To the Fallen Ones

posted Jun 2, 2017, 7:23 PM by Jonathan Taylor

I watch my children walk side by side into the national cemetery,
Each step taking them closer to where they remember and honor my grandfather, a man whom, though they've never met, they respect very deeply.
As the dust kicks up around their feet,
They pass the graves of thousands of other brave men and women they never got to meet.
Each name holds a story of courage in the face of war,
Each family shedding tears for a loved one as they only hoped for more.
As veterans from older wars march slowly through the honored crowd, 
As the rifles volley and the trumpets sound,
As the planes fly overhead and the bagpipes ring aloud,
We hear the stories of the fallen ones, and we are proud.
The stories of those who stormed the beaches and whose blood soaked the shores,
And the stories of those who took their last breath in the jungles of far off lands.
The stories of those who dug trenches and marched through the freezing snow,
And the stories of those who died beneath the water holding their brothers' hands.
We hear the stories of those whose names are etched in stone alongside thousands of others,
And the stories of those whose lives were taken as they battled sweltering heat and perilous mine fields.
The stories of those who flew dangerous missions across hostile nations,
And the stories of those whose bodies were never returned to their mothers.
The stories are there, lined up across acres of land, across our free country.
They are the stories of the fallen ones, who gave their lives so that my children could walk side by side to my grandfather's grave, so that we could be free.

-by Jana Taylor
May 29, 2017

The Refugee

posted Nov 24, 2015, 4:19 PM by Jana Taylor

The earth shatters wildly around him in the middle of the war-filled night,
It's the constant, thunderous evidence of this merciless fight.
His eyes open in the dark closet as he reaches for his brother's small hand,
While his parents rush across the splintered, wooden-floor boards and pull him and his brother to a stand.
With worn shoes already tied onto their tiny running feet,
They escape their house already makred for doom, as the monster of death they try to defeat.
As they run, he tries to squeeze his eyes shut and erase the images of bloodshed from his mind,
And he holds tightly to his brother's sweaty fingers to keep him from being left behind.
Blinding light flashes in all directions around him as fire rages through the streets he once walked upon,
And he glances toward the empty houses of those neighbors who are already gone.
The deadly weapons strapped to the men who run by mock him as he fears for his family,
But the bodies lying next to where he places his feet remind him that there are some who will never be free.
While he pushes stride after stride, a reservoir of tears waits patiently beneath his eyelids,
Tears that push and push to be released as he watches the sheer terror on the faces of other beaten-down kids.
So his family continues to flee through the night until the unrelenting sun appears in the distance,
And then he can look into the faces of the evil that threatens his family's very existence.
His feet burn and his legs feel heavy as he turns to look back on the place he once called home,
A place where smoke billows in the air, and place from where peace and safety will no longer come.
In front of him lies vast lands of pain and dirt and heat,
And he already knows that his old shoes will not last the journey or continue to protect his small feet.
He and his family walk day and night until he can no longer remember the time,
A walk that involves crouching in fear, writhing in pain and trudging through endless grime.
When they finally reach their escape, all he sees is blackness deep and wide and forever,
And a small boat that rocks on top of the choppy, reckless water.
His dad grasps his shaking hand firmly and pulls his unsure body onto the even more unsteady boat,
While he prays that he will never fall into that cold, unforgiving water and have to try to swim or float.
He crouches on the boat next to his young brother and awaits the journey to a far-away place,
His stomach groans loudly in hunger and the brutal wind smacks against his face.
He looks across to his mother and father with weary hoplessness filling their sad eyes and lining their tired cheeks,
And he wonders where he and his brother will lie their heads each night in the upcoming weeks.
As he tries to fall asleep in the midst of his terror,
He calls on Jesus to draw him nearer and nearer.
Miles from his homeland with no real place to go,
He wonders if other Believers will embrace his family, and if it's God's love they will show.
Will they demonstrate God's grace unto the least of these,
And will they continue to lift their brothers and sisters up in prayer, a constant, compassionate, unending battle on their knees.

Jana Taylor

The 21

posted Feb 26, 2015, 1:05 PM by Brian Mccracken   [ updated Mar 2, 2015, 3:13 PM by Jana Taylor ]

They walk down the beach, cool, gritty sand sticking between their toes,
I wander through my house gathering up hands full of toys and soiled clothes.

