was, you know, so, so heartbreaking. And I just kept thinking, if more people had the experience of having this conversation, and really getting a sense of who was actually on death row, I feel like it would change our thinking about the death penalty. And I’m not saying that it’s like in, you know, abolish statement because you know, as a, as a reporter, I can’t take a position on that. But I do think that it would change people’s understanding of who’s getting the death penalty and what we’re doing when we dole out a death sentence.

So when I was coming back from Texas this summer, I was in the airport, and I picked up your book corrections in ink. And I’m wondering if you can talk a little bit about what your book is about and how you came to write it.

Yeah, so my book is a memoir about how I went from being a competitive figure skater. And then I, one of my skating career fell apart, I got into heroin, and I was, you know, doing drugs and sex work and being homeless, off and on for almost a decade. And during that time, I actually made it most of the way through college, despite all the drugs and got arrested during what should have been my senior semester. And then I went to prison for a little under two years. And when I got out, eventually, I became a reporter, who, as previously mentioned, covers prisons.

And so how do you think that I’m going to ask a little bit about the book in a few minutes, but I’m wondering like, how do you sense that it makes a difference when you’re speaking with prisoners that they know you have a lived experience of, of being in prison? And and what that means?

I think for some, it definitely does. I think that for some folks, it just is helpful to understand that I’m coming into this knowing sort of that world and the the lingo and the implications of what’s said and what isn’t said, and the risks. You know, I think people are able to, you know, trust that I understand the risks of them speaking to me, and that I will take confidentiality and protecting the sources seriously. You know, I I also think that for some people, it’s just refreshing to see someone who’s gone through what they’ve gone through and has come out the other side, but didn’t forget their past or try to hide it.

So like when you were in prison, were you like, I’m going to write a bit more about this, or was it something that was kind of just sort of simmering after you came out for a while like or was there Some sort of impetus is like, now’s the time, I have to write this all down and get my story.

I mean, it was like a going joke when I was locked up, like I kept a journal, and you know, everything dramatic that would happen. It was sort of going joke like, Oh, this is another chapter in Karis book. So it was definitely a thing that we sort of joked about and talked about, because another woman had suggested to me that I should keep a journal so that I could write a book. But I don’t think I necessarily actually thought it would happen. Or I didn’t really give a lot of thought to like how likely it was to happen or not, it was just sort of a thing that I was doing, because I said I was going to do it, and I was going to keep doing it. And, you know, so I kept I kept a journal. And, you know, when I got out, I actually didn’t, you know, I tried to make like sort of a loose narrative chronology, it was really more like, I don’t know, it was it was really more like a chronology than a memoir, I tried to sort of pull all my journals together into some sort of, you know, story or narrative. And I realized I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t have any sort of name recognition, I didn’t have a job, I didn’t have a platform, I didn’t have a following, I didn’t have a lot of writing experience, other than, you know, in college. And I had no idea of I didn’t know a single published author, I didn’t have anyone to sort of help guide me through the process. And you know, after running into a few walls with that, I was just like, You know what, I am just going to set this aside. And if it happens, someday, it happens. And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. And in the meantime, I’m just going to be the best reporter I can be. So that’s what I did for the next, I don’t know, five or six years, I guess. And then in 2018, I, you know, or in 2018, I guess I was on fresh air, and afterwards had several agents reach out to me about if I was considering writing a book, and I realized that, you know, maybe the time was actually right, I think one of the benefits of waiting that long is that it became a different story. You know, when I gotten out of prison, it was just a story of someone who made it through prison in one piece, like, that’s it was just surviving, you know, and then, you know, years later, there’s actually sort of a full narrative arc, like, I’ve lived more of my story, I’ve come around to a place of like, you know, I guess redemption, you know, being able to take some of the worst parts of my own past and make something good out of them, you know, to use them to help further my journalism and my ability to hold the system accountable. And that is a piece of the story that I think resonates with people who are on the inside. And it’s a piece of the story that wouldn’t have existed if I written it right after I got out.

When, as I was reading your book, one of the sort of quotes that jumped out at me and then as I was going through Twitter and social media, I realized it wasn’t just me, it was a number of people who for whom this quote, sort of stuck out is reflecting about the a woman who was in solitary confinement and the guards were discussing, whether like how she was going to be able to drink and one of them said, Well, she can drink out of the toilet. You know? If it’s good enough for my dog, then it’s good enough for her. And you go on to say that jail was so small that all the petty and justices seemed anecdotal, a series of errant actions, not representative of the bigger picture. Prison was the bigger picture. There were hundreds of women and hundreds of guards and all the same problems, but on a larger scale, all the futility, the small cruelties, the refusal to see us as fully human. It was not a flaw in the system. It was the system.

