Soap Sticks…#125

 

Vintage sepia toned image of a very old donkey. Lying in the sand stock photography

Soap Sticks…
The dark russet of her hair, wiry, tickled the legs and her boney back made sore the tiny bottoms of my sparsely clothed butt. She was a tough ole girl still walk slow, proud of herself when we climbed on her back, you would swear the old mule would strut. Silver hair replaced the brown around her eyes and mouth, in her prime she pulled heavy plows and wagons, Soap Sticks was a genuine southern mule. She woke at four O’clock every morning with a braying that echoed off the bluffs above our home. Like a barnyard rooster, it was her way of telling everyone to wake up.

Her world in those days was filled with sunshine and all the oats that she wanted to eat, her long ears had finally gone dead, her sight week. Soap Sticks was wise, her senses distinct and she roamed familiar pastures by instinct. She inhabited brooks in the pastures nibbled on whatever the land would yield. Her love for children never changed, when I came next to her she would instantly kneel to the ground making it possible for her little girl to climb upon her back.

Climbing on her back leaving the pasture I would hold to her rough mane, she took me through the fields of cotton, corn and sugar cane where she would stop for me to break off a sweet piece of the sugar cane. She would go down into the brooks deep enough to let the water tickle my feet. On any given day, she would be the one that made the decision to give me these special treats. Unafraid, I knew that she would never bring any harm to me, when she tired of the ride she would slowly take me back to the farm where I would put her back into the pasture.

It was a brisk fall day that my daddy came into our kitchen to say that Old Soap Sticks had gone very far away. “Where” I screamed, he told me that she had suffered all night, she was very old and that about four O’clock she just closed her eyes and went to her final sleep. Daddy buried her in the pasture by the little brook she loved so much, close to the clear sweet water. I said a prayer over the tall mound where she would lay forever, I did not cry, as it was not our way.

I knew that Soap Sticks would not be old or alone, she would roam green pastures and drink from bubbling brooks, at last, she was truly home. She could now hear birds sing and see other animals around her. I do not know how old I will be before I go into that final sleep, but I know when I do Old Soap Sticks would come running, kneeling down to carry me to my final home.

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree
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Shattered…#123

 

 

Old Homeplace Barn
Old Homeplace Barn

Shattered…

On a warm summer day, an old soul returned to a place where a part of it remained for years. Waiting while misplaced pieces of it floated through life on waves of tears. Many gathered on this day all had the same ancestral blood flowing through their veins. Some came out of respect, the unbroken circle came for gain.  These mortals had tried to keep the old soul away from this final commemoration. They did not care about its many years of painful isolation.

Death had not fractured the unbroken circle, gone unchanged for years. The return of this old soul brought to the cloistered flock panic and fear.  Disregarded, invisible with no right to be heard, unwanted at birth, then cast out on a painful journey at an incredible cost. To penetrate the unbroken circle was a battle that would forever be lost. The old soul believed it was a time to grieve, a time to pray. A time to remember when an innocent soul was simply forgotten, tossed away.  On soft breezes, those that gathered

could be heard with a pretense of moans. Their voices echoed memorials where truth was silenced the real story hidden, inside of the unbroken circle forbidden. The old soul stared down at a mound of dirt waiting for love that the grave could not offer, while the unbroken circle gathered and divided the coffers.

A loving soul had returned to where a part of it remained for years. It gathered up the pieces of its heart and wiped away the tears. The shattered old soul had returned on that warm summer day. To grieve the loss of never hearing “I love you” or feeling a gentle touch. It needed to tell the unbroken circle when one is unloved their lives are crushed.

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree
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Muddy Water…#121

Image result for old bridge muddy river image

 

Muddy Water…

 
Down a rutted country road from my

childhood home five miles or so the

muddy Flint Creek flowed south, really

slow.  I could not have been over five

or six, when I walked that road but

never without carrying a big stick.

