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My Poems.

Be Positive, Not Negative.

They see me, disabled.
They stare.
They think of words,
disability, mental, disadvantage, sorrow,
sadness, loneliness, futureless, helpless.
This is what they see in me.

Why do they think of such words?
Why are they so negative?
Why are they so blind?
Why can't they see past my physical appearance?

Inside I am the same as them.

They think disability.
I think ability.
The ability to pass five 'O' levels & one 'A' level so far.
The ability to do photography and to be artistic.
The ability to go canoeing and to be adventurous.

They think mental.
They talk to me like a five year old.
They pretend to understand my speech.
I can ALWAYS tell, even when they say yes and no in the right places.
They say to the able bodied friend with me,
"How is he today?"
Am I invisible or what?
It's a pity that they don't know any better.

They think disadvantage.
I think advantage.
The advantage of being one of the first to use new technology.
The advantage of having a better education.
The advantage of having a powered wheelchair and being able to out ride the average walker.

They think sorrow.
Me, feeling sorry for myself? What for?
I've got everything going for me.
Any way, there's absolutely no point!
So, why do they feel sorry for me?

They think sadness and loneliness.
Me, sad, are they joking or what?
Me, lonely?
I'm involved in so many activities in and around college.
With many different and interesting people.
I don't have time to be lonely.

They think futureless and helpless.
In the future I hope to learn to drive.
In the future I hope to go to polytechnic.
In the future I hope to get a job.
In the future I hope to get married and have children.
In the future I hope to travel and to see the world.
What do they mean, futureless?
As for helpless, do I need to say any more?

I believe that to every nightmare there's a silver lining.
I believe that every disadvantage is complemented by an advantage.
I believe that for every obstacle or hindrance there is a gift or talent which takes you on.

Alright, I do have my ups and downs.
But doesn't every body?
Why do they treat me differently?
The answer is, unfortunately, that they just don't know any better!

A question for thought.
If, by a miracle of God, I was healed, would I be any better off?
Or would I just have a different set of difficulties and problems?

Steve Smith. October 1987.





Poems allow the expression of feelings,

thoughts and observations in a written form.

Poems can convey complex ideas in simple terms.

Poems can have emotion and power.

Poems can make people think.

Poems can change people for the better.


I write poems for others.

I write poems for myself.

I write poems so that people will comprehend my inner feelings.


I write poems, but it is not poetry.

They are only expressive statements from within.

Poems are the only way that I am able to express myself in a written manner.


Steve Smith. 26/1/89





People work, nine till five, five days a week, forty eight weeks a year.

Year in, year out.

Doing repetitive, unrewarding, mundane jobs.

They look forward to weekly rituals, going to the pub Friday night.

They say, "Well, that's life."

Is this life?


People work, nine till five, five days a week, forty eight weeks a year.

Year in, year out.

Doing responsible, highly paid jobs.

They only think about number one.

They have loads of money, a big house and an expensive car.

They are not really happy, they just have lots of material assets.

They say, "Isn't life a bore."

Is this life?


People work, seven a.m. till twelve p.m. seven days a week, fifty two weeks a year.

Year in, year out.

Doing rewarding, worthwhile jobs that help others.

They work hard, not for the money but because they enjoy their work and they are dedicated.

They give away their love and their time to others

They put people before money.

They put others before themselves.

They say, "It feels good to help others."

Is this life?

For me, Yes! I want it to be.


Life should be full of feelings, good feelings.

Love, friendship, warmth, gratitude, happiness, and thoughtfulness to name a few.

But occasionally we have bad feelings, because 'man' is not perfect therefore life cannot be perfect.

What I am trying to say is,

Life should not be a continuous drag, or a continuous striving.

Life cannot be whole with just material objects.

We cannot buy a good life.

We cannot buy deep real friendship and love.

We can only live a good life.


Steve Smith. 7/12/88





Man is the most intelligent being on earth?


Man makes tables and chairs from wood.

Man destroys entire forests and causes ecological and social disasters.

Man creates places like Ethiopia.


Man generates electricity to power the western world.

Man pumps tons of pollution into the atmosphere.

Man causes acid rain, which destroys plant and animal life, as well as corroding our historic buildings to rubble.

Man takes life out of the streams.


Man invents the ultimate source of power, nuclear power!

Man didn't invent it to light up our homes, but to blow

away the world by a touch of a button.

Man puts fear into the hearts of others.


Man make many chemicals that do good things in the world.

Man dumps the byproduct in the sea.

Man kills hundreds of seals.


All this I could accept if only man would learn from the mistakes.

Man just keeps experimenting with the unknown without worrying about the price that may have to be paid.


Man, is he really so smart?


Steve Smith 9/1/89





We generalise, presume, and suppose.

We watch television and read reports.

We rightly or wrongly judge and characterize.

We build a picture and say that it must be this way.


But so often we forget that it is just one time, one snap shot, one place.

This broadcasting and journalism is always biased towards the point they are trying to make.

Some times they simply distort the truth and paint a false picture to satisfy their own objectives.

We should always question what we see and hear.


We must not think that if one apple is bad, then all apples are bad.

We must not judge people by the actions of others.

We must be objective when we think of people.

People is a general ward for a lot of individuals.

We seem to forget that we are all individuals.


We label individuals, black, white, English, American, poor, rich, intelligent, stupid, good, and bad.

This is wrong.

We are all individuals and we should never judge, or be judged on such information.

We should have first hand experience before making any judgment.

Even then what gives us the right to judge others?


Maybe we should ignore this type of information and simply live life to the full and find the true answer for ourselves.


I dedicate this to Olivier Guy.


Steve Smith. 26/4/89





It is near the end of the first week in May.

With the turn of the month summer has come.

