A Time to Go…#386

A Time to go, is a bit of prose to fill a void…

The old woman sat in a chair in the gathering room of the elderly housing project where her children had placed her. She has lived alone for the past 40 years. Now her freedom has been ripped away. All she owns sits in the small storage area of the local buy and sell the shop. Her gnarled and deformed hands ache. She has nothing more to do but contemplate the mystery that was once her life. No one really knows her, not even her children. She looked upon the flesh of her being. Time had taken its toll. She shuts her eyes slowly as her body relaxes from the pain that will no longer be. It is time to go.

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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A Mother’s Love…#385

In the stillness of the midnight hour veiled in

Glory, my mother, stood next to me. She touched

My face where there are always tears. She

Placed her angelic arms around me to take away my

Fears.

What are these thoughts you have, my child? She

Said to me with a mother’s smile. Embrace my

Love, let it take away your sorrows. We are all

Here for only a short while. Be joyous of each

And every tomorrow.

Seek life, not death; things are never as bad as

They seem to cherish your life…follow your dreams.

I opened my eyes, sat up, looking around; this was

Only a dream. It was one I always held dear, love, from

My own mother was never found.

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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In the Mist of Grief…#383

In the Mist of Grief

Memories emerge in the darkness of night, becoming one with my soul like the rivers that flow into the sea. These hours before dawn are like a cold rain pounding into my heart. The grief is fierce as it raises and then returns to consume my spirit. My senses are attacking my very soul. The depths of my courage wounded; I am listing in a sea of sorrow. My life is filled with more grief than many can bear. In search of a miracle, hope merges with despair. Is it my destiny to lose all that I have ever loved? It is a hard cold hour to depart from this misery. 

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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Writer…#381

The Writer

 Sleep, never-ending consciousness,

thunder, spray dashing against

the windowpane, in the distance

railroad cars, clang, clang, clang.

Sleep, gulls screaming float through

the air, wild and free, diving into

the frothy white waves, living without

care.

Sleep, ghost trampling upon the mind

and soul, brushing shoulders with

death they surge across time wanting

their story told.

Sleep, wanting the body to relax, flip

right, flip left, the noise of the world

springs from every nerve, wistfully let

there be silence, calmness come back,

come back, come back.

Sleep, brooding, daggers in the back, rise,

dress, the night will never be soothing.

those words in the head keep moving,

mind in a rage sitting silently staring at

the blank page.

copyright©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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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.

Unwanted from the Moment of Conception…#377

Old slave quarters – My birth home 1939

  

A passage from the book I am writing, my story.

I believe that from the moment of conception I was searching for a Miracle – I am far past the time when I can hope for a miracle. The hours before dawn, and a cold rain outside the tiny slave quarters pounds into my tiny 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. I left a place of warmth and goodness to be channeled into a world of heartache and disappointment. 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, is my destiny to leave stop the beating of my heart and return home.  I chose this path to learn of such things to take back to my creator, to show and feel human despair

©May.2022.elizabethannjohnson-murphree

Somewhere Between the Trees and Clouds…#376

I have just finished my son’s book “Somewhere Between the Trees and Clouds.” I read the draft; however, when you finish the actual book as I have, you will find yourself considering many aspects of the parents, students, teachers, and school administration and the impact each has on the other throughout the student’s school years. If you are fortunate enough to have a child, always keep in the forefront that it all starts with the parents. I had five children in school simultaneously, from Kindergarten to Twelfth grade. I now have great-grandchildren, and my thoughts are still very often on how today’s children are affected from the moment they wake until they go to bed at night.
Teachers want students to come to class ready to learn, be prepared, focused, and motivated each day.

They want students to enjoy and be participants in the learning process. All this starts with minimum parents’ participation. To answer the question you are asking me, I have the answer. No, I did not have the model student, nor was I ever given the mother of the year award. My children were normal in every way. That included my seeing that each had a decent breakfast or bag lunch in the cafeteria, clean clothes for all seasons, and I tried to make their morning as calm as possible. I knew that if they left with anxiety, depression, or fights with both children and parents, they could not possibly have a good day at school. Teachers want students to be respectful and respect authority and each other. They want them to respect themselves. A respectful and trusting environment allows teachers to maximize learning opportunities. If they go to school with unclean clothes, little or no breakfast, leaving the home atmosphere calm, without fights with parents or each other.

Teachers need parents to support them. They want parents to take them at their word and not question their motives. They want parents to support and reinforce classroom management strategies they have in place. Teachers want parents to be involved with their child’s education. They want parents to take an active role in their children’s education. They want parents who will ensure that all homework gets done and that the child is getting plenty of rest so that they will be alert in class each day. Teachers want parents to value education. They want parents to stress the importance of education from an early age.

Teachers want administrators to have their back in difficult situations. This includes student discipline, disagreements with parents, or confrontation with another faculty member. Teachers want to feel like their administrator(s) will listen to their side and back them if the evidence supports them. Teachers want administrators to provide them with adequate resources. Teachers understand that money can be tight for schools, but there are specific resources that they must have. If a teacher finds a help that they believe will benefit all students, then they expect the administration to find a way to fund it. Teachers want administrators to communicate clear expectations. They want to understand school policy and procedures that affect them. Teachers want administrators to clarify and explain the district’s expectations with issues such as classroom management, student learning, and communication.

Teachers want other teachers to be professional. They do not expect other teachers to talk about them with their students, a parent, or other faculty members. They expect other teachers to value their opinion. They expect other teachers to adhere to the policies of the district. Teachers want other teachers to collaborate. They value other teachers’ opinions. They want them to share best practices and offer advice. They want a strong working relationship with other teachers in which they feel comfortable to share frustrations and success stories.

Teachers want community members to get involved. They want them to volunteer to help in classrooms, read a book to students, or help with a fundraiser. They want them to donate money to projects that they are doing. They want them to offer their services in any capacity that they would be able to help. Now, you are saying so many parents cannot contribute money, but their time is valuable, ask a teacher what you can do to relieve the teacher’s stress.

Your next question will no doubt be; there are bad educators, bad administrators, those that do their job nine – to – five. There are bad apples everywhere and in all professions. We must be avid in being open, reporting fear we may have as a parent, remember everyone has a “boss” that they must answer to. Keep going until you get an answer to your problem. Remember, your child was not born racist; most are not born with no ability to learn; all these things must begin at home. Give your child a good foundation before sending them off to school. We are losing good teachers to non-education positions because of stress and anxiety throughout the system. We need to fight to keep good teachers and weed out the bad. Also, the school system needs a managed format involving teachers, parents, and students. I know you are saying there is one in place; if it is not working, take the time to change it.

What I am suggesting to parents, students, teachers, and administration are not quick fixes. The trouble now is that problems have been slapped with a bandage for years, and soon the problem will go away as the children go away (Graduate or move up in classes). This is not the solution to the problem, and the problems grow bigger each day.

Thank you for reading this post, and comments are welcomed. EAJM 5.3.2022

“Somewhere Between the Trees and Clouds” at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree also located for purchase at: Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com

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