We Felt Like Abandoned Children…#146

Author’s Note:  Once again fellow bloggers I have been hospitalized for a week, this time it was diagnosed as “heart failure”.  As usual I refused to stay down for the count!  Even at this late stage of my life.  I keep saying that I have too much to do, yet!  The post below was in progress when I had to stop suddenly.  I am so happy to see all of your smiling photographs again.  E.


Charlotte Jean Murphree    1958-2010

If you have read my book “Flying with Broken Wings”, the story of my daughter and her battle with mental disease you will have a better understanding of my poetry books that are filled with sad and disturbing poems. The poetry is based on life experiences, and I sometimes believe that no one wants to read poetry, especially sad poems. I felt that my soul was lost without her. My heart searched for her, for years. However, I did believe that her life story would find its niche in the marketplace. I am not the first, nor will I be the last to collapse inwardly with force because of the external stress that is alive and well among the world and writing community. This is my last sad poem…

We Felt Like Abandoned Children

The memory of you emerges from the depths of my heart and soul, like the many rivers that flow into the sea our lives will be merged forever. The hour of your departure, cold and pelted by the fragments of your life, you no longer have to battle with a troubled mind. The days could be filled with turmoil or laughter and love; you lived on your own terms. From the day you were born, you were winged and wounded.

You lived behind a shadowed wall in never-ending sadness, shattered and broken. You were always loved, you never thirst or felt hunger. Anticipation of a future was never hidden from you, when you came from your short-lived darkness and despair. Then without warning, you sank back to that place where we could not reach you.

Then as quickly as you came into the world you left, the hour of departure was cold, the moon hid behind darkened clouds. In the morning light, the black birds of death gathered outside the window where you lay. The stars disappeared beyond the gray skies; tremulous tears lay in the twist of my hands. Your battle over, the white doves of loved chased the black birds away; and in the hour of your departure we felt like abandoned children. Fly, fly away my beautiful child your wings are no longer broken.


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A Boy’s Love For His Mother

Another post from C.R. Murphree, my Son. E.

White From Fright

Smoke’s thicker than clouds
Hot embers filtering down
The day’s white from fright…visit ivo20 site. E.


For January 2020, the Weekly Prompt colour challenge is White, and was chosen because Chinese New Year 2020 is the year of the White Metal Rat! Please go and visit site by clicking >>Here

Haiku: White From Fright

Smoke’s thicker than clouds

Hot embers filtering down

The day’s white from fright

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Ivor Steven (c)  Jan 2020

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Possession of the Mind…#145



Author’s Note:  Recently I had a discussion with an individual that had a close family member with dementia.   I thought of what it might be like to have dementia, what would one think, see, feel, from those thought came “Possession of the Mind”.


Possession of the Mind…

It so happens that I am an old woman. I do not walk as much as I use too. There are times when I feel desiccated with no plasticity, as I move slowly through the day both mentally and physically.  Thoughts and feelings at times cause me to shed tears silently so no one will know what is tearing the core of me to shreds. I force myself up each day, unhurriedly I chase through the day.
I no longer find pleasure in stores, restaurants, travel or planned events. Why? My feet and legs will no longer hold my withering body. My hair I have begun to hate, its time-consuming length, its color. I hate my shadow as well.   I am tired of being a human, I look into the mirror and I do not know the person looking back at me. There is no sparkle in her eyes, no smiles that puts a glow on her face. The person I once knew is no longer there.
My world is dark, shivering, constantly hording information mentally, thinking, eating, sleeping, every day. I do not want the misery that my mind creates every day and night. I sometimes feel frozen, dying of grief. My soul blazes like an unstoppable forest fire, I hear howling of the wounded waiting for their Angel of Death.
I dream of crumbling houses, hospitals that smell like death; hanging intestine, crushed bones. I wake weeping from shame and terror, remembering the venom of the night. I fall back to sleep dreaming of birds, white feathers falling to the ground.
It is during my daily walk that I stroll with eyes open taking in the beauty of it all, letting the senses of the world absorb me, forgetting all that has possessed my mind.




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“Machines are tools that we should never give up control to. Let’s not lose our ability to think. It’s one of the few things we have left.” Quiall

Butterfly Sand

I was in my kitchen the other day stirring together two powders to make my version of chai latte. I take a powdered chai and a powdered white-hot chocolate and mixed them together. It’s a little less spicy than regular chai and a little less sweet then white-hot chocolate. It takes a little time, stirring to make the combination right.  But in the end:  a perfect morning cuppa!

