Sharing the message of God through poetry

Published 9:00 am Friday, February 23, 2024

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Poet Ricky Clemons is continuing to share the message of God with his new poetry book, “I Look at Myself in the Mirror.” 

With his 18th book, published by Fideli Publishing, the Suffolk native and Franklin resident is continuing his path of prose poetry writing that God called him towards while sharing the message of His love. During a Monday, Feb. 19 interview, Clemons talked about the simple yet powerful inspiration behind his latest book, which includes over 100 poems.

“Pretty much I was looking at myself in the mirror one night and that’s how the Lord brought it to me… but the Lord brought it to me in a positive way and a very inspirational way because a lot of people look at themselves in the mirror and all they see is [negativity] and the bad. They don’t see how God loves them. They don’t see beyond themselves in the mirror, but the Lord showed me looking beyond myself, that He loves me, but I didn’t love myself and He showed mercy on me,” Clemons said. “That’s why I am still here today because of his mercy. The Lord showed me that he is in that mirror with me. I’m not in the mirror by myself when I look in the mirror.”

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After Clemons graduated from Suffolk High School in 1976, he joined the Army that same year to become a combat engineer. After basic training, he was stationed in Hawaii in the 25th Infantry Division in the 65th Engineer Battalion at Scofield Barracks. In his company, Clemons won the Soldier of the Month award in Oct. 1977, however, it was a difficult time for him as he began to use drugs that led him to a nervous breakdown. Clemons received an honorable medical discharge in 1978.

“After I had my breakdown, I admitted myself in the hospital where I was put on some strong medication for my nervous breakdown. I was on the medicine for some years and I felt like a zombie,” Clemons reflected.

After moving back with his mother, stepfather and two sisters, Clemons attended church and says that one day, he cried out to the Lord and asked to help him feel what others felt.

“I wanted to feel happy, I wanted to feel sad. Because of the medicine, I couldn’t feel any way at all. The Lord did answer my prayers – the Lord spoke to me and said ‘I will give you a goldmine of feelings,’” Clemons said.

While attending church, Clemons says that one of the Deacons asked him to read a poem, and that following night, the Lord spoke to him again, telling Clemons to write poetry. This led to Clemons writing his first poem, “Jesus is our Savior” which was produced into a gospel song. This led to further poems being turned into songs and played on the radio. Clemons would soon move to write poetry books with his first book, “The Brush of Poetry” in 2004. Clemons reflected on his work.

“I look back and I say, ‘Wow, it’s like a mystery to me’ because I had no knowledge that I had a talent for writing, and I believe at the same time my reading teacher probably didn’t see it because I didn’t write the story that she wanted me to write,” Clemons said. “But today, all these poems that the Lord inspired me to write, it just blows my mind… some of my poems may have the same title, but have different meanings. That’s what is so wonderful about writing poetry because you can have the same title in some of the poems but with a different meaning.”

In poems such as “The Greatest Love,” Clemons hopes that readers will take away that love comes from God due to Him being the source.

“The love that we have comes from God whether if we love our mother, father, sister, brother, spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, our children: that love comes from God. The source, the origin of love, is God. It doesn’t come from us, God gives it to us,” he said.

“I Look at Myself in the Mirror” is available now on,, and