Poetry by Teri Kojetin

lightI Choose the Light

Living deception.
I hide from myself.
I hide myself from others.
Not living. Safe. Imprisoned.

Choosing honesty.
Seeing who I am.
Showing myself to others.
Living life. Risky. Freeing.

Living in deception is not truly living.
I deceive myself. I deceive others.
I do it without even being aware.
Until the day I come face to face with myself.

And then one day I see the deception.
I am filled with anguish and great sadness
For a life not lived fully, prescription
but in the shadows.

Who I am to myself and to others – a lie.

I step from the shadows of deception into the light of honesty.
I choose to see myself with eyes of truth, story
tempered by the love of God for me.

Seeing myself as I am is hard to do without judgment and condemnation.
Yet God is not as hard on me as I am on myself – He acts from a place of love.

I choose to see myself under the protection of God’s love.
I choose to be who God has created me to be – the person He envisions.
I choose to be transparent before God, to myself, with those who know me.
I choose to live in the light. I choose freedom.


Trapped in Shame: A Story of Mercy
(Based on John 8:2-11)

By His Mercy Set Free

She sits in the dirt, rejected, ashamed,
the focus of unwanted attention.

Trying to be brave, she fights back the tears,
shielding her emotions from the stones they would throw.

Once again they grab her arms, forcing her to stand,
dragging her along to wherever
they are in such a hurry to get to.

She hangs her head, letting her hair cover her face,
hoping that the staring eyes of those they pass
do not see who she is.

Glancing up, she is horrified to see
the entrance to the temple court. Why bring her here?
Would they shed her blood in this holy place?

A crowd parts before her, as pushed and pulled,
she is made to stand before a Man.
She knows who He is – the Healer, Teacher,
some even call Him, Messiah, the Savior.

He has been teaching, would she now become
an object lesson,
used to warn others of a sinner’s fate?

The self-righteous leaders have no problem
broadcasting her sin for all to hear,
demanding that He likewise judge.

She glances at His face, expecting to see
condemnation, a cold heart reflected in His eyes.
But no…

He does not speak, but only looks into her face,
compassion meeting her guilt and shame.

The leaders, impatient, still demanding
He conform to their judgment.
And still He does not speak.

He bends to the earthen courtyard floor
letting His finger give answer to their charges,
writing in the dirt at their feet.

She stands there, watching Him, puzzled,
the leaders still question,
still demand He share their view.

But wait, she sees looks of puzzlement
and disbelief on their faces,
as her mind focuses on His words,
her own face mirrors theirs.

These righteous leaders of Israel,
their sinful state pointed out instead of hers.
Only if they are sinless themselves
can they condemn and pronounce judgment.

He demands they examine their own lives
before that of another.
Once again she sees him stoop to the ground.
What does He write?

Quietly her accusers turn and leave,
one by one, as they recognize
their own sin and need for mercy.

And now she stands alone,
and He straightens before her.
His love and mercy reach out to envelop her.

The Son of God extends forgiveness,
“You are not condemned, leave your sin behind.”
She walks away in the newfound grace of God,
By His mercy, set free.


Emotions Haiku

We don’t always know what squeezes hearts to cause tears from words well spoken.



I didn’t know what I was asking.

If I had, would I have opened myself

to the searching hand of God?

Would I have let Him bring to light

things hidden deep inside?

My heart lies open…why can’t the pain be numbed?

Searching the very recesses of my being

With His Word, by His Spirit;

holding up the mirror of my heart

for me to see.



Oh God! The pain is so much to bear!

You show me the ugliness of my soul.

The door I have closed tight

You have cracked open, and I weep.

Shame and despair envelope me.

Can this be true?

Is this myself I see?

How Your light hurts my eyes!

I would turn away, close once more

the dark, sin-touched areas of my heart.

Yet, through the stabbing pain I sense

Something else.


You are waiting for me on the other side.

You stretch out Your hand through

my sin and pain,

to touch me, to take my hand.

I cling to You. Only You can pull me up,

up through the stench of my pride

up through my very self.

Broken by Your love. I mourn.

Shattered by the reality of my sin. You heal.

I rise, crippled, yet whole as I

abandon myself to

the safety of Your love.




A baby born into a world that should welcome her

with joy and open arms and love.

When did that change?

When did the mother turn into the enemy

hurting, discouraging, hating

crushing an innocent heart?

A child grown into a woman

entering into marriage, yet not understanding love.

What was she seeking?

Was she looking for escape to a better life

of peace and love

with someone who would shelter her?

A young woman becoming a mother

holding a child in her arms for the first time.

Will she know what to do?

Will she be able to love and show affection

to this tiny babe

or will her own past come back to haunt them both?

Years pass, more children come,

distance separating the husband & wife.

What happened to her dreams?

Why, like her own mother, eaten with

disappointment and frustration,

has she continued the harsh legacy to her own?

The children grown and gone,

the husband with another and she….alone

Was this what she envisioned?

Can she live with the guilt of past

mistakes and mistreatment

by forgetting and living as if it never happened?

