HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE
HOLIDAY SNOW – ACRYLICS
Born in northern Alabama, father was a Native American (Chickasaw) sharecropper who managed a farm for a businessperson from Decatur, and a mother who worked in the local cotton mill during the Depression to pay for Beautician School. Although her mother lived in the same house, she was emotionally absent since the Author’s birth. The author, raised by her father, Native American great-grandmother and an African-American woman all were great storytellers.
Instead of playing like most children, she roamed the countryside alone or with her father and at night she sat at the feet of these strong-minded individuals listening to the stories of their lives. During the summer, she lived with her fathers’ sister in Birmingham, Alabama; it was there that she would discover a library, and mingle with her aunt’s circle of friends that included local writers, artist, and politicians. A cabin deep within the Black Warrior Forest was the weekend retreat and filled with these people from a different life than her own. This aunt encouraged the imagination of a young Ann with the gift of her first journal, which she filled with stories over the summer. Planted was the desire to write, a seedling waiting to spurt from the warm southern heart of a child.
Nonetheless, with adulthood, the desire to create buried itself deep within, the dream wilted but did not die. It lay dormant, gaining experience all written in hidden journals. These experiences, the contents of these journals became short stories and poetry reading to share with the world.
Throughout the years along with her father, great-great-grandmother, and her beloved Aunt Francis, other influences were, Faulkner, Capote, Fitzgerald, and Harper Lee. Later in life, I discovered the warm and comic writing of Grace Paley. The Collected Stories, the vivid poetry of William Carlos Williams; the strong poetry of Phyllis McGinley, and the world’s most exciting women, Maya Angelou are some of the poets at the top of her list.
The harshness that shrouded her life would cause her to withdraw from most of the world; it fills the pages of her writing, the heartache, the abuse, and the denial from her mother. Today, at a stage of life where she enjoys her children, grand and great grandchildren, her four-legged companion Mason, she lives in Southern Wisconsin…far from her southern roots, writes and paints daily.
ONE OF THE MANY REVIEWS ON HER WORK:
Southern living, tragedy, memories, and nostalgia… 2014
By Dr. Karen Moriarty – Karen Moriarty, Author of “Defending A King ~ His Life & Legacy” [about the incomparable Michael Jackson]
“As a former teacher of English and creative writing, I approached the reading of Ann Johnson-Murphree’s “Honeysuckle Memories” with real enthusiasm. Poetry is not a wildly popular genre currently. However, I have always enjoyed it, partly because it can be consumed in bits and pieces and at any time of day or night. This book did not disappoint. I consider poems the poet’s personal journey of heart-soul-and-mind. This collection of poems is about Southern living, tragedy, death, and memories. The poet-author’s background as a child who grew up in northern Alabama, a sharecropper’s daughter who farmed for his living, colors much of her work. I enjoyed the flow of her writing, her style of combining prose and poetry, and her reflecting the imagery from her earlier memories in vivid terms.
I recommend that you buy and read this book. It is priced well — to entice the potential reader to venture into the realm of poetry. Ms. Johnson-Murphree enjoys, above all else, sharing her love of writing with others who will enjoy it, understand her better, and share her personal journey.”
THE POETRY OF ANN JOHNSON-MURPHREE AT AMAZON.COM –
Really FEMA… here are just a few figures to look at:
American foreign aid by country statistics:
India – $124,485,000, China – $17,800,000, Russian Federation – $66,138,000, Iran – $472,060,000, Iraq – $472,060,000, Ukraine – $120,907,000, Myanmar – $38,527,000, Yemen – $545,699,000, Indonesia – $205,716,000, Turkmenistan – $11,074,000, Mexico – $178,189,000, Nicaragua – $24,462,000, Brazil – $24,340,000, South Africa – $571,135,000, Namibia – $103,218,000, Mozambique – $386,692,000, Ethiopia – $519,003,000, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – $203,183,000, Niger – $17,540,000, Venezuela – $5,000,000, Peru – $99,837,000, Ecuador – $22,669,000, Chile – $1,400,00
A $2,486 REFUND…USA/ FEMA…SHAME ON YOU” ! 11.9.2014 ajm
NYC adult home residents asked to repay FEMA aid
The Associated Press – By DAVID B. CARUSO – Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — The residents of Belle Harbor Manor spent four miserable months in emergency shelters after Superstorm Sandy’s floodwaters surged through their assisted-living center on New York City’s Rockaway peninsula.
Now, the home’s disabled, elderly and mostly poor residents have a new headache: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked at least a dozen of them to pay back thousands of dollars in disaster aid.
Robert Rosenberg, 61, was among the Belle Harbor Manor residents who recently got notices from FEMA informing them that they had retroactively been declared ineligible for aid checks they received two years ago in the storm’s immediate aftermath. The problem, the letters said, was that the money was supposed to have been spent on temporary housing, but that never happened because the residents were moved from one state-funded shelter to another.
FEMA gave Rosenberg until Nov. 15 to send a refund check for $2,486 or file an appeal
“We’re on a fixed income. I don’t have that kind of money!” said Rosenberg, who suffers from a spinal disability and other chronic health problems. He said he spent the aid money long ago on food and clothing, both of which were in short supply after the storm.
The demand letters are part of a broader FEMA effort to recover millions of dollars in aid payments that went to ineligible households, either because of errors, a misunderstanding of the rules or outright fraud.
The Associated Press reported in September that FEMA was scrutinizing 4,500 households it suspected had received improper payments. At that time, 850 had been asked to return a collective $5.8 million. The other cases were still under review.
The AP on Tuesday asked for updated numbers on the number of storm victims who had been asked to return money, but FEMA didn’t immediately provide them.
