Photo of Johnny CashA Poem in Memory Johnny Cash: ‘June’ by Mike Bryant The Society July 5, 2021 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 37 Comments . June in memory of Johnny Cash (1932–2003) Johnny was no average guy, __The troubled man in black. His life, by evil, went awry, __And loving brought it back. The radio and Mama’s hymns __Filled up his youthful heart. Jack’s accident and Daddy’s whims __Then tore his heart apart. At home they called him J.R., __The Air Force made it John, But Johnny Cash would be the star __The groupies wished upon. The fifties brought him glory. __He sang his mournful rhymes. He told the truthful stories __Of tough and tougher times. Some say that Country, Rock & Roll, __The tours, the sex, the pills, Were risky games and, as a whole, __They started all his ills. But Johnny knew he couldn’t blame __The drugs or gals or gold. He knew he’d shoulder all the shame. __His soul would pay the toll. While lying deep inside a cave, __Alone and giving in, His heart found only love could save __Him from his life of sin. He slowly raised himself above __The filth upon the floor, And somehow found his way to love __At sweet June Carter’s door. When Johnny lost his joy and spine, __His life down in the mire, June made him want to walk the line, __Embrace that ring of fire. . . Mike Bryant is a poet and retired plumber living on the Gulf Coast of Texas. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 37 Responses David Whippman July 5, 2021 Good poem about a legendary singer. Reply Mike Bryant July 5, 2021 Thanks, David, Johnny Cash was definitely a legend. Reply StormRider_Arizona July 7, 2021 Thanks Like it so well. I’m gonna repost it on GAB. Just yesterday. I hankered for Cash. Listened til my ears got happy. StormRider_Arizona@gab.com Mike Bryant July 7, 2021 Thanks! Russel Winick July 5, 2021 I’m sure that Johnny Cash would have liked this poem. Good job, Mike! Reply Mike Bryant July 5, 2021 Yeah, Russel, I hope it might make him smile. Thanks. Reply Joe Tessitore July 5, 2021 Holy Cow, is that a good poem! It brought tears to my eyes – “That little dark-haired boy who played the Tennessee flat-top box.” Reply Mike Bryant July 5, 2021 Joe, Cash recorded that song when I was 10. I was a little dark haired boy in a south Texas border town, but I don’t remember hearing it till many years later. There are lots of great Country singers out there, but I prefer Cash. Thanks, Joe. Reply Joe Tessitore July 5, 2021 Listen to his daughter’s cover – one of the happiest songs I ever heard. Mike Bryant July 5, 2021 Joe, I just heard her cover. When she recorded it she didn’t know that her Dad wrote it. He was thrilled that she did so well with it. And, yes, it is joyful and better than the original! ben July 5, 2021 As I was driving down the road I remembered Johnny Cash Today this happened in the morning In Eden Prairie, on a dash. To get some dip from Lil’ Red I hankered for his baritone The outlaw rebel, man in black. And now on here, we have this poem. Reply Mike Bryant July 5, 2021 Thanks, Ben, I like your poem. Reply Ben Grinberg July 15, 2021 thanks mike! Sally Cook July 5, 2021 Always great to see work from you, Mike. Yoiu don’t miss much, if anything. Thanks for another good poem. Hi, Mike – So good to hear more from you, Mike. You are a good poet with a wide range. I love your point of view and your sense of humor. Let us see more of both! Reply Mike Bryant July 5, 2021 Thanks, Sally! Reply Brian Yapko July 5, 2021 A very enjoyable poem, Mike – very befitting to a legend. I don’t know a lot of country music but “Walk the Line” was one of my favorite ever biopic. Your fine tribute makes me want to watch it again! Reply Mike Bryant July 5, 2021 Thanks, Brian, I guess I better watch it too. I can’t believe I haven’t seen it yet. Reply Paul Freeman July 5, 2021 Am I the only one who had the voice of Johnny Cash in my head when I read this poem? If I may make a suggestion to change ‘His soul would pay the toll’ to ‘His soul was put on hold’. Thanks for the read. Reply Mike Bryant July 5, 2021 Thanks, Paul. Of course you heard his voice, because I heard it as I wrote it. And thanks for the suggestion. Reply Jeff Eardley July 5, 2021 Mike, I love this. My favourite song was always “One piece at a time” about stealing parts from an auto plant to build a new car. He has many impersonators over here. My neighbour, Pete Cash is one. He’s even nicked his name. One of America’s greatest and this is a super tribute. The “Walk the Line” biopic is excellent. Reply Mike Bryant July 5, 2021 Thanks, Jeff. Yup, Cash is unmistakable I never heard anyone ask, “Is that Johnny Cash singing on the radio?” What great music and what a life! Reply Jeff Kemper July 5, 2021 I love it! There’s country music. There’s rock n roll. There’s bluegrass. And there’s Johnny Cash, an entirely separate genre. Reply Mike Bryant July 5, 2021 Thanks, Jeff. Cash is a whole nother category. Reply SJB July 5, 2021 Pitch perfect! ❤️ Reply Mike Bryant July 5, 2021 I think You might be prejudiced. X Reply Joe Tessitore July 6, 2021 Mike, thanks for the info on Tennessee Flat Top Box – it makes it even more special to me! Reply Mike Bryant July 8, 2021 No problem… I have this crazy thing for research… I don’t know why because I only remember a fraction of the things I find out! Reply David Watt July 7, 2021 This is an excellent poem about one of my favorite singers. His gravelly voice had a quality that can’t be replicated. Mike, thanks for your fitting tribute. Reply Mike Bryant July 7, 2021 Thanks, David. He was one of a kind. Reply Marie Yudice July 7, 2021 Thanks for sharing! Fitting for such a legend! Reply Mike Bryant July 7, 2021 Thanks, Marie. Reply Julian D. Woodruff July 7, 2021 Mike, A nice tribute. I’m no Cash expert, nor much of a singer, but to me he represented as well as anyone the familiar adage that singing is talking on a (series of) pitch(es), and that directness of approach is the key to his musical appeal. Reply Mike Bryant July 7, 2021 Thanks, Julian. I don’t think anyone would say he was a great singer, but he could certainly communicate. And there was something familiar in his words. Reply Lucia Haase July 8, 2021 Wonderful poem! I’ve read several biographies on Johnny Cash. He also became an ordained minister. His life turned around after the experience in the Nickajack caves in which he felt a wind at his back to lead him out. That experience brought him closer to the Lord. Reply Mike Bryant July 8, 2021 Thank you, Lucia, he did lead an interesting life. I’m glad you liked the mini bio. Reply Lucia Haase July 8, 2021 I have several of his albums and CD’s but my favorite is the last CD he recorded called Cash with the song called Hurt and When the Man Comes Around. Reply BDW July 20, 2021 as per “Wild” E. S. Bucaree: What an interesting take on an interesting topic. This is my favourite Mr. Bryant poem; it’s iconic Americana. I love its ballad form; the title is interesting. Though the 4th stanza is my least favourite, the diction throughout the poem is very good. It is pure Johnny Cash. [JC: Johnny Cash, June Carter, Jesus Christ.] I’ll be goin’ up north to Nashville in August, maybe peer in the Johnny Cash Museum, but definitely hittin’ The Grand Ole Opry. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.