[MUSIC: “It’s time for Bible Bites”]

[Sounds of city street] Hi, this is Bri-anne and I am speaking from outside the walls unit in Huntsville, Texas. The walls unit is the prison that carries out the executions. And it is the site of every Texas execution since the 1920s. And I’m reading from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 25, verses 34 to 40.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me Something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison, and you came to visit me? Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you? or thirsty and give you something to drink? And when did we see you a stranger and invite you in? or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you? The King will reply, Truly I tell you, whatever you did, for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

I recorded that passage in May of 2019, when I was in Texas, visiting some of my incarcerated friends. And I think of this passage, often when I’m at the prisons, if you could see the spot where I was standing, you would notice that this large red brick building that is the prison is right in the middle of the downtown. I grew up near a really a Ontario, which has a population of about 30,000, Huntsville is about the same size, but instead of a red brick prison in the downtown, a really a has a red brick Opera House. It just feels so incredibly foreign to me when I am there, which I suppose makes sense. Because when I am in Texas, I am a foreigner. Carrie and I recorded this conversation in August. And it was the first interview I did for this podcast before I even really figured out what the format was going to be. And so this Bible bytes segment is a bit different. Because I didn’t know Bible bytes was going to be a thing. But also because unlike the other guests we’ve had on the show Karis work is not focused within faith based circles. And so the following comments I offer are my own, and I have inserted them within the interview nearly two months after the fact. But all of that being said, I think this passage from the 25th chapter of Matthew is so relevant to some of the systemic issues that Carrie raises in her work, both as a journalist, and in her book. There is a dehumanizing of individuals, once they are charged and removed from society, there is an other ring. And when I’m asked to speak about my experience of being in relationship with those who have been sentenced to death, I always stress that the narrative of violent and criminal behavior being a strictly personal failure has been the prevailing narrative for way too long. The othering and dehumanizing that often happens in prison is also a result of a society wanting to separate itself from its own failures. Prison is often the scapegoating of corporate sin. If there was more clothing of those who are naked, and feeding of those who are hungry, not just in our broken charity models, but in real systemic change that removed barriers for those who are poor, black, indigenous and mentally ill, if, if there was more visiting of people in prisons, I’m absolutely certain that people would change their mind as Carrie mentions about the kinds of people who are sitting in prison cells. I am 100% certain that there are more sociopaths on Bay Street and Wall Street than there are sitting on death row. And there are 1000s upon 1000s of people who wake up in a cell every morning, who would never have been there had other pieces of their lives not Been so broken. We are called to seek justice and resist evil. And part of that is recognizing that we encountered Jesus among the least of these, not necessarily the meekest and the weakest. But those societies so clearly despises. And in a Christian context, if we can understand salvation, not as an individual exercise, but a communal call, for those of us who are not incarcerated, or hungry or poor, it is our souls on the line as well. All of our fates are tied and my wellness and wholeness is dependent upon my neighbors. Those close by and those separated by barbed wire and concrete But that’s enough for me for now. Let’s get back to my interview with Keri.


Throughout the book, it seems very clear that the prison or the system is not invested in setting people up for success after after they leave. And so it seems to me though, that even if you don’t care about people are incarcerated, even if you think that they are not worth investing in, do we not want to live in a society where people don’t have to resort to committing crimes again, in order to just survive? Like, isn’t that in everybody’s best interest? Not just the people who are there? And so I wonder why this system or prisons or, you know, government are not more interested in setting people up for success? After?

You know, I think about this one a lot. So I think that part of this is about how we frame incarceration, what the point is, I think so much of the conversation around what conditions should look like in prison. And what a prison experiment should be like, is often framed around rehabilitation versus punishment. And like, how much should we be trying to, like, rehabilitate versus how much should we be trying to punish. And, you know, that is certainly a conversation to have. But I think that the far more I think useful framing, is to think about it in terms of public safety. Like at a bare minimum, we assume that prisons should do something to improve public safety, right? Like, that’s why they exist. But if you take people and you dehumanize them, and you treat them as less than human, and you don’t offer them any sort of like rehabilitation or support afterwards, and you take, essentially, a damaged person with few opportunities, and then you damage them further and take away more opportunities, like you’re not improving public safety in the long run, because more than 90% of people are going to get out of prison. And if they come out, more damaged, and with simply fewer options in life, that is not going to improve public safety in the long run. And I think that that is a more helpful framing, because there are many people who don’t have generosity in their hearts to prioritize rehabilitation or compassion. And that’s fine. Even if you’re only out for yourself in this when you’re thinking about our carceral system. Even the person who was only out for themselves can realize that, in the in a broader view of public safety, there is a benefit to everyone in the community if we treat people with dignity and in a way that is conducive to, you know, creating stronger people better people.

