Images of Our First Paint Bar Class in our New Location~

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We had an amazing time with a group of nurses and medical staff creating a lovely snow scene!

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Showing this special group painting techniques was a wonderful experience!

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The finished product was individual and unique~

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I think they enjoyed the class and I hope we have another paint session soon~

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~New Releases of Poetry from Ohio~

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Our Ohio poetry collection is out and hot off the press today, Sunday, September 24th of 2017.

Please read my poem representing Ohio poetry creation along with other talented poets’ contributing written work. This new publication is available currently on Amazon for purchase in a Kindle edition or in print paperback.

Remember to vote on the Amazon site via a reader review below the Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology. Vote for your favorite poet included in this Ohio poetry collection and remember to include the title of their poem with their name in your review. By reviewing their crafted poetic contribution to this unique Ohio publication, you will allow them to advance into a drawing for a full-book publication produced by Z Publishing House in the future. Don’t forget to include their name and the title of their poem with your honest review of this Ohio poetry collection of 2017.

 

 

Ohio's Best Emerging Poets

a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36294039-ohio-s-best-emerging-poets”

~Painting with Me~Art Therapy~

~Painting with Watercolors~

~My mermaid with wild hair~

 

mermaidwc2A gift for my daughter

 

Painting with Acrylics 

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Then, I added to this:

mypaintingreworkedThis is the finished product.

 

On September 16th, I finished this one:

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The Happy Topless Mermaid 

 

Completed  this one on September 19th, 2017:

 

mysunset3.jpgPurple Sunset 

Working with Mixed Media

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This one is titled, The mermaids in the channel.

My Painting Adventures continue…

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These three paintings are framed and matted for display in our new Paint Room above Roxy’s Hair Studio for reference and enjoyment while we hold our painting parties.  They’re my Autumn Trio.

 

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Harvest Moon is my most current work of art. I used a stylus to form the tree blooms. 

 

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This one is Autumn Waterfall and it is waiting to be matted & framed.

 

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This is called Pick your Potion. It is a combination of spray paints and acrylics using some round sponge brushes to make the bubbles.

 

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Here is a fun one called Celebration in Love~ I used some pointillism in it.

Pointillism reached a peak in the 1880s through 1890s after the artist Impressionist movement. Many of the same concepts and ideas; however, continue to be used by artists now. Here, I only used it on the heart shape and around the glasses and the sides of the heart for a glitter effect. George Seurat and Paul Signac were the main artists using this technique years ago to form an image on their canvases.  It is not as easy as it looks to do either. Depending on the size of the dots, the overall look will be different. Being consistent in the dot size is difficult, depending on what the artist uses to form the dots. Above, I used a round paintbrush to form the dots.

A Tribute to the artist, Gilbert~

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~Whimsical Notions~

She browses the whimsical articles

Displayed on the table in front

Of her,

Thinking about which one she will

Ask for,

Maybe, her parents can honor

Her request this time,

Just one small trinket to fill her

Playtime in the sunny afternoons

on their garden veranda.

She attempts to formulate a plan to

Approach this delicate subject

Inside her head, as she decides on

Which item to pick for this

Planned purchase as the occupied marketplace

Continues to fill with diligent customers, harried beggars, and engaging ladies enjoying their tea and blueberry scones at small tables surrounding the square of industrious vendors

Doing their business in the summer weekend air filled with the aroma of fresh baked goods, displayed fish, and cut flowers waiting for purchase.

This particular display makes her decision very hard to make in the little time she must make up her mind and try to convince her parents that she must have at least one new toy to fulfill her assortment.

Her bright eyes wander from item to item,

The pretty dolls dressed in lacy frills, the horses on wheels, and the various accessories among the contrasting figures. Numerous reservations fill her thinking as she ponders her decision,

Would this hoop be more fun than dressing dolls up for a tea party held at noon?

A friendly lady calls out, “How are you this fine morning?” The little girl just bats her long lashes.

“Have you made up your mind yet what strikes your fancy on this lovely day?”

“I can’t decide.” Replies, the little gal dressed in dark velvet.

“Decisions can be difficult and often take time.” The nice woman tells her as tidies up the table and watches two women sipping tea near them.

“Can you tell me what one you would pick?” the little girl asks her as she waits for her parents to return from the meat stand.

“No one should make that choice for you because it wouldn’t be true to your spirit of inclinations.”

“I don’t know what that means–but, I think this hoop will provide more joy than the doll I admire.”

“Yes, the hoop could be aspiring and fill your yearning for movement as you enjoy the sunshine.”

Now, I have to convince my parents to believe the same notion.” The girl places the hoop against the table and she waves at the lady as she leaves to tell her parents what she desires from the whimsical toy display. 

©2017 in memory of the artist (V. Gilbert)

© 2017 Josie E. Cook M. A.

