Please welcome Jan Sikes! Jan has written several award-winning stories based on her own life experiences with her husband Rick Sikes. James Richard “Rick” Sikes was born in Texas and at a young age fell in love with writing and performing music.
Here’s a fantastic article/interview from 2001 that you should definitely check out: Outlaw Country from Texas Monthly. He made some poor choices that led him down a path that would forever change his future. But I’ll let Jan tell you more while she talks about one of the inspiring books she’s compiled that highlights the beautiful things that came out of his life:
What makes this poetry and art book different from thousands of others in print?
- It was written entirely by hand behind the walls of Leavenworth Prison over a span of fifteen years.
- The artwork is made up of millions of tiny dots, known as Pointillism. I prefer to think of it as Rick Sikes’ own unique brand.
Rick Sikes had spent a lifetime writing and making music. When a bad decision landed him in Leavenworth prison with a 75 year sentence, he had to do a lot of soul-searching. Part of that process is found within the words of his poetry and the pen-and-ink drawings on the pages of DISCOVERY. It was his hope that he could be an inspiration to others facing difficult times.
Rick passed away in 2009. I am consumed with a burning passion to continue sharing his legacy and DISCOVERY is part of that.
Below you’ll find a sampling of his art and poetry. I hope you enjoy it!
The artwork is sprinkled among the poems. Here is an excerpt from the poem entitled 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.”
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…”
This poetry book has everything from deep thought-provoking poems to humorous and quirky pieces.
Here is an excerpt from: The Title is too Damned Long or (When Aunt Bessie Rode a Bike to the Belly Dancer’s Ball)
Here is a story of a gal with gall
It happened a year ago this fall
When Aunt Bessie rode a bike
To the belly-dancers ball
Aunt Bessie is past sixty-nine
Full of spark, feeling fine
She walked from the farm
A ten mile hike in pouring rain
Just in time to miss the train
She was mad as hell and soaking wet
But swore by heaven, she’d get there yet
She said, “It’s better late, than not at all
I’ll get there, if I have to crawl
This is gonna be a helluva dance
I ain’t gonna’ miss my chance.”
It’s no place for a red-neck square
Roarin’Twenties hoochy-gals gathering there
Aunt Bessie was hitching just out of L.A.
Flipper skirt flapping, she thumbed on the freeway
Fifty bikers pulled up and asked, “You goin’ our way?”
Auntie Bessie said, “You got it. This must be my day…”
I invite you to take a closer look at this book and if it interests you, or you can think of anyone who might benefit from the inspiration of a man who found a way to be and do positive in a dark and negative situation, please pick it up!
Amazon Purchase Link:
Website for purchasing autographed copies:
- Barnes & Noble Purchase Link: