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Updated on March 8, 2012

By: Wayne Brown

(Writer’s Note: I was inspired to write this verse as I looked back on the life

of Johnny Cash…what he was, the demons he wrestled, and the love that he

eventually had about him to give him strength. In those moments after the

death of his precious wife, June, I feel some of these thoughts must have

come to mind.)


Faces in the crowd

Faces in the mirror

Faces in my head

Faces known; unknown

Faces that I dread


Voices of fame’s past

Voices of my future

Voices so familiar

Voices that I distain

Voices of mid-September


Eyes warn of trickery

Eyes of those disguised

Eyes of the drug schemer

Eyes I turn away from

Eyes of the lonely dreamer


Touch of the stranger

Touch of the fool

Touches that leaves me cold

Touches reaching my heart

Touches upon my soul


Tears of joyous celebration

Tears of last goodbye

Tears of love lost forever

Tears of broken promises

Tears of life’s losing endeavors


Words that cut so deep

Words that ring in song

Words of love softly spoken

Words that bring bitter tears

Words of promises broken


Music of my soul

Music of my life

Music in my aging veins

Music of my sadness

Music that now sustains


Love left in lone solitude

Love for my Almighty God

Love offered in vain

Love beyond the grave

Love without shame

©Copyright WBrown2011. All Rights Reserved.



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    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @LABrashear...I think Cash would be the first to say that he would have been dead long ago had it not been for June Carter in his life. Unique talent comes along ever so often...maybe it was God's will that she keep him safe long enough for him to share his talents with us. WB

    • LABrashear profile image


      7 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

      We've all had some kind of loss where your mind runs through such an array of thoughts. I think you captured his spirit very well. They had such an amazing relationship - very up and down, but very true. Great job - love Johnny Cash.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @MartieCoetser...These are things which come rushing back to me in my memories as well. True, voices are not as memorable until you hear them actually speak again. My old roommate from college called me after more than 30 years without hearing his voice...I knew it immediately. Thanks for all the good words. WB

      @epigramman...I have been a big Billy Joe Shaver fan for many years now. I even sing a song or two of his. He is very prolific in his writing and very good with words. He is a product of the Waco TX area...about an hour and a half down the road to the south. His son, Eddie, was an extremely talented guitar player. He accompanied Billy Joe on some of his latest work. His guitar work is well represented on the song "Oklahoma Wind"...he could really play a Fender Stratocaster. I will check Ms. Davis and leave her a note. Thanks, Colin.WB

    • epigramman profile image


      7 years ago

      ...apparently after Johnny and Waylon died - Kris and Willie wanted you and Saddlerider to fill in for THE HIGHWAYMEN - lol - you know you really got check out BILLIE JOE SHAVER , I simply adore this man's music and he's from Texas - check him out on You tube - and there have been a couple of pieces lately I've written with you in mind and with you as inspiration - so thanks to you my (male) muse and please do me a favor Sir Wayne give a new hub buddy of mine a house call - her name is

      ANN DAVIS 25 and she wrote a hub about meeting Johnny Cash in real life - and now for the grand finale - I have always respected, loved and admired Mister Brown as a man and his writing too - and yes that also applies to the one and only MAN IN BLACK.

      lake erie time ontario canada 9:20pm

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      Firstly, 'The first time ever I saw your face' is certainly my most favorite romantic song, though I prefer Roberta Fleck's version. Wayne, this poem arouses so many emotions - sadness in particular... When I look at my past - the pictures in the archives of my memories - I see so many faces, eyes... and I can still feel so many touches... The voices, however, is not all that clear. This is a lovely, vivid... Oh, I always use this word in your corner, but you do manage to create clear images in my mind. Voted up and touching.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @manthy...Thank you...I was having a "Cash Moment". WB

    • manthy profile image


      7 years ago from Alabama,USA

      Cool writing Wayne - seems to me that you are like a fine wine you get better with age, HAHA

      Thanks for all the good hubs


    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @50 Caliber...It's a sobering time in life, Dusty. Thanks for the good words! WB

