Southern Chattels and the Birth of the Cotton Fields…#320

Alabama 1850 – Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

Southern Chattels and Birth of the Cotton Fields…

Upon the waves of a tranquil sapphire ocean sails

a vessel from hell, the purity of white foam

bellowing in the warm wind gave no warning of

what lay within its dark belly.

Fear of the unknown soon turned into panic for

the confine souls taken from where God intended

them to be.  Their freedom imprison by rustic chains. 

Their blood spilled on the land they once loved.

Greed and ignorance of unyielding traders brought

pain and profit from the gentle forest, spring waters,

and warm earth.  Marched for days without food or

water, not knowing their fate.  Different tongues

melded among the scared, the innocent.

Swathed in tar pitch to cover the gnashed bodies. 

Clothing to cover their purity, only to be handled

like the beast of burdens they would soon become.

Sold at the auction block to the highest bidder,

speaking words that they did not understand. 

Marched in chains to the land of their buyers.

High upon his noble steed the taskmasters whip

reached its mark while the plow buried itself deep

within the rich red southern soil.  Without food,

water, or rest, toiling from daylight to dark to bring

in the “Masters” crops.

Living in conditions worse than the animals of the

fields, cold, unbound, with no place to run.  The

lands of their ancestors lay unknown in a place that

would soon be forgotten.  What was all of it for,

the Gods, no!

The sun and rain nourishes without judgment, both

the just, and the unjust, the vessel from hell has since

vanished; blood and sweat planted a seed in earth’s

womb and she gives birth to the white man’s gold called

“cotton”.

Copyright©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

AUTHORS NOTE:  I wrote this poem over the past several weeks.  Politics, rallies and violence from the white people has covered a once proud nation.  Somewhere along the way during this political time we have lost sight of other drastic problems in our nation.  The BLM movement.  Have we learned nothing as a nation?  The trials of the Black people did not end with the Civil War and the freedom they was given.  There was no justice then and there is no justice now.  These proud people were taken against their will, dropped into misery by the white southern land owners.  They were not allowed to read or write they had to live as “slaves”.  This was a problem when the War ended slavery, many land owners cruelly tossed the black people off their land.  They did not know what to do, no education, no jobs, no homes.  When the white man saw them seemingly without purpose walking up and down roads, it was not that they were lost; no, they were looking for family that had been taken from them.  With the presidential election over, with a pandemic possibly under control, let’s not forget that “BLACK LIVES STILL MATTER”.  Let’s not forget the “whiteness” of our skin and the privilege that comes with it.  We must always remember, lest we forget the horrors of the past.  We are all responsible, we all need to focus on the moment and do what we can to make the lives of a great people better.

Big Willie…#319

Artwork – Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree

Big Willie…

When days get bad within my mind,

I travel back to another time.  The

fog clears, the memory unfolds to a

gentle soul, a man among men.

I was only a child but he was my friend.

He was child of a slave woman, he was

The Masters son. 

Everyone called him Big Willie, though

when I knew him he had shriveled with

old age, a religious man, he could read

the bible without ever turning a page.

Big Willie looked upon life steadily, he

felt alive and whole, he road an old

rusty bicycle wherever he would go. 

He lived in a little house on my daddy’s

land, they respected each other, man

to man.

We buried Big Willie one cold gloomy

day, I did not understand why my best

friend had to go away.  Daddy placed a

marker upon his grave, when he bought

it he looked at me asking besides his

name what should it say.

An imaginary child even in those days, of

my childhood friend I knew exactly what I

wanted the marker to display.

IN HIS YOUTH HE WAS NEITHER DULL NOR

WILD, HE WAS KNOW AS BIG WILLIE THE

MASTERS CHILD.”

©2012.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Lands afar…#318

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(Fiction Poetry)

Lands afar…

Why does the mind’s eye not see the future?

Does a fog of mystery covering our soul’s

intentionally obscure visions of tomorrow?

I am aware of the squirrels rustling the dead

leaves beneath the thorny rose bush in the

light of the moon?  Cold and exposed, patiently

waiting for the season of bloom.

My garden once alive lies still, a hint of

summers perfume lingers in the fall air.  Now

cradled in the arms of Mother Earth, waiting

for its new birth.

I think of the now, disease and war a threat to

fallow soil, will the power of war come to us

once more?  Would the human intellect be able

to cope with the naked landscape of truth?

Only in lucid dreams do I find tomorrow, a golden

glow of the future.  The seasons will change, Will

I see the orange lilies show their tinted face; the

snowball bush bud; will they all still know me.

Only the spirit knows the endless land beyond

tomorrow, will I no longer be?  A new season, new

life, one where choices can be made, a prisoner to

the past, or will I be free.

Spikes of the moon now fall upon the coatless oak

tree; nothing has ever belonged to me, nature, and

my life.  I will be gone I will be free; I will be in the world afar.

Perfection with a new birth

Tranquility with a new birth

Infinity comes with a new birth

Why is the mind’s eye blind to the acceptance of

just living for today?    

