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 –
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Reflection of Poetry and Beyond the Voices
We must mourn the waste of the earth
as caretakers we have quit caring about
what we are leaving behind for future
It is our responsibility to care for what
Mother Nature has given us, she has
nourished us and allowed us to live off her
Our treatment of Earth is sinful and
the selfish people numb me
who take from it and refuse to give
back by loving her as they do their own
gluttony. Give back as much as you
want to take away from her.
Are we demons that live in high
towers above the filth left upon the
land. Does that make us good
Take from the earth only what is
needed or evil will come and rob
you of your children’s future filled
with the beauty of Mother Nature
Is it too late, will we never catch up
from our pilferage and lack of
wisdom. The landscape continues to
change, will it become sinister and dank
transformed into a wasteland filled with
The stink may vanish, in a cloudless
thousand years, but can those of us
who cared about Earth today take comfort
in the fact that someone finally listened?
How long does it take to become a master of deception,
lives played out in pretense? Preying upon relatives,
friends and strangers, but to use is the intent.
Deception masters, they are a tsunami in life hidden ready
to cause those in their wake disaster. The more people they
prey upon, the unaware, the more they can take; they have
no soul, no conscious, they do not care.
Then, they fail to realize that they are creating their own
disaster, one derived from the way of life that they have mastered.
People who live within a realm of deception lose, now who is the Joker…
Depression nurtures memories
I keep hidden in the recesses of
my mind. Hidden behind a wall
of fear I do not sleep least these
memories escape. If possible I
would lie down under the beauty of
a calm lake and be at peace with
the grief. There in the presence
of the still water I would wait for
the light of the mystic world of
death…I would be free!
Absorb rather than being absorbed,
life is not lived without pain,
learn from the lesson it so freely
gives. When our lives are happy
absorb the joy, when life feels like
a pickaxe in the heart engage its
We tremble with fear, lie down and hope
life will pass quickly while we hide in
the shadows of the darkness of time.
Have we salvaged from the lessons it
teaches enough to walk into the
brightness of what will come beyond this
Life is an uncertain race where
most people do no more than run
in place, there can be happiness,
sadness, and around every corner
a surprise; yet hope blooms.
Life is what one must create within
their allotted space, or sit on the
sidelines and wait leaving their journey
Life is not all joy floating upon the
winds of time; there are rights and
wrongs; and unknown quandaries,
setbacks, and living means moving
Life quickly passes, fair and cloudy
days, laughter and tears, and then
the warmth of the sun subsides ones
Life may mean walking in the valleys
of despair until fate starts an upward
climb, living with happiness, or grief;
always trust the heart and mind.
Life lived in harmony with others, loving,
caring and expectations met; seeds of
livelihood sown, repentance locked away
for God to judge; we strive and labor until
we pass on.
Ann Johnson-Murphree eBooks at Amazon:
Once all satin and lace in the right places, boldness and bravery you possessed, your honor others did not protect. Shunned by piety, sought by sinners, the road to hell paved by the winners. Below the towering trees, you sleep snug and tight, to have a house of brick and stone you had no right. Now body plump, hair gray, wrinkled dress, time has left the lady of the streets frayed. Children sneak and try to spy, your mind gone before your body to the great by-and-by. Now an old lady you toss your head, remember your beauty, your wicked deeds, speed of time is not on your side and you will grow older and older before you reach the great by-and-by. In you, ourselves we see, overlooking our own blundering notions, jealous of your freedom to do as you wish with such devotion. Crazy old lady your life in words cannot be described, and least we forget…we will all be judged together in the great by-and-by.
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