As I was mindlessly stirring the two powders together, my brain drifted to the question of efficiency. For a brief second I wondered if there was a more efficient way of mixing these two. And then I was horrified!  We endeavor to make our lives easier by inventing devices to do the mundane deeds. Like mixing together two powders. And then I stopped. If I had a device do the work for me, I would never have had the time to think…

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Why Old People should not Drink…#144

I live in a community where every Friday a few gather for “Happy Hour”. I moved here eight years ago, my first Friday in residence I went to this event; immediately I was questioned about my southern roots, my accent, my beliefs in the Civil War; and if I owned a confederate flag? My answers were my ancestors were land owners without slaves, however, my roots also lay with my Native American ancestor whom were drove from their ancestral lands by “white men, want to discuss that! Of course not! My accent after 47 years was not something that I tried to keep or lose; it was part of my being, my roots and culture. I did have ancestors who fought in the Civil War, they fought for what they believed right, that was about 150 years ago, and I had no say into their decisions, why am I being judged now for the actions of others. If someone stole from you, would it be your belief that your four or five great-grandchildren be allow to put a claim to what their ancestors owned today? The Confederate Flag as people like to call it is actually the “Stars and Bars”, my answer was no I do not own that flag and if I did I would not fly it, but I did not believe in the Vietnam war either should I protest the flying of the American flag. I believe the entire Civil War was like wars and conflicts that have followed it, political started and ended, scripted, costing too many lives. Eight years later with all new people around the Happy Hour table the same questions were ask of me. I did have an answer for them.
I am a Southerner and an American citizen by birth; I am an individual that believes in voting for the “best” individual for the political job that they are running for at the time, no matter their political party. I have no religious affiliations, yet, I believe in a “higher power”, I find some things in all religions that I can integrate into my life. I believe that one has to forgive the wrongs others have “done to them” in order to move forward in life. I also believe that one has to “forget”; how can we know where we are going if we do not know, where we have come from or what life that we have lived. With that being said, yes, I am against the Civil War Memorials being removed!
I understand the concept of such defamation, but how long must the South and born Southerners pay for the decision to pull out of the Union. Was it a good choice, no! Did they start a war that they could not win, yes! The South had cotton and that was it. They went up against the Union, which had all the resources to win; the South had no means to manufacture what they needed to win. It did not take long for them to realize that they were cut off from such.
What they were rich in was the pride and the belief that they had to right to govern their own land. Was slavery wrong, absolutely? Do I have ancestors who were slaveholders, “NO”, but I am being questioned on many levels because I am a Southerner born one hundred years later!
However, the Northern states were no better than the south in their ownership of slaves. Southerners did not create slavery; The First Legal Slave-owner in America was a black man Anthony Johnson. Whites could not legally hold a black servant as a chattel slave until 1670. Anthony Johnson was the first prominent landholder in the English colonies. With that being said…many of our presidents owned slaves.
George Washington owned 317 slaves; he was a major slaveholder before, during, and after his presidency. Thomas Jefferson owned 600, and it is believed that he fathered multiple slave children with his quadroon slave Sally Heming’s, the half-sister of his late wife Martha Wayles Skelton. James Madison owned approximately 100 slaves. James Monroe owned 75, while Andrew Jackson owned 200; Martin Van Buren only 1. William Henry Harrison 11; John Tyler 70; James Polk 25; Zachary Taylor 150; Andrew Johnson 8; Ulysses S. Grant 1;
Why must we remove these monuments, they represent history, and we cannot change history, I wanted to ask the question, it has been almost 150 years since the Civil War, when will those born afterwards quit being held responsible for what their ancestors did? I don’t expect to be given reparation for the white man stealing the land of my Native American ancestors. You can destroy all the monuments about the Southern states in the Civil War that you want; again, it does not change history. My generation protested the Vietnam War, and those who fought in that war was treated like criminals when they returned; no recognition for their service. Should we now start a process to remove the Vietnam War Memorial, ”NO”! Just because I did not believe in that war does not mean that I want the memorial torn down, when I was given the opportunity to go to D.C. and visit the memorial I wept like a child at the loss of so many . Why are these now so offensive when they have stood for some over 100 years? I note a few statue removals below:
In Austin, Texas, the statues of four people with ties to the Confederacy – Robert E. Lee, Albert Sidney Johnson, John H. Reagan and former Texas Gov. James Stephen Hogg.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh wanted to move “quickly and quietly” to take down four Confederate statues or monuments – statues of Lee and Thomas, J. “Stonewall” Jackson and monuments for Confederate Soldiers, Sailors, and Confederate Women.

