Back On-Line…#349

Image result for someone typing in a dream

I am back on-line and out of the hospital once again.  I want to let you know about my latest episode with “Multi Myeloma”, bone cancer.  I went into the Oncology center for my “Chemo” treatment Friday, August 20, 2021; the ride was uneventful as was the blood draw.  I was taken to Dr. O, office for a consult before treatment.  It was there that she informed me that my oxygen was low and that she was sending me via ambulance to the ER.  The ride to the ER was the last thing that I rationally remembered.

I remembered one of the ER Doctors saying that I had, a fever, lungs filling up, Pneumonia, for many my age this is a death sentence!  They begin treating the infection immediately, I explained that I needed to go home, that I had been in the hospital for two-half weeks, Rehab for two-weeks, and I had been gone from home for over one-month.  Home only one day and was in Oncology for Chemo, I needed to go home.  I remember IV’s and confusion!   

I opened my eyes and it was still dark outside, a nurse told me it was August 21, 2021, I told her that I thought it was December 21, that my room was decorated for Christmas.  She was very kind explaining that I had entered the hospital on August 20, 2021, it was early morning and there were no decorations in my room.  Thank goodness she stayed with me continuing to explain that I was taking “mega” medications and that may be the reason for the delirium. I “thought” that I got up out of bed making my way outside where there was snow on the ground, a scene out of a movie “Four Season” that I had watched recently.  I tried to remember the names of the other couple go no avail, not even the stage names or the man I was with, Alan Alda.  My thoughts, I was dying and my children had decorated the room making it Christmas for me. 

When morning light began to creep into the room my mind took another turn into the fantasy world of delirium.  Christmas had disappeared, staff came in and out, I believed it was time to “shut up” and take in my surroundings, the only real thing was my son, Chuck.  

With Chuck being there and a telephone call from Carl make me realize that they too had experienced this type of delusion, and Mia a wonderful nurse that stayed with me until he shift had ended.  I continued to weigh in on my surroundings, I was suspicious of many things, and I tried to keep up with the staff, their names, and their positions in the hospital.  I read each IV that hung over my head, the contents and did I know what they were giving me.  My little knowledge of medicine gave me no help, but some of them I understood.  The hospital was not trying to poison me!  Chuck and Mia talk to me, he seem to have a great deal of understanding of what she was telling him, she had hugged me earlier, which was nice.  I did begin to come out of it and by Saturday afternoon, once again had control of my senses.

My delirium is now gone…  I had to spend several days in the hospital.  The combo of medications placed me in that position, which I did not care for and hope to never experience again.  I am back at the computer and tomorrow plan to work on my book.

My plan is to take all of the experiences that I have endured to put in the book that I had started before all of the health problems begin, Severe Anemia, Vitamin D Deficiency, No White Blood Cells, Cancerous Red Blood Cells, Bone Cancer and the latest a Broke Back and a Right Fracture of the Ankle, and on top of all of that Pneumonia.  Yet, here I sit pounding out my latest story for all of you on the old keys.  I and down but do not count me out!

I love each and every one of you and hope to work on a poem to post over the weekend, along with writing as much as possible on the book.  The days are getting shorter and the deadline may be at hand.  I hope that you will find my poetry books interesting and the book about my daughter compelling.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

EAJM

*What are your thoughts on Sirhan Sirhan getting paroled? 

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

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

©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

The Baby’s Not Crying…#311

Two-Pen Log Cabin – by Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

~ THE BABY’S NOT CRYING ~

A Short Story by Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

On a cold March day, in a cold damp room, soft moans came from the young woman lying on the bed; a live skeleton covered with pale flesh, beneath her  a cornhusk mattress covered with a collection of old newspapers and a worn out sheets  made from bleached flour sacks.  She had no choice but to wait for the reality of giving birth to an unwanted child.  Her strength gone, she looked out the window at the moon; it appeared to be hanging on an invisible thread in the early morning darkness.  She prayed to who she thought may be holding the moon in place; another invisible person like herself…GOD.  In the waning March moonlight tears fell from the corner of her eyes as the unbearable pain finally ended.  She looked toward the motionless baby at the foot of the rusty iron bed; maybe it was dead, she heard no crying.  

“Miss Ruth you has a baby girl.” Allimay Schumaker was a neighbor and a mid-wife she whispered softly as she tried to place the baby in her mother’s arms. 

“Get it away from me,” the sound came between clenched teeth, like a caged animal yet it was only a whisper. 

Mrs. Schumaker tried again to place the baby in her mothers’ arms, “She so tiny Miss Ruth, I doubt she will live don’t you want to hold her”?

                “Get it away from me”!                                

