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Hope

After spending decades working in the Ravendale


ANTHOLOGY FOR
Community - the hood on the eastside of
Detroit, Author Jessica Smiths poetry resonates
with me. Her book, Anthology for Hope in the
Hood, emphasizes the importance of having hope
while living there. This reminds me of a scripture
in the Bible that says, Without hope, man is most miserable (1 Corinthians
15:19). Indeed, darkness prevails in the hood. BUT, Jesus is The Light of
the World and when we surrender to His will, He will show us the way out.

H
Minister Mary Edwards, Founder
The Called and Ready Writers
& Leaves of Gold Consulting, LLC. IN THE
In Anthology for Hope in the Hood, Author Jessica uses poetic lyrics to
bring the reader into a timely place. Her poetry allows the reader to focus

OOD
on the many facets of life in the hood. The lyrics reach through all of the
despair, fear, neglect and hopelessness there can be in the hood and draws
from a place of strength to encourage readers.

Jessicas poems show how the hood is not just a place of despair and neglect.
Her poems dig into rejection, hate, and pain, and how the hood is community
filled with people who are keep alive by their hopes and dreams.

Jessicas lyrics release the heart of the Father who loved the world and gave
His only begotten Son for it (John 3:16). Looking through the eyes of God,
we can see the need to bring the truth of Gods forgiving grace to the hood.
The hood can be the place where we as believers forget the heavy weights
and obstacles that set us behind and push toward the higher prize in Christ
Jesus.
Apostle Diane Washington, Pastor
Trinity Deliverance Church

Visit thecalledandreadywriters.org for more


information of The Called and Ready Writers Guild.

Je s s Ma r i e
Hope
After spending decades working in the Ravendale
ANTHOLOGY FOR
Community - the hood on the eastside of
Detroit, Author Jessica Smiths poetry resonates
with me. Her book, Anthology for Hope in the
Hood, emphasizes the importance of having hope
while living there. This reminds me of a scripture
in the Bible that says, Without hope, man is most miserable (1 Corinthians
15:19). Indeed, darkness prevails in the hood. BUT, Jesus is The Light of
the World and when we surrender to His will, He will show us the way out.

H
Minister Mary Edwards, Founder
The Called and Ready Writers
& Leaves of Gold Consulting, LLC. IN THE
In Anthology for Hope in the Hood, Author Jessica uses poetic lyrics to
bring the reader into a timely place. Her poetry allows the reader to focus

OOD
on the many facets of life in the hood. The lyrics reach through all of the
despair, fear, neglect and hopelessness there can be in the hood and draws
from a place of strength to encourage readers.

Jessicas poems show how the hood is not just a place of despair and neglect.
Her poems dig into rejection, hate, and pain, and how the hood is community
filled with people who are keep alive by their hopes and dreams.

Jessicas lyrics release the heart of the Father who loved the world and gave
His only begotten Son for it (John 3:16). Looking through the eyes of God,
we can see the need to bring the truth of Gods forgiving grace to the hood.
The hood can be the place where we as believers forget the heavy weights
and obstacles that set us behind and push toward the higher prize in Christ
Jesus.
Apostle Diane Washington, Pastor
Trinity Deliverance Church

Visit thecalledandreadywriters.org for more


information of The Called and Ready Writers Guild.

Je s s Ma r i e
ANTHOLOGY FOR HOPE IN THE HOOD
Copyright 2015 By Jessica Marie Smith

PUBLISHED BY
Jessica Marie Smith
P.O. Box 7113
Novi, MI 48376
Email: jsmithcoinc@gmail.com

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or
electronic process, or in the form of any audio recording. No part of this book is to be stored in a retrieval
system, transmitted or otherwise published or copied for private use without the written permission of the
author.