The children make their own peace with her

….or not

Why won’t she deal with it?

And then a stroke of fate claims who she was

and she, left to depend on the these same ones,

seems to have forgotten all…..

But the children have not.


momMissing Mom

I don’t know what triggers the memories

as feelings rush over me without warning

enveloping me in fresh grief and tears.

A place, a thought, words, a movie

touch a cord in my heart

causing unshed tears to burn my eyes.

Today it was a a show about another daughter

sitting with her mother

as death awaits.

Five years ago seems like yesterday instead

as I sit beside my mother

watching and waiting.

Reliving once more the sadness

of a last kiss

a last touch.

And the realization that the pain

will never truly

go away.

A great granddaughter she will never hold

whose joy and laughter

will never touch her life

as it does mine.

Birth and death

the cycle always continues

and we, caught in its current

hang on tight.

We can flail helplessly

screaming in fear.

I choose to embrace

where it carries me.




What is our life but one change after another.

Who we were at three…so different at thirteen….

and even more so at thirty….and still,

a spark of sameness remains.

All living things go through the changes of birth,

youth, maturity, death…..and we gather new

things along the way and subtle changes happen.

And all of a sudden we wake up and realize we

are not the same as the toddler at three…..the teen at thirteen….

or even the adult at thirty…and still,

a spark of sameness remains.


I love snow storms!




The sky is heavy and gray

The moisture waiting, ready

Soon the world will change

A blinding whirl of white


Fat flakes drift lazily down

Blown about by the wind

Soon changing to a whirlwind

White and blurry, crazily dancing


The world is still

Blue, blue sky

Fluffy heaps of cotton

Striking red cardinal against the white



To Be Free

My head is hurting

Feeling like it wants to burst

And something inside wants to be free

My heart is hurting

The ache is shutting out who I am

And something inside me wants to be free

Even my body takes on the pain I feel inside

As if it has no other place to go

Something inside me wants to be free

Thoughts fighting to be heard

Emotions fighting to be awakened

To be free…


A Tribute to my Brother, Liam….

In my heart I ask God, why so soon to take Liam from this Earth and from those he loved and who loved him. Only God knows. And only God can give us the grace to hang on, to trust, to love, to live and someday to accept.

Amazing Grace

A young child turns to God

His heart tender to the Father’s love

Innocent faith, unwavering trust

Amazing Grace

A young teen

Stays true to his Lord, sets his heart on God

When those around him often do not

Amazing Grace

A young man

Embraces truth and lets the Spirit lead

Giving his life for the One who gave His

Amazing Grace

A young husband

Blessed with a wife, a new life for two

Bound together by love and God

Amazing Grace

A young father

Filled with joy at the birth of his sons

Understanding the love his Father has for him

Amazing Grace

A man, young in heart

Strong in faith

Consecrated to God

Bound by love

God has seen him safely home….Amazing Grace


The Vine

Often in life sorrow grabs hold.

It can wrap vines of agony around a heart

squeezing out life and leaving only bitterness behind.

Yet, it does not have to follow this bleak course.

Out of the deep distress that seems to ache endlessly

a spark of light and hope breaks in.

Feelings of abandonment and despair come.

But God who has abundant grace and faithful love

will tenderly break apart the tightly-woven vine.

Tender green leaves will slowly unfurl.

Loss will still be there, not all-consuming

but a bridge to life that must be grasped and lived.

God tends your heart.

Life will return to your soul and though not the same

new leaves will still push through to glorious light.


A Walk In The Woods

Snow crunches beneath my feet

snowshoes mark crisscross patterns

boughs of scented green overhang my path

Deep in this covered bower I listen

hearing the sounds of creation

seeing beauty all around I am at peace

A flash of red catches my eye

a reticent creature

a cardinal takes cover in the pines

Chitter chatter shatters the silence

the red squirrel annoyed at the disturbance

intruding on his ground

Familiar calls of blue gray nuthatch

and black-capped chickadee

remind me of childhood winter days

Tiny prints cross back and forth

Little brown mice

Scurrying to find a morsel then back to burrow

Inhaling deeply

crisp cold winter air

fills my lungs and I am filled with quiet joy

Walking in the woods.



Cheeky little birds

Tilting their head

For a quick look

Before grabbing a seed

Tap tap tap

They open the black case

Flying back for more


Polite little birds

Taking only one seed

Never rudely chasing others

Cheerily sharing

Tap tap tap

On pine branch

To open a tasty morsel


Repeat, repeat, repeat



Farewell to summer sunshine,
bare feet in soft green grass.
Hello to frosty mornings,
hands cloaked in mitten’s grasp.
If Fall could only linger,
bright colors on display,
I’d be content to sit and soak
each glorious day away.



Snow Coat

Lazy flakes of white

drifting down to coat

the wood on deck

the needles on spruce.

Fat flakes of crystal ice

raining down on

a hungry squirrel

oblivious to all else

A snowy coating

on deck

on spruce

on squirrel!