Ruth Viola White married in early May seven years before, she was a socially inexperience girl of nineteen who had never been out of Morgan County, Alabama.  Raised on a farm she knew that sex brought on babies.  It was her first time, and she became pregnant.  She sat up on the back seat of Aubrey Drivers old car that Roy a man that she had known for a few weeks.  I was her first time, she was nineteen and her parents were going to kill her.   She insisted on getting married, the next morning in fear she rode with this handsome stranger and his friend Aubrey to Somerville, Alabama where they married, May 7, 1932.  There would be no argument from the twenty-nine year old whiskey runner; he had been shot at enough in his lifetime.  He came to Morgan County to hide from the law who wanted him all the way from Birmingham, Alabama to Chicago, Illinois.

Eight and half months later, Ruth had a healthy baby girl, she called her Billie Wayne; a name that no one had heard of, maybe someone she really loved. Ruth settled into the life of a farm helper’s wife, the little girl that ran beside her all day was beautiful, intelligent and the love of Ruth’s life.  She hand sewed her clothes from printed flour sacks and lace given to her by neighbors; with a perfect child she did not want other children, she had hopes and dreams and they could not be accomplished with more than one child.  In fact she did not want the husband that she did not know, but this was the South, in 1932, you married for life. 

Ruth came from wealth that was gone by the time that she became the oldest of nine children.  She knew what having money meant, and she knew that her husband would never provide it for her plowing fields and planting cotton.  Ruth swore that she would one day have the respect that money could buy.  She would hold onto the dream that would never materialize for her and her child?  She held her new husband away as much as she could, he was a shy individual and his respect for women kept him at bay.

In July of 1938, Ruth found herself pregnant again; the hate was so severe that bile rose in her throat.  How could this happen to her, the dreams for a future began to fade.  Taking a dollar from their money jar she left Billie with a neighbor, Mrs. Schumaker and walked the rocky path down Burleson Mountain to where the old lady Ruby Ragsdale lived.  Everyone thought she was a “witch”.  The talk was that this old woman could mix a drink of bitter herbs that would do away with a pregnancy.  Ruth was unyielding in her need to continue get rid of the baby and she would continue to drink it after she lost the baby making  certain, no more babies, Billie was the only child she had ever wanted and she would be the only child she would ever have.

After a few weeks when Ruth found herself still pregnant she continued to drink the poison bitter herbs hoping it would get rid of it, she ate enough to survive and take care of Billie and the old log house they lived in.  Her thoughts were, if she starved herself, she would starve the thing inside of her. 

Ruth, still in pain felt the tiny blob slide out of her.  She did not know if the baby was early or not, it was here and it was breathing.   She vowed that she would not care for it and she would not be a mother to it.  Ruth heard Mrs. Schumaker leave the room, she turned over and let the horror she had been through take over her mind.  She did not know if she was praying to God or the Devil she hoped it would be possible that her prayer s would be heard, and this thing on the bed would die?

A barrel in the yard filled with burning wood shot flames into the morning air. The soiled bedcovers and the baby’s lifeline to its mother crackled as it fell upon the sizzling wood.  Stirring the barrel with an old poking stick Mrs. Schumaker walked toward the breezeway separating the sleeping room from the room used for cooking.  The house set in the middle of a cotton field located on top of Burleson Mountain, the logs were gray from age, built in the early-eighteen hundreds.  Fieldstone fireplaces in the rooms were used for heat and cooking.  However, Mrs. Schumacher admired Miss Ruth for turning the old place into a home for her child and Mr. Roy too. 

Mrs. Schumaker returned, picked up the baby paused for a moment pulling back the cover from her face; two dark blue eyes stared back at her, curly dark hair curled around the baby’s shoulders; it was time to meet her daddy.  Giving a heavy sigh she crossed the breezeway and walked through the door.

 Roy Brown-Hawk sat on a handmade chair in front of the fireplace in the cooking room.    He worried about his wife, and his new baby; his biggest fear, losing one or both of them.  He had sat there for hours, he heard no moaning or cries of pain, the silence between the two rooms was still like an unmoving fog.  Perhaps both his baby and his wife were dead. 

Quietly Mrs. Schumaker came into the room, so softly that not one board creaked from the weight of her colossal body, she smiled, holding out the tiny bundle.   

 “Mr. Roy, you have a baby girl, dark hair just like you” she gently laid the baby in his rough work worn hands.  He had rubbed lard into them all morning trying to make them softer knowing he might hold the baby.  He laughed as he pulled back the covers from the tiny bundle so small she fit in one hand.  Her little feet fell to his wrist and her neck rest on the tips of his fingers.  She was the tiniest baby he had ever seen.

 “Mr. Roy you need to get ready to maybe lose this little one, she is so small, I am worried about her and Miss Ruth she got no milk, and she don’t want her”.  Mrs. Schumaker stood wringing her hands together dabbing at her eyes with the edge of her white apron. While Roy held the baby Mrs. Schumaker told him how to make a “sugar tit”,” I see you got clean white rags in a box in the other room, cut a small piece, wet it and put a spoon full of sugar in the middle; twist it until the end looks like a nipple on a tit”.

“I’m telling you Mr. Roy, I am sorry but I doubt she will live, her little lungs are not ready for breathing; I’m afraid she will die before she can feel her mama’s touch, it is so sad not wanting your own baby”.  She looked at the baby, silently praying while her thoughts wondered.

Allimay Schumaker knew all of the White family, they were all pretty uppity, thought they were better than most people.   Old Massa Robert White Miss Ruth’s grand pappy was a Captain in the Confederate States of America.   He bought land all over Morgan County before and after the War; he owned the Mercantile Store in Hartselle, Alabama and a large Plantation not too far from town.  His land holdings below Burleson Mountain  was about two-thousand acres stretched from Rural Grove Road south under the Bluff, north to the Pool Bottoms that edged the Tennessee River backwaters  and west to Flint Creek, of this land he deeded five-hundred acres over to his daughter  Ira Mae and her husband Prentiss White  when they got married.   He built them a big house because he wanted lots of grandchildren.  He lived long enough to regret his decision.

Miss Ruth’s daddy Prentiss White was the son of Robert and Annie Weston; Robert served in the War as well.  He was comfortable after the war, but never acquired the wealth of the Whites.  Ruth many times referred to her daddy as a whoremonger.  Prentiss drank chased women and sold off the five-hundred acres of prime land to grow cotton bit-by-bit, he was too lazy to work and this would provide him with an income; by the time Miss Ruth married he had about five acres for corn, a ten acre pasture where he rented out for beef cattle to the owner of a tire dealership in Decatur, Alabama, E.G, Hamilton; he had the barn and the house on Rural Grove Road.  A big garden, chickens, pigs and milk cows to help feed the family.  They made a living off the land they had but no more.

Mrs. Schumaker knew about life taking a sad and depressing turn for Ruth when she got pregnant; but within eight months she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  She placed all of her time and energy on Billie.  She treated Mr. Roy like an outsider and spoke down to him, now after seven years he spoke only when she spoke to him.   Mrs. Schumaker wondered if the disgrace of her daddy, their being poor or being a field hand for him and the caretaker of the family made her horrible and mean spirited.  The whimper from the tiny bundle in Mr. Roy’s hand brought her back to the present.

   “Well Mr. Roy she is all clean and you need to call out Miss Ruth’s Uncle; that Doctor White from Hartselle”.  She repeated herself dabbing at her eyes; “Miss Ruth shore don’t want this baby”. 

“Well, I have to go, if you need me ring the dinner bell on the porch somebody will hear it.  I have to go take care of my family; by the way, I’ll keep Miss Billie for a few days”.   

   “Thank you Mrs.  Schumaker, I’ll be lying in a cord of wood for you helping Ruth”, Roy sat staring at the tiny life he held in his hands no more than twelve inches long and maybe two pounds.   

Allimay Schumaker had nine children of her own, one more would not matter; she glanced in one more time on the lifeless woman on the bed.

She closed the door walked slowly up the narrow rutted road that lead to her house.  She and her husband William had lived on Burleson land since their birth; both families had lived there for generations.   Old Massa bought slaves but never sold them off, the old William was bought from the Schumaker Plantation, he was her husband’s granddaddy and he kept the name of his former owner.   Allimay family had been on the Burleson Plantation for a long as she could remember; families born there remain together for a life time.   Old Massa was a General in the War Between the States; it was a mystery how the Plantation survived, but his son kept it going, always believing the old South would someday return.  Before she knew it, Allimay was surrounded by screaming happy children including Miss Billie.  Now, to take care of the Schumaker brood.

Roy shook his head bringing himself back to reality; Ruth had gotten rid of the baby bed years ago, announcing that she did not want any more children.  He lay the baby down on the fireplace hearth, going into the other room to search for a box.  He found an old boot box, returning to the baby never looking at his wife.  Ruth chose starvation trying to lose the baby, it made her weak and her meanness came out.  He could not force her to eat, and he believes that her method may have worked as he stood looking down at the result of her starvation.

Ruth lay still on the bed, pretending to be asleep so she would not have to look at Roy, she knew “it” was alive and wished it would die.  The watery blue liquid dripping from her breast did not bother her, she remembered the rich milk she had for Billie, but the memory did not soften her thoughts.  She closed her eyes and fell into a fretful sleep.

