RICK AND JAN SIKES
Incarceration. A place on earth none of us want to be. But when Rick was found guilty of bank robbery, he spent 15 years in prison. Did he do it? No. What did he make of these lost years?
First of all, he didn’t lose them. He spent his time writing poetry, painting with oils, creating pen and ink drawings, tooling leather and making Native American bead jewelry. Not to mention, use his imagination to create masterpieces and dull his depression, oppression and hours of boredom. Rick Sikes bored? Don’t you believe it! Not with that creative mind.
I’ve never read a book quite like this. He weaves his poetry in and out of his drawings, then adds Jan’s unique style of poetry, and brings out Connie Nelson’s (Willie Nelson’s wife) foreword.
Here’s my favorite Rick poem to whet your appetite.
Through life’s wilderness, I wandered aimlessly seeking my way
Seldom looking up to see the light of day
Stumbling blindly, ‘til so weary, I could go no more
In total exhaustion I fell to the earthen floor
My eyes focused upon a wounded but lovely thing
Seemingly an angel felled with a broken wing
Said I, “Stranger, what will be your name?”
A voice spoke softly, “Yours, for our names are the same.”
I replied angrily, “That cannot be.”
In understanding the voice spoke again, “Look and you shall see.”
“What song do you sing?” I asked, as I drew nearer.
“Your song my friend, listen and you shall hear.”
“You know me?” said I, as the sweet melody began to flow.
“From the very first,” the voice whispered. “Yes, you I know.”
“You are fantasy, you are imagination, and you’re not real.”
Patiently the voice said in a soft tone, “Satisfy your doubt, touch and feel.”
I shouted, “You are the Death-Angel that has come to take me away.”
“No, I am faith and compassion left behind yesterday.”
I replied, “When others are worthy, why did a wretch like me, you select?
The gentle voice asked, “Who is the being my eyes reflect?”
In the kind loving eyes sparkled, an image of me,
Not the hopeless, cast-out soul, I thought myself to be.
The spirit smiled and said, “I saw your need and I came.”
Respectfully, I asked, “How can you help me, when you yourself are lame.”
“Truth, but my wound does not exceed your own,
My friend, together we shall mend and then travel on,
Walking slowly and cautiously, gradually regaining our strength.
In confidence and with patience, our stride will soon reach full length.
For in peace, love and understanding you shall stay,
In your heart, I will dwell, no matter how hard the way.”
Leaving behind the dark wilderness, where lost I had been,
To tread upon a sure path, that is lit from within.
A lovely poem—heartfelt, poignant, sad, but hopeful. I love the biblical references.
I gave this book five stars. I would have given it six had that number been available.
Patricia A. Guthrie, reviewer