This is a poem I wrote in college about my Father, Nathan Albert Ricks. I named my son Walker Nathan Ricks after my Dad, who named his first son (my brother) James Albert Ricks, after his father, Albert Ricks. My Dad died January 12, 1997. Walker Nathan Ricks was conceived one month later, on Valentine’s Day 1997. My Dad loved kids but never experienced having grandchildren. I like to think that Walker and Nathan passed each other in the tunnel of white light, going opposite directions.
when I close the door
the bedsprings cringe quickly
back and forth.
Nathan’s tossing and turning.
I come home quietly
when the deep dull feeling hits me,
goes through the dark of my heart.
I imagine Nathan’s anguished face
doing 180 degree turns on the pillow.
I see his body twitching and
shifting from side to side.
I hear the bedsprings
and imagine them as Nathan’s churning stomach.
They quiet down, but how long does it take
his stomach to stop, and his head?
Nathan’s had one-third of his stomach removed.
It was way back before I was born
when they first took some away.
Nathan can’t eat much now or else he feels sick,
and his eyes go back in his head.
Nathan still likes black-eyed peas
and hominy grits.
“Fix me up some-a-them greens,
little grass, a few good weeds,”
Jim used to say, imitating Nathan.
“Have us a good meal, won’t we?”
Randy Ricks has been singing and writing most of his life. After playing piano and trombone as a child, he chose the harmonica in college. Randy has lived in Denver, Colorado since 1991, where he has performed with his own band and others.
“The tune is meant to be fun, created only for the listener’s entertainment,” says Randy. “I had fun writing and recording it and I hope you have fun listening to it!”
The video, created by Erik Becker and Ian Murphy at Soulard Studios, was also meant to be fast, fun and lighthearted, like the song.
Neither the song or video are meant to diminish Mr. Sheen, his wife or his family. Charlie comes from one of the great American acting families. If anything, the song and video just hold up a mirror and remind us that even the biggest celebrities are just human like us all.