      @Apostle Jack...You're foggin' my lens, Jack! WB

    • Apostle Jack profile image

      Apostle Jack 

      7 years ago from Atlanta Ga

      Yes have to be with the yes...and the no have to be with the no's in order to be in perspective revelation.I think it is and should be the fore-front for interpretation.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Wayne, a solid piece that deserves every button hit it gets. I felt the thoughts cut into self as well, I reckon that happens to those of us on the backside of life, when we go somewhere or do something and know it will be our last rodeo with it, never gonna see it again in this life anyway,



    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @Amy Becherer...Sometimes I think I am just too dim to no where the lines are! LOL! Thanks for the great feedback, Amy. WB

      @Truckstop Sally...Cash mystifies me in some ways. He had a keen sense of history and the role that it played in the lives of people. I think he was also forever tied to his roots as the child of a sharecropper...he never forgot the common man. His and my politics were probably at odds on many things but I still would have relished the idea of sitting down with him and talking about a lot of things, and of his music would certainly be one of them. I have heard some of the Civil War music..."Johnny Reb" comes to mind. I believe I heard that album long ago. Cash loved to make theme albums which he built around storis of prison, the railroad, the old west, or the Civil War. His rendition of "John Henry" is outstanding...hands down the best. WB

      @saddlerider1...Cash lost much of himself when June Carter departed this life. He made no bones about it nor did he try to hide it. I don't think he ever imagined June passing before he did thus it was quite the shock. She was the rock that saved him from a very early grave and gave the world a musical icon which will endure time on end. Thanks, Ken. WB

    • saddlerider1 profile image


      7 years ago

      Absolutely beautiful, artistic, stunning and as always with your work brilliant. I read and read it again two more times, each time I had the video on and my ear plugs in my ears, turned up. I savored every word you wrote and listened to Johnny's heart come across in his song.

      I felt his ghost, his dark shadows, his sadness, his hurt, the loss of June he felt in between each word. This was an ICON of a man who like John Wayne had true grit and both are my heroes. Thank you Wayne, this brought a tear to my eye as I listened over and over again, it stirred deep feelings in me, as if I had lived his life in many ways. peace my brother.

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      Johnny Cash is truly an American icon. I love sharing A Boy Named Sue with my students. It was written by a well-loved children's poet - Shel Silverstein. So many wonderful songs and sentiments - Ring of Fire, Walk the Line, I've Been Everywhere . . . Have you heard his Civil War stories/songs? Interesting.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Your wide range of expression is awesome, Wayne, and very rare. This piece is beautiful.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @femmelflashpoint...Sorry, I have a soft spot for Mr. Cash and his work. He had a lot of demons but I have to think all in all that the presence of June Carter in his life made up for all of it. WB

      @breakfastpop....Thank you, I appreciate the thumbs up! WB

      @Hypenbird...Thanks much. I would certainly hope that he would find it interesting at least. Cash had a way all his own to touch our consciousness...a gift from God. WB

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      7 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      This is really good Wayne. It would make Mr. Cash proud. And I love that photograph of him, it is great work.

    • breakfastpop profile image


      7 years ago

      Oh Wayne, this is so beautiful and I will vote it so.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Wayne - you've nearly made me cry. I say nearly because I really hate to cry, lol.

      It's beautiful.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @Dyhannah...Thanks you so much. I appreciate the read and good comment. WB

      @drbj...Well, gee taught me all of it! LOL! WB

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      7 years ago from south Florida

      A lovely poem, Wayne. It confirms for me that you are not only the pragmatic, political pundit I know, but a praiseworthy, poetic philosopher as well.

    • Dyhannah profile image


      7 years ago from Texas

      A great poem that touches the senses and felt at the heart.

    • Wayne Brown profile imageAUTHOR

      Wayne Brown 

      7 years ago from Texas

      @KathyH...Glad you like it...thanks for the good words and the thumbs up! WB

    • KathyH profile image


      7 years ago from Waukesha, Wisconsin

      Wow, that is beautiful! :) Johnny Cash was a wonderful singer and performer, I miss him! Voted "Up" and "Beautiful!


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