from Stranger On The Road

I, david said, nobody, david said, eyes,
change, the symbol,
the twinkling,
eyes, deferred,
flat, trembling, david, trembling
saint john, eyes, born again, eyes, a witness, eyes,
music and memory and carnival noise,

wade in the water children, just like John

sinners plunge, sinners plunge
lose all beneath his flood

handsome, well-spoken
believe in existence, question disturbing answers, entertain, examine,
portray, produce, struggle, change and struggle,
change bethel a.m.e., change the church of the good shepherd, change,
second baptist, metropolitan memorial, new progressive, change the
church, in the beginning,
change, struggle and change,
demonstrations, dreams,
the word is handsome, dreaming,
the spirit is well-spoken, subtle, overt,
hymns, dreaming, eyes tired, eyes, unwilling, eyes,
dream children, dream christian, dream cities,

dream chimes, dream deliverance, dream dance,

dream dawn, dream days, dream dread, dream brother, dream deep, dream
demons, dream dreams, dream empires, dream efficient, dream fathers,

dream education, dream edict, dream ego, dream flights, dream feet, dream
fugue, dream floats, dream focus, dream flutes, dream games, dream

grave, dream happy, dream horses, dream heaven, dream hostage, dream
hickory, dream hit, dream horns, dream indigo, dream infants, dream

instrument, dream journey, dream inducement, dream intensive, dream
kite, dream light, dream lover, dream lawyers, dream leather, dream

leapers, dream leaven, dream leper, dream mother, dream madness, dream
mother, dream music, dream mansion, dream lilies, dream mothers, dream

madness, dream needles, dream nectar, dream invitation, dream nods,
dream orchids, dream other, dream order, dream octave, dream offering,

dream officers, dream oils, dream omega, dream peace, dream pavement,
dream peaches, dream power, dream preludes, dream questions, dream

passage, dream quarters, dream reason, dream rats, dream selves, dream
sister, dream salts, dream silence, dream testament, dream tabernacles,

dream temples, dream water, dream stranger, dream xylophones, dream
yoga, dream blessings, dream ushers, dream minister, dream deacon, dream

singers, dream preachers, dream doers, dream children, dream sayers,
dream studio, dream tellers, dream message, dream sermons, dream doors,

dream stranger, dream mornings, dream woman, dream hotlines, dream
scissors, dream translations, dream potatoes, dream cactus, dream

growth, dream angles, dream essays, dream rock, dream fiction, dream
preference, dream cola, dream blues, dream wane, dream bodies, dream

buildings, dream teachers, dream papers, dream student, dream stranger,
dream eyes, dream madness, dream mississippi, dream pulpit, eyes, dream

in the good shepherd, from the soprano section at bethel a.m.e., from the
mourner's bench in second baptist, from the amen corner and the deacon
pew, from the new progressive missionary society to the sunday school
choir, I know my robe's gonna fit me well 'cause I tried it on

in peace baptist, with the labor of love, with christian fellowship, with
dexter baptist, I tried it on in friendship baptist, in st. john's, with the
gospel chorus, with the altar choir, with the inspirational chorus, with the
youth choir, with the clark sisters, with andrae crouch and his disciples,
with sandra crouch and friends, with little cedric, with tutu, and the soul
stirrers, the five blind boys of alabama, the harold smith majestics, the
caravan, the morning stars, rev. al green, the gospel preacher with the
gospel heart, the gospel notes, the harmonaires, the moss brothers,
tramaine, and philip bailey, tried it on at the gates of hell, I asked james
cleveland and the cleveland singers, the southern california community
choir, I asked dorothy norwood and the o.l.b. youth choir of atlanta, I asked
rev. isaac douglas and the isaac douglas singers, asked shirley caesar,

I asked vernard johnson, I asked the gospel soul children of new orleans, of
boston, and of new york, I asked thomas whitfield, the winans,

stranger on the road,

his eye is on the sparrow


I thought I'd given him my best, there were words and
if the rainbow is removed, and the sweetness,
I'm gonna keep on, my wealth, my fame,
take all the best, he's got it, full and
complete, eyes, just a stranger, eyes,
don't want to roam, eyes, on this road, and eyes, don't want to stay, eyes,
out here all alone, stranger on the road, stranger on the road: where are
your sons and where are your daughters: and I'm told tonight that that
mother was all worn and wrinkled, that that momma, got her bags, got in
that car, and just kept on packin', and just kept on cryin', and got in
that long limousine and rode down that road, that momma just kept on cryin': I'm
a stranger, don't drive me away, I'm a stranger and I'm trying to get home:
you're using bad english, but come on and go home with me: look at me, I
don't have but two rooms, but come on and go home with me: that's my
momma, that's my mother: that momma, got her bags, got in that car, and
rode down that road, and I heard that old no-good son say: I never will
forget that night, my pastor gave that altar call, eyes, a livin' witness,
eyes, stayed right there and after a while I came through, and heard that
old mother say: loose that man, loose that man, loose that man and let him
go, take your hands off him: and I heard her say these words: men and
women are dyin' all over this land, take your hands off that man, and if you
can believe and really believe, loose this man, loose that man, and let him
go, loose him, and I heard her say these words: I'm packing up, getting
ready, said if you can believe and really believe: I can hear the church bell
tolling, I can see hearse wheels rolling, making preparation, and he came
up testifying and saying these words: gettin' ready, gettin' ready, I'm
gettin' ready, ready, I'm gettin' ready, gettin' ready, I'm gettin' ready, I'm
gettin' ready, I'm waitin', I'm waitin', waitin', waitin', I'm packin' up, tears
streamin' down, gettin' ready, I'm gettin' ready, and I'm waitin': stranger
on the road, remember everybody and don't forget about me, remember my
brother and don't forget about me, remember my sister, remember my
mother and father, and don't forget about me: come see about me, and don't
forget about me: said days here are so short, and eternity is so long, what
would it mean, if I had silver and if I had gold, what would it mean, soul is
more precious, silver and gold, silver and gold, precious to me, than houses
and land, what would it mean, run to the rock, to cover my face, no place to
run, eyes, a pilgrim in this barren land, what would it mean: I am weak,
but he is strong, hold me, hold me with your powerful hand: I'm gonna look
up David in the heat of the day, gonna tune up my harp, and begin to play:
I'm going to get in my house, going to get it in order, going to wait right
here, and study myself, going to keep on climbing, got to keep on climbing,
come on children, don't you want to go higher:

Sheila K. Smith

read the author's Bio and Working Notes

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