Their trembling hands are bound behind them, knit and seared tightly by human hatred,
But my hands can fall loosely by my side, able to freely grab a hold of my family, in this picture of love I've created.

Then, torn from wives, mothers and children, they're forced to fall to their pained knees and look toward a vast shore of sand,
I watch the terror of hatred rip through falling nations and securely grasp my husband's strong hand.

The black garments of their captors, hiding them from head to toe, are as suffocating and dark as the star less night,
Their orange jumpsuits, soon to be splattered with red, will become a symbol of their faithful fight.

And in these moments before their brutal and sure death is revealed,
Christ stands beside each one of them, a glimpse of perfection and a promise that in Heaven their bodies will be healed.

He does not leave their side even as the swords pierce their flesh,
He stays as a reminder that their spirits will be renewed afresh.

Crimson pours along the shore, slowly being washed away by the incoming tide,
And I watch through my television the evidence of those who died.

The men, hidden behind black, violently shout, "The message signed with blood to the nation of the cross,"
And I go about my day, moment by moment, so often forgetting how much my precious faith has cost.

In our comfort sometimes it seems persecution is worlds away from us, as if we gaze upon a different sun,
But these men are in our world, they are our brothers, they are the twenty-one.

-Jana Taylor, February 16, 2015

The 21

posted Feb 22, 2015, 7:18 PM by Jana Taylor   [ updated Mar 2, 2015, 3:11 PM ]

They walk down the beach, cool, gritty sand sticking between their toes,
I wander through my house gathering up hands full of toys and soiled clothes.

Their trembling hands are bound behind them, knit and seared tightly by human hatred,
But my hands can fall loosely by my side, able to freely grab a hold of my family, in this picture of love I've created.

Then, torn from wives, mothers and children, they're forced to fall to their pained knees and look toward a vast shore of sand,
I watch the terror of hatred rip through falling nations and securely grasp my husband's strong hand.

The black garments of their captors, hiding them from head to toe, are as suffocating and dark as the star less night,
Their orange jumpsuits, soon to be splattered with red, will become a symbol of their faithful fight.

And in these moments before their brutal and sure death is revealed,
Christ stands beside each one of them, a glimpse of perfection and a promise that in Heaven their bodies will be healed.

He does not leave their side even as the swords pierce their flesh,
He stays as a reminder that their spirits will be renewed afresh.

Crimson pours along the shore, slowly being washed away by the incoming tide,
And I watch through my television the evidence of those who died.

The men, hidden behind black, violently shout, "The message signed with blood to the nation of the cross,"
And I go about my day, moment by moment, so often forgetting how much my precious faith has cost.

In our comfort sometimes it seems persecution is worlds away from us, as if we gaze upon a different sun,
But these men are in our world, they are our brothers, they are the twenty-one.

-Jana Taylor, February 16, 2015

When Two Worlds Collide

posted Jan 20, 2015, 8:56 PM by Jana Taylor

This is my story…

     One of pain, but one of triumph.

 

To describe the life I once lived before,

I’d describe a fate that left me only wanting      

something more.

Each night a chunk of my heart was ripped out from inside of me,

As I continuously gave of myself to men for a handful of money.

I tried to grow harder inside, to place around me a tall wall,

Because it was never love I saw, just men who wanted me to stumble and fall.

Could I ever describe the foolishness I felt inside of my slowly dying soul,

Or could anyone see the dry tears I cried as I realized I was no longer in control.

I was twelve years of age when I was forced into this lonely life of shame,

Just a fragile child with no concept of hope left as I would no longer be known by my own name.

My stomach knotted with disgust as the time approached each day,

The time that came when I would, once again, give a piece of me away.

There was nothing left of my shattered heart by the time I reached 18 years of age,

My body was barely my own, my dignity was locked in a cage.

I thought this would be my destiny,

This life, so devastatingly true, was given to me.

My hatred for men grew intense as my hatred for myself overwhelmed my heart,

I knew this life I lived would cause my future family to fall apart.

Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares?

