DISCOVERY by Rick and Jan Sikes is full of poetry, musings, and drawings completed while inside the walls of Leavenworth Prison as Rick served a sentence for bank robbery. But, not all are his. Jan included the ones she wrote over the years while she waited, always hopeful that one day they’d release the man she loved.
It’s very difficult to stay positive in such a depressing environment. Some don’t even bother to look for a bright side that doesn’t appear to exist.
After a time of anger and frustration, Rick realized that he couldn’t change prison and it couldn’t change him. He began to examine himself and find the man he really was buried deep inside. As a popular Texas musician and performing night after night, week after week, he’d lost the person he was. Being locked away forced Rick to face himself and see where he needed lots of work.
There’s despair in these pages, but there’s also a lot of humor and positive reinforcement.
One poem that is really profound to me is Discovery which became the title of the book. The incident that sparked the writing of this poem was the turning point for Rick. Anger burned inside, eating him alive. He was like a lit fuse and one day finally exploded. The guards threw him in the hole (solitary confinement.) He lay on the floor, weeping, and finally went to sleep. A beautiful angel appeared in a dream, telling him that he was not alone and that she would help him get through this horrible time. But he had to try.
From then on, Rick became a changed man. He looked for the positives and turned to bettering himself, doing something constructive instead of destructive. He found he was very creative with his hands and designed pottery, painted, did beautiful bead work, and played his music again.
Rick had some pretty vivid dreams that he wrote poems about in this book. Dreams offered escape from the horror and loneliness. He could fly through the iron bars and over the high walls to freedom if only for a little while.
Willie Nelson’s ex-wife, Connie Nelson, wrote the beautiful forward and says what this poetry book means to her.
Here’s a snippet from the poem Discovery:
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.”
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Click HERE to purchase the book!
Jan would like to hear from you – http://www.jansikes.com/
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So take a journey through a convict’s mind and listen to the Breathings Of His Heart. You might be surprised to find yourself in that cell with him.