In Brooklyn, N.Y. Plaques honoring Lee were removed from an Episcopal church’s property and the governor called on the Army to remove the names of Lee and another Confederate general from the streets around a nearby fort.

In Dallas, Texas, a statue of Robert E. Lee, was removed from Robert E. Lee Park, which was also named in honor of the Confederate general, it had stood in Lee Park for 81 years. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dedicated the park to Lee in 1936 during a renaming ceremony of the park.

In Chapel Hill, N.C., protesters toppled the “Silent Sam” statue that has stood on the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus since 1913.

In Durham, N.C., protesters associated with the Workers World party toppled a nearly-century old statue of a Confederate soldier.

In Gainesville, Fla., a chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy paid for the removal of a monument to Confederate soldiers known locally as “Old Joe” that stood in front a building in downtown Gainesville for 113 years.

Two 130-year-old Confederate statues were removed from downtown Lexington, Ky. Lexington used private funds to take the statues, of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and John Breckinridge, a former U.S. Vice President and the last Confederate Secretary of War.
In Madison, Wis., a neighboring town close to me a plaque honoring Confederate soldiers was removed from a cemetery. “The Civil War was an act of insurrection and treason and a defense of the deplorable practice of slavery,” said Mayor Paul Soglin in a statement. “The monuments in question were connected to that action and we do not need them on city property.” He has protested for Civil Rights for over 50 years, why does he feel the need to hop on the bandwagon now. For votes?

Last but not least, the Robert E. Lee House. At the start of the war, Lee and his family headed south, leaving Arlington House, and they did not reclaim their property after the War. The federal government seized the estate (now known as Arlington National Cemetery) and used it for military graves for thousands of fallen Union soldiers, possibly to prevent Lee from ever returning home. In addition, many honorable soldiers since. The Lee family residence is now managed by the National Park Service as Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, and is open to the public for tours. Now, when it makes a difference in what some want the usage of property is appropriate. We all know is that the government would not allow Arlington cemetery to be plowed under even though it was the land owned by a slave owner. Moreover, Arlington House makes money!

All this created by going to Happy Hour with a bunch of old people. Nonetheless, it was written long after that glass of wine took its course. Today, I made practice of my “Freedom of Speech”.

Publication: “The Pilgrimage”

Liz Gauffreau, “The Pilgrimage”.


Elizabeth Gauffreau

I am pleased to share the news that my short story, “The Pilgrimage,” has been published in the Vol. VII #9 issue of The Woven Tale Press. (See page 55.) In addition to publishing fiction and poetry, The Woven Tale Press features a good selection of contemporary visual art. I’d encourage you to check out their website: https://www.thewoventalepress.net/.

“ThePilgrimage” is that rare breed of story for me, a serendipitous what-if story.

The serendipity arrived with my becoming the keeper of The Family Archives after my mother had finished writing her family history. As I was idly going through the photographs, documents, and ephemera, just to see what I had, I ran across the above photograph. The girl is my mother, flanked by her Great-Aunt Etta and her Great-Aunt Jenn.

At around the same time, while family history was on our minds, my husband and I took a trip down…

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Christmas 1942…#143


Christmas 1942…

We are quickly leaving the New Year behind us and I must note how grateful that I am to have “finished” 2019 without it being too complex, let us say it was my new normal. My thoughts were however traveling back in time as the usually do on a regular basis when I begin to write about my early years in Alabama. In those very early days, I was unaware of Christmas or the beginning of a New Year until I was about four years old.
I had turned four in March and my daddy had gone to Birmingham to bring me home. He felt that I was big enough for him to care for me, thus my early experience of being raised as I like to say; on the back of an old red roan, that daddy rode into the fields every day to check on the cotton, corn and sugar cane. Soon it was December and my first Christmas back with my parents after living with my Aunt Vina, my daddy’s sister. Aunt Vina had asked us down for Christmas and after what seem to be a loud discussion from the back porch my mother agreed to go, she hated all holidays especially Christmas. She never allowed a tree or any decorations; I would find out after that Christmas that I was not to believe in Santa Clause either. Santa had always been a big deal with my Aunt Vina. I guess that my mother must have thought that she would not have to cook for the holiday if she went to Birmingham as her family usually invited themselves to our house for Christmas.

