The Gates…#187

Re-Blog…Created August 31, 2013

The Gates…

I am death, covered

by the blood of life’s

victims, the peace

loving, the innocent

and the brave silenced;

they lay with me here

in the grave.

The living stands in cold

silence, regret, moans on

every breath, living souls

that cannot keep away

the fear of death.

In the voices of life, there

could be heard prayer,

prejudice and dismay;

whether hate or fate, all is

now with me at “Heaven or

Hells” gate!

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

America is in a quandary…#182

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America 1950

America is in a quandary! I was born and raised in the South, moving from the country to the town of Decatur, Alabama when I was twelve-years-old. I move to Wisconsin in 1966, America was still in turmoil.

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My thoughts recently have been on the 1950’s growing up as a teenager in Decatur, going to Decatur High School. My mind focusing on those seventy years ago is still clear, and the atrocities that are going on today, the times are being recreated.

Of course today’s mayhem dates back to March 3, 1991. Rodney King faced police brutality. This skyrocket police brutality, a scandal that most Americans condemned, police forces grew and evolved. In the 1950s, the police were looked on both favorably and unfavorably by various segments of the population.

Police brutality as a societal issue dates all the way back to the Industrial Revolution in the 1870s when law enforcement would physically harm workers that went on strike. The consequences of police brutality on the public are much less than the actual victim. However, damages to the public are harder to fix since the population is too large to talk to one-on-one.

Throughout the years, police brutality can be associated with racial profiling. Differences in race, religion, politics, sometimes exist between police and American citizens. Some police officers may view them as generally deserving punishment.

However, there are “GOOD” police officers in America and these police officers enjoyed wide support. It did in 1950 and it does today in 2020. In America in 1950, there was good faith in all levels of government. Nevertheless, we were pummeled with Vietnam, Watergate and other events helped erode their trust. Generally, citizens in the suburbs and middle- or upper-class white citizens in the cities regarded the police favorably.

However, the 1950s also saw great conflict. Communities strongly resented the police in the 1950s. In the South, citizens resented police for their physical brutality and abuse of power. They also mistrusted the police as a protective institution. In the 1950s, In Decatur, Alabama, my “home town”, police forces were mostly white and male.  In certain ways, the police were regarded as more powerful in the 1950s and 1960’s.

I am not proud to be a Southerner in those days; I was a “kid” and many things I did not understand. The things that I did understand were mind blowing. I grew to know that my mother was a racist, so was my older sister though behind a mask of lies. My daddy was never a racist and knew discrimination first hand, as have I, he always spoke the truth. They are no longer with us, and I still grieve for them, loving them as they were, was my only way to survive. However, I am proud that I was raised by my daddy and bought up in the Native American traditions of my daddy’s people.

What is going on today in America…I am ashamed of the entire country, I pray that it finds its way back.

However, other than the first hand knowledge about government control and family…all of this is just my opinion!

EAJM

 

 

Our “Fake” President…#177

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IT IS MY WAY OR YOU CANNOT “PLAY” WITH ME ANY MORE

 

I read recently about an individual the proclaimed that he would honor whatever the government said that the Virus was a fake crisis. Later, he and his wife contracted the virus, he recovered; his wife was put on a ventilator.

It is time that people stop to think what is President Trump thinking when he misspeaks and makes false claims; oh, that’s right he don’t think. He has once again threatened to stop U.S. funding to the WHO, and reconsider the country’s membership in the United Nations. I cannot see the country “not” being in the United Nations, this “FAKE” president is setting this nation back years; I sometimes wonder if we will ever recover totally.   He praises and he blames, changing his mind instantly. The Chinese is accusing the United States in using China as an excuse to shirk from their financial obligation.