This question was asked from the Word of God with the knowledge that He truly cares.

I gave of myself to those public squares of endless pain and heartbreak,

Not realizing the love God had for me and the hopeful life He would make.

I thought it was too late to put the broken pieces of my heart back into place,

But I was told about the forgiveness of Jesus, that His bloodshed would create for my heart a beautiful lace.

It is my desire that in me a beautiful woman Jesus would create,

Giving my life only to Jesus as He saves me for my future mate.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

This is my story…

     One of mistakes, but one of forgiveness.

 

I had grown with the knowledge that God was the Lord of my life,

That to Him, and only Him would I need to turn to during life’s strife.

I had given to Him all of me except one thing,

The part of me that desired the affection of a man not knowing the destruction it would bring.

I did not surrender this part of my life to the One who is in complete control,

Therefore, on my heart and body, the devastation and demoralization of sin would take its toll.

One can only hold strong for so long without the Lord’s guidance and direction,

I had ignored God’s will for my life, and in doing so, had lost all protection.

Then one day I took the word of a man with no love in his heart,

And with him, what was created for man and wife, I played the part.

Knowing there was no love present in the relationship it was over as quickly as it had started,

But he was not the only thing that fled, with this, my dignity had also departed.

Could anyone sense what I felt inside, the unbearable pain and agony,

How could I so easily allow a stranger to take something so dear to me?

My heart grew numb as my would cried out,

I trembled each night with the fear that healing would never come about.

Could I ever be loved the same way again?

As David cried out, I needed God to wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin.

I had broken my heart and the heart of God with my choice,

I echoed the cry of David, let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

My heart is not yet whole, but forgiveness of God has come,

And I have so clearly seen I was spared from the life threatening consequences that come to some.

This part of my life has now been surrendered to God in whole,

And upon marriage and only marriage will I ever again take that role.

It is my desire that in me a beautiful woman Jesus would create,

Giving my life only to Him as He saves me for my future mate.

 

I'm in Vietnam, Mom

posted Jan 20, 2015, 8:53 PM by Jana Taylor

Well, here I am sent to Vietnam,

I’m a soldier of war, are you proud of me, Mom?

I fear the worst every time I go out to fight,

I try to stay alive with all of my might.

There is death all around me,

Dying people surround me.

The guns, the bombs, the stench of this place,

The sweat is always running down my face.

I saw the wipe of out innocent children in Mylai,

Was it fair for us to experience that, those people and I?

I shoot my gun at people when I have to,

And thank God that no one is shooting at you.

I’m not sure why I am here,

But I will always keep you near.

I’ll fight the good fight,

And in the end, Mom, you’ll see I’m alright.

-1997


I wrote this poem as a twelve-year-old about to visit the Vietnam Memorial Wall, and after many hours of watching one of my favorite shows, Tour of Duty.

The Rabbit Proof Fence that Lead Us Home

posted Jan 20, 2015, 8:51 PM by Jana Taylor

The earth started shaking uncontrollably underneath me,

My mother knew exactly what was coming though I could not see.

All I could hear was the frantic screaming of my mom,

Before I could stop it from happening to my family,

The man ripped my sister away from my mother’s arms,

The next thing he went after me.

I struggled and fought and yelled until I could no longer,

I did my best to stay out of his arms, but he was so much stronger.

That was it for my sister, my cousin, and I,

As I watched my mom get smaller and smaller, all I could do was cry.

Twelve hundred miles away, we arrived at the camp for half-caste children,

It was designed to re-educate us in a white manner,

And keep the Aborigine’s trapped in.

We were constantly taught that our race was not good enough,

I wanted everything to end, but for my sister, I had to try to be tough.

Every day new children came in after being ripped away,

Each hour went slower and I longed to see my mom day after day.

I decided it was time to take my family back to where we belong,

I knew that the trip would be hard and extremely long.

When everyone else went to dinner one evening,

I grabbed my sister and cousin and we left for our freedom.

We were only three young Aborigine girls,

But the love of my family kept me believing we would see them.

We walked hour after hour, day after day, week after week,

My fourteen-year-old body was getting tired and weak.

My stomach yearned for food as time went on,

But we continued our journey from dusk through dawn.

