Poetry 2014…










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



5.Holiday Snow



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.


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.”




Wild Mountain Rose…

There is a legend upon Mossy Ridge children hear while listening to the old folks weaves their tales around their supper table at night


Two gentle spirits walking the rutty mountain roads under the mystical Tennessee moonlight. These stories begin many years ago about an old Cherokee and a little girl he called his Wild Mountain Rose –

Folks …

First saw her drinking from a cool mountain stream all legs and dirty yellow hair, abandoned by her family, so the story goes, but no one is sure of that, if the truth were told. The first time the old Cherokee saw her she was sleeping under a bush folks call the Wild Mountain Rose –


She was with him no matter where he would go. Folks would say that without old Willie Youngblood she would not have survived –


Knew that without her, he himself would have died. The years went by quickly and they both grew old, time had touched their hair with gray –


They could only dream about their younger days. One cool spring morning, Willie woke to find her gone from his side; he sat for hours head hung low as he cried –


He found her lying peacefully; she had died under a familiar bush on a soft bed of leaves, a mournful death chant was the only way the old Cherokee knew how to grieve.

Now if you know where to look, it is in the Tennessee Mountains where Willie Youngblood’s Wild Mountain Rose can be found –


The damp rotting forest floor in a shallow grave, up on Mossy Ridge near the entrance of Chicopee Cave. The following winter Old Willie died, and they buried him next to his Wild Mountain Rose –


Say in the moonlight two ghostly spirits can be seen sitting on the banks of Chestnut Creek, or floating along the rutty mountain roads.

When the sun comes up, they disappear…

Or so the legend goes, but everyone on Mossy Ridge knows that it is Old Willie and that golden haired pup he found many years ago that he called his…

Wild Mountain Rose.


On a Mocking Bird Day…

Spring, bright and fresh, birds sing as a cool

morning breeze floats through magnolia trees,

thoughts of long ago day’s surface into the now.

A gracious woman of the South rises from past

memories into the present, ice eyes, cheeks a

natural rose-colored, speaking with the sound

of dripping honey.

She leans toward a honeysuckle vine dreaming of

what was and what will never be, her chained heart

tugs at the sealed door.

A mocking bird sits and sings deep within the lilac

bush, as she dips her fingers slowly in a pebbly brook,

her reality; life passed her by, and the depths of her

sorrow never known.

Nevertheless, in her place of selfishness she never

denied her hate for the child she brought into her

unwanted world, does she deserve the name “mother”.




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Supper in the Churchyard…

The fall wind has swept the

leaves from the yard it is still

warm as the sun sets; evening

twines its shadows among the

gravestones, hand in hand men,

women and children are silent

in the coming twilight.

Their breath a vapor in the departing

day, the pines sway, the evening is

taking on a mystery of its own; the

winds still and each gentle soul begins

to pass the broken bread.

Clouds gather, the hues of the season

spread across the landscape, the church

tower like a shrine points toward the

Heavens;  supper in the churchyard


Oak, pine and wood shavings spring to

life as pyramids of fire leap toward the

Heavens; a slow melancholy hum flows

throughout those gathered and the night

air is filled with the spirit of the moment,

”Oh that circle want be broken…” rises to

meet the stars.

Childhood memories revisited, a little

white church, sweet secrets beneath the

tablecloths, children playing, old folks

praying, hope grew in the hearts of the

people; and in the hands of God, they

left their heavy loads.




Listen to the roar of the

thunder; in those days I

could meld with a storm,

before my heart turned to

stone.  I remember when

the blood in my veins

flowed with a fire, a fire…only



The last time that I said

goodbye, I felt like soaring to

the heavens, at last, me the

storm alone.  Lock the door,

light the candles pour the

wine; at last my life, my life…

only mine.


Your voice lingers in the

doorway, grateful I am that

you will not be back.  Outside

the light fades on a field of

wildflowers, the sun sets

behind the Pine’s, the world,

the world…only mine.

A moonbeam flows through

the window, pale, straight,

silent like my heart, that once

beat innocent.  It is time for a

golden celebration, a celebration…

only mine.


I will teach myself to live simple

and wise, to look to God, and

then I will come back.  With God,

the stone that is my heart will

soften, the fire will return to my

cold veins, and I will once again

savor all that is mine… only mine.






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Beyond the Voices





Words, words, words, black,

brown, red, words upon which

my tears have shed.  The living

word speaks truth, yet one must

die to have real proof.


Birth to death we are taught  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



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 azure sky.


I want to read poems with my legs dangling

over the highest cliff, this…and only this will

give my earthly heart a lift.  To stare 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.






All eBooks at the address below:

Beyond the Voices


Benevolent Memories…


I have enough memories

from the past to last me

for the rest of my life.  My

bountiful memory will not

bury them from which they

were born.


A small country church, a

chorus of crows; the splashing

sounds of the brook running

through the Birch trees. The

wind caressing the colossal

row of Oaks in the field.


Death, a road away from the

weathered house of worship,

followed by black feathered

angels.  No longer will the water

beneath the Birch cool, nor will

the winds surrounding the Oaks

embrace flesh.


The rocker on the porch is stilled,

no hand waves goodbye.  In a

cobwebbed corner of the room,

the sun shines through a cloudy

window, as the image of tattered

curtains dance in a nearby mirror.

Childhood is dead.







All eBooks at the address below:

Beyond the Voices