Days Gone By…#338

We were poor, but the world of a child knows no rich 
or poor.   My daddy was a Sharecropper, my mother 
worked in the cotton mill making thread, Ma who was
 well into her eighties crochet doilies, my sister was 
going to marry a young soldier, and me…I ran barefoot  
in the cotton fields and roamed the caves in the bluffs
 of Burleson Mountain near our house.

My heart sometimes aches for those times, the tarpaper 
shack, the little white church on the mountain; and the 
innocent days of yesteryear.  They are all gone now, 
only I remain with the memory of those long ago days. 
However, I find that I can return at any time and stay as 
long as I want.  Memories never grow old.




Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree | Barnes & Noble® (

The Empty Pine Box…#337

[Fighting with Words, Poetry or Prose are My Weapons.]  EAJM

The Empty Pine Box…#337
Horror haunted- trying to lay out one’s days – schedules
Keeping relentless. Isolated yet fearless, in this desert land
Called Cancer -"Oh God!" I say, "Object of evil – the devil!
I tell this soul with sorrow laden if, with the angels of healing
Protect me in this desert land called Cancer –
I walk on the black sands of time, unbroken in mind but sound
 In spirit.  Take this loneliness from my heart, keep evil from my
Soul.  Protect me in this desert land called Cancer –
I dream of demons, shadows surround me, am I protected?
It is in the night that I feel weak and weary.  It is the waking
That I find myself drenched with sweat.  Was there someone
Rhythmically shaking me awake.  Protect me in this desert land
Called Cancer –
The box in the corner, a pine box, empty.  Without fear, I face
My terror; my heart pounds in my chest.  I pray many times a
Day, my soul grows stronger.  The shadows are gone, only the
Drenching of my cloths give way to the nightmare.  I whisper,
“Please, no more”.  Protect me in this desert land
Called Cancer –
I believe that I hear the Black Crows calling outside my window.
It is a myth that they bring death, I close my ears to the sounds
Of the Ravens.  Birds or Beast, they break the confines of my soul
And I know they too will be gone soon.  I have wheeled myself
In front of my terror, depressing, frightening, evil. 
Protect me in this desert land called Cancer –

Author’s Books…




Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree | Barnes & Noble® (

Fear and Pain, a Gift…#336

It is through what I call a “brain fog” that I create “Fear and Pain, a Gift”.  I try to gather and put upon paper my thoughts.  I have stopped thinking of a day, one, two etc.; they run together and get in the way of what I want to say.  I send immense love to all of you, so many have kept me in their thoughts, as I have you.  You will never know how precious your prayers are to me.  EAJM

Fear and Pain, a Gift  

What is growing old all about?
It is not a new question for me,
I have given thought to the
Subject since I was young. 
Unloved by my mother, though
I always loved her dearly; she
Was emotionally absent in my
Life; as was my daddy in many
Ways.  So, at the start of this
Flight into the Imagination, the
Answer was Simple.  I would die
Very young!
I did not want to be alone and
Unloved, dying young would
Prevent my fears from coming
Into the light of day; where I
Must face them.  Afraid to face
The truth, afraid to face reality. 
I provided the shell that would
Protect me.  I would not give into
My fears, and never have been
Afraid to die.
Then at a very young age, I was
Married and gave birth to my
First daughter.  I was about to
Take a journey that would give
Me joy, unconditional love.  As
Each day passed I felt the strength
Of a “Warrior”, I was given the
Responsibility to take care of my
Child.  Strength, not decay. Each
Nerve in my body strung with a
Fierce message that it was not in
My youth that I dreamed it would
Be!  The golden days lay within
The realm of being a good mother,
As good as it could be, from day
Break to sunsets glow.
I soon looked at the world in a
Different light, my heart both wept
And shoved the fullness of the past,
Those years would lay dormant.  If
Not but for awhile!  I was never
Young, I lived in the hot prison of the
Present with a bruised mind and
Body.  What I felt deep within my
Heart would fester and grow, but it
Would never be a part of my being
A mother.  Masked emotion would
Be my past, present, and future.
To suffer was the plan, not one from
Me but from as higher power.  I am
But a hollow ghost, a phantom of one
Who was given the greatest duty? 
The last stage is not one in pain and
Agony, but that of one that has been lifted
Toward the Heavens and on Earth has been
Given the greatest gift of them all, five
Wonderful souls, my children and being
Their mother.  Five brilliant children who
Love me unconditionally. I and my love
For them keeps me moving forward.

The Birth of Madness…#333

Cotton, Southern Gold

The oppressed give birth to madness.  Loathing emotions
Born out of the pits of darkness holds an
When anger and depression fuse together,
Emptiness and void that can never find
Madness thinks of death, is in harmony with
Stillness.  It feels pain, lives in blackness,
Hopes for nothing; survives as a opponent
Living life.
Be aware…
Its name is madness; a spawn created of
Anger and depressions fusion.




Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree | Barnes & Noble® (



With each mornings shaft of light 
I begin my conflict of words, sometimes 
I let the tears fall and sadness engulfs 
me.  Sometimes I smile!  I tell myself to 
“hush”; it is too late my soul dies further 
toward the end as time goes on.
Sometimes I am weak, my heart locked 
away too long?  Thoughts are concealed, 
feared, live and move forward out of blame.  
The heart beats on as the voices in my head 
feed from the heart with each beat.  My words 
continue quarreling with my mind.
Has life been no more that random destiny’s?  
How lighthearted my life has been, lies, 
lies to keep the outside world in dumbness.  
Daily I drink from the cup of dissension, 
and erratic thoughts, words, look into my soul, 
despite pending doom I float thoughtless in 
the river of my life with my words clinging 
to my throat like gnarled fingers.     
Buried in the cesspools gathering on the 
shore the river flows with ambiguity.  Life is 
eternally blind!  My words flow from within, 
buried in knowledge, found by fire.  The 
mystery of my heart beats, words line by line. 
 Am   I  worthless.  Hour after hour the 
words demand power, read what pulses 
through my veins.
Life flows, arrives and moves on, from 
morning glow to evening sunset; it winds 
through the valley’s filling with expression.  
The words, a story from the hours past, they 
rise from within to the page swirling in the 
cesspool at the river’s edge.  They cannot move
 on into the river of life, they must remain as 
the past.  I wait for the morning shaft of light
 and life.      




Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree | Barnes & Noble® (

Mothers Freedom…#331

Image result for mothers freedom

Mothers’ Freedom

It is good that I cannot remember the day of my birth, 
although since, I have questioned why I am on this 
earth; my mother did not want me she wanted to be 
free.  I understand the poverty in which I arrived, I 
still did not understand years later, when she told 
me she would have been happy if I had died.
She told of not having even an aspirin for the pain, 
and that she feared the future and afraid her that her
 life would never be the same.  Mother told of the old
iron bed with cornhusk mattress that stood on a bare
 wooden floor.  Of how they kept out the cold with raw
 cotton from, the nearby field stuffed into the cracks 
of the homemade door.
Delivered by a neighboring mid-wife, weighing only 
two pounds my mother told her to take me away, 
while saying, and “I hope that she will be gone by the
 end of the day”.  It is said that my father took me into
 his well-worn hands, whispered to me, you can live, 
and I know that you can.  He placed me in a shoebox,
 put me on the front seat of his old pickup truck and 
carried me away.  He would not see me until my 
birthday, exactly three-years from that day.
Left with a dear old black woman that I until this day 
refer to her as mother: you see I knew no other.  She
 packed my clothes in a clean cloth sack, she cried, 
but she knew that one day my father would want me 
back.  He looked at my birth mother saying that I would 
never again go away, she responded without feeling 
saying, “it would be he that took care of me if I stayed”.
The years, they quickly flew by, my mother she was 
never at home, then the day came that my father died, 
I recognized her but did not see her cry.  Me, I soon had 
children of my own and knew what kind of mother I 
wanted to be, and unlike my own, even with children, I
 always felt free.
I had not seen her for many years when I heard that 
she had died, too late to feel a mothers touch, too late 
to hear her say, “I love you so much.”  I cried, but not f
or me, I cried because at last she had been set free.




Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree | Barnes & Noble® (

The American Dream…#330

Image result for the american dream
The American Dream
There was a time when  life flowed
Slowly like a perfect meadow stream,
Fresh was the air, blue was the sky,
And everyone had a chance to live the
American dream.
These things that use to be will never
Come again, we have put a hole in the 
Sky, all because of our selfish greed, we
Are destroying earth out of self-seeking
Hunger for the things that we really do
Not need.
The sky is no longer clearly blue, only
A dingy hue, the rivers and streams are
Filled with debris, between Heaven
And earth a cloud of toxic waste, yes
We are destroying this planet and doing
So with increasing speed. 
Our wetlands are taken away sold to build 
Summer a get-away, gone are the lands, 
Forest and streams that wildlife was free to
 Roam, today it is where greedy people build 
Million dollar homes.
Listen, are the birds still singing a joyous 
Song, animals are not happy because our 
Backyards are where, mountain lions, foxes 
And deer use to make their homes.  Their 
Lives changed, their feeding grounds gone, 
We never give it a thought where did we 
Expect them to call home?
 Nature tries to correct our mess with hurricanes, 
Tornados, fires and such, but Mother Nature may 
Think that the rest is up to us.  It appears we do 
Not care and one day all there may be are crumbling
 Buildings, bridges and monuments all turned to dust.
Where you ask is that American dream, its lost 
Among the rubble of crooks and banking schemes?  
The planet will die and waste away in fishless oceans
 And down dirty mountain streams. There was a time 
When the life flowed slowly like a perfect meadow 
Stream, fresh was the air, blue was the sky, and everyone
 Had a chance to live the American dream.