Yeah. I’m always interested about what the sort of presence of church and faith groups are in prisons right now. And you say in your book, that you’re not particularly religious. So I’m not necessarily asking you about, like, what you participated in or anything like that. But I’m, I’m just wondering, like, when you were when you were in prison, or even in your work in Texas right now, like, what is your awareness of what the sort of faith or church presence is in prisons right now?

Um, I mean, I think that Polunsky has had an increase in the number of sort of opportunities available to prisoners in on death row in particular. But I think in general, there’s been a sort of uptick in faith based opportunities. There’s a radio station there that’s, you know, very connected to the chaplaincy program. And it’s run by prisoners to very cool, cool radio station. And some of the guys in the row are starting to get more opportunities in some of the faith based units that they’ve created within there. But, you know, I mean, I think that one of the, you know, one of the tensions about that is that it’s really cool that, you know, while it’s really cool that in Texas, at least, there are a number of opportunities that are faith based opportunities that are available to those prisoners. I think it’s also unfortunate that prisoners who are not a faith, do not have those same opportunities. And I mean, that’s sort of always been the case. I think that is rashly in the South. There’s there’s such an intertwining between the whole idea of redemption and second chances and the church. And it makes sense, of course. But it does sometimes I think leave behind other folks. I mean, I think we had a little less of that in the north, like, there there. There were like in New York, where at the time, like there were, of course, faith based programs. But there were not a lot of additional opportunities for things that were really only targeted to, you know, faith based groups, like, if there had been a radio station

Faith based groups specifically, right?

I mean, yes, that’s very true in Texas, although I think there were some there was some in New York, I think there was some Muslim faith, faith based groups that that were pretty vibrant from what I could tell. But yeah, I mean, I do think that as as many opportunities, and as much as I guess that that so this is a little bit of a tangent, but I think that in southern in southern prisons in particular, part of the reason that you see some of these cool opportunities only coming through faith based faith based programs is that I think that’s the only way that it’s palatable to a lot of southern conservatives. Like, that’s the only way that you can have a radio station and not have people being like, Why do prisoners have a radio station? Like, why are we giving them frills? Why did they get this opportunity? And I think that having some of these opportunities housed in, you know, framed in terms of being faith based insulates them from some of the criticism of coddling prisoners that they would otherwise be subjected to. And I think that there was a little less of that sentiment in, you know, in New York. So, you know, cool rehabilitative programs could exist independent of a church and not face the same sort of criticism that they would in a place like Texas. So I mean, I understand the dynamic and why that occurs. But, you know, this is something I think about a lot every time I write about some really cool thing that’s occurring through some facebait faith based group, you know, you know, I’ve always like, the only reason this is okay, is because because it’s faith based, and it’s

actually paying for it too. Like, is it who were just the final thing? That’s

a big I mean, so like, Yeah, but I don’t think that’s actually even the biggest issue. I mean, I think there are, you know, it would be possible to fundraise and find other donors, you know, it would be possible to have something church funded that is not even faith based, you know, but I think that, I mean, I think the bigger issue is that like this insulates it from from criticism and also insulates it from, you know, from some amount of attack by legislators, because even if your average random citizen doesn’t know about a given program, or what’s going on behind bars, if it comes to a legislators attention, and they find it inappropriate, like they might move to, you know, throw fit or sort of get it ended. And that’s a lot less likely to happen when it’s faith based, you know, because they’re not, they fundamentally aren’t going to want to dismantle faith based programs in Texas prisons.

So what have been some of the most moving, like, what are some of the responses that you’ve been receiving from people who have read your book? Like, what has what has the response been?

You know, I mean, I’ve gotten I’ve gotten a lot of written letters from prison. I’ve gotten some, you know, wonderful emails from strangers. I think one of my favorite things was I got a card from a federal prison where a whole bunch of guys signed it and said, they’d all read it. And, you know, they wanted to thank me for the book. And, you know, one of them said that he’d been, you know, struggling with addiction, and that this inspired him to try to change things. And so I don’t know that that was very cool. I’m trying to think what else at my first book event that I did on pub day in June. During the q&a Afterwards, somebody asked, somebody stood up to ask me something, and they started by saying that, you know, they were a retired prison dentist, and I was like, Oh, God, this is gonna go awful. Like, I thought this person was just gonna be, you know, I thought former prison employee was not going to be right. Complimentary. And no, he was he thanked me for my work and said that the dentists all look for or to my stories because they didn’t like having to give subpar dental care either. And they really liked seeing someone that would hold prisons accountable and, you know, expose how bad some of the care was. So that was really cool.

