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

Elizabeth

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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Nevermore…#45

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

Elizabeth

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Author’s books at Amazon.com

Heaven’s Magnificent Sky…#44

The future is viewless, that undiscovered mystery, at the Cocks crow will death’s lifeless wings be felt with the morning sun.  No one wants to know of ending things, not even those who carry around a wasted body, and feels the human resistance to the pain of taking a breath.  Mostly sorrow is the course of life; life is the soul in combat with death.

Does one hide behind curtained windows to keep the world from seeing dying eyes, face is not longer bathed in the dew of morning, it is filled with furrow’s, brown and leathery, the wisp of snow frames the landscapes of the face covering the bright colors of youth.  A world lies outside; one that gave birth to many and one that will soon be forever gone to those who pass on. 

The aging prays for a calmness not know in youth, it needs to grow and know peace before the spirit takes flight.  If you embrace life it will be all too clear, live it as best you can in those waning years.  Like the Moon, Sun and Stars strength of mind and essence of the Earthly-Self take their place in Heaven’s magnificent Sky.

Peace and Love

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00CGBLQZO

Second Chance…#43

There are times when I am dreaming outside my door is the gateway to the city of destiny; nevertheless each night when I dream I open the door walking into another sphere of everlasting pain, mentally and physically, a bright light gives me hope.  No one pushed me through the gate, I walk willingly and I feel confident that I can handle the tragedy that I know will be waiting there for me.  Tucked deep inside my confidence there is fear, within the fear there are secret things, distrust and lies that over shadow happiness and joy.

The darkness is the most evil; a blood red moon framed by the stars hangs above me.  Hearing strange tongues frightful and shrill, filled with anger, strikes fear into my heart, they go beyond goodness.  Sometimes I weep as the outcries reach my ears, as I do not have a stainless claim to my own life.  I fear for the souls, even the depths of hell may refuse them and they will be lost forever in the darkness.  Don’t they see the light, the glow of wonder and joy?

I question, is there hope with death, will we have memories of the earth and of the lives that remain when we are gone?  The souls that I hear are loud, their tears are blood red, and each is crawling in vile mud.  I lower my eyes, on this path to the end will they have rebirth, if they lived in blaspheming is this terrible wailing their fate.  Have I done enough to feel the light on my face?

A bitter flood of doubt rushed over me as each pass going to their final resting place.  They seem conscious of their nearing doom or happiness.  It is in this darkness that each was given a second chance to feel the love of God upon their faces, many refused. At the entrance of another gate, the ground broke from beneath their feet, and I seem to be sinking with them to a meaningless dreadful shore and I am afraid that I will not wake from this nightmare.  Will I be given a second chance?

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Author’s book at Amazon.com

Heaven and Earth…#42

Artwork by: Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree
Acrylics and Watercolor

Sunbeams descend in every nook and cranny; the birds make a beautiful noise against the glow of the morning.  The crow lands inside a Blue Spruce, boughs sway underneath tiny-clawed feet, bobbing of branches holds the interest of a squirrel who believes a nut may fall to earth soon. 

Walking while the imagination falls into motion, a leaf lands at my feet, I look up and the clouds become a living canvass, breaking over and under, profound, alive, forming images of the imagination.. 

Everything is alive here upon Mother Earth and in the Heavens, we tend, we produce and make room for those who will come after us.  Only when we are gone our pain ease, our cries quelled and peace will be delivered unto us that wait in patience.

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Authors Books located at: Amazon.com

It worked…#40

I had to revisit my blog to let everyone know that the “little nitty gritty” blog filler worked. I made a cup of coffee…and the words returned to me. I have to share those first few words with all of you. I will be gone from tomorrow 5/8 to 5/20. Those of you who are mothers enjoy your day.

GENERATIONS OF SECRETS AND LIES – Working Title

In the cold damp room soft moans came from the young woman lying on the bed; she was a skeleton covered with pale flesh; beneath her, a cornhusk mattress covered with a collection of old newspapers and worn out sheets made from bleached flour sacks; waiting for the reality of the coming birth.

Her strength gone, she looked out the window at the moon hovering over the top of a row of pine trees; it gave the appearance of hanging on an invisible thread in the shadows of the western sky.  She prayed to whom she thought might be holding the moon in place another invisible person…GOD.  In the waning March moonlight tears fell from the corner of her eyes the pain unbearable, finally, the birth was over; she looked at the motionless baby at the foot of the rusty iron bed; maybe it was dead, or would die soon.  Still she heard no crying.  

“Miss Ruth you have a baby girl,” Allimay Schumaker their neighbor and a mid-wife whispered softly as she tried to place the baby in her mother’s arms. 

“Get it away from me”, the sound came between clenched teeth, like a caged wild animal, yet, it was only a whisper.

 “She so tiny Miss Ruth, I doubt she will live don’t you want to hold her”.

                “I told you to get it away from me”.

So it continues

Love and Peace

Elizabeth

The below artwork painted by Author in Acrylics

Debris…#38

Within the soul emotions abound, both fear and truths stored out of sight behind invisible doors.  Filtering the mind is the only way; it may stop the possibility of getting lost in the fog of yesterday.

Clear the mind and soul of clutter, congestion and conflict; free it, keeping such thoughts will create an existence into which one will be doomed.  Knowing self-value is the first step for the soul to hear freedoms call; living in the “now” is the only way to tear down internal prison walls.

Love and Peace

Elizabeth

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree