On Death…#54

The voice on the other end of the line was distraught, yet the sobs were recognizably those of one of my adult children. An individual, a father figure had gone from critical to a “comfort care” situation. When your children’s hearts are breaking, so does yours, helpless to take away the pain that is in the forefront.

The first call was laced with a magnitude of denial; of course, the medical professionals do not “help” the journey to reality with taking extraordinary measures under the conditions and the age of the patient. Ever costly method available to them is considered, having worked in the health care industry at one point in my life, the term “getting another day” became more than familiar.

Although I cannot express enough my belief in a “Living Will”. The end results in many of these situations will be the same, only with the coffers of the industry getting fatter at the expense of a family whose frightened with the prospects of death and they agree beyond their “knowing” and maintain the denial vigil.

I do not “deny” this process to those who need the time, I have always had to deal in reality and I have never had the possibility to go through a systematic dying stage. I have confronted “anger”! No why me, but angry because the time was too short. No one is to blame, we are born dying and that is life, but I become angry at time, wasted time.

I have never tried to “bargain” with God, I tried once but Jesus did not come down and raise from his deathbed the most important person in my life, my father. It will not prolong life, it is a waste of precious time with the person you love, the person that is about to leave from your realm of existence forever.

The demon depression is always there, quickly to pounce on its prey, rob senses and again precious time. I cannot say grief will get better with time; the answer to this question is in the hands of the depressed. Grief itself is an abuser and a killer; it will take you to the depths of hell and back before it will release you from its talons of doubt and angry denial.

Acceptance is an individual choice. You can chose to live life with deep and wonderful memories of life or you can accept weakness and live in a void for which there may be no return. Choices! I believe those who are passing on chose to face reality long before those who love them do.

Today, I waited for the call that would tell me the suffering has ended that of my son and that of the “father” that he chose to accept rather than his own. I pray for a release from life that is no longer sustainable and a quick entry into another realm of existence. I pray for the hurt my child feels today to end, for the grieving process is much harder and lasts much longer.  

There are no words to ease the pain, take away the hurt, but silently being there ready to pick them up when they have fallen, wipe away tears, reinforce God’s plan. This is all we can hope for, that and continued prayer.  The last thing is for me to accept my son’s love of a father-in-law over that of his own father.  Death is hard on everyone.

Peace and Love



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The Streets of Wickedness…#53

The Streets of Wickedness

Harlots cry into the night up and down the streets selling their Souls, they moan, they live from day to day hungry.  Every night they peddle their wares, misery is their lives, no one to cares.  

The winner, the one that bought their wares, believes they own the Harlot’s Souls.  The losers who could not pay leave cursing, their hearts cold.   Many believe that the streets of wickedness are cursed, because the Harlots crying never ends until they get a free ride in the Undertaker’s hearse.

Peace and Love



Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree Books at Amazon.com


A silent shore,

Seductive Moon,

A sinister Sea,

Clouds in the wind,

A lone shadow lies

Upon the white sand.

Stilled on the sparkling crystals,

Almost villainous,

Primeval and water worn with broken sides.

Once imperturbable,

Aloft upon white shafts of waves,

Beautiful and bold,

Now ancient and vacant.

The old sailing ship found its burial ground

Upon a deserted island in the early morning mist.

Peace and Love



©2019. elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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The life of Charlotte Jean Murphree 1958-2010


If fear were a color,
it would be black, void and unfeeling.

If fear were a taste,
it would be that of bitter weeds.

If fear were a feeling,
it would be that of suffocating.

If fear were a smell,
it would be that of burning flesh.

If fear were a sound,
it would be the rattle of one’s last breath.

Peace and Love




Charlotte Jean Murphree

The doctor’s words ripped into my heart he refused to see my fevered baby, the pain like no other I had ever known; I was terrified, so much so, my body shakes uncontrollably.   I would not know it then, but his decision sentenced my child to life in a demonic prison created from the fevered mind of a baby. 

Poetry the Beauty of Words…#50

Sylvia Plath

I believe that I have a “Sundry” of work filed away for safekeeping, I begin writing at the age of five or six; I spent summers with my Aunt Vina, my daddy’s sister.  She introduced me to libraries, Big Chief tablets and big pencils.  It was my job as she, my Uncle Wesley went to work, and I was under the care of the housekeeper, to write what I had done during the day.  Once dinner was over and bedtime neared, she would gather everyone to listen to my accounting of the day.

