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 –
Some of America’s “Hero’s”, we must always remember them in our hearts.
Thank you for your support in reblogging the last post. First, FEMA should never ask for refunds on money they have given to support those in need. Second, as Americans we get more support during these disaster’s from private funding…we support and care for each other more than our government does. Third, our support to other countries also comes from private funding, from the hearts of Americans; I see the numbers that our government gives but does it go to the right people, the people in need? Time to get down off the soap box…but too many who are less fortunate are forgotten on a regular basis in the USA; they need our voices. Thank you so much for visiting and reading Libretto. 11.10.2014 ajm
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 worthy piece to share from Ernest Slyman’s Facebook Page…Please share
“When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through his meagre possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.
And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.”
Cranky Old Man
What do you see nurses? ……What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, … …not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .… … . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . … . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .’I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice …the things that you do.
And forever is losing … …… A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not … … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding … .The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am … . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .… . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .… .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen … .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now …… a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty … ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now … . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide … And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .… . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other …. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. …Babies play ‘round my knee,
Again, we know children … . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me … . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future … … . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .… young of their own.
And I think of the years … And the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man … … .. and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age … … . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone … where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again … . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys … . .. . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living … … . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few …. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact … that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .… . .… open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer … . see .. .…. …. . ME!!
Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!
When you hear thunder, remember me. Crimson stone is your heart,
you soul is made of fire; set me free.
True prophecy is that I must say goodbye, you only have to look at me
to know why. Please realize that all is lost, and it is I that has paid the cost.
My life, a cursed hell…no longer in your shadow will I dwell. I will learn to
take care and be free…it is simple; I have to be me.
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.
Note: Someone I admire very much is having some health problems, I had written this short poem before I knew of this and now it seems that thoughts must have transferred through a time slot and inspired me to write these words. ajm
The Passing of Time
My body aches, after years of “beating it up” this is what it has come too. Giving in to the grace of gravity. I do not live these days in awe or fear. Yet, a baby’s breath can take mine away and these troublesome times we live in can instill fear in me for the future of this wonderful world. My spine tingles in the presence of a gentle man both young and old. I know that the passing of time is like a cool wind on a hot summer’s day, I no longer count the hours or days. Love still leaves my heart leaping.
I would not allow you to
love me fair-haired boy, yet
your flaxen locks blowing in
the wind brought me joy.
Your knowledge was that of
the earth, your touch softer
than new fallen leaves; like a
spider, a web around my heart
you tried to weave. Promised to
another I could not break God’s
law, you were a rare find, all
goodness and kind; my heart I
placed in a tower made to erase
you from my mind. The years
have gone quickly I often wonder
where you could be; oh fair-haired
boy where are you now that I am free.
Music, music, breaking bread,
isolated, beauty dead; fingers
frail cannot hold the glass,
remember the wine and roses
days, live, laugh, love time will
Heart young, hands soft shading
emerald eyes, always considerate
and wise; long days and nights,
summer heat, hearts together
Warm eyes faded and dry, memories,
lying in cool green grass, the scent of
blossoms floating to the sky.
Cool ocean sprays, sunlit yellows flay,
misty shores, foam, Gulls high whistling,
sails worn and frayed.
Remembrances, breath upon cool cheeks,
sand swathe bodies; only memories, the
madness of youth, memories are old