What the hell, if Trump pisses off every foreign country that we owe money too, and if they stop financing the United States, or want instant repayment we may be in bigger trouble than we are now. What if, all of the countries that export to the U.S. stopped, what if all of the contracts we have with these counties when we sent all of our companies “overseas” decided to run U.S. out of their countries? What if, they stop all exports to the U.S. and not allow the U.S. on their soil. Well, we have gotten ourselves in a hell of a mess, haven’t we?

His once supporter, Fox News is now on his “list”, Trump is now criticizing the network. They jumped on the new drug he is taking, fearful the public will do the same. Those taking the drug with vulnerable conditions, respiratory conditions, heart ailments, they all died. The FDA has warned those taking the drug outside a controlled study where they are watched.

Trump is tested regular for the virus, if he believes that there is no reason for his fellow citizens to fear the virus, why is he tested. John-Q-Public has a difficult time in getting this test, but the President probably has one daily. In this new claim of the drug he is taking, he believes that the benefit from the treatment outweighs the risks.

All of his actions are to open up the country so he can have a rally and fill the arena with his followers. He will receive praise and give them the showmanship that he is noted for in all of his rallies. He is waiting for a Republican governor to OK a rally. Actually, without him doing press briefings he does not have to answer questions about why he is not wearing a mask, hoping no one wears one. Trump supporters will come to a rally knowing that they have the potential to get the virus.

I am fearful that the economy will take a dive, simple items which we have become accustomed to will no longer be available when export from other countries stop. That thousands of businesses will not survive, family business will no longer be the American dream. That credit card companies will freeze the use of card due to the public’s decision to stop paying them, or send monthly payments. Items in grocery stores will be limited. Gas may be limited. Yes, another depression that will take decades for us to recover.

However, that is just my opinion

EAJM

Author’s books at Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble.com

 

https://www.amazon.com/Flying-Broken-Wings-Charlotte-Murphree/dp/1547051329/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&qid=1586107137&sr=8-1

Depressions Dream…#161

 

The grip of depression is at all

times lingering ; it lives in a

high dark corner of the mind;

bundling despair and hopelessness.

Its victims sit and wait, mind

wandering, in this place with no

windows .  Does depression find the

moaning of God’s lost flock real,

their distant cries resonates within

the living lost; do not ask depression

to stay, sit in silence until it decides

to goes away.

 

Depression works hard keeping

madness in control when the sun

goes down, like a shepherd it does

not rest! In the night, the moaning

of Gods flock becomes louder; as

the lost flock feels its limbs take

root in a barren land. It does not

rain on them and they cannot

grow; looking like bent grass where

they lay, Freedom is not theirs.

 

Who, tired of knocking at the

Golden door, they leave friends

and family behind. Most are

doomed; it takes heaven-sent

moments to be pulled from the

murk and mire of hopelessness.

Depression shouts at the lights

of goodness; it is cloaked in grey

and will drown those who listen

in its dark and dingy place. In the

grip of depression, the mind

wanders, sits behind shadowed

glass and refuses to retreat.

 

Depression is like leaning backward

in a meditative dream, it has no

eyes to see the moonlit stream. It

dances in a dark field that yields

no fruit, it is frail-leafed, and it has

not a word of good to speak. While

back in the barren land black-winged

swallows, haunt the mind, scarlet

patches shreds of gray, waiting for

the spark from heaven to fall. Yet,

depression continues in its dream,

while waiting for the marker to be

placed on the unknown grave.

 
©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

Author’s books at Amazon.com and Barnes & Nobel.com

Back to Another Time…#159

One of my first “remembrances’” at the age of four is sitting on top of an old yellow dog as he lay in our front yard on bare ground. I can close my eyes and smell the lilac bush at the end of our front porch, at night its fragrance would drift into the open windows. I would play in that red Alabama dirt all day long with a coffee can and a big wooden spoon. The house had two rooms and plank floors; the outside was nothing but plywood painted gray. The windows keep us cool in summer and newspaper glued to the walls kept it warm in winter. My sister and I shared one room with our great-grandmother “Ma”, the “front” room is where mother and daddy slept, it held the table and chairs and a wooden cook stove. A long handmade table was to prepare meals and wood crates nailed to the wall above the table held dishes of every variety; the cast iron skillets and pots sat on the back of the stove. Yes, we were country folk, sharecroppers!

