Halloween Fifty-Three Years ago…#93


Halloween fifty-three years ago today was a Monday. The Vietnam War also ended with the fall of Saigon and the USA walked on the moon. The most eventful thing on this date fifty-three years ago today was that I had spent weeks creating and sewing Halloween costumes for my three little girls. They had coats and boots for the first time in their lives, we had recently moved to Wisconsin from Alabama. I walked the two oldest to school, all the way home I prayed please stop snowing, and its Halloween. The baby ran and had fun, not her mother. When I returned to school to get the girls they wanted to know if they would still get to go out that evening, I said, yes. Evening came the temp dropped and after one block they were all three half-frozen. Back at home I placed three little human popsicles in a warm bath, dressed then wrapped in blankets, armed with hot cocoa and cookies that did the “trick”. Two of the three girls are no longer with me, the baby still loves Halloween. Happy Halloween everyone.




Bangles and Colorful Cloth for Ma…#92





Bangles and Colorful Cloth for Ma…
“Dedicated to one of my mother’s, my Great-Grandmother”

When I was born, you were young ninety-years old,
your hair pulled tight at the nap of your neck, still
black and bold. At night, you let it down to braid before
you went to bed, it fell to the floor; at first I would watch
in silence from a crack in the door.

The night you caught me I was six, you called me into the
room smiling…asking that I bring you a single broomstick.
I quickly plucked it from mother’s only broom, and rushed
back into the dimly lit room. You showed me how to break
it into small pieces; when I looked bewildered your smile
accented all of your dark wrinkles and creases.

It was then that my eyes opened wide as you put the stick right
through the lob of your ears, its magic I thought; but this is my
great-grandmother I have nothing to fear. As a child, I did not
realize that there was a hole, because when I would touch the
bangles on her ear, she would quickly scold.

Just like the time when I tried to sneak a peek at her button up
shoes by raising the hem of her long dress, she did not have on
shoes, there were moccasins on those tiny feet…who would have
guessed. Yes, I was only a child without a care, and I spent many
hours sitting at the foot of her old rocking chair.

I never tire of the stories she would tell, sometimes we cried together
and now I can say it…as a child she lived in a white man’s world, she
called it “hell”. Her parents had walked on the “Trail of Tears”, proud
and strong, with every step wondering where they had gone wrong.

She help raise me and she taught me the way, and her mind was still
sharp as it was when I was a child, I use to wander in those later years,
I was sad when she would tell her stories because when she got older,
she only remembered the bad. This grand old woman dressed in bangles
and cloths of many colors, with that big ball of hair and the nap of her
neck she was a great-grandmother like no other.

She died only days before her birthday, she would have been one-hundred
and five, my father said, Ma would have scolded you saying,
don’t you ever cry. I was fifteen-year old and the world was bright and
colorful with the artwork of fall, a befitting day to bury this beautiful and
proud Chickasaw.







Awakening of the Heart…#91




Awakening of the Heart…

In anticipation of journeys end the soul shrouds

itself in love as it travels through the rampant

winds of unknown tomorrows aware of paths

leading into happiness or sorrow.

Created within a universe filled with mystery, if

life beyond the grave is what we believe why in

death do we grieve? As children, our lives are

open to the wisdom of those who would be our

caretakers; we have faith that they are wise

decision makers.

If we believe that our souls descended from that

mysterious place beyond the universe created by

a loving entity; then must we accept as truth the

promise that love will surround us for all eternity?

We struggle as young adults to find our way

through life while it is someone else’s beliefs that

we are taught to disagree we soon find that this

battle of one’s freedom in self-belief is one that

is not easily fought.

Fighting against rule makers is a waste of time;

their beliefs are set in stone and to change them is

impossible as they shut their eyes and close their

minds. As childhood and youth fades away it leaves

a confused soul, holding onto the crumbling pages

filled with knowledge and truth never told.

The desire for serenity in our hearts comes alive as

we study the universe, life’s forces with open eyes;

love and truth are never far apart.






Another spring for Aunt Francis…#90



18.Aunt Frances

The picture painted by the Author the image  that that  lives on in her imagination.


