Rising Above the Ruins with John G Evans

How marvellous to welcome gifted photographer John G Evans to the table today!

John and I partnered up for a photo/poetry combination, and we are both so proud to unveil to you all. I was moved by John’s photo below and he generously shared it with me to use as inspiration for my poem. The theme of our pairing is Ruins.

John’s photo below is deep with textures and inspiration. The photo is of the remains of the one of the many stone walls of the mission San Francisco de la Espada, in San Antonio, Texas, where John resides.

My poem, inspired by the breathtaking photo, follows below. I hope you enjoy visual beauty and the way the words curve around the wall’s borders with resilience.

San Francisco de la Espada, © JohnG Evans

San Francisco de la Espada, © JohnG Evans

The Stones of the Mission

He feels the stones along the
Sides of the wall, rickety to the touch,
Much like his skin after years of
Living within bike spokes that
Rotated within rubber trenches of
Abuse, neglect and his
Need for love.

He did not have the opportunity to
Grasp the handlebars, and
There were days when he questioned
Whether he hated the silence even
More than the attention received.

The golden shades of the stones have
More color than his face, as
He thinks of insecurities that lay behind
His mental walls, built over days
That cracked more than his bones.

I see fear in his face, and
He does not realize his own door is
Already open.

The once-loved mission is in ruins, and
All we have left are the few layers of materials
Built up toward the sky, where a
Force stronger than us looks down and
Tells him that there is still time to
Build up his self once more.

©2013 Christy Birmingham


Bio of John G Evans, Photographer/Poet/Nature Enthusiast

John has been writing past the pain since 1998. His passion for poetry has helped him heal slowly from a severe trauma.

His other passion of photography has revealed its therapeutic qualities as well. This passion has evolved magnanimously over a 42 year period of time. He finds he profits both spiritually as well as creatively through studying Fine Art Photography, High Dynamic Range Photography, Landscapes, Nature, Portraits, and Architecture.

Through photography/poetry he shares the strong faith that enabled him to keep placing one foot in front of the other. Connect with John at his blog Photo-NewsTwitter, and Facebook.


64 thoughts on “Rising Above the Ruins with John G Evans

    1. semperfivet

      Thanks so much RCPrice…you are much appreciated and it is our hopes you discover the many hidden values of our work together. I am so delighted to know you were touched. Many blessings for you!! 🙂


  1. semperfivet

    Christy! And what a beautiful flow this composition articulates to folks who have fallen upon difficult times as well as the uplifting message of “the door already being open,” for all of us…and rebuild with a tremendous spiritual growth that which we have always had the opportunity to embrace.

    I simply cannot thank the very talented and gifted poet Christy Birmingham for the very valued opportunity to participate in this gifted endorsement of creativity!

    Thank you so very much friend! 🙂


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      John, it was my pleasure! I am so pleased with the end result and with the response to our project. I love the creativity that came in the poem and the way it compliments your stunning photograph! Take care, dear friend!


  2. semperfivet

    Reblogged this on Photo-News and commented:
    My very talented and gifted Poet friend Christy Birmingham delivers a compelling composition of poetry in this posting. Please friends, share with all your friends and allow Christy the pleasure to reach out and touch a hurting world with her poems. I thank you all so very much!


  3. Sue Dreamwalker

    What a beautiful idea of pairing up your poem to his photo, cleverly done Christy and Enjoyed this, I hope it will not be the last treat we are given to your partnership of visuals and Poems together xoxox


    1. semperfivet

      🙂 Thank you Sue for such a beautiful comment! Christy has a beauty and rare gift of sharing that part of her heart where few folks desire to go…and the written word is so endearing when composed by this very talented Poet! 🙂


  4. Raymond Alexander Kukkee

    This is a wonderful collaboration…a magnificent photo with poetic beauty. Kudos to you both. John, you are a great photographer–and only a gifted poetic voice like that of our Christyb could suffice. What a great combination and an inspiring message! Well done, you two!


    1. semperfivet

      Thank you Raymond for your talented voice as well. Christy is the rare treasure whose gift is greatly appreciated by so many good people and her poetry is always so heartfelt and full of beauty! 🙂


  5. Aquileana

    Congratulations on your work together here Christy & John ..

    The photo & the poem go well together…

    In reference to the poem I like the poetic images that Christy uses, linking the architecture of the mission with the bodily figure of the missionary.

    Specifically this is dshown in the following verses.

    “He feels the stones along the
    Sides of the wall, rickety to the touch,
    Much like his skin “…


    “The golden shades of the stones have
    More colored than his face, as
    He thinks of insecurities That lay behind
    His mind walls”

    Finally the end of the poem seems to me very suggestive because it ties the construction of the building with the reconstruction of the self.

    Therefore, in these verses the parallelism is even more clear.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Cheers, Aquileana, )


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Quite right about the construction of the mind reflecting the construction of the wall. Both have been broken, in different ways, but there is a hope for resurgence.

      Thanks for enjoying the collaboration here and offering such keen insight!


  6. Eric Alagan

    A nice collaboration of image and imagery. Love how you weaved in the metaphor of the bike. Very apt and inspiring roundup – “there is still time to___Build up his self once more”

    All good blessings keep you and your friend company,


  7. Shakti Ghosal

    This is an absolutely great outcome from your partnering initiative Christy and I needed to acknowledge you for that.

    That is a wonderfully textured picture and together with the following lines,( which I am quoting)I can see several thoughts come up.

    “There were days when he questioned
    Whether he hated the silence even
    More than the attention received.”

    What is it that brings such dichotomous polarity in our lives? When we are not able to remove our attachment to aspects which we no longer have passion for?



    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      I believe we cling to past moments that we have not yet worked through and found peace with yet. We cannot let them ‘go’ because their is an uncomfortable quality that our mind wants to resolve. Oh that mind!

      When I wrote the part of the poem that you quote, I reread it immediately and it took me to a dark place in the past. I don’t know where it came from but my typing fingers took me there unexpectedly.

      Wishing you a wonderful day ahead, Shakti.


  8. Pingback: Mixing it up: Poetry by Christy Birmingham and Shawn M. Soles | Poetic Parfait

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