Suffolk poet reflects on past trauma

Published 5:50 pm Tuesday, May 11, 2021

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Suffolk native Ricky Clemons does not shy away from bringing difficult topics to the surface. In his newest book, he dives into his past in hopes of helping others.

Clemons has written multiple books full of original prose poems. Even in his books with difficult themes, there is always a focus on how God is faithful. In a poem he published earlier this year, “If Being Black is a Crime,” he took a Biblical perspective on how even Blacks are welcomed in the family of God even if fellow humans look down upon them. In “Nature Got Mad,” this theme of God’s faithfulness to His people is no exception.

“Nature Got Mad” reflects on Clemons’ childhood, when he was sexually assaulted and the trauma he dealt with after.

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“It’s not easy for me to share my bad childhood experience with people who don’t know me, but hopefully, someone will be able to relate to what I have been through in my life,” said Clemons. “What we go through in our lives is to help others to overcome their bad experiences.”

At 8 years old, Clemons was assaulted multiple times by two teenage boys. For years after, he internalized the shame and carried it with him for many years. At 18, Clemons enlisted in the U.S. Army and started using illegal drugs to cope. He didn’t tell anyone of the experience until he was 40 years old.

His book of prose poems reflects on the dark days in his life leading to the healing process. Clemons hopes his book will encourage others to take steps to free themselves from the bitterness and anger from their personal traumatic experiences.

“Even at the age of 63, I still remember that experience,” said Clemons. “I am happy to be a Seventh Day Adventist Christian living my life unto the Lord Jesus Christ who has given me the mental and emotional strength to overcome my childhood trauma.”

According to Clemons, he has forgiven his abusers. He hopes that they have turned to God and turned away from their wrongdoings.  Clemons knows that God hates evil but sometimes allows it for a greater purpose.

“The devil meant it for my failures in my life when the Lord used it for me to encourage others that they are not alone in their trauma, no matter what their trauma may be,” he said.

“Nature Got Mad” is now available online on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.