Daddy would pick me up saying, “suppertime”. I love cornbread, Pinto beans and buttermilk to this very day. After supper he or my sister would wash me up and put me to bed, as farmers we went to bed when the night was hanging behind Burleson Mountain; a black curtain backdrop in eastern sky; they would get up before the blazing hot sun of summer rose in the morning, the Mountain kept the house cool until noon.

My mother worked in the Goodyear Mill at night before attending “beauty school” during the day, with no sleep; she wanted to be a beautician. She rode an old bicycle the five miles in the dark to where she would catch a bus to the Mill, she then walked to the Beauty School, took the bus home, it dropped her off after dark and she rode the bicycle five miles home. She slept a few hours then repeated the schedule. I rarely saw my mother, maybe on Sundays, but then she was busy getting ready for the week to come. My mother was an extraordinary individual, she hated being poor, but she loved the young Chickasaw sharecropper she was married too. When my sister got old enough to be, alone she set about planning her future.

 

 

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree
Author’s books at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

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.

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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.

 

©2020.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree
Books by author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com…

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Christmas 1942…#143

PANEL TRUCK 1930

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.

E.

©2020.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books by author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com…

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Epoch of Living…#134

 

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Epoch of Living…
In this age with the elderly outnumbering the rest of society, I have been privilege to be a part of some living and passing. It is the days before their glorious ascension that I write about today. I live in an Independent complex for “seniors”; the transference was not an easy one, but the simplicity of living outweighed all other situations. Why do I write about this subject? The decline of the human body and sometimes the Spirit and Soul. I have surveyed many and followed their decline and fight to live a productive and peaceful life. The subject matter of this post is my own personal opinion.

The healthy hearty individuals who chose to give up their homes for a more simple life, less house and yard work arrive with smiles. They have underground parking and no longer have to fight the winter weather, snow and ice. They have activities if they wish to participate, everything from cards, bingo, community choirs and gatherings to potlucks and holiday meals and cook outs.

In the beginning they are many times met in these “get-to-gathers” by the few with more boisterous personalities, i.e., they want to run the show and those attending. I do not attend these gatherings, as I have always been an advocate for the elderly…then became one. By the time we get to these types of living situations many have lost the fight that we possessed in younger days, we allow the few to control the masses. These are individual choices and I in no way want to judge why some lets others control them. Of course, there is also living in the complex those few like myself who choose to walk to our own drummer so to speak. Nonetheless, it is a source of irritation to me when I hear of the controlling few and how they act toward their fellow women and men.

Back to the decline, the residents arrive with enthusiasm, new cars, and settle into a less stressful lifestyle. It is the decline of the human body and mind that I get upset with the progress. Within a few years, their cars are taken from them, leaving them without transportation and at the mercy of their children or grandchildren to provide rides to doctor visits and shopping. I have observed those who did not need to give up driving, it was taken away because a child wanted the use of the vehicle. When discussing a sometimes-tragic decision tears come to their eyes, they were not ready, nor did they need to be ready. Then there are those who should have had those vehicles taken to protect the public and they had no one to make the choice for them, they are a danger to society.

The few who remain independent is not what this post is regarding, it is about those who fall into the category of being told what to do, or have relatives forget they exist. The brave few who are capable of making their own decisions and continue to live a lifestyle that should be afforded the elderly I applaud them. There are those who have loving children and are held in high regard by those children, they are well cared for and visited often.