Roy weighed the baby with a two-pound cotton pee and the she could not pull it down to measure, the baby was less than two pounds.  Cotton pee, a bell like objects with a hook on it; was made of solid steel.  A measuring bar would have a sack of cotton on one end and a pee of various weights put on the other to measure the cottons weight; this time the scale did not budge. 

The Bown-Hawk’s and Schumacher’s, they all tried to survive the miserable days following the depression.  Roy worked for Mr. Burleson, one of the wealthiest men in Morgan County; the land that their old log house stood on was Burleson land and at one time housed slaves that worked the land.  They used the same well, the same chicken house and stanchion for the cow; the only difference in the house floors had been laid in several years ago. 

Roy believed that Mr. Burleson respected him, he was a hard worker, and the land he worked yielded more than most who sharecropped.  Time had not taken away the horror brought upon those long ago tenants; most people in the south continued to believe that Indians and Negro’s were lower than the animals on the land.

Roy returned to the baby in his hands, he stoked at the fire his thoughts wandered again toward the time when he first met Ruth.  She was at a local Roadhouse in Flint, Alabama with her sister Emma Sue.  Emma was out on the dance floor having a good time; Ruth sat at a table in the back of the room hoping no one would see her.  She and Emma Sue had slipped out after their parents were asleep; Emma Sue had a boyfriend; they would meet at the bottom road below Burleson Mountain.  If they were caught, it would be Ruth that got beat. She would be told that she should know better, not Emma Sue.  She did not look like she wanted any company.  Roy had known of the place for years, it was one of his stops when he was running whisky from South Alabama to Chicago, Illinois.  No one could have told him then that he would have a wife and two daughters a few years later on that early March morning. 

He had come to Morgan County because of Ma, his grandmother.  His last run was a bad one, his car had been shot up by Tennessee law enforcement, and he had barely got away from them.   People hired him to run whiskey, every law throughout five states was paid off except them ole boys in Tennessee, and they did not take bribes!  He drove through Tennessee with his speed surpassing the power of any car and put the needle on his dash out of sight.  He would laugh every time he told that story.  Ma was right he needed to lay low for a while; it had been his dream to return to Birmingham to play baseball for the Birmingham Black Bears, a minor team.  No one knew that it was him driving the car, no one knew his name.  That was all gone, playing baseball lay dead in his past he had responsibilities now!  

Ruth lay on the cornhusk mattress in the other room thinking of Billie, she was the only child that she wanted.  Ruth had nine brothers and sisters, she help deliver most of them and raised them until the day her mama kicked her out for marrying Roy.  Ruth had hope to stop at giving birth to one child, she was tired of being poor; she wanted to make a better life by going to work.  She lay crying thinking that maybe her strength would return so she could take care of herself and Billie, for days she still held onto the idea that this baby would die. 

 Ruth could not help but think of Roy’s sister Vina, she hated her and the fact that her husband’s half sister lived well made it worse; Vina was a beautician that owned her own shop in Birmingham, Alabama.  Her husband Wesley worked for a Birmingham steel mill and brought home good money, Ruth was envious and she did not care who knew it.

Vina had always thought that Ruth had not planned Billie either.  Vina believed that Ruth found herself pregnant after a few roadhouse visits with her sister, after meeting Roy.  She let it slip one day that once she had sex, and being a virgin, she insisted Roy marry her.  Roy was the kind of man that he did just that, and Billie had been born eight months and two weeks after they married.  Roy had not planned a child either.  His dream did not lie in the cotton fields of Northern Alabama.  Nevertheless, he was a decent man, and he thought this was the right thing to do.

Ruth appeared disappointed that the baby had survived such a difficult birth.  She was very ill herself, both physically and mentally; unhappy that she had another child, one she did not want.  She could not think about it any longer, she rolled over falling into a fretful sleep; maybe when she woke she hoped that she would have a funeral to attend. 

Old Doc White, Ruth’s Uncle came after the day after the baby was born; he was her  mother’s brother lived and practice medicine in Hartselle, Alabama, and he traveled all over Morgan County attending people who could not get to him.  He said the baby was too small but seems healthy enough and Ruth was despondent as many mothers are after delivering a baby.  He said only time could help his niece or the baby.   He left saying he would register the baby’s birth when he returned to Hartselle.  Absent minded as he was, he registered a no name baby girl.  His niece had said she would not name a dead baby.

Ruth chose not to have anything to do with the baby; she left it up to Roy to care for her.  Their oldest daughter, Billie tried to help but the ability to care for a tiny baby and her mother was possible.  