 
I carried that stick with eyes open wide,

because if a rattlesnake bit you… daddy

said that you might die.In the summer, I

would go there every day skipping and

hopping along; I would jump from that,

rickety old bridge twenty-foot into that

muddy water, then right before the sun

went down I would go home.

 
My daddy never wondered where I had

gone, everyone who crossed that bridge

during the day told him, so you see I was

never alone.  When I finally got home,

daddy would just look at me with a sly

grin, and say with firmness, “Baby you’d

better not let your mother know where

you’ve been.

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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In the Darkness of Night…#117

CHICKASAW NATION SEAL

“To my father and all of our Chickasaw family who walked before him on the Trail of Tears”.

In the Darkness of Night…

I hear the cries of my grandmothers and

grandfathers, I feel their fear; I walk with

them in my dreams on the Trail of Tears.

Their feet bloody as they walked the rutted

trail, every scar on their backs is another

story to tell.

 
They planted crops gave blessing and took

from the land only what they would need, a

word they did not know… greed. Strangers

with pale skin came from the east where

living off the land was unknown; my people

taught them how to live, when no longer

needed the white stranger’s drove them

from their ancestral homes.

 
The Grandfathers and their families stood

tall, their backs they refused to bend so the

white strangers herded them like cattle to

a far off land… to die in the hot barren sand.

My people believed the land belonged to no

one, given to all by the “Great Mystery”; still

they died with broken souls never knowing

that their story in time covered the blood-

splattered pages of history.

 
My people watched as women gave birth

and warriors carried the dead, the children

went to sleep hungry with the ground as their

bed. The day came when these great people

corralled on dry barren land, given musty

water and bug-infested corn meal to eat,

in a place with no hope, to the white man

they were bound; a killing field where the

blood of my family spilled upon the ground.

 
I hear you my grandmothers and grandfathers,

your cries do not go unheard in the darkness

of night; for in my dreams I walk with you,

I feel your fear; I wake each morning with the

taste of your tears.

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 
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Going Home…#112

Going Home…

Morning, glorious morning, the sunbeams seeps brightly through the windowpane like frost from winters frozen ground. I rise, face the Eastern sky that is where the warmth of the day can be found. I open the window the breeze bathes me with the scent of lilacs that grow lavishly in the spring. While somewhere in the distance, plum dusk lingers as the last moments of night clings.

A robin searches for worms beneath my crabapple tree, I sip from my favorite cup, a hot peach flavored tea. It is time to dress, comb my snow-white hair and take the well-worn path down the hillside toward the sea. At water’s edge, I pause to remember God, to hear his wondrous call, I will dedicate this moment to the Great Mystery of it all. I pray for patience in enjoying these golden years, to hold my head high and face life without fear.

I return home and I hear children playing in the fields far away, I remember the joy of the imaginary castles in the sky that I use to build. I stop to think, have I sat here all day, reliving my own childhood in that special way? I slowly rise from the old oak rocker, did I remember to eat, is it time to go inside, to wash the dried sand from my feet.

It is then that I return to my thoughts as evening shadows come into sight. It is time for me to climb beneath my mother’s old quilts, my eyes will close and I will flow among the starless time called sleep, my God has a promise to keep. I float across a space upon the softness of a sparkling wind, along the way I see family and friends. I know that my soul from its earthly body has gone; where silver sands and emerald seas will forever be a part of me…this is everlasting love, at last I am home.

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree
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Art and Writing…#109

I have shared below a few of my own art collection, during a time when I was in grief over the loss of my child I placed my thoughts, scenes from my childhood into painting in acrylics and watercolors.  My hope is that someday they will become family treasures.  I continue to paint today for my enjoyment.

