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 –
“Nothing will change in your life if you don’t do something different from what you have been doing”. E. Perry Good
The posting for today developed from a quote by E. Perry Good, speaker, trainer, corporate coach, and author sent to me by my son in a mass family mailing. My answer back to him was that, “We (I) try to focus on today more than the future as all we (I) have is today”.
In sharing a “little” of myself with my readers today, as a family research, reading books and trying self-help methods have been a part of my family for many years. It does not mean that we use all but we try. Living day to day is a struggle to many and not unique to only me!
Today, I lean toward my spiritual self instead of organized religion. My life scales are at any given moment tipping with uneven weight of happiness or sadness. Most of my life was based on “Church”, raised up in a country church where style meant overalls and outdated dresses, an old upright piano that needed tuning and a banjo could raise the roof with off key voices and hands held toward the ceiling in hopes God would hear our praises. I taught “Sunday School” from eighteen until I was twenty-six years old. Then life gave me reason to look inward to my spiritual self and this is where my beliefs have resided since that long ago day.
With that said I stopped participating in organized religion; however almost three decades of studying the Bible my belief in some of the philosophy it provides by its authors is a part of who I am today. E. Perry Good is right nothing will change if you do not do something different from what you are doing today.
This post is not intended to push any religious values on anyone; I believe it can be applied to all who want to bring change in their lives. I have written down some of these Bible viewpoints to share that melds with the words of E. Perry Good. The insight of Biblical authors can be a template for life by all people.
Even at my age, I look at myself as a “WORK IN PROGRESS”. I break my own rules about life and how I live it, I have to start over many times, rethinking my life, my own behavior and I truly believe that we are only “done” with improvement in our lives when we take our last breath. I will never be perfect, my flaws are many, but the hope to transformation my life never ceases. Hope for a better self should never die. In addition, I do believe that we should live for today, for tomorrow may never come.
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
Sachet of Poetry the “final” poetry book to be written by this author on a lifetime of experience growing up in “poor” southern conditions, living with depression and through the loss of two children. The other coffee table books in the collection are Echoing Images from the Soul, Reflection of Poetry, Honeysuckle Memories and Beyond the Voices. There is also a book of artwork, personal therapy created during the year following the loss of her children. These poems a tiny fragments of mind, heart and soul. The author is currently working on an accounting of her young life growing up in Alabama.
A Sachet of Poetry: Adoration Aspirations Anger Asylums
Authored by Ann Johnson-Murphree
A collection of poetry created from tiny fabrics of life. These poems characterize the thoughts of innocence sold into a false world of adoration. Living in silence, God did not keep this innocence from hell, and death would be a long way off and life was between the now and then. 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 led to the mysterious world of knowing the fist is not love, it is the slaughter of innocence…
Purchase this book at:
Season to Live…
Making yourself live without
contact with others, you are
doomed. Like the flowers of
summer without human
contact, the soul may cease to
Time and stillness may be an
important need; to reject sharing
life with others, may be the
greatest form of greed. Purpose
has its seasons, life follows a
well-planned path; your journey
has a reason.
Clearing the mind and restoring
the spirit will smooth any rutted
road; listen, there is a plan of how
your life should unfold. You may be
on the right path today; the journey
may seem rough, the essence and
energy of your spirit will find the true
Gratefulness, awareness and God’s
grace is woven within the fabric of
your being for a reason. Devote today
to discovering your true self create…
your own season.
Down a rutted country road from my
childhood home five miles or so, the
muddy Flint Creek flowed south
I could not have been over five or six,
when I walked that road, but never
without carrying a big stick.
I carried that stick with eyes open wide,
cause daddy said, if a rattlesnake bit you…
you might die.
In the summer, I would go there almost
every day skipping and hopping along;
I would jump from that rickety old bridge
into that muddy water; before the sun
went down I would go home.
Daddy never wondered where I had gone,
everyone who crossed that bridge told him
where I was, so you see I was never alone.
When I finally got home, he would just look
at me with a sly grin saying…
“Baby you’d better not let your mama
find out where you been”.
Bangles and Colorful Cloth for Ma…
“Dedicated to my Great-Grandmother”
When I was born, you were a young ninety-years old,
your hair pulled tight at the nap of your neck, still
black and bold. At night, you let it down to braid before
you went to bed, it fell to the floor; at first I would watch
in silence from a crack in the door.
The night you caught me I was six, you called me into the
room smiling…asking that I bring you a single broomstick.
I quickly plucked it from mother’s only broom, and rushed
back into the dimly lit room. You showed me how to break
it into small pieces; when I looked bewildered your smile
accented all of your dark wrinkles and creases.
It was then that my eyes opened wide as you put the stick right
through the lob of your ears, its magic I thought; but this is my
great-grandmother I have nothing to fear. As a child, I did not
realize that there was a hole, because when I would touch the
bangles in her ears, she would quickly scold.
Just like the time when I tried to sneak a peek at her button up
shoes by raising the hem of her long dress, she did not have on
shoes, there were moccasins on those tiny feet…who would have
guessed. Yes, I was only a child without a care, and I spent many
hours sitting at the foot of her old rocking chair.
I never tire of the stories she would tell, sometimes we cried together
and now I can say it…as a child she lived in a white man’s world, she
called it “hell”. Her parents had walked on the “Trail of Tears”, proud
and strong, with every step wondering where they had gone wrong.
She help raise me and she taught me the way, and as her mind begin
to wander in those later years, I was sad, when she would tell her stories
she only remembered the bad. This grand old woman dressed in bangles
and cloths of many colors, with that big ball of hair and the nap of her
neck was a great-grandmother like no other.
She died only days before her birthday, she would have been one-hundred
and five, my father said, Ma would have scolded you saying…
” Don’t you ever let anyone see you cry”.
I was fifteen and the world was bright and colorful with the artwork of fall,
a befitting day to bury this beautiful and proud Chickasaw.
Echoing Images from the Soul eBook Sale
Words of hate destroy the
souls of those who speak them,
Do they really help bring final
separation, severance from life,
from truth, has but One reality,
On the dreamscapes of time,
chosen paths encounter many
illusions; look intently into the
pitch-black pool of life.
Try to see beyond that which is
touchable, is disillusion the fear.
Jagged words of hate are born
in the beastly nightmares of life.
They are broken remnants of our
inter-selves and the mind will deny
the images of what it will see or hear.
Those words of hate have reached
their destination and have destroyed
the soul intended now in isolation,
so let this be hates final separation.
All books at Amazon.com
Before the Voices…
You left the world to early, free from a life that
left you filled with doubt. You lived the lives of
many, the voices, always hoping just to be
I now wait for that spark from heaven, I willed
you not to go, God did not agree. Was your life
fulfilled in such a short time, will I ever know.
You had beginnings, disappointments, new starts;
you worried about tomorrow, unable to feel happiness
in what you accomplished today.
I suffer your being gone, sadness wretches my days, the
glow died there was no hope. It seems like one long unhappy
Roaming within my mind, I walk the fields of your life. A
time of clouded joy, then time was blown away. Born in
innocence, fresh, life clear, before the voices took over,
bringing fear. I could not help you in your solitude while
you nursed your unconquerable fears.
As the moonlight pales, I yearn for lost years, before the
mental strife. Before the voices took over your life. It was
after sunset that you died, a void that cannot be filled, you
will never grow old. I miss your smiles, your red tresses
flowing down your back, your light will always shine; your
radiance will never fade.
Sleep my child in eternal rest…