Yeah, it must be hard for some people to be cogs in the wheel of a system, that where they can see it’s not working. And or that it’s, there’s not right, but they’re just in it, they’re a part of it. Like the dentists to the health care workers and stuff, like they don’t want to give subpar care. And yet, there they are,

I think that that’s a really tough place to be, even for some of the, you know, corrections officers who sort of go into it with this belief that they can help people with it, they can be someone who’s different and brings more compassion to their work, I find that people that go into it with that view, often, you know, get out of it. Like they, they, they get into it, they see what the reality of the system is, and they end up leaving, or, you know, they sort of stay for years and become miserable and jaded. So it’s sort of on the one hand, like you, you want to hear from someone who’s starting working in a prison, that they want to be different, that they want to be compassionate, they want to bring a different approach. But every time I hear that, it just, it breaks my heart, because I know, I know what the reality of this and I’ve talked to those people, you know, one year down the line or two years down the line, and I’ve seen so many times how that usually plays out.

What are your hopes for the book? That’s a pretty open question. But like, if you had like, oh, this, I really hope this for my, my book and my memoir, whatever, what might that be?

I have no idea at this point. I you know, I it’s just it’s just so hard to predict what a book does. I mean, it’s been out about two months now. You know, it’s going fine. It’s, you know, I’ve gotten good feedback. It hasn’t been, you know, like a smash hit, but it’s been solid. So I don’t, I don’t know where to go from there. I’m trying to not sort of pin too many hopes or expectations on how this does or what happens next, because it’s so much beyond my control. But you know, I don’t know, I’ve been sort of thinking about whether I want to do a second book and what that would look like. And I’ve been sort of trying to distract myself with that right now. I’m also sort of just getting to a point in the, you know, publicity and interviews on, you know, corrections and ink that I’m finally feeling like I’m starting to have a little bit time to breathe and can, you know, maybe consider engaging in, I don’t know, normal social activity again, without just being like so drained. Because like the past two months, like I’ve done so many interviews with the book that like, when it comes to like hanging out in social settings, I’m like, Yeah, I want to hang out with my friends. And somebody asks me like one question, and I’m like, no, no, no, no, no, no, I’ve been interviewed all day. I will not be answering questions. No, I don’t want to talk about the book. No, I don’t want to talk about anything I’ve done in the past few months. And I’m like, God, I’m horrible conversation right now and talk about anything. So I’m finally getting to the point where like, I feel like my feet are under me a little bit again, and I can start thinking about moving forward.

Well, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us about your book. It’s been great to chat with you. So thank you very much.

Yes. Good to talk to you. Thanks for having me

[MUSIC: What My Heart is Looking For by Bonner Black]

That was Bonner Black and their song What My Heart is Looking For. As always you can find links to Bonner’s music by going to our show notes.


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“Matthew, on Jesus by the Prison Wall” from Jesus Son of Man by Khalil Gibran

Upon an evening Jesus passed by a prison that was in the Tower of David, and we were walking after him of a sudden he tarried and laid his cheek against the stones of the prison wall. And thus he spoke bro brothers of my ancient day, my heart beats with your hearts behind the bars. With that you could be free in my freedom and walk with me and my comrades. You are confined, but not alone. Many other prisoners who walk the open streets, their wings are not sure and but like the peacock they flutter yet cannot Fine Brothers have my second day I shall soon visit you and your cells and you build my shoulder to your burden for the innocent, and the guilty or not parted, and like the two bones of the four, they shall never be cleaved. Brothers of this day, which is my day you swam against the current of their reasoning and you were caught. They say, I too, shall swim against that current. Perhaps I shall soon be with you, a law breaker among the law breakers. Brothers of a day Not yet. Nice wall walls shall fall down and out of the stones other shapes shall be fashioned by whom whose mallet his light and his chisel is the wind. And you shall stand free in the freedom of my new day stoped Jesus and he walked on and his hand was upon the prison wall until he passed by the Tower of David.


Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode. A reminder that you can find links to all of Keri Blakinger’s social media profiles, as well as where you can buy her book, Corrections in Ink, by going to our show notes at Wildernesstimes.ca. Until next week, take care of yourselves and each other in these wilderness times. We’ll see you soon.


Wilderness Times and Resistance Church are ministries of Jubilee United Church, which is an affirming ministry of the United Church of Canada. You can find links to Jubilee, Resistance Church, as well as a full transcript of this episode by going to our show notes at Wildernesstimes.ca