Of course, I had help with many of the words, but at least one paragraph emerged before the sun would set on Birmingham, Alabama.  These sentences included a walk to the local library, lunch, and the discovery of a dead bird, mouse or other creatures that made my Aunt Vina put her hands over her ears.  At summers end I would return home to Burleson Mountain, life was different there, very different.  No matter where I would hide my Chief tablet my mother would find it, throwing it into the stoves wood box.  This act would follow with a lecture on the waste of time my summers were, and that she might refuse to let me go the next summer, that threat she held over me no matter the day, month, year.  It took weeks of crying me to sleep before I adjusted to my mother and the anger she carried for me.

I grew from child to teen and I continued to write, keeping a journal, only to have my mother find them and toss them into the trash.  Years of stories and my life covered with last night’s dinner scraps.  I stopped writing.  I was still in my teens when I wrote a story, sent it off and received a letter back, not a form letter, but one that encouraged my writing, to find my voice.  Maybe I am still in search of that voice, sometimes I wonder!

This love of writing stayed buried until one day I signed up for a creative writing course at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Always on the back burner was the hope of writing.  My professor told me that I was a natural storyteller, but I would need to work on the many components of writing.  I did, and this took me right into retirement, yes, I had a day job.  It does not matter how much you want to spend your life creating or whatever your desire, your passion is; you must pay the bills.

With a decent steady income, I was free to write.  It sounds so easy when you think about it, but it took a long time staring at a blank page before my brain was jump started to create something, anything.  I had so many ideas and the short stories poured out of me, my computer folders were full and organized.  I could not send anything off…what if they rejected my newborn creation.  Well, they did, each time I placed them lovingly in a box that fit under my bed. 

Over a period of five years, I had enough rejection form letters to wallpaper any room in my tiny apartment.  This including my divorce papers, the lease on an apartment, title to a car, all of the things needed to survive as a single person.

Within the following years I discovered poetry, many forms, structured, non-structured.  I loved it all but my favorite was Sylvia Plath.  I felt that I knew her, and that my life was filled with drop-offs, pitfalls and bad luck.  I begin to write poetry about my life, nine poetry books later I wrote a bio of my daughter’s life she died in 2010, a picture book of my constant four-legged companion Mason and a coffee table book of my personal artwork.   I continue to wear many hats. I have begun work on my own life story; it may be the last chapter. 

This brings my post to full circle and a provocative question to readers and writers everywhere…is poetry dying.

 A character in the film Dead Poets Society said:

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”

Wordsworth described poetry like this: “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings recollected in moments of tranquility”.

I believe that poetry has an important role and function in society, just as poets do. Poetry now, in its fundamental value, however, means nothing more than using relatable mental images in order to communicate profoundly significant truths about logic and life to human beings.

Peace and Love




Altered Senses…#49

Existence in a world of encircled souls, scene after scene, day after day, the element of life less valued is the future.   The environment, and promises that reveal nothing, the past descends like toxic rain from the polluted sky, washing away all dreams. 

The ghost of youth would go chanting within the soul, their paths blocked, evil spread across the landscape of the homeland.  Loneliness limits love and happiness; break out of your bondage of lies, always alert, always moving toward the future.  If one stays shrouded by the abundant solitude, then there is no escape. 

Peace and Love




Honey Wine – A Short-Short Story…#48

Sunset in Georgia

Caroline Crabtree knew that beauty had an ending that all things fade and die; now she was in the winter of her life.  All her friends were gone, as was much of her family, the ones that were left, distant greedy cousins.  The southern elders now forgotten like goldenrod dust upon a warm southern breeze.  Her eyes yearned for the loves of yesteryear, frustration guided her thoughts, and she kept repeating…

“Old, old, old.”  Caroline hated to eat from a plate made of paper; when she was younger, the family dined on fine bone china from Boston.

“Now you come with me Ms. Caroline, its supper time.”  Simon had a special bond with the elderly Ms. Caroline he did not mind that she lived in the past and sometimes he could bring her to the present.  Simon was her trusted friend; the color of his skin had faded with time.  She no longer saw the brownish of him, what she did see was the love that came from his pearly smile and gracious heart.

Satiation, that was where Caroline was at in her mind, then she thought… is it necessary that old people feel wants beyond hunger. The clouds of time had spun away like the seasons; she now waited for the last leaf to drop.  All that was left was the sweet memories, like her family and friends, loves and the taste of her father’s Honey wine.  Please she whispered let me go quickly; she then turned toward Simon.

