Johnny Cash: Indestructible

Johnny Cash: Indestructible

A Poem by Michael R. Burch

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," a song 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, music, mountain, stone, heaven, manna, leaven , country music, folk music, Americana

© 2020 Michael R. Burch


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Added on May 12, 2020
Last Updated on May 12, 2020
Tags: Johnny Cash, black, hair, clothes, boots, voice, rasp, gravel, steel, guitar, songs, music, mountain, stone, heaven, manna, leaven , country music, folk music, Americana