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John Passant

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John Passant the poet-warrior

Songs For The Band Unformed (signed copy) - a book of poetry by John Passant


“Passant is definitely a poet-warrior; his weapon of choice, POETRY.”

Realistic Poetry International

Political, Powerful & Personal Poetry

What’s More Powerful than Words?

This is the first time we have ever read John Passant’s poetry and we found it to be such a unique experience, one that projects the reader into a world where truth isn’t always cordial and endings don’t always conclude with a happily ever after. So if you are weary of the “politically correct” lies and promises oversaturating society…this book is for you!

The first interesting metaphor and poem we encounter, ‘our bombs are love’, strike our minds with immediate curiosity. In simple terms, verbal illustrations of war tools make it quite difficult to imagine bombs instilled with anything less than death, let alone love, thus we are eager to learn more! Essentially, the quote/title is a message to differentiate “our” bombs from “their” bombs, indirectly referencing to two opponents, with one side being ‘liberators’, and the other, ‘the enemy’.

Passant goes on to say, “our bombs are love, theirs are not…” convinced that bombing to protect ‘the people’ from ‘the enemy’ will ultimately lead the targets of the enemies to the pearly gates of freedom.

The author’s firm and concrete belief in speaking up for what he believes in is clear and transparent, even when it dwindles down to the sensitive subject of sacrificing human life. The content of this poem is suggestive, dramatically intense, political and paradoxically controversial! Its thought-provoking theme leads us to inquire; are bombs love, whether the motive be for good or evil? Does it even matter at all, what the motives really are, anyway? Fairly, we suppose it all depends on the specific individual or group and their beliefs.

Moving along, ‘The legs of happiness are closed’ vents out some of the social disparities, inconsistencies, and inequalities thriving in the world, which the author perceives as a despondent and unsatisfactory representation of what our society should actually mirror. In this poem, thick clouds of troubling images denoting death, war, despair, and even more bombs puncture the imagination with its sharp and piercing verbal points. At times, his words blow drifts of cynicism; and ironically, contrary to this, emits obvious hints of acceptance regarding despair when he says;

“Today, tomorrow,
This is not sorrow,
But despair
Who cares
The legs of happiness are now closed”.

And this sunless poem is followed by similar sombrous poetry compositions, one being, ‘The Grim Within’, a recognized poem Passant wrote that was published in the Canberra Times the year of 1996 that confronts the reality of an inward darkness, hence the phrase, ‘grim within’, which brings us to ask; within what? We would suspect humans, deliberately aware of the dual-conscience we naturally seem endowed with, vulnerable to both good and evil.

The thought in itself is enough to probably explain why it’s so critical for us as people to understand and know what lives and exists on the inside, especially within ourselves, rather than being concerned with merely what reflects on the exterior. For who knows when there is a grim that lives within…and what its growing pains are capable of achieving? Readers can expediently identify the grisly blackness of grim characteristics by taking heed to the author’s selective word choice, using descriptive elements such as throes, flames, sorrow, and “fire’s end”.

Speaking of power words, we noticed a vivid pattern of poems with themes centered on battle, pain, politics, freedom, humanity, and enemies, while on the other hand, concurrently promoting attributes of compassion, love, progression, and empathy. This made it convenient to determine what matters cling closely to the author’s heart. And boy, was our hearts frozen after reading Passant’s cold poetic picture of lifelessness in, “Whose dead are these?” a poetic illustration in which the author’s piercing candid perception shocks you to the core!

In this selection, you envision several deceased carcasses, no name, and no identification, thus referenced to as, ‘these’. In truth, its morbid ambience reverberates with entrenched emotions of gloom, ominous with no signs of optimism.

Indeed, the title is as gripping as the words that make up the poem, just like the poem titled, ‘the prison that sets us free’. Examining it, the characters are familiar with witnessing families in mourning and are in a predicament where even the rain comes down to ‘soil their dreams’. Well, that doesn’t sound like a good thing, does it? Again, here goes one of those interesting paradoxical ironies that challenges your mind to delve deeper beyond the surface, searching to understand the philosophical perspective of freedom being discovered by or through the act of imprisonment.

Perhaps this explains why the narrator and his companions ‘fuel their brains’ with glasses of liquor? Moreover, analyzing the title; how could anything with the atmosphere or likeness of a prison have the ability to set anyone free? Our eyes are streaming with enigma, curious to extract more ‘behind-the-scenes’ details about the intoxicated men drinking to their earned stripes and badges of woes.

Passant’s concern for politics and how the topic affects society is shamelessly reflected in the poem, ‘Oh we can’t tax the rich’, which entails his own theory and idea as to why the notion of not taxing the rich is preposterous. Here is where we learn where the strong-minded author stands when it comes to economical strategies and solutions, and apparently, showing tax-leniency towards the millionaires and billionaires just isn’t the way to go. So then, what is? You’ll just have to read Passant’s iron-fisted proposal to find out!!! However, we will say this, John is a wise mind that has seen a thing or two and has quite an experienced background in the areas his writing focuses on, which we believe strongly contributes to his discerning mentality. In result, his poetry speaks from honest
emotion and first-hand experience.

Furthermore, it is nearly impossible to avoid absorbing the author’s resilient energy, especially after reading, ‘We must not fail’. This is one of our favorite poems, as the author expresses his discontent when considering the idea of social regression and backtracking, saying; “…or shall we be Sisyphus falling back, rolling, rolling, rolling, past the past?; followed by a personal metaphorical confession – “I plant the seeds and everywhere grow, the weeds of yesterday…”; seemingly implying the complete opposite of what the usual analogy “sowing seeds” means. In other words, a seed can bear good or bad fruit, in this case, we will presume the reference to ‘weeds’, a valueless plant growing wild, is a sign of an ambiguous and unpromising future.

Passant goes on to include a poem that reads and resonates as a victorious and powerful ode; ‘Poets are not generals’. In a sense, this poem establishes a concrete and distinguished difference between the roles of a general from a poet, and we must say, out of the several poems Passant wrote specifically focused on the topic of poets and poetry, this by far is the most impactful and also our favorite! Passant brings light to the fact that poets are exactly the complete opposite of army officers. Unlike commanders, poets do cry and typically refrain from tactical schemes and plots to effectuate their plans of action. It is true, the fact that poets ‘inspire world’s’, leading many from the dark, back into ‘sweet freedom’s space’.

Besides the electrifying energy radiating from this poem, it is a beautiful reality that genuinely captures the countenance of an authentic poet, John Passant.

In summary, his collection is bold, complete with heart-rending verbal illustrations, is mentally graphic, transparently reminiscent, haunting, and empirical. Taking into account the scenes his eyes has witnessed, distant ghosts from the past linger invisibly in the background of the author’s mind, casting back the fogyish shadows from a history that can never be forsaken. He is a passionate protector and a man of integrity, honesty, and respect. His diplomatic poetry demonstrates a great understanding of two inevitable earthly essentials; life and death. Passant’s poetry displays the fact that he is a man of vision, but more importantly, one of action; which in his case, verbally galvanizes the audience to also fight their battles through the effectiveness and potency of poetry!

For that reason, we would like to say, marvelous work, John! Your statement providing further background and insight into the creation of this book publication is an incredibly valuable feature to this edition! Indeed, your mission is accomplished in this remarkable poetry book, John, bravo! We are privileged to rate John Passant’s book with 5 Stars! Get your copy today and journey through the battlefield of freedom.

JP: You can buy a signed copy of my book through the Independent Australia online shop here.