Aunt Francis played a great part in my younger years. She came to live with us when I was about six-years old. One Saturday morning I saw daddy coming down the road with his two old mules pulling the old cotton wagon. In the wagon sat a very large black lady in an old rocking chair, a beat-up black trunk next to her. Daddy called to me and I ran to the wagon, he told me that the lady was Aunt Francis and that she would be living with us. He unloaded her stuff into a one room, one window shack; it was already furnished with bed and old cook stove. It was clean and it was a fine place to live according to Aunt Francis. She lived with us until we left the farm moving into the city of Decatur, Alabama when I was twelve-years old. She loved me from the day she arrived as if she were my mother, she played games with me, she prayed over me and she taught me how to be a proper southern lady.


Another spring for Aunt Francis…

Her knees bent forward away from the worn

out rocker, her legs getting their bearings she

made a puckered brow while looking out the

window at the garden. Everything dies she

thought; soon the fragrance of spring will be


She narrows her eyes looking into the

hedgerow at the end of her flowerbed to see

if the sparrow hawks have returned, slowly

she turns keeping contact with the old rocking

chair, holding onto its worn arms. After

one-hundred listless summers, her soul still

feeds on the emotions of the stillness, the

sweet-scented honeysuckle growing around

her porch.

Holding her breath she falls back into the chair,

it shudders under her weight. She knows not to

take her being able to stand for granted. Closing

her eyes to rest, bible in hand, and her thoughts

were none other than that she could get back up

another time to fill her heart with the wonders of

the old flower garden, would there be another spring.



Authors Books at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com





51aCYsKcWCL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_A Passage into Madness

Poetry from A Passage into Madness

Feathered Angels…

I have enough memories from the past to last me for the rest of my life. My unstinted memory will not bury them so deep that I cannot bring them to the surface in a moment’s notice.

In the deep recesses of my mind, I see 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. All memories from my early days.

I see death, going down the road moving away from the weathered house of worship, a wagon that carried my beloved Aunt Francis; I envisioned it being followed by feathered angels. No longer will the little branch of water beneath the Birch taste fresh and cool, nor will the winds surrounding the Oaks in the pasture embrace warm flesh.

I relive a sad memory, my great-grandmother’s heart has been silenced, and the rocker on the porch stilled, no hand wave’s goodbye. In a cobwebbed corner of the room where she slept, the sun shines through a cloudy window, as the image of tattered curtains dance in a nearby cracked mirror. Everyone we love soon leaves us. Sitting on the steps of that old weathered church, I have but one memory it is that childhood is dead.


In Need of Overhauling…#89



Today’s thought process came from yet another hospital, stay this time serious enough for a seven day hospital stay and I am currently in a rehab center. As you can see, I try to continue to write; my body may not want me to function, but the mind says otherwise. I do know at eighty many body parts may discontinue operating and being in need of overhauling!

I would like to discuss depression and how it has affected me throughout the years. I was diagnosed with depression in the late nineties. Yet, I am certain that I have suffered with the condition all of my life. My mother would have called it a genetic weakness. In looking back I see that my entire family had to be totally “dysfunctional”. My father was a depressed quiet loner, my mother and my sister were manic-depressive in every part of their lives; myself, a mixture of both.

I have come to understand that any type of depression can keep you from enjoying life. I sometimes see myself as an atypical depressive; I can let some light in, appetite up and down, sleeping too much or too little. My body feels heavy most of the time and I feel rejected. You may feel that life is not worth living. I am told that it can start in the early teenage years, mine begin I believe around age seven or eight. I fit in most of the criteria, traumatic childhood, environmental stressors, relatives with a history of depression, death.

Then, several years ago I began to study the effect of depression on writers, writing for many years I understood that the creative process and depression many times went hand- in-hand, even those who write but never get published, those that write for themselves. Writing is a solitary quest. Many of us place ourselves in isolation, stay confined indoors robbing ourselves of natural light. Writing is an emotional roller coaster, rejection from editors, publishers and even peers. Many depend on the approval of others.

All of my writing is based on thoughts of my experiences in my lifetime, some dark and filled with heartache and pain. Flying with Broken Wings…was written in the throes of depression after the death of my daughter. Writing can be painful and yes, most of us are lone wolves.

Website on depression:




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Anger and Sadness…#88



Anger and Sadness
Doubt and despair, there is no end, life comes and goes, and no one knows

how it will end. My child’s pure light flickering then silenced; no longer with

us our angel delight.