Roy could see that it was impossible to leave Ruth, Billie and a baby to work the fields.  He walked a few days later to the Schumacher’s and called his sister Vina.  She came that night to stay with him for a few days.  Vina had given birth to baby girl born only weeks before, the baby was stillborn.  She and her husband Wesley had two boys, Everett and Jimmy, and they hearts could hardly conceive losing her.  She was in mourning, but she loved her brother and he needed help.  Vina knew that Ruth did not care for her but she always tried to overlook her actions.  When she arrived, she found Ruth despondent and Roy worried, both were at odds with each other.  Ruth had refused to try nursing or care for her baby.  Now she was upset that Vina was there, within days, Roy agreed that the baby could return to Birmingham with Vina.  Vina, left with the baby in a boot box stuffed with cotton from the nearby field and covered with several flour sacks for a blanket, Ruth had not prepared any clothes or diapers.  It would be several years before Roy would return to his sister’s to bring his baby home, that would also be on a warm March day.

March is a beautiful month in Northern Alabama.  The buttercups, lilac and forsythia bushes were blooming around the Two-Pen cabin Roy called home.   Kudzu vines would have covered the makeshift chicken house and the “Outhouse”.  Beyond, a small barn surrounded by razor sharp Johnson grass bordered acres of freshly plowed ground waiting to nurture the seeds growing into what the south called white gold … cotton.  

Copyright©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Author’s work located at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

Aunt Francis…#307

Author’s Note:  This is the true story of Aunt Francis, an old colored lady who came to live at the farm where we lived in 1944.  She was respected and loved by everyone who met her; except for my mother and sister.

Aunt Francis

Aunt Francis as she told me to call her lived on this earth over 100 years.  Aunt France born in 1865 was the daughter of slaves.  She thought herself to be watched over by the Angels, her mother and father were never sold; they were still together at the end of the War.  They died and were buried on the same plantation where they were born.

Her birth name was Sarah Francis Belew; she came into my life when I was five – years – old; she was seventy nine.  My daddy needed someone to watch over me while he was in the cotton fields; and my great-grandmother was getting on in age, ninety-five.  My mother worked in town and she would come home most times after we were all in bed and she would be gone before most of us got up.  She asks to be called Aunt Francis.  I realize when I became older that calling her that could be placed in the racist category.  However, in those days my daddy who was discriminated against himself; nor I knew much about being racist.  My mother and sister on the other hand I doubt thought much about being racist, with my mother it was more hate than anything else; and my sister followed in her footsteps.  

Aunt Francis was because of several conditions.  Daddy went to the cotton gin in Priceville, Alabama, pulling a trailer of freshly picked cotton with his tractor.  When he returns in the trailer, where the cotton once lay was Aunt Francis sitting in her big rocking chair, it would be safely to say that I wondered how her legs could carry this gigantic woman; but there she was an indigo blue dress with pink flowers scattered across the material.  Covering the dress was a white bib apron that like the dress reached to the top of her shoes.  Beside her a huge trunk which held all of her worldly belongings.  

It was a Monday, mothers off day from the beauty shop.  A “fight” quickly develops when mother ran to the back porch of our farmhouse wanting to know why “the old colored woman was there”.  She knew Aunt Francis, but act as if she were a total stranger.

 Everyone in Morgan County knew that she live in a lean-to in the back of the general store.  If one does not know what a “lean-to” is, it is a three-sided building place against another building, no windows, and one door in, one door out. She lived there with her son Gus.  It was her only child and the story was that she was raped b a white man, the results being Gus.  She was too old to work the fields and no one wanted her for a maid or cook.  So, she and Gus lived behind the store.  He worked for the store at night cleaning it for a place to live and groceries.  He had been accused of stealing money and placed in jail with a one-year sentence.  The owner of the Priceville General Store put Aunt Francis out on the edge of the road, her rocker and chest.  It was said that he had someone to tear down the lean-to and burn it along with the beds, table and chairs.  

We had a little one room shack across from our house, it had a small pot belly stove and a table and chairs, and bed.  I help as much as I could and we cleaned up the shack and moved her in, daddy cut wood for the stove and brought her canned fruits and vegetables out of mother’s pantry, to tell her when she wanted meat he would bring it from the smokehouse.  He also told her that I would bring her potatoes from the garden. Fresh milk and water from the spring house.  She was all set up before the sun set that day.

Mother did not want her there, but took advantage of it by saying she could clean, wash and cook for the family.  Daddy looked at her saying, that she was not brought there to do any more than help watch me and my grand-mother.  My mother was very unhappy with the situation.  Now she had two to “put up” with. 