Book cover and page design by Shannon Crowley,


Treasure Image & Publishing - TreasureImagePublishing.com

Edited by
Wanda J. Burnside
Write the Vision Ministries and Media Productions Intl -
thecalledandreadywriters.org

and
Minister Mary D. Edwards,
Leaves of Gold Consulting, LLC - LeavesOfGoldConsulting.com
Contents
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................................................... 5
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................. 7
PREFACE ............................................................................................................................................ 9
EDITOR COMMENTARY ............................................................................................................. 11

Circle of Influence ........................................................................................................... 13


Looking to Heaven in Grayscale .................................................................................. 18
Worldview......................................................................................................................... 20
EXAMINING HOPE ....................................................................................................... 23
Dime on the Floor ........................................................................................................... 24
Spirits ................................................................................................................................. 25
Fielding Dreams .............................................................................................................. 28
Suicide Doors ................................................................................................................... 33
LOOKING FOR HOPE .................................................................................................... 36
Street Song ........................................................................................................................ 37
Blue and Black Girl......................................................................................................... 39
From The Hood Came Aint ......................................................................................... 42
Gotta Be Something More ............................................................................................. 44
IN THE HOOD ............................................................................................................... 46
Stay the Course ................................................................................................................ 47
Faith Life ........................................................................................................................... 49
How Else Can I Relate.................................................................................................... 51
Protect the Troops ........................................................................................................... 53
Blast Mode ........................................................................................................................ 54
Lord I Lift You Up: A Hymn ........................................................................................ 55
Get Real ............................................................................................................................. 55

CLOSING THOUGHTS: EXITING WITH GRACE.................................................................. 57


CALL TO SALVATION .................................................................................................................. 59
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ................................................................................................................. 61
CONTACT INFORMATION ................................................................................................................... 62

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I want to personally thank my editor, Wanda J. Burnside for all


of the time, patience and effort that went into producing my book.
Every one of her reminders to keep writing and to believe that this
could be accomplished is the very reason this book was able to be
written. A very sincere thank you to Mrs. Wanda Burnside; without
your believing I could do this, I would only be wishing I could.

To all of the members of The Called and Ready Writers Guild, I


thank each of you all for your encouragement and examples. I am
also eternally grateful for the vision and prayers of Founder Minister
Mary D. Edwards concerning this work. It is such a treasure to be
considered a part of this organization.

I appreciate my church family at Trinity Deliverance Church, my


Pastor, Apostle Diane Washington, who saw me as a writer, pushed
me toward my dream of writing and has led by example in living
purposefully. I am also eternally grateful to the following individuals
who have made significant contributions as spiritual teachers and
examples: Pastor Joseph Stevenson, Pastor Maurice Stimage, Elder
Michael Fields and Elder Sean Holland.

I am grateful for all of my family, friends, spiritual family, and


co-workers who listened to my poems read from a tattered
notebook. Thank you for your patience, for listening and allowing
me to be excited and passionate about writing.

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

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INTRODUCTION

Anthology for Hope in the Hood, is a collection of poetry to


inspire those who look for hope amidst seemingly hopeless
circumstances. The Hope in the Hood theme is an aim to reach the
young, the experienced, the churched and the unchurched. True
hope is what gives humanity purpose.

Often times, our environment predetermines our hope. Real


hope, however, is not determined by our predicaments. It can only
be found in Christ. This collection of poems gives a practical,
understandable, and enjoyable demonstration of things hoped for.
This is an anthology for hope in the hood.

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PREFACE

Anthology for Hope in the Hood: Book One is the first book of a
three part series. It is to encourage people of faith and to minister to
anyone struggling with issues that surround the hood. The poems
present practical issues that many face alone. There were times
where I hoped to get away from the hood as I grew up in Detroit.
Hope resonated in both the good and bad times. A hope to make a
better life, to escape some of the painful snares and generational
bondages our elders may have fallen into. The hood is not just a
place of despair, but of community and the place where many people
like me were developed. The hood is where we need to sow seeds
of hope, as it is so much a part of our roots.

In the Anthology for Hope in the Hood series, poetic lyrics are
used to bring the reader into a visualization of the everyday realities
that come with urban living. Some of the stigma surrounding the
inner-city life and situations we may face are not only particular to
the ghettos across the land. Hope is not just for those without it.
Hope is for all. We all hope for the best and somehow we get
through.

The focus on the hood is not excluding those who may not live
in the city. Because true hope is founded in faith; those without
faith, without love and without God, also need to be introduced to
the Anthology for Hope in the Hood. As you read, you will travel
through issues of alcoholism, abuse, depression, and hopelessness.
Please consider what you hope for now and eternally.