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The Worst didn’t Happen because of Him

To have his hand by me for comfort and safeness

After a day of thinking about the worst

And now happy that it didn’t happen

To Us,

His solid body next to mine,

As I think about how crazy it was to imagine

The worst,

Embarrassed by it,

However, a mistake is

What happens when I am preoccupied

By life,

Distracted and not looking at the details.

Accidents are accidents—not on purpose.

Closer to him now,

My body fits his shape well,

The residual effects are now gone

Because of him. –J. E. Cook (C)2017

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Cherishing Life

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To be in full bloom

Where one exists,

Is what one’s life should be…

To live in the moment always

Not in the past or worrying about one’s

Future that has not arrived yet. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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The Little Things, and More

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On a green metal bench, outside

Our favorite ice cream spot

We watch the dogwoods dance

In the breeze off the lake,

The sky is bursting with their pink

and

White petals

Reminding me of the delicate

Frosted flowers on the cupcakes

Across the street designed

By a young baker,

The smells in the air

Around us are intoxicating

And the blooms

Become confetti on the sidewalks

My cone contains sweet caramel

That is sex on my tongue

As I lick it,

A touch of sea salt and

Sprinkle of pecan nuts,

A swirl of whipped cream

And a shiny cherry on top,

What else would one want

While they watch the skies

With their favorite love

And forget all the foreign thoughts.

 

Being with the man of your dreams

Is always wonderful

Even without these added pleasures

His curly hair at his neckline

As his sudden smile appears

When he watches the ice cream

Drip onto my lap.

His presence is appreciated

And his eye contact

Makes me blush

My shoulders ache for his touch.

A hug that brings me in so

Close right before his lips

Caress mine. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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Shared Sunsets

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A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.
~Having the right connection~

Shared Sunsets

The girl that is rare
Is the one dear to one’s heart.

As I stand by my tree of choice
And watch the sun make its
Colors at Sunset
With the birds lining the tree
Branches–but not uttering a song
At all
As puddles fill with insects
And the rows of corn
Flutter in the wind
In all the fields sprawling
Before me
The black silhouettes
Further out reflect the remaining
Reds in the skies

Those evening skies
As I hold the hand of my closest
Friend and we remain silent
And happy with the passing
Of time
Because it happens with us
Together
Before this lovely scene in
The sky.
–J. E. Cook ©2017
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Also Visit: https://josiecook48.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/musings-on-a-sunday-morning/

Moving On~not always a choice~

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Moving On

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

leaving a place of love and happiness…

Moving On

 

Moving is scary to me,

Leaving the things behind that I became

Accustomed and familiar to

the change of the seasons every year,

those colors the tree leaves always

become every fall,

the sunrises and sunsets full of the

emptying cloud ranges,

the places on their horizons

that I view each day after day,

sitting on the deck at dawn

watching the day begin and end,

In the morning, the sky bringing up its light,

sitting right beside the big Maple tree

that I will always miss after I am gone

from here,

listening to the rise of the day,

nothing there, except me and that

special tree,

a tree where my daughter spent her

afternoons after school swinging, talking with her

friends, and climbing with her cat,

daylight arrives and I think of haunts of this land,

I’ll miss this tree, the memories will bring it back

After I am gone,

But what I’ll miss even more is this weird little

White house I bought myself,

It’s creaking and moaning during thunderstorms,

Its own pellicular grace and style

That brought me happiness so many times

While I was here.

The garden that I tended and worked in

With its life cycles each season,

Tiny seeds being pressed into the soil

Waiting for them to poke through

The ground,

Maybe, I am just a seed, too

What I’ll remember most is my bedroom

Here,

Because it is right beside my big Maple tree

It stands there like a soldier guard,

My bedroom windows look out to the garden

That I love,

I hate to be a long time gone from this

Place of love and happiness

But, I am moving on. –J. E. Cook ©2017

 

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Allie & my daughter, Victoria having a discussion under the big Maple.

Mother Nature & Our Divinity

In Divinity’s developing, early spring garden

Where many flowing wildflowers flourish,
to produce and cultivate others,

To promote so many varieties in color,
these shades of her beautiful tints stretch

for miles and miles…
such as beauty often does but never lasts

past its challenging termination,

One may never find it

In the same precise shades again,

like heaping painted canvas clinging to the knolls

And the spreading valleys,
nature’s brush of changing colors,
with each hue as bright as the sunshine,
kissing the splendor dispersed over our land,

When a heavy winter coat of white

Arrives and covers the same spots,

This ground rests and sleeps until
spring in the coming year,
then these fragrant blooms come back,
stretching and multiplying over the

Endless growing territories,

Building a constant circle of nature at its best,
the brush of Mother Nature creating art

From loam, mud, and particles of dirt

By mixing the drops of constant rain

with the warm

Endless breezes helping her,
This creation reminds us that miracles exist

And our ultimate survival depends on her,
without her touch, man and his family

Would not flourish like the blooms of

The earth.

