Searching for a Miracle – The Poem…#378

Searching for a Miracle –

The hours before dawn, and a cold rain pounds into my heart. The grief is fierce as it raises and consumes my spirit, assaulting my senses. Memories emerge from the darkness, becoming one with my soul. In the depths of my wounded courage, I am listing in a sea of sorrow, my life filled with more grief than many can bear. It is the hard cold hour before departing this misery. I search for a miracle. Hope merges with despair. It is my destiny to leave all I have ever loved. 

I am uncertain and afraid. Hope has expired. Sometimes waves of anger and fear hang above me, a cloud circulating over the earth. I do not speak of death. Yet, the elderly where I reside; talk until they see their own grave over the horizon.

Much is written about grief, soft words meant to calm the grieving heart. There will be those that say how lovely these words are, and I doubt if they are all true. Grief is not calm and comforting; the comments do not stop the pain. Words penetrate the brain; shatter the heart.

Most are choked with emotions under the flesh where the heart is sheltered by outward affliction; they close their eyes, hoping to have the scene before they disappear. Grief has no place to hide! The speaker believes the words that enter the ears will comfort despair. It will not.

A State of Mind…#375

A State of Mind –

I never believed

that I should be

immune to grief.

I accepted that

living in a

constant state of

unhappiness

conditioned me

to think it would

be my world my

existence.

I begin a journey

that I did not have

a “lifetime” to seek

the answers and

understanding now

it is urgent. We

must live within our

own schedule; we

all experience grief:

we can’t define it

the same way.

Whether a lifetime

or only moments,

days what causes

grief are many

times the death

of those we love.

But it all results

in one word: finality.

When we lose, we

grieve happiness

and grief go hand

in hand, my grief

comes in the

form of abuse,

Both physical

and mental. Of

never being

wanted, this

has caused a

a lifetime of

anguish.

Nevertheless, the

child in me

cannot heal,

so I allow her

to grieve, and

I have given her

permission to

recover in her

own time, if

possible. After

all, somewhere

within, I am still

that child who

wanted desperately

to please, hear that

I mattered, and I,

as a grown-up,

must now search

for the answer to,

“Who am I.”

A painful death

awaits me, I live

one day at a

time, life is slipping

away with no

answers. Art,

painting, prose,

and poetry from

the first to the

last word. When

Nature in all her

nakedness brings

us to our knees,

through storms with

rain, lightning, and

Fallen trees and

tornado-shaped

leaves that defeat

us?

It is not learning,

poise or grace,

but knowing that

touch of pain and

fear. That making

creation thinks.

When in this

world’s unpleasing

youth, your god-like

the race began, the

most extended arm,

the sharpest tooth

gave man control.

Dig into a bruised

and bitten bone

that was taught

by pain and you

have learned that

with the deadly

stone, that “He”

felt on that far-off

shore, when

jabbed by the

singing spear.

When bone against

bone, tooth, and bone

were a means against

a foe. Man was bored

by consistent defeat.

some minds built the

stone and javelin

proved as vain as the

old-time bone against

bone, man fashioned

how to kill as he rose

from fear and pain.

Spurred anew by

fearful cries of terror

embedded deep

within the ancient

millions were killed

for one leader who

taught through fear,

soon the armor

disappeared then

the sword, bow and

pike, and the smoke

of battle cleared,

all men armed with

bombs were alike.

Copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Searching for a Miracle…#374

My thoughts on grief –

There are times it feels as if a cold rain is pounding at my heart in these hours before dawn. The grief is fierce as it raises and consumes my spirit, assaulting my senses. Memories emerge from the darkness, becoming one with my soul. In the depths of my wounded courage, I am listing in a sea of sorrow, my life filled with more grief than many can bear.

It is the hard cold times before departing this misery. I search for a miracle; hope merges with despair; my destiny is to leave all I have ever loved. There are times when I am uncertain and afraid. Hope has expired. Sometimes waves of anger and fear hang above me, like a cloud circulating over the earth.

Many times, I speak of death. Although much is written about grief, soft words are meant to calm the grieving heart. There will be those who say how lovely words are, and I doubt this is true. Yet, I sometimes hear the elderly; talk of death until they see their own grave beyond the horizon.

Grief is not calm and lovely; the words do not stop the pain. Words penetrate the brain, shattering the heart. Most are choked with emotions under the flesh where the heart is sheltered by outward suffering; they close their eyes, hoping to find peace before disappearing.

The grief therapist in my group believes the words that enter the ears will have comforted the unhappiness. Grief has no place to hide! We all grieve in our own time, short, long, or forever; we just stop talking about it. I mourn my daughter, parents, and only sibling, friends. I miss them all. I wait, soon, very soon!

Copyright©4.2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Casualties of the Times…#373

Casualties of the Times –

The homeless cannot sleep

on winter’s cold nights. They

gather around a burning

barrel, men, women, and

children, forgotten, shattered,

and despised, in the

distance, a baby cries.

Begging for food, being

homeless, no jobs to be

found, families no longer

sound, government talks

end up in contradictions,

poverty is the prediction. 

 

The spirit freezes, the

fruit of labors rot, life

squeezes and struggles

persist, bad luck smothers

heart and soul, and

hope ceases. 

Shifting winds turn into

storms. Will the world

grow wiser, or will it

be humbled and beaten

into servility? 

Trust departed, a

cardboard box in the

streets is where the

homeless make their

beds, hope disappears,

and the future appears

dead.

Copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

April 20, 2022…#368

The Last Chapter

Have a safe and healing Sunday.

Bitter Recollection

A crystal moon, a

frozen

branch waving, a fire with ash blowing

into the four winds. A  

charred

log; memories extensive and

angry,

like a paper chain flowing in the wind of life. 

Remember,

the day, the hour, each day, each hour,

destiny,

insistently climbing, seeking, nothing in life is

forgotten. 

Copyyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree 

April 9, 2022…#367

The poem below was created by my thoughts about my grandmother, whom I never knew. The influenza pandemic of 1918–1919 was the most severe influenza outbreak of the 20th century. A virus called influenza type A subtype H1N1 is now known to have been the cause of the extreme mortality of the influenza pandemic of 1918–1919. The disease that caused this devastating pandemic has also been called the Spanish flu.

The influenza pandemic of 1918–19 resulted from such an occurrence and affected populations throughout the world. An influenza virus called influenza type A subtype H1N1 is now known to have been the cause of the extreme mortality of this pandemic, which resulted in an estimated 25 million deaths. However, some researchers have projected that it caused 40–50 million deaths. Many were not reported; they got sick and died without it being reported. During this pandemic, an estimated 25 million persons worldwide died of the so-called Spanish flu, which was first widely reported in Spain but originated in the U.S. state of Kansas.

My grandmother got sick and was dead three days later, on January 11, 1919. It would be 1954 before my daddy would place a tombstone at her grave; I was 15 years old. All those years later my daddy let me pick out the writing on the stone. “Mother is not dead; she is only sleeping.”

Two days after her death, she was buried. My daddy always believed that she was in a coma. He would say that they opened the casket for him to say goodbye to her, and her hand felt warm. He ran from the cemetery and did not stop until he reached the woods surrounding Tarrant City, Alabama. He spent several days roaming in the woods to find a reason for her leaving; she was only 34 years old. 

The tombstone states Emma Hall Evans, but she was never married to but one man, Thomas Johnson, my daddy’s father. His grandmother Jane Hall had asked him not to be placed on her tombstone. My daddy said she was never married to any man. She lived with Thomas Johnson until he found a younger woman. Her maiden name was Overton; she had two children by two separate men that no one ever knew. She called them both Evan’s. He was a womanizer. She was never supposed to go anywhere unescorted after moving back into her mother’s house when Thomas left her. It was always thought that my daddy’s siblings were his half-sister by a white man and his half-brother by a Hispanic man. Yes, she led a colorful life, slipping out of the house at night going to the nightspots in Birmingham, then she slipped back in before daylight. Daddy’s grandmother had him sleep in his mother’s room, thinking she would not leave or that he would tell on her. He loved his mother with all of his being. He never told of her roaming around in Birmingham, Alabama, after her mother went to bed. He would be punished when it was noticeable that she was pregnant. He remained faithful to her until her death.

Few have known this kind of love between a mother and her children. I have been so very fortunate that the love between my children and me has followed in my grandmother’s and daddy’s footsteps. I was married to their father, he is now gone, but the love and trust between my children and myself have not waivered very much throughout these years.

For my grandmother:

Black Feathered Angels  

Old memories, new memories, memories

that last for a lifetime.    Unstinted

buried deep, hidden from the surface

of the mind. As I sit on steps where

paint is peeling and rotting, I have,

but one thought. Childhood is dead.

Some refuse to stay buried; I see a

small country church, a chorus of

crows, the splashing sounds of a

brook running through Birch trees.

The wind caresses the colossal

row of Oaks in the nearby field.

Death, departing the small, weathered

house of worship, a wagon pulled by

six black horses, and a manifestation

of black feathered Angels. My

great-grandmother is gone. Everyone

we love soon leaves us. A sad memory,

a heart has been silenced, and a rocker

on a porch stilled. 

Copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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April 8, 2022…#366

I have begun to post my days on my blog site for my followers, and for me, many may be facing the same problem, cancer. Documentation of my life. I have kept a diary most of my life, so this is only a different decision on how to do it. I will continue to create and blog my poetry.

Today has been the worse day in several weeks; the pain has taken over my spine. It does not help that I broke my back on July 4, 2021, and was in what they call a turtle brace for four months. It completely immobilizes from neck to waist. I live alone; therefore, no one sees the pain that must show on my face, and the movement of my body is slow and protective. My fur baby Dixie keeps a smile on my face, and the demand for attention does not allow me much time to lay or sit very long.

I am in Stage 3 of multiple myeloma. My daily fight is chronic infections, body pain, weight loss, muscle weakness, decreased appetite, thirst, constipation, fatigue, and nausea. Yes, the fight is the correct word. I have Chemo treatments 22 days out of each month. I have been hospitalized an average of 5 times a year. I am not asking for anything in telling you this; it is to know what happens when you have this type of cancer. 

In addition to all the side effects from Chemo treatments, I have chronic depression. I stare down at the hole I know is about to fall in and stop at the edge. Balance wavering, I ask myself who is holding me from falling in. The Angels watch over me every moment of the day. My parents were not church people; my daddy never and my mother for Easter and funerals. I walked to church alone and sat alone since I was about five years old. I stopped church when the pastors lived higher than his poor parishioners. Yes, I have always believed in a Higher Power and Angels. I do not apologize for my faith and beliefs, and I will respect those of others. I do not believe in organized religion; my faith has no need for such. I believe that we are all accountable to someone or something. My body is my church, and right now, my church is being challenged. 

I am accountable for my transgressions alone and will pray for guidance. However, we must all make decisions that will affect those around us and ourselves. I pray for the “right” one to be shown to me as I travel along this difficult road. I wish all my followers health and happiness.

My books of poetry, a biography of my daughter Charlotte who passed in 2010, and a book of my artwork from 2010 to 2021. Today I share the poem that I created below. Please enjoy.

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An Earthly Journey

Evidence is clear about an unwanted Soul; the possessor wanted to cast away fear or greed upon conception. One life could not see a future, yet starvation by the mother did not kill the seed, no fear… self-greed.

Why did the tiny Soul survive, destiny or fate; it survived life without love, never held by the mother with her heart filled with hate. The new Soul is born within a life of oppression from the moment of birth, scared and burdened with emotional wounds throughout its journey on earth.

All of its tomorrows found the Soul’s path long and steep; it searched a lifetime to find out why the mothers’ anger ran so deep, to the moment it laid the mother in the ground. Truth in its abandonment never found this abused Soul tries to remember that sanity and sorrow are closely bound.

Copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Broken Bones and Tainted Blood #363

The screams are silent in your mind
Are silent to the world instant mad insanity
Shattered –
Shattered –
Crushed –
Tainted –

Misery at its worse
Mind open to emotional
Tortured Screams within
Bringing the self mind to
Unthinkable thoughts
Paranoid and unknown
People move about
Unknown unbelievable actions.

The mind searches for away
Run, run, run away
Fear clouds the mind and
The spirit, you – are hostage
In this place of grief, a
Room with no doors.

Something shredding the soul
Your body is moving objects
Make a tornado sphere
Is death cold? I hear and
See s line of trombones plays
Soulful marching into the distance.

The rain red fills the space covers
the floor. Finally, madness has rule
over the mind. I will swim for eternity
In the bloody vexation of my soul.

copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Somewhere between the trees and clouds…#362

Preorder at: https://www.ten16press.com/product-page/somewhere-between-the-trees-and-clouds-paperback

My son, Chuck Murphree has a new book coming out April 2, 2022, published by ten16pess, somewhere between the trees and clouds is a must read.

Somewhere Between the Trees and Cloudswritten by Chuck Murphree PaperbackYA Fiction - Mental Health - Sexual Abuse - Novels in Verse404 pages

ABOUT THE BOOKI’m damaged goods,Torn apartIn my mind. This is how Dylan describes himself, how teenage boys feel when they are sexually assaulted. Damaged. Yes, it happens to boys too. It isn’t until Dylan meets Audrey that he feels like he's something other than torn and damaged. She too has her darkness. Her assault is recent, from a party where she was taken advantage of, and she is forced to move schools only to face rumors that make her feel like she did something wrong. Together, they help one another navigate their pain and possibly find some healing and grace. Somewhere Between The Trees And Clouds is a story about loss, internal wounds, healing, love, and hope.   


ABOUT THE AUTHORSomewhere Between the Trees and Clouds is Chuck Murphree’s second novel. He lives in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin, with his wife and spoiled dog. When Chuck isn’t writing, he can be found teaching adolescents, talking to others about mental health, reading, biking, doing yoga, or taking a mindful hike deep in the woods or straight up a mountain. 

Somewhere Between the Trees and Clouds [paperback]

On sale at Amazon and Barnes&Noble April 12, 2022

The Tomb…#358

Artwork by Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

The Tomb

In the quite bright fiery beyond the clouds, twilight will die. Arid impressions beneath the mist transparently intense underneath the fog. Opaque altered fading slowly, entrancing demons dance before a grave. Luminous hesitant is the lover below, The tomb intense. The devil is dying beyond the fire, yet you will dream of the tomb.

Copyright©2021elizabethannjohnsonmurphree