Copyright©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Women’s History Month and Aging…#317

What is it to Grow Old?

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As many of you know, I have been fighting a problem that my doctors cannot diagnose; they sent me home after every test known to man or woman.  At the beginning I was walking about six miles a day; at the end of the hospital stay, I was walking with assistance walker, now a cane.  The weakness holds to me like a leach.  After a hospital stay, I have been undergoing therapy at home; I am no better today than my first day home.

This weakness is interfering in my life!  Therapy takes up most of my days; no less than four hours a day, with little progress.  I take care of the needs of my new puppy and myself, there is no energy for anything else.  Simple household chores can be monumental; as are the self care needs.  The challenge that I face daily is the need to work on my writing and painting projects.  That time is limited the reason, no energy which brings me to what I plan to discuss in this post, women and depression.  The Covid affects older adults, twice as many women over men experience depression.  Nonetheless, geriatric depression added onto medical conditions and certain disabilities can be life threatening.  Depression can be misdiagnosis, as it mimics normal age related issues.

Depression in the older adults can reduce their quality of life, and it increases risk of suicide.  There is no single cause of depression in any age group. Some research indicates that there could be a genetic link to the disease. However, biological, social, and psychological factors all play a role in depression in older adults.

If you’re experiencing depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts, it’s important to get help. With the right interventions, depression is treatable, and suicide is preventable.  Learn to recognize the symptoms’ of depression; if you have an elderly relative talk to them about the possibility of being depressed.

I myself suffer from depression, I have always felt that creative people are all depressed in some way; it derives from our need to create, artist, writers.  My symptoms were lack of interest, unable to sleep, feelings of hopelessness, a strange sadness; feelings of no quality of life.

I share t his with you as there may be others of all ages that are living under a dark cloud of depression.  Try to understand your feelings and discuss it with your physician, and always remember that you are not alone.

Below is a piece  that I have written/created  during these dark days, it helps to continue to create.  I am fine; each day brings renewed hope for a long and bright future.

Image result for growing old images

Watching the body lose its shape, the eyes no longer sparkle, now small orbs in a wrinkled face.  Strength disappears, limbs grow stiff, and every function less accurate and every fiber of  being frail and overwrought with life. Life is not what in our youth we dreamed it would be!  The aging was not to be mellow and soft as the sunsets glow, these golden day’s  decline with a hurried speed.  To see the world from a pinnacle with creative eyes, a heart deeply moved.  Yet we mourn to feel and see the past, the years that are gone forever. Being old is to spend long days not once believing that we were ever young.  Confined in the cold prison of living day to day with weary pain. It is to suffer, being only half of what we use to be; feeble are many who are hidden away.  Remembrance gone, no emotion, no life. This is the last stage of life, frozen within ourselves, soon to be an empty ghost; whom do we blame? We blame no one, no regrets, being old is a privilege. 

©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Bangles and Colorful Cloth for Ma…#316

Image result for Autumn Cemetery

Bangles and Colorful Cloth for Ma…

“Repost – Dedicated to my Great-Grandmother”

When I was born, you were a young ninety-years old,

your hair pulled tight at the nap of your neck, still

black and bold.  At night, you let it down to braid before

you went to bed; it almost fell to the floor; at first I would

watch in silence from a crack in the door. 

The night you caught me I was six, you called me into the

room…asking that I bring you a single broomstick. 

I quickly plucked it from mother’s broom, and rushed

back into the dimly lamp lit room.  You showed me how to

break it into small pieces; when I looked bewildered your smile

showed all of your dark wrinkles and creases. 

It was then that my eyes opened wide as you put the stick right

through the lob of your ears, its magic I thought; but this is my

Great-grandmother I have nothing to fear.  As a child, I did not

realize that there was a hole, because when I would touch the

bangles on her ears, she would quickly scold.

Just like the time when I tried to sneak a peek at her button up

shoes by raising the hem of her long dress, she did not have on

shoes, there were moccasins on those tiny feet…who would have

guessed.  Yes, I was a child without a care, and I spent many

hours sitting at the foot of her old rocking chair.

I never tire of the stories she would tell, sometimes we cried together

and now I can say, as a child she lived in a white man’s world, she

called it “hell”.  Her parents had walked on the “Trail of Tears”, proud

and strong, with every step wondering where they had gone wrong.

She help raise me and she taught me “The Way”.  When her mind begins

to wander in those later years, I was sad when she would tell her stories

that she only remembered the bad.  This grand old lady dressed in bangles

and cloths of many colors, long braids and black hair; a great-grandmother

like no other.

She died a few days before her birthday; she would have been one-hundred

and five.  My daddy said, Ma as we called her would have scolded you saying

 don’t you ever cry.  I was fifteen-year old and the world was bright and

colorful with the artwork of fall, a befitting day to bury a  beautiful and

proud Chickasaw. 

