The Life and Inspiring Poetry of a Woman from Kansas.

Velma Cochren Priest Terry, daughter, wife, mother, and grandmother (1915-1999).


In Honor of Mother's Day

Written by Velma Dora Cochren Terry on March 25, 1958, to honor her mother, Annie Brown Cochren, and then dedicated to her after her death in 1961.  From the book In Her Own Words: The Inspirational Poetry of Velma Terry, edited with history by her daughter, Marilyn A. Hudson. 


Be kind to your mother
For when you were small
The cradle was rocked by her hand.
She tenderly watched, and
Oft times she prayed;
Her tears as the grains of sand.

Many times at her knee
At the closing of day,
Your childish prayer was said;
She kissed you good night,
And lovingly smiled, as
She carried you off to your bed.

Be kind to your mother
For lo on her brow,
Many traces of sorrow are seen;
We’ll may you cherish
And comfort her now
For loving and kind she has been.

She taught you of faith
In Gods, holy word
She told you of heavens above;
So remember her now
When she’s growing old
Don’t fail her, she needs all your love.

Mark 7.10
Exodus 20.12
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Someday we'll bow in humble adoration
at our lovely savior's feet;
And all we'll hear is joyful praises
when our loved ones we will meet.

Now we're striving toward the prize
that He purchased for us all -
Walking daily in His footsteps
Listening always for His call.

Heartaches here are but a moment
for we are here on proving ground.
Soon will start the timeless ages,
where love and happiness abound.

There's a tugging of the spirit
Waiting for its sweet release;
Longing for Him, who redeemed us;
Waitng for that life of peace.



Great is the joy He brings to us
as delivers us from the past -
and opens up a new direction,
where love and peace can last.

With new hope for the futuer
and a loving hand in control -
His word to sustain us,
what relief for the soul.

The world leaves of legacy of darkness
but God's love never ceases to shine;
For like a river his love is flowing
into your heart and into mine.

The hours of our days are golden
if we quietly look to him-
receiving the healing we need
and gaining new strength to win.

Let our hearts be warmed in gratitude
as we magnify His name;
For once we've tasted of His love
we'll never be the same.

There's no time for turning back
to things that once have been!
All the glory is up ahead,
so just keep your trust in Him.

cVelma Terry



Lord, watch over our home

and guard our lovely land;

If we stumble along the way

Please hold to our hand.

Give us courage to carry on

and hold freedom's banner high;

Help us to be a shining light

To all who are passing by.

A house divided against itself

Is like a house upon the sand;

It has no firm foundation.

In storms it cannot stand.

Help us to keep faith in you

So bells of freedom can still ring;

Help us to our God be true

And give thanks for everything.

Yes, we are our brother's keeper

So let us stand together;

And hold to that unchanging hand

In these times of stormy weather.

By Velma Dora Terry, April 3, 1983 (c)



He Speaks. Velma Dora Terry (May 9, 1982)

By his spoken word God
Hung the world in space.
He took a little bit of earth
And made the human race.

When he spoke a word
He calmed the troubled sea.
Why is it so hard to believe
He could save you and me?

With his hand he flung
The stars across the sky;
Sprinkled snow on the shoulders
of the mountains high.

At his voice the birds
Everywhere begin to sing;
All he has to do is speak
And he can do anything.

When we see the lightening
Flash across the sky,
Or hear the whisper of the wind
As it is passing by-

Need we worry? Have
Any fear at all?
For we are in his hands
Until that final call.
[Velma shown here with her younger brother George Valjean Cochren ca 1928)


As a Girl in Kansas

Velma called a little hamlet on the plains home: Plevna, Kansas. They lived in a small and simple house. White clapboard for a small struggling family transitioning from a failing agricultural life to the new town-based world of the 20th century. Her father found new work as a janitor in the local school and the family enjoyed being able to be with Father during the school day. One cold winter days Velma, her older sister Elva and their younger brother George Valjean would slip down to the warm boiler room where their father would have hotdogs cooking for their lunch. At home, during the summers or in the evenings, the girls would put on 'plays' and Elva would entertain with her singing and everyone would laugh. The curtain separating the bedroom would the parlor was suddenly transformed by vivid imaginations and patient parental love to a grand stage. Velma once laughed on recounting this and wryly admitted her mother had the patience of a saint to sit through all through "theatricals."


Velma always loved roses of any kind: the gentle, drooping antique variety or the wild and touseled headed shrubs running wild in an untamed yard. She often said she was better at looking at them than growing them and some of her happiest moments were in such settings as bees hummed in the warm air and a gentle breeze caressed the soul.