This bring me to those who are within time visited by their children only on holidays, if even then, or those who come around to “get” what they want material, financial or otherwise. I have witnessed too many times when a family would come in Mother’s Day with a lily, and within thirty minutes, they are leaving. The same with Christmas, they arrive Christmas Eve with poinsettias and leave within a few minutes they do not want to disrupt their own lives by spending too much time with who should be their “loved” ones. It is at this stage of life that the residents of the complex transfer slowly from walking to wheelchair, walker or cane. Now, we all may get in that position during an illness, but we fight each time to return to being as active as possible. Many are happy to sit in front of their TV all day as age progresses; this brings on the final days quicker.

However, after all is said and done one cannot help getting older and go through the various stages of life to reach their final destination. Moreover, for all that I have written, I am thankful that I can remain mentally productive and continue to do what I have always dreamed of doing upon retirement, write, publish and enjoy my days with hope for a long and happy future. With that being said, it is in these living situations that we reach the end of our journeys; I wrote a short poem that started the entire premise of this post.

Angel Wings

How sweet is the foreboding, yet dying can be a beautiful sight. Even though it can be hard to bear, the thoughts are wonderful of one’s soul floating to Heaven on God’s golden air.

Family and friends gather sitting close to the hearths, angels waiting nearby; love ones questioning…why!

Death is something that is impossible to prepare, the angels try to fill the room with loving care. Love ones watch with a fallen tear…listen can you hear the angels sing. Another soul given their wings.

 

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

Books by author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com…

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Never Ending Vacation from Life…#127

 

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Never Ending Vacation from Life…

There are times when the inter-self believes that to survive; it must find the strength to run away. Retreating invades the mind each day. It is not always a question of whether to leave or stay with the physical body. The mind will say that departure from life is the only way. A dream of escaping a crestfallen existence starts threatening emotions. Yearning to create happiness on more than a fabrication of the Imagination.

 
A misplaced soul not always filled with treasured memories, because life has not been kind. Age is not a factor in being unsure of what path life will take; living at times in tormented moments is tiring and emotional. Fading souls find that life is hanging onto the tail of a spinning world trying not to slip into a dark abyss of fear. Struggling between reality and imaginary subsistence.

 
It is in silence that most turn inward, back to the secret hiding place, deep within the core of self-preservation. A place where peace abounds, fear subsides, outwardly knowing true happiness will never be found. When there are no longer reasons to chase after dreams, these lost souls believe that only in death will they find truth.

 
Only with death, will the tree of happiness bear fruit. Dreams of escaping a crestfallen existence may be contemplated as a never-ending vacation. Yet, it must be known as a false consideration, a delusional unhappiness, a fabrication of the imagination. Existence is precious, life is to be live to the fullest each day, enjoy the happy moments and the unhappy ones will soon fade away.

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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The Chickasaw Farmer…#126

 

30. Women in cottonfield

Art by Author

The Chickasaw Farmer…

“A tribute to my Daddy”

Rickety ole man stood on the cotton
Wagon a tin of yellow salve in his
Hand.

Rickety ole wagon
Rickety ole man

A hot southern sun hides behind the
Willows on muddy Flint Creek, cotton
Pickers sweat falling on parched lips
Taste like salty brine while they wait
For the ole man to call “quitting time”.

Rickety ole wagon
Rickety ole man

Young, old, children, women and men
Bloody fingers cut by the barbs of the
Cotton boll dig into the old yellow salve
Tin.

Rickety ole wagon
Rickety ole man

Tar bottom sacks filled with soft white
Gold weary feet follow two old sway
Back mules down a rutted road.

Rickety ole wagon
Rickety ole man

 
Crimson clouds from wagon wheels
Whirl around tired bodies and drained
Minds; feels like pickers been
Working in the cotton fields since the
Beginning of time.

Rickety ole wagon
Rickety ole man

Mules stop at the fork of the road as the
Cotton pickers walked into the dark of the
Night the Ole man’s heart filled with
Appreciation; cause he’s just an old
Chickasaw farmer trying to
Survive inside a “White Nation”.

Rickety ole wagon
Rickety ole man

 
©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 
Books by author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com…

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