I very fortunately had my manuscript edited by a PhD Poetic Scholar named Annie Finch where we worked for several months exchanging thoughts, ideas, and the art of language into a small book of poetic compositions, poems I had discerned the writing hereof from experiences from a Bavarian experience, life in the military, and a life of magnanimous discord upon leaving the military. This life of discord remained for a major portion of nearing forty years. I began writing the manuscript in 1999. Published in 2017, Vehemence: In Silence We Weep, has sold few volumes but the experiences from a Post-traumatic stance has rendered me to dig deeply into the mysteries of Jesus Christ. I have endured, and survived incredulous pain, suffering, and torment (even suicidal attempts and ideation), year upon year.
My favorite poem I wrote with this particular edition was titled, “Silence Prevailed,” and sums up a challenging childhood experience where I have slightly modified the language of words a bit:
The bus driver knew, harsh reality set in (as stone upon our chest],
Angered by brazen words
From English speaking kids,
Insolent tongues sing of a Lady in France.
The German sun bit into the driver’s eyes.
What did these children know of a Lady in France?
And the killing of Jews and mixed alike?
What did they know?
Where [as first graders] did they learn this shit?
I remember the lunch my mother served me
In a brown paper bag.
A sandwich, chips, and a pear.
I can still smell the excessive mustard.
This bus ride home from a first-grader’s class.
How was I to know they were wrong?
All the brats on the bus?
Why? They began singing dirges of a Lady in France.
A short 14 years after the last atomic bomb.
Did they not know, too, that it was wrong?
A late afternoon in 2012 and all is quiet.
Our lazy cat sleeps.
German memories are born from an ageless form,
Fading back into the repressive mind of a child’s nightmares.
Elusive memories playing in the Bavarian snow.
This little village of cherry trees. Walks to the baker
Where windows speak with biased eyes.
Framing spaces that filled nights and days of Jewish cries…[you can feel it,
A few schillings for the baker
Which was not ever enough for the pastries and bread,
[so now I think, there was a hint of kindness in his gesture],
I walk upon pavement of multi-colored snails.
My first real friends.
Memories like ghosts surface from an iron gate I did not know.
We sat in the car, silent, praying, crying…
As a small boy I did not know.
As a small boy I did not know.
As a small boy I did not know.
Oh, these lost souls!
Earth’s elusive end for this manifested era.
He was a heavy laden old man, mustache and bald.
A German Jew, I think, now.
At the crack of his voice brawled thunder in his speech!
In a broken English dialect , he ordered, “Silence!”
he shouted with spat flying from his tongue, again
He demanded silence!
The brand on his arms spoke volumes.
If only we could read back then.
And yet, silence prevailed!
Written by the author John G Evans Copyright 2012, 2017.
This poetic masterpiece lives out as a young boy emerges himself deeply, interiorly, sensitively introverted, and profoundly intuitive, I write from an entirely holistic way, from the depths of my soul. I dig deep and retracts absolute emotion from raw and hungry places requiring an agape love. Every trauma taken hostage by the truth of the pen. The healing power of the written word coalesced with a redemptive skill as a writer who moves in swiftly by virtue of the truth in a chaotic world perpetuated by darkness. The light inevitably takes over though the scars are embedded deeply enough to recall from, the contrast between good and evil surface upon his prompting. I have discovered new strength and am not afraid to reveal the wounds of my life and reveal the transparency of my experience to a global community of survivors.
Regarding a woman /man who has lived a life of suffering how may I discuss the option for healing, or see the Reality of what I perceive as suffering, or pain, or hardship? Or, am I too presumptuous to think I can?
My fears lie in state of my fear of suffering, and this is what frightens me. If I presume to be transparent than my goal is to share my vulnerabilities. During the winter of 1985 in San Antonio, Texas, I would walk one mile in freezing weather to catch a bus going to work at 10:30 at night. This was a time of great suffering where I never quite struck a peaceful balance between the cold, my hunger, the dangers of being out so late in a neighborhood I was unfamiliar with. But, as I can see these terrifying circumstances presently, I in hindsight can see the illusion of such fears, and this is precisely what I witnessed, illusions, and not the reality. I think with a preponderance of doubting myself, the truth shall always remain. But, my emotional, mental, and spiritual resilience shall prevail. It is the notion of suffering that scares me, not the reality. Terminally, real suffering has a manner to render me a bounty of wonderful harvests of great spiritual endowment, leading me into nothing but goodness, a rare gem, or a hidden truth. Presently, I am capable of presenting to myself where life once was unbearably cruel, I now have the God-given potential to liberate myself from the real suffering so long as I do not give in to the illusion of suffering, as well as the entire world population’s suffering that in 1985 was quite prevalent where I felt I carried (as Christ did), the pains of the whole world upon my back. I remember, “the soul knows what the body does not,” a quotation penned by Tertullian I believe. With regard to the soul, I fear not the illusions fabricated by the body.
Upon recognizing the paradoxical yet redemptive quality that I have experienced a change from the physical to the spiritual realm, I suddenly (or slowly to allow permanence), become transformed to a new creature of God. In this I have discovered great delight in the rarity of golden nuggets of truth now bearing my true self and my new identity. Detachment from the illusions provides a magnanimous insight to a new Reality. I am here, Oh Lord, I seek not the prowess of erotic illusionary or promises from the darkness, but as guided by my angels soar swiftly across the skies of experience, nabbing the Real from each experience by visiting very briefly every occurrence without the debilitating effect of destruction from a real life illusionary battle with the crafty and evil one. From a visual or locutionary experience I know, now, deep within, I carry great treasures from my own experience of loneliness and through quoting dear and precious Etty Hillesum, “sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inward in prayer for five short minutes.”
Rebuilding from a life of despair and destruction creates within me the happiness I experience in building up of others to create also another new creation, although this new aspiration to facilitate healing comes with a supply of stones and labor for each soul to partake in and of themselves, I rejoice in partaking of my brother’s or my enemy’s redemptive and salvific qualities. All this action requires is a little love. This is where miracles will dwell.
In keeping with a diary, I am always reminded of a fearful past. I take note of episodes where I kneel before the great Throne of God. It is right to give him thanks and praise. Within these two deep breaths I now sit, as I type, and recall the essence of holy Presence during variable periods in my life.