the other side of darkness

February 27, 2010

There is a dark night
That comes to each of us
Engages the soul
No one likes to feel helpless
Who would dare choose the darkness
Life is on the other side
That’s what I was told
That’s what I found to be true
It is a part of the journey
We’re all pushed to the limit
Desperation is the word
Time to listen carefully
To heart, soul, and mind
I’ll choose good people
Who will give me room to think
Believe I can make it
Who have tasted the darkness
And understand the process
I will ask for help
From those whose lives speak to me
Who have found joy
© Terry S. Smith
February 2, 2010


February 23, 2010

I’m given to gluttony
I wish it were not so true
It has affected my health
Food is for fuel
When you sit to dine
Note well what is before you
Is it what you need
Don’t wear yourself out searching
To get rich with this earth’s goods
They fly off like the eagle
False security
I’ll seek instruction
Looking for words of knowledge
About how to live
The truth sets you free
Wisdom and understanding 
Come with discipline
Precious in the sight of God
Is the death of His dear ones*
I want to be your servant
Precious in your eyes
You have freed me from my chains
From pride, lust, greed, and despair
Your love embraced me in these
I am filled with joy
I’m thankful today
To be alive and aware
Of who gives me life
The Lord is with me
I will never be afraid
Of what man can do to me
My God is loving
I found him running to me
In quiet I can see him
© Terry S. Smith
February 23, 2010
*based on Psalm 116:5

A flourishing life

February 22, 2010

What is it you want
Give language to your desires
Plan accordingly
I have learned to dream
Bring discipline to my plan
Seek, listen, write and respond
I’ll pay attention
Choose your mentors well
Make them the best that you know
Then do what they do
I have learned to ask for help
Before I act, not after
Decide to do good
Back that goodness with knowledge
Aim at self-control
Perseverance is a must
Look with wonder at your world
Be kind to those you meet
In the presence of others
Give your utmost respect
It is sacred ground
After kindness give your love
If you will practice these things
You will discover real life
Relationships flourish
© Terry S. Smith
February 13, 2010
For my grandson Peter, on his fifth birthday.

past wounds

February 20, 2010

Sue was my girlfriend
From the ninth grade to college
She was a princess
She lived in a huge mansion
Her chauffeur drove her to school
In her blue convertible
His name was “Shorty”
Life looked good on the outside
Sue was the oldest of five
Her father I rarely saw
Her mother stayed near
She was beautiful
Her world was as sad as mine
Although hers appeared the best
Money hid the tragedy
It hid all of the emptiness
Suicide was the result
I thought we lived in two worlds
But later I saw the truth
We came from the same sad world
Relationships dark
We met in our woundedness
She was very kind to me
Our hearts were breaking with grief
With no words to speak
At eighteen we parted ways
Trying to hang on to love
She went to the Ivy League
I went to Ole Miss
Our letters were sweet
Our voices became distant
We could not sustain our love
It was not enough
My life fell apart
Despair became a doorway
Sue’s dad died by his own hand
We were both empty
My search led me to seek life
Her search led her to despair
Her depression led to her death
Sadness and grief crushed us all
Money could not fix the pain
Our hearts were broken
Terry S. Smith
December 20, 2008
In memory of Sue, who died at age twenty-six.

The Dancing

February 19, 2010

Dedicated to the Class of 1960
Clarksdale, Mississippi
At our 50th reunion
We’ll celebrate with old friends
Some classmates left us early
We remember them well
I learned to dance as a child
Music brought rhythm and joy
The movement brought energy
Taste of something good
As teens on Friday nights
We would dance, laugh, and sing
Giving and receiving friends
In motion with joy
Religious people
Thought and said it was not good
To dance, especially dance
To laugh and sing was O.K.
But dancing, not acceptable
I was not too religious
And home was not a safe place
There was no laughter at home
And no one would dance
Another place I found joy
Playing baseball and tennis
A place of community
We always had fun
When I played my position
With precision and rhythm
Things happened with teamwork
That also brought joy
Friends found in community
Where joy is at the center
I discovered this secret
As a teenager
Today I’m living the dance
The joy continues to grow
Older but younger inside
With lightness and love
I live in community
Creating happy memories
Playing with nine grandchildren
Teaching them to dance
© Terry S. Smith
February 6, 2010


February 4, 2010

Where can I find the knowledge
To live a life that is full
The answers are not easy
I need real wisdom

What are my questions
They are formed in quietness
I listen for them

Nature speaks to me
The birds, trees and animals
Speak of higher love
This knowledge makes me bow down
I am in awe of this world

Nature has order
It is not so with mankind
What is the problem
A basic question answered
This one I have studied well

Discipline and honesty
I have sought to know what’s true
My responsibility
To search and find where is peace
I have been surprised by joy

Jesus Christ has made God known
Compassion and gentleness
To the broken and lonely
His love was revealed

The truth just tastes good
When you hear it you know it
It has a clear ring

It meets all the tests
Bigger than circumstances
Much larger than death
It must be worth dying for
The ones important to me

My standard is high
This truth will enhance each life
It guarantees  growth
Knowledge is what I’m seeking
About personality
Jesus became my focus
I studied his life
© Terry S. Smith
February 1, 2010
Today is my daughter Sara’s birthday.  You are invited to read funny things that my grandchildren say on her blog.
“A Spacious Place”