Other Books by author:

  • Fragments of Time
  • A Passage into Madness
  • Asterial Thoughts
  • A Sachet of Poetry
  • Rutted Roads
  • Rhythm Rhyme and Thoughts
  • Reflections of Poetry
  • Beyond the Voices
  • Honeysuckle Memories
  • Echoing Images from the Soul
  • A Journey into the Soul




Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree | Barnes & Noble® (

The Essence of Paradise…#327

Image result for essence of paradise images

The Essence of Paradise

Joyful simplicities are a means 
to survive, inspiration keeps the 
soul alive, watching seasons as 
they have come and gone.  One 
survives year after year, as the 
heart continues on the journey 
to where it belongs.
Attend to life’s garden reach for 
impossible dreams.  Let the 
mind seek what it envisions, look 
beyond all of the tomorrows and 
do not settle for only what the 
eyes can see.
Learn to shed the skins of time
 never give up hope, the path 
leading to dreams will be
 easier to find, walk hand in 
hand with a true love during
 a warm misty spring.  Drink 
in the aromas of life and it 
will bring back memories of 
the essence of paradise.




Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree | Barnes & Noble® (

Rubble of Yesterday…#326

Image result for images rubble of yesterday

Promises of the mind set aside 
in the days of youth; visions 
stored in a hopeful place to 
become dim memories and 
fade away.  A glimpse into 
the window of twilight time 
lays the tombstones of 
yesteryear’s promises; rubble 
covered with reminiscent vine.
Embers burn within the soul 
no peace can one find; there 
are fewer tomorrows, weep 
for the uncertainty of the 
future and of dreams left 
behind.  If you could turn 
back time would you trust 
your heart to relive your life, 
accepting the future whatever
 it may be, would you disregard 
truth and trust what your eyes 
Yesterday’s promises are hidden 
dreams, try to find new excitement 
in your life, rid yourself of turmoil 
and strife. Awaken your consciousness, 
your journey is not over, there are 
new mountains to climb, forget the 
rubble of yesterday, wisely use your 




Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree | Barnes & Noble® (

In My Mind’s Eye…#325

Image result for Daydreaming Drawing


In My Mind’s Eye

The world is shut-down, fear has driven us inside. 

Every now and again, one must live within their

imagination.  Sometimes, I escape to the past, to a

time where childhood was safe and the world was

not so badly damaged. It is spring, planting time,

there are wide freshly plowed fields and green grass.

Oh, this is my dreamland. 

Black-winged-swallows float upon a warm breeze;

they bath at the edge of a glittering pond; then turn

their dark eyes toward the heavens where they

will soon be suspended in the clean air.  There

are two old mules pulling an ancient plow, behind

it worn leather hands holding the reins gently

urging them along.

Oh, this is my dreamland.

I can see Flint Creek, red dirt banks bright in

the sunshine.  It is there that I swim and let my

childlike imagination run wild; I brush away the

cotton-mouth that does not want to do me harm. 

It’s looking for that sunny place where it can be

warm.  Down the road on weather warn porch sits

my grandmother; she reads her bible, darns socks

and clothes that are way too worn to wear.  I did not

know that we are penniless poor sharecroppers, I

am happy.

Oh, this is my dreamland.

I have enough memories to fill my shut-in –world

to the brim, I carefully place my daddy there; this

imaginary world is one without a care.  My daddy

with his gypsy blood wants to run from it all; I will

not let him fall.  He stays for me.  He stops for his

meal; he will have no fears; while letting a blackbird

picks food from his hand.  He twirls the cold biscuit

into the air; its caught and fly’s away.  My daddy

dreams that a spark from heaven will someday fall

and take him far-far away from it all.

Oh, this is my dreamland.

But what-I dream!  I live in the past as I continue

to be a prisoner within these walls, and I know

that two-hundred years from now it will not

matter at all.  Imagination is an art, you are

here and then you are gone; thus I return to that

space in time where most is now unknown.  A

little church with no bell tower, sweet voices

floating through the windows.  Its yard marked

with stones, I recognize the names upon them,

it’s sad that they are all gone.

Oh, this is my dreamland.

Our barnyard and its fields change from time-to-time,

at this moment it’s filled with a few treasured souls. 

There’s Big Red my daddy’s red roan, and

Soapsticks the aged mule, his partner Lu Lu Bell

has sadly passed on.  The pens are filled with

chickens and hogs, I had named them all.  Then

comes the “Killing Time”, those pens held our

food, but I refused to eat one bite, to eat Fat Sam

or Clem, or Chick Lady on Sunday’s would have

been cruel.

Oh, this is my dreamland.

Yes, in today’s world when we must be shut-in

with four walls that sometimes does not feel like

home.  I have to take my imagination backwards

to a time when freedom was not gone.  To smell

the pines, eating figs from a tree; roaming through

the county side now wishing my daydream would

not end.  A time of joy, with little sadness or despair,

there was nothing to fear; childhood was an

enchanted time; the world today pales to that long

ago time that was only mine.

Oh this is my dreamland.

Born in the days when life was fresh and clear,

still nurturing conquerable hope.  But, now we

fly through a path that was to be; I still believe

in hope, it is with hope that we win.  In my

imagination. Youth finally ends, it fades, and

growing old one will see and hear warm

greetings and smiles.  If it were not for imagination,

I would surely die.

Oh, this is my dreamland.




Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree | Barnes & Noble® (