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

April 6, 2022…#365

    Today is Wednesday; I try to do things that help distract me from the pain in my body since I woke. It is, of course, a daily thing, yet I must push it aside. Taking care of my fur baby Dixie is my first concern, then all the medications, dressing, and starting a new day. My day is filled with painting, checking out what is on the internet, email, Twitter, creating poetry, and things of interest to me. Sometimes, I sit quietly, hoping for the pain to go away. I talk to or text my wonderful children and grandchildren, which holds me up when I can no longer stand alone. Their love takes away the pain. I thank God daily for giving me these wonderful angels. I continue to write my autobiography; recalling all that I need to put in it takes me to another level. It takes away the presence and carries me to the past, reliving the years that have gone by so quickly.    

It seems as if Cancer controls my life. I let it think so; I own my life. Its presence makes me stronger, braver, and wiser. It is I who chooses how to live. The word “Cancer” does not live in my soul. I have not been afraid of it from the moment given the diagnosis. My soul belongs to God and me. It can never touch the divine spirit that cries out, “I am not my body.” My soul will not allow it to pull me down into the depths of despair. Those close to me will surround me, and they will fight with me to let Cancer know that I, We, will not surrender to it. Cancer does not own me, I own myself, and it will not kill me without a fight.

Poem of the day:

In the Mist of Grief…#365

Memories emerge in the darkness

of the 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, assaulting my senses.

The depths of my courage wounded,

I am listing in a sea of sorrow, my

life filled with more grief than many

can bear. In search of a miracle,

hope merges with despair. It is my

destiny to lose all that I have ever

loved. It is the hard cold hour to

depart this misery. 

©2022.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Do Not Weep for Me, but Understand My Pain #364

My world is like a grain of sand

upon the shores of time, changing,

ever-changing, and then washed

out into the sea of life.  Infinity is

in my soul, eternity floats upon

the clouds of heavenly moments. 

My hours caged, my spirit

angered at the thoughts of those

who has walked away from my

gate?  My feet have left their mark

upon the sands of time, waves of

tears have splashed upon the

the rocky cliff that bears scars of

what I have lost, and my mind

wanders the caverns of the past. 

A mother’s grief screams into the

endless nights leaving scars upon

a heart that is already torn and

ragged.  Words of doubt have

poisoned my faith, the days are

winding down, and I was born to mourn. 

©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

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

Reincarnation…#357

The Beginning – Artwork by Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

Reincarnation

Beyond the clouds, a spirit will soon

Be born, extraordinary, soon to breach

A world unknown.  A ghost of another

Time, penniless, now altered to

 wander in a different time, no more

Walking, in this new world

The newly born spirit will soar climb. 

It is transformed like the wind, hopeful, no.

Broken promises, a life filled with family

And friends.   Oh, what a journey this

Life will hold tributes, honors big and

Bold. 

A moment of memory into the

Past, this newly born spirit knows that

This life won’t last.  Soon it will be time

To go beyond the clouds and rest,

Knowing it will return, each time it prays

That the new life will be its best.   

#poetry #Reincarnation # Life #Beginning

Today…#355

I have multiple myeloma! I do not have a time factor, and no one knows the date or time of one’s death; thank goodness; MM can be one to ten years; there are three stages I am already in the last stage. Bone pain is a trademark symptom of multiple myeloma, and it’s common to feel it in the spine. I just today finished three months in a “Turtle Brace” because I broke my back in a fall on July 4th. MM is bone cancer.
I also have anemia which keeps me tired, difficulty in walking any length of time. The MM makes it difficult to walk without pain and tiredness, even in short strolls. As the disease weakens your spinal bones, they lose the structural strength necessary to support your neck or back as well as they did before. The primary symptom of multiple myeloma is bone pain. Pain associated with multiple myeloma commonly affects the spine (backbone), ribcage, or hips and worsens movement. Severe, persistent pain in one location may indicate a bone fracture.
I am on two types of pain medication, a slow-release and every four hours; without them, it may not be easy to tolerate the pain. I have so many projects, and I fear little time to complete them. I want to write a book that I have been taking notes on for years, and I also have painting projects. Most of my days spent resting or napping, and with that, I cannot sleep at night? I do have pills for that; they rarely work.
Do, there is the update on me for now. Tomorrow is “chemo” day; I will be unable to post for several days following. Bear with me, please, and hopefully, the creative juices will begin to flow in a few days; a new poem, a story, a more happy post will follow. Have a great week and weekend to all.


EAJM

BSU Conversations…#354

Image result for Black Lives Matter. Size: 157 x 95. Source: www.ebay.com

I ran across this article today and thought it worth giving attention too.  My garden is still graced with a flag that say’s “Black Lives Matter”!  Is this still true, I hear less and less daily?  The individual creating the BSU discussed in this post is my son Chuck Murphree.  Chuck has moved on to another school where his “talent” in special education is needed, yet he continues to support the BSU students.  Chuck is a YA author on mental health his first book, “Everything That Makes Us Feel”, and he has a second book coming out this winter, and already working on the third.  I am very proud of him and believe that his work with the BSU should be continued by the teachers at the school. You can find Chuck’s books at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and in most book stores throughout the United States and Europe.

~

This was an excellent article…

We don’t fight with weapons; we fight with our voices’: Students create first Black Student Union at Waunakee High School

By Channel 3000 – Jan 21, 2020, 0

By Jamie Perez for Channel3000.com

Black students at Waunakee High School are hoping to ignite change or at least start a conversation.

About 20 students have helped create the school’s first Black Student Union (BSU). It all started with the special education teacher Chuck Murphree’s leadership.

Chuck Murphree said he started asking black students how they would like to form a BSU on campus. In October, his idea came to fruition.

Murphree said at; first, the meetings mainly were “A lot of community building, and getting to know each other. It was the first time they were able to sit down with other black students in the school. So that was powerful.”

Murphree said he wanted to create a non-judgmental space where students could learn by relating to one another. But when people look at Murphree, some are surprised that he was the person to take the lead on creating the group.

“Being a white man, somebody who is very aware of his own privilege in society, being able to sit with these young black people. For them to trust me, to pull me into those conversations, to hear their ideas on how we can change the school.  To bring the awareness on how this needs to happen,” he said. “The first thing I said to them is, ‘How do you feel about a white man advising the Black Student Union?’ The kids said to me, ‘Mr. Murphree, who else is going to do it?’ It was as simple as that. It was the right thing to do, and the kids needed it.”

Murphree sits in on all the meetings, saying that he has already learned so much. He said other teachers are now expressing interest in coming to the sessions too.

“The district curriculum director recently contacted me about coming in and talking to the students about our curriculum and changing that so students of color can start seeing themselves in the curriculum,” Murphree said.

BSU members said the group’s point is to educate others, and they welcome people to just come to listen.  “I just want first and foremost to educate and show younger students the representation of black people in power, black people making changes,” said a BSU member.

It is rare for two black students to be in the same classes together at Waunakee High School. The school doesn’t have any culture-based courses, so there isn’t much opportunity to learn about different people.

Having a BSU gives them that opportunity and provides black students a space to all sit in a room together for the first time.

The struggles black students face are often not understood by many of the other students at school who don’t relate to those same thoughts or feelings, like Martin Luther King Jr., to motivate the group can make a positive change without resorting to anger and violence.

“The things that we do daily are things that they could never even dream of,” that progress has already been made. But taking it a step further to dream even farther, and I don’t think they would want us to meet the goal and stop there.”

Murphree said he lets the students lead the conversations at BSU meetings and is happy to provide them a safe space to talk about matters.

“I’m really proud of these kids for what they’re doing, and I’m thankful for the administration too because they’re allowing us to keep moving forward with this,” Murphree said.

The BSU has already made a significant change in the school district. Murphree said because of the students’ desire to educate and change the curriculum to be more inclusive of black culture and black history, this will be the first year Waunakee High School will teach students about Black History Month.

~

My books are as follows…

Authors Books at Amazon.com and Barns&Nobel.com

Innocence Breath…#353

Innocence Breath

Once fearless, spirit broken; Innocence no longer understanding the meaning of love.  She writes upon an invisible page, while her Keepers spew words of rage.  They held all of the treasures, her love, they never cared for her or the pain they gave. 

Sorrow lingers in the twilight, while the tears of the Angels fall upon the earth, into the sea; remembering the beauty that once was and no longer can be.  Quiet falls upon a sparkling shore; dreadful hours gone like a stormy wind in the night, as the Innocence soul takes its flight. 

There will be no flowers covered by morning dew, darkness has left her spirit is free and new.  What follows this perpetual fate, no tears, pain or hate; love no longer tossed away, earthly needs melted away; the Keepers heart remained evil until they took their last breath; Innocence is free with her death.  

©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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