Johnny Cash: Indestructible Poem by Michael Burch

Johnny Cash: Indestructible

Rating: 5.0

Indestructible, for Johnny Cash
by Michael R. Burch

What is a mountain, but stone?
Or a spire, but a trinket of steel?
Johnny Cash is gone,
black from his hair to his bootheels.

Can a man out-endure mountains' stone
if his songs lift us closer to heaven?
Can the steel in his voice vibrate on
till his words are our manna and leaven?

Then sing, all you mountains of stone,
with the rasp of his voice, and the gravel.
Let the twang of thumbed steel lead us home
through these weary dark ways all men travel.

For what is a mountain, but stone?
Or a spire, but a trinket of steel?
Johnny Cash lives on―
black from his hair to his bootheels.

Originally published by Strong Verse. When I was a teenager Johnny Cash used to pop into the Nashville McDonald's where I worked to buy burgers after the Grand Ole Opry let out. True to his nickname, the Man in Black always dressed in black. I think he's as immortal now as human beings can become, since someone will be singing songs he wrote and and recorded till the end of time.

Music Trivia: Johnny Cash wrote 'I Walk the Line' in 1956. This song, in which he vowed to be faithful to his wife, became his signature song. But seven years later Cash recorded 'Ring of Fire' about the scorching love affair that caused him to leave his wife for June Carter of the famous singing Carter family. Ironically, the Carters' signature song was the gospel classic 'Will the Circle Be Unbroken.' Apparently not the one symbolized by Johnny Cash's wedding ring! June Carter wrote 'Ring of Fire' with Merle Kilgore. Johnny Cash had a dream in which he was singing the song with mariachi horns in the background, which was how he recorded his version of the song.

Keywords/Tags: Johnny Cash, black, hair, clothes, boots, voice, rasp, gravel, steel, guitar, songs, singing, music, mountain, stone, heaven, manna, leaven , country music, folk music, American, Americana, folklore, folk, lore

by Michael R. Burch

Perhaps at three
you'll come to tea,
to have a cuppa here?

You'll just stop in
to sip dry gin?
I only have a beer.

To name the 'greats':
Pope, Dryden, mates?
The whole world knows their names.

Discuss the 'songs'
of Emerson?
But these are children's games.

Give me rhythms
wild as Dylan's!
Give me Bobbie Burns!

Give me Psalms,
or Hopkins' poems,
Johnny Cash, if he returns!

Or Langston railing!
Blake assailing!
Few others I desire.

Or go away,
yes, leave today:
your tepid poets tire.

Sappho's Lullaby
by Michael R. Burch

for Jeremy

Hushed yet melodic, the hills and the valleys
sleep unaware of the nightingale's call
while the pale calla lilies lie
this is their night, the first night of fall.

Son, tonight, a woman awaits you;
she is more vibrant, more lovely than spring.
She'll meet you in moonlight,
soft and warm,
all alone...
then you'll know why the nightingale sings.

Just yesterday the stars were afire;
then how desire flashed through my veins!
But now I am older;
night has come,
I'm alone...
for you I will sing as the nightingale sings.

The calla lily symbolizes beauty, purity, innocence, faithfulness and true devotion. According to Greek mythology, when the Milky Way was formed by the goddess Hera's breast milk, the drops that fell to earth became calla lilies.

The Insurrection of Sighs
by Michael R. Burch

She was my Shiloh, my Gethsemane;
she nestled my head to her breast
and breathed upon my insensate lips
the fierce benedictions of her ubiquitous sighs,
the veiled allegations of her disconsolate tears...

Many years I abided the agile assaults of her flesh...
She loved me the most when I was most sorely pressed;
she undressed with delight for her ministrations
when all I needed was a good night's rest...

She anointed my lips with her soft lips' dews;
the insurrection of sighs left me fallen, distressed, at her elegant heel.
I felt the hard iron, the cold steel, in her words and I knew:
the terrible arrow showed through my conscripted flesh.

The sun in retreat left her victor and all was Night.
The last peal of surrender went sinking and dying—unheard.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Topic(s) of this poem: clothes,country,america,folklore,hair,heaven,mountains,music,singing,voice
Keith 22 May 2020

Hurt, nine inch nails but John made it his own, enjoyed the notes as much as the poem, very good write.

0 0 Reply
Lyn Paul 12 May 2020

A story told. Wonderful to read. An excellent movie was made also. His song " Hurt" is so powerful. Thank you Michael.

0 0 Reply
Michael Burch 12 May 2020

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, Lyn. Yes, " Hurt" is a powerful and touching song.

0 0
Error Success