The Australian government searched far and wide for us,

But I knew that I would never let them recapture us.

At times I had to carry my five-year-old sister for many miles just to go one,

I struggled through the pain and agony remembering that I’d see my mom.

At one point it got too tough for my cousin to keep on through the pain,

The government found her and ripped her away from us again.

Now we were alone and scared and I was dying inside,

My sister and I continued along the rabbit proof fence directing us to our mom.

I would keep the two of us together with all that I was,

After twelve hundred miles I knew we were getting near because,

I could feel my mom’s strength continuing on with us.

I heard her singing and crying out for my sister and me,

I grabbed my sister quickly and ran to finish this journey.

My sister and I finally reached my mom’s tight embrace,

I reached out for her and looked her in the face.

“I lost one.  I lost one,” was all I could say,

My mom looked at me knowing that I fought in every way.

It was worth the journey for me to see my mom’s smile once again that night,

My sister and I were captured many times after but we always remembered how we should fight.

We found our was back by the rabbit proof fence many times after,

And I would always remember our family and our days once filled with laughter.

-2002

Another Day in Cambodia

posted Jan 20, 2015, 8:50 PM by Jana Taylor

Dedicated to those children who live with fear every day in war torn, devastated countries.

 

Rolling down the hills of our war torn land,

Came the guerilla rebels who thrive on fear with weapons in every hand.

They surrounded our small village and took control of our lives once more,

We still haven’t recovered from the devastation the last time they left our hearts so sore.

The confusion, chaos; it horrified everyone around,

Once again we’d have to listen to that deafening sound.

The guns of the Khmer Rouge were shot into the crowd,

There was crying and were screams of pain I’ve never heard so loud.

The Khmer Rouge stared coldly into one woman’s frightened face,

Then took that terrified mother’s own child from her tight embrace.

We were silent, knowing our pleas would only quicken the baby’s sure fate,

Then they placed a grenade in the baby’s lap as they displayed for us their hate.

I wanted to help the baby, to calm her shaking body and take away her tears,

But inside my ten-year-old body I was quivering and had too many of my own fears.

I was numb to the agonizing screams of the mother running to save her child,

As one guerilla quickly shot her with ease, then smiled.

After this, it was once again chaos, confusion I couldn’t get rid of,

And the once beautiful land was smeared with the tears and blood of innocent people I love.

I escaped the terror of those who hate only to say,

Those children who live with fear like I do, keep striving to survive and live another day.

-2003

Someone

posted Jan 20, 2015, 8:48 PM by Jana Taylor

Someone took me in with open arms,

When no one else cared at all.

I stood alone without help,

Always ready to stumble and fall.

 

When Mom could not even take care of herself,

And Dad never did see.

When I was scared to be left alone,

Someone came to hold me.

 

Am I supposed to be brave,

Or am I allowed to cry?

But someone showed me who is brave for me,

When he pointed to the sky.

 

Someone showed me the way to God,

He can help me out, I know.

He’s all I have left to turn to,

That someone who loves did show.

 

Someone took me in with open arms,

Now I can do it, too.

I’ll show them the truth I know,

“God loves you.”

-1998

Ambon

posted Jan 20, 2015, 8:47 PM by Jana Taylor   [ updated Jan 20, 2015, 8:49 PM ]

I’m telling you this,

Because you should see.

Not so you will feel sorry,

But you will pray for me.

 

My faith is what keeps me going,

And for that I could lose my life.

Many people with different beliefs than me,

Cause our brothers and sister pain and strife.

 

Our houses are raided,

Our children are being shot.

We lost our place of comfort,

So decided it’s time we fought.

 

My father was captured,

After preaching what he knew.

My mother was burned to death,

I have no one left to turn to.

 

I worship God,

While I’m carrying a gun,

I pray to God,

I’ll never have to shoot someone.

 

I’m reading the Word,

In a burned up building on a hill.

I listen to God speak to me,

And for a moment I am still.

 

I hear gunshots in the distance,

I must go.

I just wrote this to you,

So your government would know.

 

Please, God, protect me,

In this upcoming fight.

Help me protect my family,

So they will be alright.

-2001

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