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
Thank you for following Ann Johnson-Murphree Confessional Writing…I have moved…
Please visit and follow my new blog Libretto
In the last posting I wrote that “A Sachet of Poetry – Adoration – Aspirations – Asylums” would be the final book of poetry that I would publish and this will be the last entry on this site. It was created to give exposure to the poetry that I have written during the past four years trying to understand a great loss. Much of my poetry received worthy comments by many of you and that encouragement led to their being published.
All of the poems were created from tiny fabrics of my life. They characterized the thoughts of innocence sold into a false world of adoration. Living in silence, and believing that God did not keep this innocence from living within an earthly hell. In our youth we believe that death will be a long way off and life was only in the now.
How would one ever know that 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 leading to the mysterious world of knowing the fist is not love, it is the slaughter of innocence.
Innocence institutionalized because of spousal disobedience, failing to comply with and act upon the orders of a controller… the answer asylum. Reality embedded within the soul of innocence, no future, no meaning to life. Innocence in truth wants and dreams of death; these are the true aspirations of the abused.
I published the Ann Johnson-Murphree Poetry Books – the Collections of Exposé Poetry as coffee table books. Within each book the reader will find soul poetry. The poems are filled with thoughts and hopefully inspiring and reassuring words with a factual viewpoint on the many experiences in life. Each poem serves as a prevailing reminder that life is complex.
That happiness is in our hands alone; that the fear of unhappiness is deep-rooted in the spirit and soul. That depression and despair is real and each individual must find the freedom of mind, body and soul to move forward in their life. Each poem has been created from a “patchwork life”. Complex, stress-filled, finding enlightenment and cultivating wisdom throughout the years. The collection of thoughts that created the poetry hopefully brings the reader along on the multifaceted journey of a lifetime of experiences.
Thank you for your support and I hope you will continue to follow my postings on “Libretto” at:
My poetry Books are at Amazon.com
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:
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
The mind in a caged sleep, tears shed,
the thoughts of false caring that others
portray is a lie. Their spitefulness in
thought held captive the sleeping mind
not allowing it to wake. There are those
that cannot be trusted, they show concern
for their own selves and their own greed.
They are always on the prowl to take, take,
and take. They cause pain to the minds of
the blameless and find in it joy, their tongue
of fire knows not the truth. Yet, they will ask
you for your prayers, to engorge their own
needs. If they touch your life, it will never be
Run, Run, Run…
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.
I have enough memories from the past
to last me for the rest of my life. My
benevolent 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 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 wind surrounding the Oaks embrace
The rocker on the porch is stilled, no hand
waves goodbye. In a cobwebbed corner of
the room, tattered sun struck curtains dance
in the nearby mirror. Childhood is dead.