She disliked Ma my daddy’s grandmother living with us, and now an old colored woman.  Daddy’s grandmother had raised him when his mother died of the Spanish Flu.  She was a full-blooded Native American, Chickasaw.  Daddy sometimes would say to me, “You know that your mama married beneath her upbringing”, I would be much older before I understood the inference of what he said.  I also felt bad for my mother she had made the mistake of marrying one of the most handsome men in Alabama.  Dark, strong, a beautiful Chickasaw man.  Well it was not the kindness and love caused her to marry him.  My guess is that when my sister was born eight months after she med him, that was the answer.  Of course, it always set my sister off into a tantrum when I would say that they had to get married.  When I was born, my mother did not want another child.  She gave me to my daddy’s half-sister, she kept me until I was three – years- old; when I could almost take care of myself daddy wanted me home.   I had some of the most wonderful care givers in the world, my daddy, Ma (my great-grandmother) and Aunt Francis.

Therefore, I grew up learning how to act, live and survive; these lessons came from Ma and Aunt Francis.  I was a young woman when I lost both of them.  Ma along with my daddy had given me full knowledge of “The Ways” of their people, the nobility and strength.  Aunt Francis gave me the meaning of life, to be alive and how to survive.  She also, gave me the graciousness, and how a young woman should act.  I doubt that I have lived up to their expectations of me, I have tried.

When I returned to Alabama to attend the funeral of Aunt Francis, it had to be one of the darkest days in my life.  My daddy had taken care of her until the day she died.  She moved into town when daddy left the farm when I was twelve- years – old, he found her a house and paid her rent.  He gave her spending money and brought groceries to her weekly, from a list she prepared for him.  My heart aches at the thought of how much she meant to us.  In many ways I miss Aunt Francis more than I do my own mother.  She raised me gave me the love I did not get at home.

Later in life I painted a picture of Aunt Francis in Acrylics, I wanted her to be young and alive.  I have the picture today.  Then much later I begin to write poetry, naturally the piece created “Another Spring for Aunt Francis” was for her.  I have to smile at remembering her huge body walking across the creaky boards of the old tarpaper shack.  The long dress covered with a starched white apron.  Most of all I remember her hugs and kisses, she loved me and I loved, still love her.

Oh yes, the racism, being raised by Native American daddy, my Aunt (daddy’s sister), a great-grandmother and Aunt Francis, the daughter of slaves.  I went into life with a different perspective than that of my mother and sister, and all of my mother’s people.  I myself was discriminated against because I was the daughter of a poor Chickasaw farmer.

The poem below was created for my Aunt Francis…

Another spring for Aunt Francis

Her knees bend forward away from the worn out rocker, her legs getting their bearings while she made a puckered brow while looking out the window at the garden.   Everything dies she thought; soon the fragrance of spring will be gone. 

She narrows her eyes looking into the hedgerow at the end of her flowerbed to see if the sparrow hawks have returned, slowly she turns keeping contact with the old chair, holding onto its arms.  After one-hundred listless summers, her soul still feeds on emotions of the stillness of the sweet-scented honeysuckle growing around her front porch. 

Holding her breath she falls back into the chair, it shudders under her weight. She knows not to take her being able to stand for granted.  Closing her eyes to rest, bible in hand, and her thoughts were none other than she could get back up another time, another spring.  Maybe!



©2012.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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A Rotting America…#251

Casualties of the Times

Begging for food, living on the streets, no jobs to be found, families no longer sound.  Government talks end up in contradictions, poverty is the prediction.  

The homeless cannot sleep during winter’s cold nights, they gather around a burning barrel, men, women and children, forgotten, shattered and despised; in the distance a baby cries. 

The spirit freezes, fruit of labors rot, life squeezes and struggles persist, bad luck smothering heart and soul, hope ceases to exist. 

Changing winds turn into storms, will the world grow wiser, or will it be humbled and beaten back into servility? 

Trust departed, a cardboard box in the streets is where the homeless make their beds, hope disappears and the future appears dead.

