Christ serves as writer’s inspirationPublished 11:35am Saturday, February 8, 2014
MERLE MONAHAN \ CONTRIBUTING WRITER
FRANKLIN—Author, poet and songwriter Ricky Clemons says the inspiration for his writing comes from a higher authority: Jesus.
“It all started like this,” he said. “I had been asked by one of the deacons in my church to read a poem prior to the service.
“As I was reading, all of a sudden, I thought, ‘I can write like this.’
“Since then, the Lord has been giving me thoughts as I write. It could be a poem, or just a collection of spiritual revelations,” he added. “But all of my work has a spiritual tone, or I say, praise for Jesus.”
In fact, the title of his first book of poems is “Jesus is our Savior.”
To date, Clemons has written six books, had 10 poems set to music by Hilltop Records, and is working with Michael Mulholland of the Mulholland Group on publishing more.
He added that his books are not yet in stores, but four are featured on Amazon.com and can be obtained that way.
The young author, who was born and raised in Suffolk, had a traumatic childhood, he said. One of a blended family of 12 children, his younger years are ones that he’d like to forget.
He did manage to graduate from high school, after which he joined the Army.
But the pent-up emotions from his childhood, plus the availability of drugs did not work well together. Clemons was given a medical discharge after two years.
When he returned home, Clemons started attending church. As a matter of fact, church is where he met his wife, Trephenia. She liked the Franklin area as much as he did and was as much in favor of moving here as he was.
Currently, however, Trephenia, a registered nurse, is working in Staunton, but returns home on week-ends. Clemons said he did not accompany her to Staunton because his mother, who lives in this area, is not well and he felt she might need him.
He stressed that getting to know God has changed his life so much for the better.
Clemons talks about the days after returning from the Army, when he often went to church with his stepfather and a brother and was amazed at how happy they were.
“I was missing out, I thought. I was so depressed; I wanted what they had.
“I decided to join Capernaum Seventh-Day Adventist in Suffolk, where I attend today, although I still live in Franklin. But I have no regrets. God didn’t give up on me, and I now feel like I have my life back.
Clemons said that although he would like to sell some of his work, it isn’t about making money.
“I love to write, especially poetry, and I just want people to know God.”
NAME: Ricky Clemons.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO THIS AREA: I attended church here once and liked the area, so after my wife and I were married, we moved here.
OCCUPATION: I am an author, poet and songwriter.
MARITAL STATUS: I am married to Trephenia.
CHILDREN, AGES AND SCHOOLS: We have two sons and two daughters, all grown and living elsewhere.
FAVORITE NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN: I enjoy having dinner out with my wife.
FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Olive Garden in Chesapeake.
FAVORITE FOOD AND BEVERAGE: I like Italian food and cranberry juice.
WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU: I like to meditate before I begin writing.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOU: I like communicating with people.
FAVORITE PETS: None.
WHAT IS YOUR WORST HABIT: When I have a job to do, I move too fast and don’t take time to think things through.
FAVORITE HOBBIES: Volleyball.
PET PEEVE: People who loiter, like on street corners.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB: Delivering newspapers.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED: By my reputation.
IF YOU HAD 10 MINUTES ON NATIONAL TELEVISION, WHAT WOULD YOUR TOPIC BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY: I would talk about the love of Jesus Christ, how He has changed my life and how He will do the same for others. I had a traumatic childhood, but did manage to finish high school and join the Army. There, however, I was introduced to drugs. I gradually went downhill until I had a breakdown. It was not until I was medically discharged from the Army that I found Christ, who changed my life. He did not give up on me, although I had given up on myself. He showed me that I have a talent for writing and that is the way I praise Him.