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 SEARCH OF WORDS
Ann Johnson-Murphree Poetry Books – A Collection of Poetry
IN SEARCH OF WORDS
Ann Johnson-Murphree Poetry Books – A Collection of Poetry
The 8×11 coffee table books that will display well . The matte cover is classy and inviting. Within each book the reader will find approximately fifty poems. A length pleasing to browse, read one or more; they will find a connection, a meaning and a purpose in each poem.
A harvest moon slivers over the tops
of the trees, glows upon the white lilacs
shadowing the wall by the sea. The night
birds call as evening falls.
Boughs of spruce grow green in winters
cold, the willow tree weeps as the earth
becomes old. A moonlit night that will never
die, memories in time watched over by God’s
Mist across a nearby brook lies low under
dimming stars I see fireflies dancing afar.
Rain seeps into the earth as vines cling to
ghostly streetlights; in the shroud of silence,
my soul takes a heavenly flight. Life and death,
time and lack of memory are all lost on youth,
breath taken away, there will only be truth. I
thought this was a dream with spikes of purple
bloom, pain sharp I ascend from this place of
Moonlight, alone in silence ascending my
Stairs once more, below the stars waves
Crash upon a white sandy shore. On the
Hillside my garden too is silent I look out
Over the sea, alone, a star shooting across
The sky, an invisible hand, a fireball thrown.
I wait in the dark, between space and space,
I lift my hands to my face. Who am I, my
Name is unknown to me, I look into the
Mirror yet my eyes cannot see.
The flesh is pallor and pale, the wrinkles…
Each with a story to tell. Hair, white, long
Tied up in a bun…I would leave this place
Nevertheless, I have nowhere to run.
A mournful melody spins in my brain, a tune
That I cannot recall…roses to smell and
Mouths to kiss, in a locked room I hide
From it all. Never will I feel rain drops on my
Cheeks, it is the shadow of death that I try
The heavens are dark and deep, I will forget
These things before I slip into a silent sleep.
From this room I can hear the ocean roar, rain
Falls and dead gutters come alive once more.
Yes, I will forget all of these things before I slip
Into a silent sleep.
Also at Amazon.com
Reflection of Poetry and Beyond the Voices
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: