Grandpa’s Jug…

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Grandpa’s Jug…
On a cold southern night, reading under the covers by a “coal oil” light, grandpa’s
piano and laughter ringing in my ears. Serenading grandma both had a bit too much “cheer”. I laughed so hard I pulled up the tail of my flour sack gown to dry my happy tears; Ma could not hear me I had nothing to fear.  Suddenly there was the smell of smoke; Ma came in giving my covered shoulders a poke. It does not matter to me she exclaimed, you may want to get out of bed before you go up in flames. Through the burnt hole in my quilt I could see, smokes rising through it like a wilderness Tepee. Grandpa tossed a bucket of water at me from the door; it missed the bed and hit the floor.  Grandpa jerked the quilt off the bed, folded It ever so gently and pristine, then through
It out my window that had no screen. My aunt walked in laughed so hard she peed,
Then said to the others, “Don’t yell at her; be happy that she likes to read. I thought I was in trouble, and then everyone begins to laugh. Drying her tears grandma said, “Well, it isn’t as if she’s committed a crime”. She will remember this night for a very long time. It was then…I ran to the outhouse thankful for their “cheer” with the help of a little Old jug of “moonshine”.

 

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  Southern born and breed keeps this tiny bit of fictional poetry close to reality.  It was thought of and written quickly.  It gave me a chuckle as the moonshine, the laughter, a small child staying with her grandparents; are long ago memories.

 

 

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Buttercup…

 

Yellow_dog_in_grass-1170x878    Buttercup

 

Buttercup…

 
Many years ago, when my memory first came to be
I guess I was about three. I was alone all day while
Daddy worked in the cotton fields leaving long before
the sun came up; it was just me and a big old yellow
dog who watched out for me that everyone called
Buttercup.

Daddy said that she wandered up one day about half
starved and she never left our yard. I had a sister, who
was about nine, but she was never around she and my
mother was gone all the time.

I overheard mama saying one day that my sister was the
only child that she ever wanted or even had; I did not care
I had daddy so my life was not that bad.

I would eat cold biscuits every morning left on the old wood
stove then sit on our back porch wondering where I could go.
I did not need anyone to take care of me – I had that old
yellow dog you see.

She and I played in the fields under the hot southern sun I
would hang on to her and away we would run. Sometimes
we would walk in the woods around the mountaintop where
we lived. I had better care from that old yellow dog than
most humans could give.

Life was not easy for me with no one to care still “Buttercup”
was always there. Soon it came time for me to go to school
Buttercup and daddy would watch as the bus drove away,
They would both be waiting for me at the end of each day.

The years went by quickly when one day only daddy stood by
the road with his head bowed down there were tears in his eyes
as he stared at the ground.

Later as my own tears fell upon that soft mound of red dirt I
looked toward Heaven and told Buttercup to keep watching for
me, “You’ll look up one day old girl and there I will be”.

 
©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

 

Honey Wine…

Honey Wine

Serena knew that beauty had an ending, that all things fade and die she was in the winter of her years. All her friends were gone as was much of her family, some forgotten like goldenrods falling to dust upon the wind. Her eyes yearned, her heart bled for love, she kept repeating the words…

“Old, old, old.”

The clouds of time have spun away like fall she now waited for the last leaf to drop. All that was left was the sweet memories like Honey wine. Please she whispered …

“I am so tired of time”.

 

 
©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

 

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Unforgiving Sadness…

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Unforgiving Sadness

Years have gone by and I continue to live under a dark veil of sadness. No sun reaches the pale skin locked inside this place, my self-made prison. I walk the hallways slowly these days of darkness and touch the squeaky banisters, one day someone will fall. The smell assaults my senses old people are dying here.

I walk as quickly as I can, back to the safety of what will be my last living place. I drink down the hot, dark chicory liquid; I wait in hope that sleep will carry me away. Once again, I wake; the light comes without sunshine, damn the pain. Another day of grieving, another moment in time, I live from moment to moment in grief. Someone is knocking, can they not read the sign on my door, DO NOT DISTURB.

Family, questions the sign; can they not see that I do not want to see people in this place that I call “God’s Waiting Room”; I do not want to make friends here in this house of the dying. My life changed forever on the hot summer day when my heart ripped apart and my soul crumbled. Years have gone by and I continue to live under the dark veil of sadness, since my daughter’s death, I only feel  unforgiving sadness.

******

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

AUTHOR’S NOTE: All humans have or will be touched by the hands of death during their lifetime. To lose a child is an un-measureable grief. You will close your eyes tight and hope when you open them those lost will be standing in front of you. When you go to bed at night that is the last thing on your mind and the first when you wake the following day. Then you realize it is not some cruel joke that is being played on you, it is real, too real. The outward pretense that you show the world is insane to you. You smile and everyone thinks that you are happy. Beneath that façade is a place of horror, hell’s fire burns from within. It is called “Grief” and it will not leave you.

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The Tapestry of Life…

The Tapestry of Life

The individual self is an actor, life the stage; we are masters of our emotions capable of expressing self-assurance, joy and rage. There is a hidden self, living deep within the forest of life, one preferred not to show, the image of strength and confidence choosing to expose.

It is during the times of valleys and peaks, darkness and fear; wearing a mask, a masquerade keeping emotions hidden in the forest of the soul within sight and near. The landscape of ourselves guides us to better places, and the silent strong self that transforms outward faces.

To believe in aspirations and make lives worth living; it is within the landscape of strong confident selves that allows us to dream. We perform in our world upon the stage of life the perfect impressionist; yet it is when we change the landscape of our lives we find true happiness.

******

 

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This piece is about stripping away the outer layers of ourselves, and it is then that we open to the world the real person beneath the layers of fear, discontent, helplessness and many others. Then we can regain our power to live.

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Good Saturday Afternoon to all…

Good Saturday Afternoon to all…

On a more personal note today, I have not slept very well for over a week; last night I was determined to get “sleep”. I went to bed my usual time, 2 AM. I woke at 9 AM. I fed my four-legged son Mason and returned to my bed. I woke at 3 PM, my “sleep potion” worked! I have now forgotten what combination I took. Woke up with clear head, my problem is that I may not sleep again for several days. Yet, I did get lots of sleep.

 
I woke with Mason looking desperately for his stuffed Yellow Dog. It always commanded (by Mason) a place on my bed as well as Mr. Squirrel. After two or three years of play, a ragged Yellow Dog disappeared. Mason did not realize it until today. Mr. Squirrel and Yellow Dog were always on the bed. Mason came into the living room with Mr. Squirrel, running back and forth; I finally went into the bedroom only to find him digging up the covers. I knew instantly that he was looking for Yellow Dog.

IMG_0536.jpg                                                              Mason Murphree
I now have one “ticked” off little dog. He want leave me along; he sits by me and stares. Yes, I lie to him saying I do not know where the Yellow Dog is…

 
I tossed it in the garbage. It has been over a month and he has not noticed until today. Now he looks at me like,
“I don’t have any thumbs, so I cannot open the trash door, it has to be you!”

The Vines…

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The Vines…

Beneath the small caves in my home place, Burleson Mountain everyone knows, the rich greenery that abundantly grows. Rocks, buildings, fences, the fields; a smothering vine with no special appeal.

Visitors to the land are amazed at how it frames the caves; to a southerner it is like a pest that will not go away. The vine attaches itself to anything; it 88is not particular it does not care a thriving sort that grows everywhere.

Worthless, you cannot eat it; it is never big enough to give you a shade. Yet it does have its own beauty as its greenery cascades over the side of the rocky cliff below the caves. It adds beauty to the tops of tarpaper shacks; entwines the cotton stalk a problem for pickers with a sack on his back.

People who live where the Kudzu grows have made their peace with this dark green neighbor, they understand. It is deep-rooted deep in the south’s history, when you think of Kudzu…you think of Dixie Land.

 

******

©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Kudzu is not a southerners friend. It’s like the shadows of evening melting into the Eastern sky. It has no practical use, maybe it does as it hangs around forever covering anything that does not move.  Maybe there is one good use, Kudzu Root Benefits. Kudzu root has been given the honor of helping reduce the painful effects of a hangover, though it seems that if overused, it could be more harmful than good. However, studies have shown that it may help reduce alcoholism

 
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