Words like a blade thirsting for blood, I could not save her with a mother’s

love. The day over, my heart ripped from my bosom tossed into the night,

with the sunrise your soul took flight.

God let me see you blossom, he let me see you grow; when he wanted you

back know one would know. Anger and sadness cloak me, I will never be

free, my child is gone and with it, I watched my happiness flee.




Books available on Amazon.com


11th                                                        Cover Artwork by Author

Beyond the Voices


Benevolent Memories

I have enough memories from the past to last me for the rest of my life. My bountiful 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, a 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 winds surrounding the Oaks embrace flesh.

The rocker on the porch is stilled, no hand waves goodbye. In a cobwebbed corner of the room, the sun shines through a cloudy window, as the image of tattered curtains dance in a nearby mirror. Childhood is dead.




Fear or Greed…#87


Fear or Greed…

Evidence clear about an unwanted Soul

upon conception plans to cast it away,

fear or greed? One could not see a future;

starvation did not kill the seed, fear or


Why did the tiny Soul survive destiny or

fate; it survived a life without love never

held by the ones that should have loved it;

their heart filled with hate. A life of

oppression from the moment of birth; scared

and burdened with emotional wounds

throughout its journey on earth.

All of its tomorrows’ found the Soul’s path

long and steep; it searched a lifetime to find

out why the anger ran so deep. Truth in

its abandonment never found; the abused

Soul tried to remember that sanity and

sorrow are closely bound.








Altered Senses…#86



Altered Senses…

Existence, scene after scene, characteristic of life’s

environment, and promises that reveal nothing,

the past descends like rain from the sky, washing

away all dreams. Phantoms of youth chanting

within the soul, paths blocked; evil has spread

across the landscape of a lifetime. Loneliness

limits love and happiness; boundaries slow

down the process of moving into the future

shrouded with abundant solitude from where

there is no escape. Rethink the future!







Lost Little Girl…

I do not know if you are alive or dead.
I see your face your voice never

The sun does not rise in the morning, nor
fade into the west without a thought of you.
I mourn, nights are sleepless and morning
eyes fill with fire.

No one more cherished, more loved, my
heart bears scars of torture. Where are you
my lost little girl?

A collection of personal poetry. Ann Johnson-Murphree Poetry Books – Collections of Exposé Poetry are coffee table books 8X11 that will display well in any area. The matte cover is classy and inviting. Within each book the reader will find soul poetry. A length pleasing to browse, read one or more; find a connection, a meaning and a purpose in each poem. These collections of poetry are filled with inspiring thoughts and reassuring words with a factual viewpoint on the many experiences in the life of the poet. Each collection 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 the fabric of a patchwork life, complex, stress-filled, finding enlightenment and cultivating wisdom. Anyone who will open their mind is free to pursue insight, to find their own nirvana. This collection of thoughts brings the reader along on the multifaceted journey of the poet’s experiences throughout life.





Splendor to the aging body has disappeared,

shaded looks from an old lover causes the

soul to cry. The enemy time 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

age s 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 we cannot

change. The prison we live in, the past, the

present brings weary pain.

Suffer, feeble, remembrance hidden deep within

our minds. Emotions felt, we must live the hand we

are dealt, 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!





The book of poetry “A Passage into Madness” has been ten years of collections; my daughter passed suddenly 2010; my mourning has been hidden within the pages of my  poetry and my life, my pain constant.  most times I find myself in a place of inner darkness, the threat of madness crouched above me; and it does not go away. I was in a fervor to put the words down; what begin as writing, an accounting of me, turned quickly into “Poetry”. I felt like my spirit wanted the accounting, the apocalyptic writing begin; and it closed with shocking revelations into my personal life.


Additional books by Author:




Poetry – Fiction – Non-Fiction…#84



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 that 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 the doctors suggested she be placed in an institution. As a young girl she fought Cerebral Palsy, and she was made fun of by other schoolchildren and sometimes adults, her progress was slow but she never gave up the fight to overcome her disabilities. As an adult, she lived with bipolar, depression and schizophrenia disorders. Charlotte lived not only with herself but she endured the “Voices”, a man, woman and child that lived within her for over thirty years. This book is about her beginning, her middle and the end of her life.