Who is Blogger/Poet/Fiction Writer/Artist Ann Johnson-Murphree?

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE

2014

5.Holiday Snow

HOLIDAY SNOW – ACRYLICS

BY

Ann Johnson-Murphree

Ann 6.8.2014

Ann Johnson-Murphree

Author Bio…

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 –

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_2_10?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=ann+johnson-murphree+paperbacks&sprefix=ann+johnso%2Cstripbooks%2C522

Shifting Seasons…

 

The seasons of the year,

quickly come and go,

spring brought flowers,

summer a swimming

hole; winter the snow

and frosty winds will blow.

 

Many will take secluded

walks, others at the cold

weather will balk; snowflakes

will soon drop one-by-one,

children will run, play and

have fun.

 

Sleet may fall, thaw and drip,

the oldsters will slide and slip;

squirrels scurry beneath the

snow moving around in buried

leaves; birds flitter, dip and

weave.

 

Clouds in the sky fly, the northern

winds shriek and shrill; the sun

surprises the earth with a warm

day, through melting snow peaks

the fearless daffodils.

 

Colors’ appear among hills of

green, wildflowers unfurl to an

awakening world; children and

oldster dream that soon there

will be the coming of spring.

 

White beaches and coral-shells,

salty air and sweet summer

smells, swimsuits and blowing

hair, children and oldsters

scampering everywhere.

 

Finally, summer will disappear,

autumn leaves burning, crimson

Sumac and purple skies;

ornaments will dangle from holiday

trees, ice-covered mistletoe peaks

up out of the snow, children and

oldsters will once again say, “Oh

my, how quickly the seasons go”.

 

 

©2013.annjohnsonmurphree

 

EBooks on sale at Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Ann-Johnson-Murphree/e/B00CGBLQZO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1375763518&sr=8-2

 

The Mystery Box…

 

 

Before the holidays last year, my

Grandmother passed away; I went

to her house to help pack that

day. In the attic, I found a box, a

mystery with a lock.  It had a label,

“To be opened, never more”; I picked

it up gently laying it on the floor.

 

Should I, or should I not, I mumbled

turning about, the suspense was more

than I could take, I wanted to scream

and shout.  The message I understood,

I was at granny’s house, do not touch

she would say about her many things

and I was always good and quiet like a

little church mouse.

 

I would not try to pick the lock or break

into this mystery box, with its label and

its lock.  I thought of that good child and

wanted to be the same, I wanted to open

it no one would know; I picked up a

hammer and broke open the lid.  It seems

that only granny’s eyes had seen the box and

now she was dead!

 

Inside were letters neatly tied with pink ribbon,

I held them in my hand and I wonder if this

treason of mine would be forgiven.  They were

addressed to my granny, the return was a

“strange” name, and I wondered if this man and

my papa could have been the “same”.

 

I open the first one, my granny was telling this

stranger that he had a son, and oh… of that fact

did she dread.  It was not until I opened the last

one from my papa who was telling her, their

good friend would not come back from the war;

he was dead.

 

I cried, I took the box and letters tossing them

away, telling my granny in Heaven the secret with

me would stay.  My papa caught me by the

fireplace; he patted my hand saying “Let them burn,

wipe the tears from your face.  It all happened,

before she married me and he knew that Joe was not

my son”.   You see, my papa was a gentleman;

and I am certain that his personal war before Uncle

Joe’s birth had already been won.

 

 

 

2013.annjohnsonmurphree

 

All eBooks at the address below:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Ann-Johnson-Murphree/e/B00CGBLQZO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1375763518&sr=8-2

Fall is right around the corner…”Fingers of Fire”

Fall fills the air with the scent of burning leaves,

a brittle and rotting heap, soon the eyes begin

to weep.  Crackling like sparklers on a holiday

night, the fire becomes an attraction, a child’s

delight.

Fingers of fire will make the yard once again

Clean, while the trees are defrocked and the

bare limbs gleam.  Months will pass before

new buds of green, nothing to fear it is

just another season that will soon become

serene.

The holidays will soon be here, with relatives

and friends arriving from far and near.  Away

With the old splendor, and in, with what the

magical scents of the holidays will bring, that

goes too quickly and once again it will

be spring.

©2013.annjohnsonmurphree

ECHOING IMAGES FROM THE SOUL

Poetry EBook on Amazon.com link in sidebar.

For My Uncles, Authur, Buddy and Franklin…

The Cost of Freedom…

Standing in what looked like a sea of white as a warm afternoon breeze touched their bronzed faces three young men rode home in an old wagon through fields of cotton unaware that their youth would soon be forgotten.  There was a time when they were three babies crawling at their mothers feet waiting patiently for warm sweet milk and tea cakes luxuries in their world, a poor man’s’ treat.
Their mother insisted they go to school and discover their own dreams; she vowed at their birth that her children would not break their backs or sell their souls working as poor farmers in the cotton fields planting, hoeing and picking the south’s white gold.  Eighteen, nineteen and twenty years old, they had never known anything but working the red southern soil day after day sacrificing their mothers’ dream for very little pay.
Threadbare overalls shirtless and shoeless they stopped at the dirt road leading to the farm they called home, knowing that this way of life was quickly to end their decisions saddened their father broke their mothers’ heart leaving it so crushed that it would never mend.  They reached a nearby creek at setting sun sipped on moonshine, laughed had one last day of fun then left for home.  It was no more than a shack but supper always a feast for kings, then they crawled into cornhusk beds it was a hard life but a life where they knew that they belonged.
Then one winter day it all changed as proud Americans that wore their pride like armor; there was no question they would answer the call, not only for them but also for us all.  It was early morning when their father stood quietly drawing on his old pipe under an old oak tree, thinking of the warmth of the coming spring while their mother sat in her rocking chair afraid of what the future would bring.

One by one they walk out the door childish faces broad smiles, shinny shoes, starched uniforms. Three young men proudly walked down the old dirt road that day no one knew when or if they would ever return; but these young men knew it was to defend freedom an endowment blessed with the day they were born.  Mother and father held each other as they slowly walked into their home and closed the door while their three young sons walked away straight and tall ready to fight a war in a land they did not know on a faraway shore.
The window of their house proudly displayed three gold stars the days gradually turned into years their mothers’ heart had stopped beating, death had finally stopped her tears. Their father grew old as he walked fallow land alone with his life consumed by his many fears.  Then one day as he stood beneath the oak tree, drawing in the smoke from his old pipe, while thoughts begin to drift back on his life.   He wondered where it had gone but knowing that their mother at last is happy that her young sons were finally coming home.
He stared down the road as three shadowy figures grew closer would he recognize them, he could not even remember how long it had been. Their youth was gone their smiles were drawn the war returned his sons now three broken and scarred old men.

©2013.annjohnsonmurphree

HONEYSUCKLE MEMORIES

EBook at Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/Honeysuckle-Memories-ebook/dp/B00CG61816/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371425651&sr=8-1&keywords=honeysuckle+memories%2C+ann+johnson-murphree