2014©elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books by Author: Amazon.com and Barnes&Nobel.com

(In USA and 12 countries abroad)

Flying with Broken Wings: The Life Story of Charlotte Jean Murphree: Johnson-Murphree, Elizabeth Ann: 9781547051328: Amazon.com: Books

Fragments of Time: Bits and Pieces of the Time I have lived in?: Johnson-Murphree, Elizabeth Ann: 9781981472147: Amazon.com: Books

Rhythm Rhyme and Thoughts: A decade of poetry: Johnson-Murphree, Elizabeth Ann: 9781723433054: Amazon.com: Books

A Sachet of Poetry: Adoration Aspirations Anger Asylums: Johnson-Murphree, Ann: 9781500483357: Amazon.com: Books

Reflections of Poetry: Johnson-Murphree, Ann: 9781500168643: Amazon.com: Books

Beyond the Voices: Johnson-Murphree, Ann: 9781500426705: Amazon.com: Books

Honeysuckle Memories: Johnson-murphree, Ann: 9781500290702: Amazon.com: Books

Echoing Images from the Soul: A Journey into the Soul: Johnson-Murphree, Ann: 9781500366810: Amazon.com: Books

Asterial Thoughts: A Journey into a Life, Thought and Fear: Johnson-Murphree, Ann: 9781540862358: Amazon.com: Books

Rutted Roads: A Collections of Poems: Johnson-Murphree, Ann: 9781532909368: Amazon.com: Books

A Passage into Madness: A State of Frenzied Activity: Johnson-Murphree, Elizabeth Ann: 9781688948990: Amazon.com: Books

Flying with Broken Wings…#247

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=elizabeth+ann+johnson-

Flying with Broken Wings

Author Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree books at: Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

Flying with Broken Wings is about the life of Charlotte Jean Murphree. Charlotte was not a famous person, in fact, not too many people knew her, but those that did knew there were many facets to her life. The book tells of fifty-two-years of daily testing of her will to carry on and the misfortune she faced. As a baby and young girl she was made fun of and bullied by schoolchildren, her progress was slow but she never gave up the fight to overcome her disabilities. As an adult, she fought physical disability of Cerebral Palsy, living with Bipolar, Depression and Schizophrenia disorders. She lived not only with these disabilities, she endured the “Voices” that lived within her for over thirty years. This book is about the beginning, the middle and the end of her life.

Books by Author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com:

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

©2020.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Donald Trump Pandering for the Black Vote…#236

Donald Trump said that he is devising a plan to get the “Black” Vote, so now he want to “romance” the Black’s in America.  Donald Trump comes under the statement “Sheep in Wolfs clothing”.

Trump has been sued for violating the Fair Housing Act, evidence was found that Trump refused to rent to Black tenants.  Itis said that when he came to his casino’s Black people had to get off the floor.  He has been known to say that Blacks have a trait to be lazy.  Trump falsely accused Obama as not being a citizen.  Trump has suggested that Senator Kamala Harris, “doesn’t meet the requirements” to run for vice president.  He has stated that, Blacks are “Living in poverty, schools are no good”.  What have you done to correct this Mr. Trump? 

Trump attacked NFL players for kneeling silently protesting the national anthem.  He has stated that African countries are “shitholes”. He has stated that Black and Brown members of Congress should “Go back”.  Donald Trump said that he had a plan to win over Black Americans.  Then, he opens his mouth again saying, “That Blacks only care about power for themselves, his speeches are different for different audiences.  He defended Confederate symbols, calling Black Lives Matter a symbol of hate.  He consistently delivered a law and order message, calling demonstrators “thugs” and “anarchists” and “mob rule.”

They are those that say Trump is just a bad speaker and possibly racially insensitive.  But when one pulls all of what he said and what he did together, he is a racist.  He has put a dark cloud over our Nation, and has insulted most of our allies.   If, and after, he is elected he will return as the same vile individual that he has been for 30-years.  He makes me ashamed to be white!  As we live in our white skin we must work hard to make this country equal for everyone; we need to heal, and we cannot nor will we be able to with the reelection of Donald Trump.   

©2020.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Author Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree books at: Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

Flying with Broken Wings is about the life of Charlotte Jean Murphree. Charlotte was not a famous person, in fact, not too many people knew her, but those that did knew there were many facets to her life. The book tells of fifty-two-years of daily testing of her will to carry on and the misfortune she faced. As a baby and young girl she was made fun of by schoolchildren, her progress was slow but she never gave up the fight to overcome her disabilities. As an adult, she fought Cerebral Palsy, Living with Bipolar, Depression and Schizophrenia disorders. Charlotte lived not only with herself but she endured the “Voices” that lived within her for over thirty years. This book is about her beginning, her middle and the end of her life.

Books by Author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com:

  1. Fragments of Time
  2. A Passage into Madness
  3. Asterial Thoughts
  4. A Sachet of Poetry
  5. Rutted Roads
  6. Rhythm Rhyme and Thoughts
  7. Reflections of Poetry
  8. Beyond the Voices
  9. Honeysuckle Memories
  10. Echoing Images from the Soul
  11. A Journey into the Soul

FaceBook:

https://www.facebook.com./Elizabeth-Ann-Murphree-Write-111707974010781

As a Child I Prayed it was the Way…#119

 

Image result for Native American women Praying images

As a Child I Prayed, it was the Way…

Knarred pines below the mountain where we lived were living gravestones on the
land we called home high above them was the kudzu-shrouded caves where I played with constant skinned knees, Hoarfrost eyes and long black braids. Below this mountain was hallowed ground and beneath decaying pine needles the bleached bones of my ancestors lay hidden in the mounds.