“I am so tired of time”.  She looks at the setting sun; it melted into the lake; next back to where she shared a room in the old nursing home with a stranger, another woman.

“Simon, can we go sit by the lake until the sun goes down.”  She reached for his hand.

“We sure can Ms. Caroline”  When he reached the dock he sat on a bench next to his beloved, he held her hand and they watch stars filled sky as the sun went beneath the black waters of Lake Macon.

Simon rubbed her hand it had grown cold; he stood up to take her back.  “Ms. Caroline we have to go back its getting cold.”

When she did not answer him, he bent down to see her face.  There before him was an angel, eyes closed, a smile on her face, he kissed the hands that use to be smooth and gentle, he sat down holding the loving hands he know so well. 

“You sleep now Caroline soon you will be riding a golden wave of honey wine that leads to a place with no time.”  Simon kissed her hands saying…

“You wait for me, I will be there soon.”  He could not stop the tears that rolled from his dark brown eyes.

Peace and Love




If I Cannot Have Her No One Will…#47

Murder – Suicide

(A short-short story)

The mad man looked around the room; the fog holding his mind captive obscured his visions of the scene before him.  He was human, intellectual, yet unable to cope with the naked truth; that he was a monster to his wife and children.  He expected perfection from his wife, tranquility, infinity of pleasure.  His children he ruled with an iron fist. 

He stood in the bedroom where the scent of her lingered in the air, the fight had started when she told him that she was leaving; that mentally she was already gone!  He picked up the phone dialing 911, stared at the gun in his hand and turned to look at the thick red liquid crawling across the floor from his wife’s body.  His children were all at school and would not be home for hours.   He did not care if they were first on the scene. Soon he would be gone too, they would be together forever; or so he thought when the deadly shot slammed into his face.

Days passed when the faceless man woke in ICU, his hands tied to the rails of the bed, life supports pump life saving air into his lungs. His children had been removed from the house of death to their grandparents. Blind, the man eventually was moved to the local mental hospital where he would remain the rest of his life reliving each day knowing that he and his wife were no longer together.


Heaven and Hell…#46

Splendor of the aging body has disappeared, shaded looks from an old lover causes the soul to cry.  An enemy is not kind, as both beauty and strength begins to decay. Time engulfs the aged, suddenly life changes in every way.

Of youth, we dream, while youth and old ages begin to entwine.    The past is gone there is no future; the years have gone by so quickly, we weep.  The days are long, were we ever young?   This crumbling body one cannot change.  The last chapter where we live in, the past, the present brings weary pain. 

Suffer, feeble, remembrance hidden deep within our minds.  Emotions felt, life has not been kind.   Frozen in time, ghost of ourselves, there is nothing left to tell.  It is the last stage of life, some wait for Heaven, while others continue to live in hell!

Peace and Love



Books located at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

Charlotte Jean Murphree 1958-2010

Flying with Broken Wings is about the life of Charlotte Jean Murphree. Charlotte was not a famous person, in fact, not too many people knew her, but those that did knew there were many facets to her life. the book tells of fifty-two-years of daily testing of her will to carry on and the misfortune she faced. As a baby and young girl she was made fun of by school children, her progress was slow but she never gave up the fight to overcome her disabilities. As an adult, she fought Cerebral Palsy, Living with Bipolar, Depression and Schizophrenia disorders. Charlotte lived not only with herself but she endured the “Voices” that lived within her for over thirty years. This book is about her beginning, her middle and the end of her life.


It is far after the midnight hour; the bed of stone makes one wretched and shattered, there is no sleep, now I hear someone knocking on the rough oak door, it tells me that soon I will be no more.  In the distance I can see the ghost hovering over the dying that lay alone upon the stone.  I listen as the angels weave a tale of sorrow, then sing of peace and love, soon when I am gone.

I am eager to know what is beyond the veiled curtain where shadows can be seen dancing; I hear my heart beating as it indeed grows weaker; I feel my soul growing stronger, my hope sustained.  I was caught napping upon the stone as darkness hovers there where souls dance and moan, the knocking grows louder, and time is almost gone.    

I rise and stood before the door, wondering, fearing, then only one word was spoken, “Come”.  The mystery I wanted to explore, the door opened, I walked through it, and time was no more.  It was then that a colossal Hawk flew next to me, he was filled with sadness and sorrow, he said his name was “Nevermore”, with a soft flaying  of his wing he closed my earthly door.

Peace and Love



Author’s books at Amazon.com