Data obtained through a previous public records request, however, showed that as of July 30, the agency was considering a recoupment action against 35 residents of assisted living facilities in the same part of Queens that is home to Belle Harbor Manor. Collectively, those residents had received $108,598, with most of that money intended to cover temporary housing. Five residents had also received aid to cover destroyed belongings.
After their chaotic evacuation, Belle Harbor Manor residents were initially taken to a huge evacuation center set up inside a Brooklyn armory, then spent a brief period sleeping four-to-a-room at a hotel in a crime-plagued neighborhood where they were advised not to go outside after dark.
The state then moved the residents, many of whom suffer from mild mental illnesses, to a halfway house on the grounds of a partly-abandoned psychiatric hospital in Queens, where they bunked on cots and were barred from having visitors in their rooms.
Rosenberg said the FEMA workers who urged him to apply for assistance during the period when residents were staying at the armory never explained that the money could only be used for housing.
“Everyone asked, ‘Do we have to pay this back later on? Is it a loan?’ They said, ‘No. It’s a gift from Obama,'” he said. “If I wasn’t eligible, then why give it to me in the first place? They knew we were living in an adult home. They knew our shelter was being paid for by the state. It’s not like we lied on the application.”
At the time, it wasn’t clear how long they would be in the shelter, or where they would go next.
FEMA spokeswoman Rafael Lemaitre said the agency was required by law to recoup improper payments but did not directly address the residents’ situation.
“FEMA remains committed to working with applicants and ensuring they have an understanding of the options available to resolve their debt, which includes making a payment, filling an appeal, requesting a compromise and establishing a payment plan,” he said.
More common types of FEMA recoupment actions involve households ineligible for assistance because their damaged properties were vacation homes or rental properties, or families that received extra payments because more than one household member had applied for assistance. FEMA also commonly recoups emergency aid payments for damage later covered by insurance.
Lawyers at MFY Legal Services, a legal aid group that has worked with adult home residents in the past, have offered to help Belle Harbor Manor residents with their appeals.
“Our position is that it would be an unbearable financial hardship and unjust,” to require the residents to repay the money, said MFY attorney Nahid Sorooshyari.
IN SEARCH OF WORDS
Ann Johnson-Murphree Poetry Books – A Collection of Poetry
The 8×11 coffee table books that will display well . The matte cover is classy and inviting. Within each book the reader will find approximately fifty poems. A length pleasing to browse, read one or more; they will find a connection, a meaning and a purpose in each poem.
A worthy piece to share from Ernest Slyman’s Facebook Page…Please share
“When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.
And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.”
Cranky Old Man
What do you see nurses? ……What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, … …not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .… … . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . … . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .’I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice …the things that you do.
And forever is losing … …… A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not … … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding … .The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am … . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .… . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .… .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen … .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now …… a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty … ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now … . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide … And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .… . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other …. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. …Babies play ‘round my knee,
Again, we know children … . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me … . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future … … . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .… young of their own.
And I think of the years … And the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man … … .. and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age … … . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone … where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again … . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys … . .. . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living … … . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few …. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact … that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .… . .… open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer … . see .. .…. …. . ME!!
Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!
In the last posting I wrote that “A Sachet of Poetry – Adoration – Aspirations – Asylums” would be the final book of poetry that I would publish and this will be the last entry on this site. It was created to give exposure to the poetry that I have written during the past four years trying to understand a great loss. Much of my poetry received worthy comments by many of you and that encouragement led to their being published.
All of the poems were created from tiny fabrics of my life. They characterized the thoughts of innocence sold into a false world of adoration. Living in silence, and believing that God did not keep this innocence from living within an earthly hell. In our youth we believe that death will be a long way off and life was only in the now.
How would one ever know that ahead lay sacrifice, pain and suffering? Life should be fruitful; the human life produces scenes of public, private distress and anger springs forth with hate and blood. Mortally leading to the mysterious world of knowing the fist is not love, it is the slaughter of innocence.
Innocence institutionalized because of spousal disobedience, failing to comply with and act upon the orders of a controller… the answer asylum. Reality embedded within the soul of innocence, no future, no meaning to life. Innocence in truth wants and dreams of death; these are the true aspirations of the abused.
I published the Ann Johnson-Murphree Poetry Books – the Collections of Exposé Poetry as coffee table books. Within each book the reader will find soul poetry. The poems are filled with thoughts and hopefully inspiring and reassuring words with a factual viewpoint on the many experiences in life. Each poem serves as a prevailing reminder that life is complex.
That happiness is in our hands alone; that the fear of unhappiness is deep-rooted in the spirit and soul. That depression and despair is real and each individual must find the freedom of mind, body and soul to move forward in their life. Each poem has been created from a “patchwork life”. Complex, stress-filled, finding enlightenment and cultivating wisdom throughout the years. The collection of thoughts that created the poetry hopefully brings the reader along on the multifaceted journey of a lifetime of experiences.
Thank you for your support and I hope you will continue to follow my postings on “Libretto” at:
My poetry Books are at Amazon.com
Drinking from a vial of dark sadness, cannot forget,
will not forget; mind reeling, mouth twisted, choking;
this pain is not terminal it is permanent.
Pain, an accumulation from the past that lingers in
memory, drifting in dreams, floundering on invisible
winds of winter; searching through the impenetrable
haze called tomorrow.
A frosted pane, bare branches waving does not clear
the cobwebbed corners of a grieving mind.
A fractured mirror imaging the soul dances among the
sunlight, a pit of Hell or tower to the Heavens fear is no
longer the builder of an unfinished life.