[Repost]

Copyright©2012.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

America appears to be on “Crack”…#315

Freedom, the right to become nothing, build nothing, think nothing.  One of my favorite poets is Langston Hughes, a dreamer, there are many others as well?  A poet’s soul is deep; it creates in us the need to revise, revise, and revise.  Children are grand poets, clean, clear minds not yet destroyed by society, or filled with myths, threats and social prejudices.  Yet, many of the greatest poets are those who have experienced love, hate, social injustice and despair.

My poetry is filled with experience, it includes family injustice, personal despair, and yes hate.  I can only express my love as I have known it, my children has been the foundation of my love from the moment of their births; therefore, I do know love; expressing it has not found a place in my well of words.  The intensity of expression of my feelings and ideas has individual style and rhythm.  They come from that place within me that stays hidden from the outside world.  My poetry frequently tells a story filled with dark drama, it is unique in style.  Most time comes from either my spiritual, emotional, or psychological state; individually or all towering over me like a cloud.

The poem below comes from that place within me that fears for the future of our “Nation”.

Image result for Donald Trump at CPAC 2021
Donald Trump to represent the Republican Party at CPAC 2021. Should this evil man be allow to continue in America’s future?

America appears to be on “Crack”

And, America appears to be like someone

who has red ants in their pants; run, run, run. 

Washington is filled with bizarrely benign,

relics, America is not going forward toward

the light; it is rushing backwards into the

darkness.

Brewing storms, ranting, not caring or

watching for the snap of a jaw that destroys

us all.  Politics are gnawed on by every

American adult.  Politicians spewing remarkable

lies.  If here, if Moses were here, he would be

raising his arms to the questioning white faces.      

What will our future be now that the world is

turned upside down?   A former leader believing

that he was God’s right hand man, piloting a

desecration of an American sacred building;

one built from stone and bone.    

 

Atlantis buried under ice one day here, the

next gone.  Will America slip quietly into the

dark ocean?  Americans, a blip in the history of

mankind, live, die, decide.  A great black distance

looms over the people as they curl themselves

around the flames of non-responsibility. They

should want to escape from the lie strewn plains

and mountains of our country; yet,  their eyes

dark pools of blindness.

America appears to be on “Crack”.

©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Survived for another day…#314

First, let me thank those bloggers that allow rebloging from their sites.  It is a wonderful way to fill your blogging space when you are not able to do so, and I chose random sites that I thought would be interesting to my followers.  All of you are appreciated, and I am grateful to you for visiting and commenting.

I was in the hospital with “vertigo” and “toxicity” emergency, the most terrible case scenario; I am now in therapy to restore the use of my balance.  Now, I can hopefully return to blogging, researching and writing my new book “The Blood Within”.

Dixie May Murphree 11 Weeks

An exciting note, my new puppy “Dixie” is doing well, housebroken and learning the rules.  My heart is still heavy for the loss of Mason in August of 2020, Dixie does not fill the hole in my heart, but helps scar over the open wound. 

Thank you again to my most amazing loyal followers and new one’s too.

E.

You missed a bit

Outstanding post, read and enjoy. E.

Keith Kreates!

19-02-2007 14-45-33_0025a

“♫ One man and his dog, Spot, went to mow a meadow. ♫”

“What are you singing?”

“♫ One man and his dog, Spot, went to mow a meadow. ♫”

“Why?”

“Seems appropriate.”

“How so?”

“I’m mowing, ennit?”

“Allegedly. Thing is, Dear Heart, you aren’t a man, neither of our dogs is called Spot and, oh yes, neither of our dogs is with you – and what it amuses us to call our back garden is hardly a meadow.”

“Poetic license.”

“The license that would help you most is a driving one, not a poetic one.”

“I have a driving license and you know it!”

“I was speaking ironically. When do you think you’ll be finished?”

“Probably when I’ve done it all.”

“What am I supposed to do in the meantime?”

“Haven’t you got any work to do?”

“Finished it.”

“Okay. You like to be ironic – there’s loads needs…

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The Lighthouse

Ivor, a great site to visit and often.

Ivor.Plumber/Poet

Today, here again I am presenting another ‘5min’ poem that I wrote at Ali Grimsham’s ‘Writing Circle’ Zoom meeting this morning (haha, “at 6.00am”) and I would like to thank Ali for giving me an opportunity to participate in such a fantastic event … Here is the page link to get more information about the next “writing circle” event.https://flashlightbatteries.blog/online-writing-circles/Tickets by donation. All are welcome.

The Lighthouse

I am afloat

In between

Here and there

Am I lost?

My ship clock

Is a sundial

Using the moon

To reflect on time

I hear the waves

Pounding white hooves

A heavy sound

Of many moods

Is the sea growing wide?

Is the light glowing brighter?

Ivor Steven (c) Feb 2021

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Snippets from Source # 106

Short and simple, speaks volumes. Take time to check out Pat’s blog this snowy (for me) Sunday.

Source of Inspiration

That long list of things to do
did not come from me. My list is
short and sweet– give love, be happy.

I know, it is so simple, you think it
is hard to do, but babies and puppies
do it all the time.

Simply Source

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