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EDITOR COMMENTARY

POET JESSICA SMITH: A Voice like a Trumpet

Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell
My People their transgression, And the house of Jacob their
sins (Isaiah 58:1 NKJV).

Author Jessica Smith is a bold, courageous, and prolific poet. She


is full of wisdom beyond her years. Jessica is perceptive and keenly
knowledgeable about the struggles, devastation, and pitfalls in our
society. She is sensitive to the deception of Satan to mark the mind,
the emotions, and soul with evil thoughts which lead to tormenting
agony in the depths of the soul.

She is like the fearless, forthright, outspoken, and frank ancient


Biblical prophets who God used like Elisha, Elijah, Isaiah, Samuel,
and others to proclaim the Word of God. Through her edgy and
razor-sharp written words, she declares truths to reflect the mighty
Word of God in critical situations, trials, and challenges in life.
Today, there are crucial and serious issues to confront from the
range of sexual relationships to abusive living from drugs and crime,
to all manner of sin. Jessica addresses them from her heart. She
speaks to the church to be committed and responsible to what is
godly and spiritually required of them.

Jessicas poetry is soulful and daring, like the masterful African-


American poets: Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nikki

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Giovanni, Maya Angelou, and other greats. She brings a depth of
poetry that goes below the surface of difficulties, challenges, and false
excuses. Jessica uncovers the lies, misconceptions, and phony
dealings in deceitful hearts.

In this book, you will be confronted with truth and reality. She
makes sure that you clearly understand that there are broken,
hurting, sinful, and deprived people living among us. She intensely
speaks to your heart and intellect to awaken them from sleep and to
face what is real and true. Jessica firmly stands knowing and
believing that the only answer to our sinful sick society and
brokenness is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!

Mrs. Wanda J. Burnside, Poetry Editor and President


The Called and Ready Writers

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Circle of Influence
Without rhyme or reason,
It seems like treason,
When so-called saints
Stop believing.
Words confounding,
To start deceiving.

I hope people recognize


Encamped about by angels,
There are devils in disguise
Very rarely transformed
By the renewing of the mind
A circle of influence,
The storm is coming.

Dark days, close in all around me


Hope prays,
A voice deep inside me.

But I do not hear it.


I do not know how to listen.
Too blinded by diamonds,
As they shine and glisten.

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Drawn in by desire,
I do not know its tight.
Lusting after power,
I do not care whats right.

A circle of influence,
That pays most well,
As I sit and watch
From a beautiful hell.

With friends that smile


Like a Cheshire cat.
As they disappear,
Who needs enemies,
To turn their back?

Friends are disappointed.


When you dont do
What they want.
They are not my idols.
But in my quest to change my ways,
And desire not,
They have become my rivals.

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Where can I run to?
When I am standing in despair?
I pray some god can hear me,
From way over there.

A circle of influence changing,


For there has been a shifting.
Heavy burden disengaging,
Under heavy sifting
Made confession once before,
But behold,
Yet a new thing.
Delivered, go, and sin no more,
In the presence of a true King.

The cycles are now breaking.


I thought they never would!
I see these days as evil
And only God as good.

I talk to old friends,


They think that I am strange.
I say I am following God,
They say I am deranged.

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But there is no denying,
I have truly changed.
The circle of influence dismantled,
Now free from bond and chain.

I continue to pray for my friends,


As they murmur idle words.
I pray the Spirit speak to them,
Confirming what was heard.

As they speak,
I pray and smile
Knowing it may take a while.

May the knowledge of God


Dwell in them richly,
May salvation come to them,
And may it happen quickly.

The Spirit is speaking clearly,


And time is running out:
Chose ye therefore this day,
What you will be about.

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Some circle at the outer courts,
While I am going in,
Longing for Gods righteousness
And fellowship with them.
The blessing of the Lord has no sorrow.
I choose to follow Him.
No more wrestling for joy tomorrow,
I have His peace within.

Those friends are far away from me,


But the Lord is my treasure
Following willingly,
As Gods light and truths
Make me better.

I chose to leave the pack,


My circle of influence.
For their lifestyle is wack,
They dont know what theyre doing!

I am secure in the Lord,


Resting in His hand.
Only serving Him,
On His Word I stand.
Psalm 1:1

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