These renewing buds

Coming from dry seeds shall carry us on,
as they are blown across the world,
the rain showers arrive to nourish them,

The fall season always prepares the soil for

The approaching slumber,

the endless sun will keep bringing

Its warmth every spring, and

into the rumbling summer,
and soon it will be time for dancing

hummingbirds

And working insects to cultivate the

natural growth,

without her hand, nothing matures,
Mother Nature is our keeper,

and the land’s tending gardener,
There’s no need to change her routine

because it fits our necessities for life,
with the essential gifts of her love.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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Reading Meanwhile there are Letters

This book is based on the correspondence of Eudora Welty & Ross Macdonald edited by Suzanne Marrs & Tom Nolan and it is quite a treasure to read.

In one letter to Welty:

“I don’t quite know what is happening to the country, or has already happened. A friend, formally in the government, writes from Washington about “the coming constitutional crisis,” as he calls it. I believe the country has gone through a moral crisis and failed to recognize it. We proceed cheerfully on our desperate way like a man with a bad doctor and a fatal illness.”– Kenneth Millar (102)
After reading this quote, I thought about how it is so fitting to our current situation in our country!

In her next letter to him I noted this passage relating to the above passage from his letter:

“…I think, the same feeling about the awful things we were perpetrating upon that midnight clear (in Vietnam). I hope and hope, while knowing there’s damage that can never be undone and something lost we can never get back. Just hope for the end of the killing–I think it has to come soon, don’t you?” –Eudora Welty to Kenneth Millar in a letter. (105)

I believe–Hope is always what keeps us going on in times like these! These writers’ thoughts seem to relate to our country’s current government decisions and actions.

As I continue to read and reflect on this:

As I read this thick volume slowly, I reflect on so much of the material covered in their correspondence through their letters, specifically what Welty tells him about nature, writing, and also how he responds to her questions and her personal concerns in the areas of her writing and doing interviews. This can be so useful to authors and poets today. Millar is always reinforcing her through his perspective on her writing talents and her public speaking engagements. When she doubts her written work and her speaking abilities, he always seems to have the right answers about her troubling thoughts and how she might be somewhat off the mark with her personal reflections on her public interviews that she reveals to him inside her letters.  Millar gives her his expert perception on them, and they are always on spot with what is happening with her writing and her unique capabilities.  She, in turn, does the same for him often through her reviews and her feedback on his writing.

Their relationship was truly a working one as far as their writing is concerned. They seem to feed off of each other and reinforce each other as they correspond making their writing endeavours stronger and more successful as years go by.

I will be reading more about them soon and I may post more here on what I find in this treasure of a book about Welty & Millar and their growing relationship as they communicate with each other through letters.

 

GREENWATER

Writing in the Spring of 2017~

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Enjoying a Sunday in the Sun

On a Sunday afternoon,

I watch a flower by the name of Camelia

Open fully in the summer heat,

This occurs after a gently falling rain,

A white collared sparrow sings from a wire

High above me,

I return to my reading material

To ponder and think ~Jeanette E. Cook ©2017

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At Thirteen, my mind

Knowing everyone has some secrets

Hidden that never get told,

As I ponder about giving up my Barbie doll collection,

Thinking about pretty floral dresses for the next

School year,

As we visit the village drugstore together

for penny-candy stuffed inside brown paper bags,

And watch various grown-ups collect bottled medicine,

I know changes are around our corner,

As the news reporter talks about a woman

Jumping off a local bridge to her death,

And some of our daddies dying at war,

And I dream of fun gatherings with my close friends

To block out the numbing pain

Of our societies’ decisions

In the midst of timing and transformations.  —J. E. Cook (C)2017

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Nature’s Unique Giving to Our World

To examine it closely takes time and patience

To find a bushtit or a fly hiding under a leaf

With its eggs as a spider looks for them.

 

Dinner is served by the unnoting as it flies

Away,

Random occurrences a coyote stealing

Chickens from a neighbor’s yard at night.

Passing an open window in early morning

As the mourning-dove perches in the fragrant

Lilac tree by the potting shed,

She sings to the lonely.

 

Rats eating from the trash piled high against

A decaying building as a birdfeeder is torn apart

By a passing squirrel,

Baby spotted-owls waiting for their mother to

Return with their evening meal in her beak.

 

A turtle returns slowly to the water’s edge

As a boat leaves an island for home.

A man sits inside a rowboat watching a duck

Dip into the water in front of him.

Connotations gathered on a Sunday morning

From the porch of an old maid as she watches

The birds fly by,

To a river surrounded by trees.

