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 –
Thank you for following Ann Johnson-Murphree Confessional Writing…I have moved…
Please visit and follow my new blog Libretto
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:
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”.
I dreamed that I was a butterfly, floating with the pale gold sequins spilled by the Locust tree, from my cocoon the dream set me free. I woke to a cool autumn morning the season where all things change, many of Mother Nature’s children drop their cloaks returning to the earth from which they came.
The nearby brook reveals a frozen sparkling bank as ice crystals form at its edge, the pure water will always run free, of winter it has no dread. Dreams floating within a liquid eye, relives the wonders of spring that brings the lovely butterfly.
Alas, we must wake to these frosty days; wait for the early darkness, the harvest moon shining down upon mounds of freshly mowed hay. Masters of cadence the landscape transforms, winds leap and the maple trees weep, soon Mother Nature will put her children to sleep.
The language of Mother Nature is never old and never new, as she speaks to the world under a sky of blue. Then spring will once again arrive, and the earth will warm, the chicory plants will bloom; with it, the butterfly released from its magic cocoon.
Published in Kindle eBooks and paperback at Amazon.com:
Echoing Images from the Soul
Beyond the Voices
Reflections of Poetry
Sachets of Poetry on Adoration, Anger, Asylums and Aspirations
My Journey into Art
Also at Amazon.com
Reflection of Poetry and Beyond the Voices
The school dance was like a garden
full of scented wallflowers, in the
distance the record player grinded
out hollow music.
Some stirrings could be found on the
smooth gym floor, the non-stirrers
glazed over eyes looked as if they
wanted to cry.
Would the spell be broken, or would
the scented wall fall asleep, or would
they at last dart for the levered doors
returning to their homes and live like
Then rose the coldest fear of all, silent
as if blind and dumb the feet would not
move though I wanted to run.
Gently a strong young hand pulled me to
the floor…yes, yes, yes, I was a wallflower
Who will deny me the love of an old rocking chair,
snuggled up in it with someone who always cared? I cherished
it from the very start and the stories I heard as a child while
sitting there still lives within my heart.
Washed with tears, grained with heartaches, soaked with wisdom,
an honor to be there with my great-grandmother in that old
rocking chair. In childhood I lay quietly listening at the
gentle words that wise old lady taught me to live by, you may
not be the best she would say…but you must always try.
She taught me truth and the Chickasaw creed, I learned early in
life that she and God would be all that I would need. She was
my teacher, her life was hard work and prayer, when I became too
big for her lap and I would kneel beside that old rocking chair.
I was there when her eyes begin to fail, when her hair turned
grey, she had memorized the Bible, and the crochet marker became
frayed. She taught me so much as I writhed in my shattered world,
she dried my tears then gave me a toothless smile always reminding
me that I was God’s child.
I was there when she took her last trembling breath, I watched and
I knew that she was ascending to the grandmothers and grandfathers
in the sky, and I thanked God knowing I was blessed. It was almost
more than I could bear, as I watched my great-grandmother die in that
old rocking chair.