Poems and Prose by Dr. John H. Knoles

The Entry
                – Dr. John h. Knoles, 1974

I ran down empty passageways
Into oblivion;
Longing for the searching in my mind
To cease.

I talked to no one –
But he didn’t care….
Didn’t have the time –
Could not be bothered.

I spoke with those I knew
But couldn’t trust;
They saw, but couldn’t see me;
Not really see me,
Not love me –
Not really love.

I went to the “master’s” –
Those who claimed to be “enlightened”,
And presented them with my self,
Yet they died
And I turned back inside…
Only to be lost on the barren, empty
Wastelands of the desperate.

As confusion closed around me
One day
I grabbed for a Friend
Said His Name –
Said it was Jesus;
But that His friends
Called Him Lord.

As I welcomed Him into my nothingness,
I knew
I had run the gauntlet;
Energies drained.

I sat back easy,
Took a long, cool drink
Of His Living Water –
And knew
I would never,
Ever again
Have to be lonely

The Tree is Empty
      – Dr. John H. Knoles, 1975

The Blood first flowed from Jerusalem.
There it began and can never stop.
Even now I am wet with it.
Let me hold His Cross!
I know that, as I cling to it,
my cheek will receive some splinters…
yet all the while the Crimson Blood is covering me,
becoming part of me, removing all sin,
flowing over and past all anguish of soul –
filling my being with a burning so precious
no tongue or pen can ever describe it.

The tree is empty now.
I close my eyes and turn my face toward Jerusalem.
I have access now.
All that is holy is mine, for He is ever with me,
surrounding me, enveloping me, 
…..lifting me to even greater freedoms.

He has forgiven me now – and I am free.
His song is old – yet the melody so sweet.
I know I do not, I cannot deserve such joy,
such divine communication…
yet it is so – by faith, yes, –
but almost by sight, so near is He.

The dawn is breaking, and I find myself
clutching His empty cross….
and with blisters still fresh in my hands
from grasping so tightly…
though hundreds of years have passed,
I turn my face toward that Jerusalem,
whose builder and maker is God.

The Leader and the Loser

      – Dr. John H. Knoles, 1978, while on Active Duty, USAF.

A loser seeks to maintain an ‘image’ –
A leader teaches by example.

A loser insulates himself in order to avoid poor evaluations –
A leader’s performance evolves from character and integrity.

A loser accepts ideas passed down from those who outrank him –
A leader considers the the source and value of the idea.

A loser whips his department into shape just prior to an inspection –
A leader keeps his department prepared 24/7/365.

A loser watches twenty years drift by –
A leader gains twenty years of preparation.

The Deputational Lament

    – Dr. John H. Knoles, 1986.

Just a note to thank you for letting us come and share;
To tell of our burden for missions to your church family there.

But a few things might be noted – and I hope I’m not misquoted:

We arrived plenty early – and really, we were beat.
You forgot that we we were coming – so no supper did we eat.

We would have loved to visit with you, and of our vision to tell;
But you said that you we’re busy – so it was off to the motel.

Just before we were to speak (you hoped we’d understand);
You said you had four specials – and three numbers by the band.

You almost introduced us at twenty-five ‘till nine;
But remembered the announcements – and the teen-age crisis line.

When you called me to the platform, you pronounced my name all wrong.
Then you said we served in Egypt – when in fact it is Hong Kong.

Now, I’m really not complaining – we’ve put up with quite a lot.
I love God and His people – and scold them I will not.

I’ve traveled to strange places – and ate food I’ll long remember;
Fellowshipped from dusk ‘till dawn….then slept in The Prophet’s Chamber.

So I trust you will forgive me if here I simply say –
When a missionary comes to visit – please do more than simply pray.


Through Human Flesh
                  – Dr. John H. Knoles, 1991

When God first spoke to man
He shared – through the patriarchs
And revealed His redemptive plan.

Jehovah later sent the priests
Who promoted holy living –
But men wanted only their feasts.

After this era, God spoke through the kings
But many were all too human
And desired worldly things.

Then, for hundreds of years,
Through the prophets of old-
God addressed men’s hopes and fears.

But at last He sent the Son from heaven –
A dynamic gift from the Father’s heart
To the human race was given.

Although the Word of God is right,
Unbroken, brave, and true;
Men ignored His power and might.

The Holy Spirit speaks today – not to shame;
But to offer a dynamic life
To those who call upon His Name. 

The Spirit of God is still calling to those lost in the night:
Let us pray they will obey
And walk in His wonderful light.


For the Love of Teaching
        – by Dr. John H. Knoles, 1993

If I would teach others,
I must first teach myself.

If I would see the hard heart broken,
I must first possess a broken heart

If I would spare others agony,
I must first agonize.

If I would save others,
I cannot save myself.

If I would teach God’s laws,
I must first be a faithful law-keeper.

If I would wash the feet of others,
I must first let Jesus wash mine.

If I would walk on water,
I must first step out of my little boat.

If I desire God’s riches,
I must use His shovel to find them.

If I desire to see Jesus’ viewpoint,
I must first climb His mountain.

If I would encourage others to expand their horizons,
I must first look beyond my own sunset.



Maxim of the Moment

You have to be careful about being too careful. - Beryl Pfizer