That summer my daddy had plowed some fields for old man Burleson in exchange for an early 1930’s paneled bread truck, the only windows were in the front and, driver and passenger windows. The seat was solid across with sitting room for three people, a wire cage separated the front seat from the back of the truck, and daddy used it for hauling feed and such. Our only other vehicle was an old jeep that Mr. Hamilton whom daddy sharecropped for had bought at an Army surplus sale in Georgia. This would be our form of long distance trips until I was too big to sit at my mother’s feet in the floorboard. My sister never had to share her seat in the middle, one she would have refused and second my mother would not have allowed it. I believe her answer to that question years later was the floorboard was good enough for me.

Christmas that year would be the last and it was glorious. Aunt Vina and Uncle Wesley took all of us Christmas Eve to Macy’s, while they walked through the toy section, Aunt Vina ask was I wanted Santa to bring me that year. I could hardly contain myself when I saw this baby doll the size of a one-year old, dress in blue velvet short pants and a jacket, underneath was a blue satin shirt ( with white satin underwear), white shoes and socks, all together he looked just like a real baby boy. I remember saying that is all I wanted, when my mother begin to complain, Aunt Vina shut her down saying this was her Christmas and her money. I was so afraid of my mother, her face turned red and a big vein stuck out of the side of her forehead.

I then saw a beautiful girl doll dress in red velvet and white, she was a tall doll, maybe two or three foot. I ask if Santa would bring her to my sister Billie, it was possible and when I think back, it was most certainly the day that my mother could have possibly had a heart attack, she was so mad. If that did not cause one, then the bags of candy and clothes under the tree Christmas morning should have put her down. It was a grand holiday and it would be the last my family or I would spend with my Aunt and Uncle. My mother hated holidays, birthdays and any other celebrations, and my sister and I suffered because of it.

Now, Billie was the only child she ever wanted, she did not want me at birth and my daddy had my Aunt Vina come get me. She did not want me back when I turned four, however I fared well riding in cotton wagons and on the backs of old swayback mules. Sometimes I rode on the back of Big Red behind my daddy. My world was small, climbing bluffs, running in the woods and lowlands around the farm; I swam in Flint Creek, most times alone when I was six or seven and I knew to avoid rattlesnakes and water moccasins. Santa did not come to our house, but he always left me candy at the Christmas church gathering; and one year I did get a little doll, I knew that Santa did not bring it because it had a homemade dress, no shoes and most of its hair was missing.

Yes, another Christmas has gone by, and here in the winter of my life I think back on those days, not with sadness. I think of all the other children that were much worse off than I was, many had no food. I know that it must have been hard on my daddy, he fought with mother every year to cut a tree in the woods that surrounded the land he worked, and we never knew if it was going to be in the house or on the porch.

I think of my mother during Christmas because of the hate she had for the day, I made her something every year and she would throw it out before the new year begin. Mostly, I think of how much I loved her and wanted her to love me. My Christmas these days are more than an old woman could ask for, the love of my own children for me exceeds all that one could ever want; they have always made me feel loved as I have them. I sometimes think they are too good to me. I had a wonderful holiday season and I am so grateful for my family. Now, we begin another year and Christmas will be here before you know it…

Love one another, that is what is important in life, the love that holds us up when we cannot walk, the love that has the voice of caring. Love is Santa Clause.



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Malcolm Alexander — “Nobody Ever Asked Me How I Felt!”

From the blog of :




via Malcolm Alexander — “Nobody Ever Asked Me How I Felt!”

A New Year

There is time to make it right
“A wondrous world to be
Change must now begin today
Let’s start with you and me!

One of “The Last Chapter” favorites. E.

Butterfly Sand

A brand New Year has come

And I don’t know what to think

Global warming, hate and fear

This world appears to stink!

But hope is here and faithfulness

A kindness in our soul

All together we are one

And that will make us whole!

There is time to make it right

A wondrous world to be

Change must now begin today

Let’s start with you and me!

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