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Poems 2003

Poetry Index

Out of My Skin
A Matter of Scale

Heat Wave
Poet and Pet

A Reasonable Life

Snapshots 2006
Hush and Listen
Lizard Thoughts
White Rose
Mother of the World

Poems 2005 —
Passion & Discontent
The Wake of Disaster

Mama's Tears
Old Furniture

Sounds of an Empty Promise
Three Quarters
Vientos del Mediterráneo

Giving In

Poems 2004
The Dissappearance of Lao Tsu
Nameless Beauty
Memory Game
Every Little Thing Counts
Landscapes of Yo Yo Ma's Brazil
Miles (to Miles Davis)
The Colors of Piazzolla's Tango

War and Peace
Making Friends
Old Glory
Kabul Update
Take Heart
March Madness

Poems 2003
Johnny Cash
Between Heartbeats
"Naked Poetry"
Sunflower Sonnet No. 1.5

New York City
My NYC is not your NYC
SanitationWorker, NYC
Passing By
Belly-button Renaissance
West Chelsea

Poems 2002
Finding Each Other
Kindred Spirits
To Our Youth
At Sunset
Holland in Winter

On Society
McKinney X-Tex
Lady Liberty
Making Friends
Old Glory

Life's Lessons
Child's Life
Crashing Surf
In Search of the Unknown
Love at First Sight
Holding Hands
Grandpa's Tools

First Snow
Downcast Eyes
Sagrada Familia

In France
French Gardens
Air Show
Cell Phones 01-04

Lovers in the Castle


Sestina for Johnny Cash
(on his passing September 12, 2003)

First memories, three years old, sleeping on the side of the road
in rain, under tarpaulin with Mississippi waters rising.
With brothers, sisters, father; his mother in a mellow voice
beat time with rain on an old Sears guitar, singing the line
"What would you give in exchange for your Soul?" The sound of rock
and roll filling the truck hotel with a safe, maternal flow,

warming chilled family with her heart overflowing,
easing the pain with song that night, parked on the side of the road.
Broadcasts of music from Memphis and Nashville, stations that rocked
his youthful soul with the gospel, of country and of Negroes arising
igniting with faith new fervor, passing sleepless nights with lines
of blues echoing his teenage moods, and painfully voicing

his grief when brother Jack died, loss gave his voice
a hollow resonance inside, whose deep and comforting flow
would soothe the poor and beaten low. In later years each line
of song cried and laughed with wisdom of the troubled road
where hunger and addictions like the flood water rising
in the song "gotta head for higher ground," to find the rock.

He desired a stable life, yet never feared to rock
the comfort of those who forgot the outcasts whose voice
Johnny was. He dressed in black by choice, rising
to the call of fame and misfortune, singing lyrics that flowed
through confining prison walls and across the open road.
For love he sang "Because you're mine I walk the line,"

to Vivian, first wife who continued his family line
and stood by him until that time that pressures of rock
and roll tours, of success and long hours away on the road
started to take their toll. When added grittiness in his voice,
hard times, drugs and troubles hindered his creative flow
a devoted June Carter propelled once again his rising

star. During a concert one night on the stage Johnny rose
before the crowd, dramatically proposed with a sweet line,
and made June his wife the following year. Once again the flow
of his career took shape it was the year sixty-eight. Johnny rocked
the music world with songs from Folsom Prison and his voice
became a legend. In reputation and in fame he rode

on, his face the map of a well-traveled road for hearts rising
to the call of his voice, joined with artists whose lyrical lines
defy the mortal bedrock over which his life flowed.

© 2003 Richard Sidy


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