 

 

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I Believe…#105

 

thSUVG3T3P

 

I have always been interested the Bible, the Word, and its foundation for most laws throughout the world. I grew up in a little country Baptist church in the south, my mother and I went to church every Sunday. In the early years my daddy would take us up Burleson Mountain in a wagon drawn by our old mule Soap Sticks, he would be sitting out front an hour later to bring us home. By the time I was eight we had acquired and old WW II jeep, mother drove us, and would bring the preacher back home for dinner (lunch to non-southerners). We were then, my daddy and me required to sit and listen to what daddy called the re-sermon; mother would drive the preacher back up the mountain to his home. I ask my daddy one time why he didn’t have a wife, daddy said probably because he never shut up long enough to allow some woman to say, “I do”.
We left the farm when I was twelve years old, mother would not return to the church until years later when my little sister would be married in one. Oh, she would go occasionally, but I never knew why. My daddy only set foot in church twice in his life, once when they buried his grandmother and the last time at the wedding of my sister. Nonetheless, I ask our new town neighbors the location of the closest Baptist church, it was six blocks away; I went every Sunday until I married. That first Sunday I felt the “calling” and walked to the altar, the third Sunday I was baptized, neither of my parents came to the baptism. I continued going to a small Baptist church close to where we lived after I married. I felt at home there and for the next ten years, I taught Sunday school.
My reason for conveying this information is that many years ago I begin to question the Word, not that it was fiction or a lie, but if these teaching are true why do people or even animals suffer. When you begin to research these things then you begin to question them. I am today a person that is not religious or one that believes in organized religion, of those church leaders that live in the “lap of luxury” paid for by the less fortunate who give their few dollars a week; those who abuse children. I am spiritual, and I believe in helping others, treating others, as I would want to be treated. I believe that there is something out there bigger than we all are, and that there is a place of energy and of beauty beyond what we know as the “now”. However, I do believe that individuals that wanted to control others and set those words down as Law wrote the “Word”.
I believe that there were humans on earth before Adam and Eve, if years are counted right then this would make these two much younger than the world was at the time of their creation. I do not know by means of research or teachings if this is true. The Bible will show that Adam and Eve had many children, and that Cain killed Abel. It is then that Cain had to leave and he went beyond the Second Garden of Eden and he found his wife. Cain’s wife gave birth to a son that they named Enoch and Cain then built a city of that name. If there were not people other than Adam and Eve then how did this happen. It is believed that Cain traveled until he found other humans. If there were not others then why would Cain build a city for just him and his wife? The book of Genesis suggests all of these things.
Genesis 4:16 16So Cain went out from the LORD’s presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
How can religion dispute the word they live by…?
If the creation of Adam and Eve is more myth that fact and we have the ability to know that Earth is hundreds or thousands year old and again time frames are set in place they may be real people and they may be the father and mother of generations, but not the first humans.
Other questions I have are those regarding a God we believe that will watch over us. Psalm 121:7-8 will tell us that he will keep us from all harm, just open a newspaper, and turn on a television read the internet. Is this true? The Word promises that the only role God plays in the verse is in Psalm 91, which is that death itself is deliverance for Christians, removing us from sin, pain, suffering and sorrow. Is there proof outside the Bible that God cares about us? No, there are claims of proof. Is God under any obligation to answer our prayers? It is said that God is under no obligation to hear and answer prayers of those who have made themselves strangers to him. However, the Word also says that God cannot lie, nor break his promise. Therefore, with the many prayers for peace, safety and love why is the world is such dire shape.
Psalm 121: 7-8 The Lord will keep you from all harm, he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
What we do know is that there are about 40 authors of the books of the Bible, there are anonymous writers too. The Bible has been translated into languages from Hebrew Aramaic and Greek, with approximately 670 languages. The New Testament alone has 1,521 languages and some stories into approximately 1,121 other languages.
What I do believe is that God created the first human-type parents and all creatures, and that they were highly complex organisms. That we have bodies that will age and souls that will go on to a place of beauty. I believe that humanity began with a miracle, Using reason and revelation I believe that we are people of many faiths. With so many authors, translations and languages that created the Bible and as a writer I believe that we live in a mysterious world where we want to believe that some if not all of the “Word” is true and that my friends is called faith.

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

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