Long hot summer days.

Sitting in the sun and soaking up it's subduing warmth.

Letting all my problems and worries drift away in to an oblivion.

I feel good and well while I close my eyes and dream of pleasant things.


I become red with sun burn.

Together with hundreds of students on the lush green grass of a near by park.

After a long cold winter it is always so good to feel such real warmth.

Everybody comes out.

Frightened that the sunshine will not last and that they may miss it.


The heat drains my energy.

No work gets done.

It's at times like this that I wish my computer was portable.

Then I could work in the sun and at least do something.


My powered wheelchair is in for repair.

A loan powered wheelchair is provided.

Great, I still have mobility and the sun.

All charged up and raring to go.

Motors ruff, but she still goes.


Ten minutes down the road.

Loosing power and she starts to slow.

"I'm not going to get far in this heap. I had better 'U' turn." Was what I thought as turned for home.

I grinded to a halt right outside the Fire Station doors.

It has been one of those days.

"All I need now is a fire and that will make my day!"

Was what I thought uncomfortably.


I sit there in the sun looking helpless and, probably, a little concerned about my risky location.

A young man and women are passing by eating ice lolls.

"We saw you going slow. Are you OK? We couldn't work out whether you are just enjoying the sun, or if you have flat batteries." they said.

I expressed that the latter was true.

So, under direction, they pushed me back the short way I had just come.


I half expected something to breakdown, like the motor.

It was running quite poorly.

But I didn't expect to run out of juice.

I don't worry because if there are lots of people about there is always some kind hearted person who will help.

It made the day a bit more exciting anyway.


Steve Smith, 5/5/89.



Nightmare Park.


We go to the park to relax in the evening sun.

Disobedient children play.

Two or three years old and already they run riot.

Mother calls them back as they wonder out of view.

"No! No! No! !!!" children's voices shriek.

Mother tries to entice them, "I've got something for you." she yells clutching a can of beer in her hand.

"Oh no!", I think, "How can a mother be like that?"


Two families there seems to be.

Sat on the grass together quite drunk and swearing uncontrollably.

Children are forgotten.

Only we noticed where they went.

Minutes later mother observes that they are missing.

Mother shouts to us, we tell her where to find her own child. To my this all seems incomprehensible.

How can a mother not watch over and care for her own child.


The two families, a child each.

Are together for a brief time before hostilities begin.

Wife slaps husband across the face.

Husband return the same harsh treatment.

Wife runs off with husband in pursuit.

Husband catches wife and beats her to the ground.

While she struggles to get up, he viciously and brutally began kicking her.

I could almost feel the blows.

My heart and soul was sickened by such a malicious sight.


My friend wanted to help, but I knew that so often the helper becomes the villain when coming between man and wife.

My friend went to talk with the other man.

"Oh, it's not my problem, they fight all the time.", he said in a drunken unsensible manor.

They continue to wrestle for a short while longer.

The husband then attempts hold and cuddle his hurt wife.

"Leave me alone! Leave me alone!", she shout as she frees herself from his grasp.


The other woman is there by now.

She is now hitting the violent man.

And yelling and swearing at him.

She is pleading with him to leave his wife alone.

Meanwhile, his wife staggers with her child in a pushchair to a near by bench.

Things quieten down, we decide to leave the park.

There was just nothing we could do.


We went to the park to escape the bustle of the day.

To find calm, peace, and fresh air.

But we found a rough, hostile, and heavy atmosphere.

We came back more uptight and very nervous.


I cannot help but think,

How can a husband do this to his wife?

If he does this in public, whatever could he do behind closed doors?

What will become of the child and what morals will they have?

What is becoming of the people in the world today?

Oh, God help them and us!


Steve Smith, 8/5/89





Why are there still lonely people when there are millions of us?

Why do we live in our own little world?

Why don't we communicate?

Why do we have desires that can not be?

Why do we have worries and fears.

Why do we always want more, no matter what we have?

Why are we never satisfied with what we have got?

Why do some have more than others?

Why are we selfish?

Why do people suffer?

Why do people go hungry?

Why do people have no shelter?

Why don't people care?

What happened to equality?


Why are there wars?

Why do people get killed?

Why are we destroying the earth?

Why do we pollute the world?

Why do we waste the resources of the world?

Why are there 'natural' disasters?

Why are there disabled people?

Why do people treat me differently?

Why don't we treat people equally, no matter what?

Where did we go wrong?


Why do we have pain?

Why do we have hate?

Why is there injustice?

Why can't we unit in love and peace?

Why do we have so many material values?

Why do we use and abuse people?

Why do we hurt people?

Why do we hurt the people we love?

Why do we need supremacy?

Why do we need people in authority?

Why are we unable to live in harmony?

Why do I ask these questions?

Why, why, why, why........



Steve Smith, 10/12/89



The Right to Life.


I look at the world in which I live.

I wonder where it will all end.


I see scientists dabbling in genetics.

Would you like your baby to be a boy or a girl?

Your baby is disabled, do you want it terminated?

Your baby is disabled and needs a life savings operation,

do you want us to operate?

How can parents be faced with such decisions?

What right have we to make decisions about another life?

We talk about their quality of life.

But how can we have quality without having life.

It is impossible to predict how someone's life will evolve,

but do we remove the possibility of life become of the unknown?


Whatever are we trying to do?

Are we trying to stop suffering, or are we wiping out people with disabilities?

Are we trying to create the "perfect" human?

This sounds very reminiscent of Hitler.

Will we be genetically creating babies to order, boy, blue eyes, fair hair, genius, and to have build of a rugby player?


Where will it all end?

I know people with disabilities who, if conceived today, may not have got the chance of life.

Oh God forgive us.


Steve Smith, 28/2/93.


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