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 –
IN SEARCH OF WORDS
Ann Johnson-Murphree Poetry Books – A Collection of Poetry
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:
Words, words, words,
black, brown red, words
for which my tears have
shed. The living word
speaks truth, yet one
must die to have real
Our birth from death
is taught in the Holy
text, we will not truly
live until this sacrifice
has been met. The sky
will open the “Just”
will fly away, the
“Wicked” given a
second chance must
Words, are they truth
or a means for the pious
to lie, and for the answer
are you willing to die?
I want to believe, to hope,
to live life to its fullest
here on earth, and I
choose to live until
that final rebirth.
To taste the lush berries
down in the blackberry
thicket, to smell the wild
rose on the side of the hill,
to find a love that will not
let my heart be still. I want
to lie in a clover field
watching bellowing clouds
float by, to gaze at a
summer’s cobalt sky.
I want to read poems with
my legs dangling over the
highest cliff, this…only this
will give my earthly heart a
lift. To stare out at forever,
on the landscape below, as
I pray that my time in the
here and now will travel
ever so slow.
I want to dip my toes into a
frothy sea, to feel the salty
wind upon my face and
know that I am in the
right place. Here on earth
with my love by my side,
yes, oh yes, God can wait
for a while.
WEEKEND COUNTDOWN ALL EBOOKS $.99
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
Uncovered and wrinkled is my sack, a gigantic hump on my
Back. Frost clutches to these old rags, my body is covered
With burlap bags.
My flesh like ashes my face tinged with blue, my chest
Rattles, my lungs sucking in the morning dew. I have
Traveled on the railroad back and forth, does not matter
Where, south or north.
I sometimes walk city streets when they are dark and dead,
The side of a railroad is where I make my bed. I eat my
Food from old tin cans, I will steal candy from little hands.
I scream for the warmth I see coming from the riverbank,
A bright fire, from this cold I do tire. I think that I am
Burning, I smell smoldering hair, my arms are thrashing in the
I see evil darkness, what is this madness, I feel spiritually ill,
Then, I gasp in horror when I realize that I am dead. Here on
This cold and damp riverbank someone has severed my head.
Pride and loneliness, both burdens to bear,
somewhere along the way there was not a
reason to care? From the nursery floor to
walking upright by the sea, I soared like a
bird high up in the tallest tree.
I question one, I question all, I stand alone,
and alone I fall. From the darkest valley to
the highest hill… I lived life on my terms, my
last thought, as the shot rang out, there would
be no one to care; it was my own blood that I
It is the alchemy by which we evolved, the
Self, the role of others, the absolute that
Was to come, this will provide generations
With the story and still as humans we find no
Need for celebration. A self-seeking breed, all
Interconnected to each other would not be
Satisfied with only getting out of life what they
©2013 ® annjohnsonmurphree
Also at Amazon.com
Reflection of Poetry and Beyond the Voices