The Vines…#81

 

 

The Vines…
I was raised in the shadows of Burleson Mountain, nestled in the cliffs above my childhood home were small caves, these and the surrounding woods were my playground.

There is a rich foliage that grows in abundance covering rocks, fences, and anything that gets in its way. It does not climb trees, but it does climb telephone poles. This smothering vine has no special appeal. It covered the face of the caves creating a curtain to close away the world that I lived in.  Southerners believed it to be nothing but a nuisance.

Visitors who traveled the back road were in awe as to how the vine survived, they thought it to be worthless, but you can eat it.   The leaves, vine tips, flowers, and roots are edible; the vines are not; the old southerners chopped kudzu leaves raw in salad or cook them like spinach leaves. You can cook kudzu roots like potatoes, or dry them and grind them into powder. Kudzu root powder as a breading for fried foods or a thickener for gravy.

How do I know this… between winter and summer garden greens my mother would cook the leaves and root together with a piece of “fat back”, that and a pan of cornbread would fill our hungry belly’s.

Yet it also added a certain beauty to the tarpaper shacks that speckled the countryside. People who live among the vines have made their peace with this dark green neighbor, they understand its need to cover up the abandon shacks and the art it creates with what nature provided. It is deep-rooted in the south’s history, when you think of Kudzu…you think of Dixie Land.
2019©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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Days gone by…#78

 


Images and the thoughts that follow.

days gone by

 

Days gone by…

I have set aside promises I made to myself in my youth; my hopes and dreams have become dim memories. I gaze through the window of my future and I see tombstones of yesterday’s promises; all covered with reminiscent vine. I weep for the uncertainty of my future and the dreams I left behind. These ambiguous days is where I start my last journey, climb the mountains of my memories while trying to forget the rubble of yesterday. I ask myself, if I could turn back the hands of time would I follow the same path, of course, I would!

 
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I’m Back…Entry #70

I must apologize to all of you wonderful followers I have not been on site for some time. 

I have been on a rollercoaster ride.  I took a two-week vacation on beautiful Lake Michigan, the two cabins were quaint and they transposed me back to 1950.  My family just thought they were old!  I was quick to say that at $1,000 per week they were “charming” and old.

The vacation was fun to watch the family goes boating, skiing and tubing; I sat near the dock and worked toward finishing my latest poetry book, which is now on Amazon.com.  After the two-week rest, I found myself back in the hospital; a liver problem, no it was not cause by drinking.  I was prepared to come back to Wordpress and made yet another stay in the hospital when my sugar levels spiked.  It appears that “600” is not a good number; I dodged another bullet cheating death, stroke or both.  

Oh, by the way…Mason my four-legged companion does not like it when I am away, he pouts and I hope that we will not be torn apart for some time. 

I am currently on R&R, this diabetes problem has set me back and I am working on a new book of fiction.  What good is it to sit or lay around if you cannot accomplish something?  I did a drawing of the countryside, birds and all; I may try to get out the watercolors. 

Thank you so much for continuing to visit The Last Chapter…your support is greatly appreciated. 

My latest book “A Passage into Madness… A State of frenzied Activity.

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

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

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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