My Great-grandmother whom we all call “Ma” said the mountain was like a cathedral, a place where she took me every morning to pray, she told me that it was our way. As the night shadows disappeared in the mornings golden rays, we raised our palms toward the sky to bless another day.

Ma’s voice strong and clear begin to chant in her native tongue the words robust and bold; it came from deep within her as if orchestrated by her Soul. Floating across the mountains scarred face her mantra rose to the Great Mystery – her God, she said that I must always honor this sacred place.

She told me that the sounds of a waking earth should reminded us of how the world came to be, her prayers spoke of rebirth and how our Souls would someday be free. We walked through emerald grass damp with morning dew, the unseen breeze kissed our face, and she believed that with the beginning of each morning our life was once again renewed.

We hurried to the creek behind our tarpaper shanty to wash away all of Yesterday’s sorrows. I held her hand wishing that this were how our lives would always be, that I would never grow up and she would never grow old, and it would always be Ma and me. Yes when I was a child my Great-grandmother taught me many lessons about life, it was the way.
©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

Books by author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com $.99 to $15:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&i=stripbooks&crid=2BGV3NKK8VSOQ&sprefix=elizabeht+ann+johnson%2Caps%2C213&ref=nb_sb_ss_sc_1_18

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/elizabeth%20ann%20johnson%20murphree

 

Art and Writing…#109

I have shared below a few of my own art collection, during a time when I was in grief over the loss of my child I placed my thoughts, scenes from my childhood into painting in acrylics and watercolors.  My hope is that someday they will become family treasures.  I continue to paint today for my enjoyment.

 

 

Books by author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com $.99 to $15:

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https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/elizabeth%20ann%20johnson%20murphree

 

Freedom…#108

 

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A short-short story

Freedom…

 
The young man standing over the battered woman was bitter with his life; filled with arguments and questions he was unyielding. He needed no prompting; his waking hours devoted to causing heartache, pain and suffering. He had a skill for creating pain, even in his passionate moments. His joy was to reign over his rightful possession, his wife. On their first day of marriage, she would cease to have a will of her own, she was afraid and she obeyed. To serve, to have no mind of her own, without any support from others she too thought that he owned her. She would never be his equal, when he was with her his words brought new bleeding to her heart and mind. He was only satisfied when he drew blood, his appetite for hurting never ceased.

 
He had broken their vows thousands of times, his mouth foul and dishonest with an adulterous heart beating within his broad barrel chest. She thought maybe his past, his youth; his own suffering at the hands of another had brought him to this day? He was not true or kind; he felt no shame in the bruises he left behind. Among those who knew him, he could do no harm; people did not know him. She had not asked for pearls or rubies, and she did not ask that her blood be spread across every moment of her life. His moods released terror in his path, and eventually she lay like twisted metal after it had met with deadly winds. She felt no worth, or equalities, she believed in only his wrath and his sickly attempts to have her go mad.

 
His affections never tender, many times, she was like a lamb to be killed at the altar by his manic desires. At times when people would try to get acquainted with her, he and only he owned her. The scars of battle went unseen; she was a caged animal in their home. Her discipline she held by grace but she vowed never give in to the bond he commanded, she fought back.  One day she rose from the floor screaming at him, “Your fist no longer stings, my stomach will no longer will live in knots, and my body will no longer be confined. Your torture inflames my spirit, it does not kill it; I will no longer cringe in shame and silence, and I will no longer suffer the pain; I will no longer live in shock or fear.”

 
Later that night she asks herself did her torturer have a soul; did he take an oath with the Devil? She did not weep, she did not cry, or show fear, “It is the last time,” she thought. She was not aware of the time that he put the poison in her food, but she somehow sensed that she was going to die that night. He would never let her leave him, with her face covered with tears she closed her eyes, there was no one to hear her moans, and she could not escape the tragedy of her life. Finally, she fell into a sleep from she would not wake from, a final thought danced across her dying mind, she was free.

 

 

©2019.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 
Book by author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com $.99 to $15:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=elizabeth+ann+johnson-murphree&i=stripbooks&crid=2BGV3NKK8VSOQ&sprefix=elizabeht+ann+johnson%2Caps%2C213&ref=nb_sb_ss_sc_1_18

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/elizabeth%20ann%20johnson%20murphree