 

A drainage ditch serves as a water hole for the passing

Duck family,

Where are the red-eyed vireos? Have they left for better

Places?

On Saturday night, a beggar sits on a wooden bench

Watching and listening,

He hears some noise coming from the distant swamps,

Then, someone asks “where are you headed?”

Some fellow stops to tell him about an owl found inside

A rusty tub, he knows him from the café up the street

Where he often brings him a fresh cup of coffee with

A cream doughnut every morning,

Baby bats fly high above them as they continue their

Exchange of words on that wood bench

Only a few feet apart.

 

A hawk eyes those black babies from a tree across the street

Bordering the long muddy alley by the Victorian inn,

The rattlesnake he had for breakfast long gone.

 

A distant windmill makes a suitable nesting site,

There are cobwebs, moss, and hair in the muddy nest

Lichens cover this rusted metal frame,

Feathers fall to the ground as the slow rotation moves the

Wind,

An old man twists his white mustache and he watches for

The returning momma cat from his seat on the sagging peeling

Porch,

She is a female beauty with long tiger hair,

All allegories in time and many chapters on glorious reflection.

J.E. Cook ©2017

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Spring Violets

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

My Tribute to the poet, William Jay Smith, an American poet. Spring and the flowers with the sound of birds.

“Did anything ever sing to Emily and Charlotte on the moors above Haworth?”

–E. Welty~

Spring Violets

The white and purple violets I left last night on the patio,

To the best of my knowledge, are out there still,

And will be there until I remove them or they die.

 

And will be there as long as I think that I

Can throw the sliding doors open on our world,

A touch of the violet color in the tail of my eyes;

 

As long as I think I see, past the Maple leaves green-growing,

Cars and trucks moving down our street, ever flowing,

Fulfillment is in the thoughts so ongoing,

 

Fulfillment in the sight upon sight responding,

To the sound of the sound of small birds flying by,

In life as life gives, and in death as it arrives.

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Life’s Holiday Circumstances

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

I wrote this poem as a tribute to the work of Henri Coulette, poet and teacher. These are my thoughts and memories put down like he did his when he wrote his poetry.

During a holiday gathering with friends and family

Watching the people arrive is always

Full of endless surprises,

Frequent laughter fills the big living room and it mingles with the

Youngsters’ running, chasing and bickering over toys.

 

How do we cope with the individual thoughts, various

conversations and background confusion as the area fills up?

People on-time and people arriving late

This creates an adjustment needed in the planned dinner

Starting.

 

I always try to be on time

Though, there are many times I arrive a little tardy

This nags at me as I walk through the front door

Then, I realize that I am not the only one

Rushing to get there.

 

As I walk in with loads of required baggage

Small children run to meet me with

Excited tight hugs and many dewy kisses

This puts me at ease

It is the reward for being there.

 

Even though, these social holiday gatherings

And scheduled festivities

Are stressful to prepare for and to attend

I’m always glad that I made the effort

To attend.  –J. E. Cook ©2017

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New Poems

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From my Spring to Yours

 

I watch the pear trees in half blossom

Parade in the east winds,

Small thin bronze leaves,

Having a silky white line,

Reminding me of little ears.

 

The trees that line our sidewalks

Represent so many shades of

Gold, green, amber, and the palest

Yellow,

As wisteria, dogwood, and some bright

Azaleas, present these endless pathways

through our town.

 

There are many fragrant climbing roses along our

Neighbors’ decorated

wooden fences, garden walls, and cement steps.

 

Looking forward to our high spring

When the tall irises show off their unique color

Combinations,

 

Maybe, I will toast them with pink

Champagne,

When they show their growing buds in

Full-bloom to us.   J.E. Cook ©2017

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After the Rain, Darkness sets In

 

The dark evenings are filled

with shimmering lights,

After dusk arrives,

The stars fill in the skies,

The moon joins in to complete

The barrier over our sun,

Then, the colors of the night

Enter the distant skies,

Staring at it long enough,

We can see with the shadows

Appearing around the fringes,

As the light remains; only much dimmer,

in different hues and pigments becoming modified

colors.

Street lamps glow and little streams of light

Appear around growing objects and endless fixtures,

Varying shapes and familiar likenesses are in altered

States of darkness…

A star is shining somewhere guiding

Us through the night.

 

After a rainstorm, the sky is cloud-covered and moonless,

That is when the real darkness sets in,

Strong breezes tickling the back of my neck,

The smell of the rain still in the air coming through

my

Open windows in the bedroom,

Touching my exposed skin as I try to get back to sleep,

Missing you on your side of the Queen-size mattress,

The garden outside calling your name

And wanting your expert attention

That only you can give it after the rain,

Come home and give it to it.

That’s all I will ask now,

Not for me, but for it.

The dark has taken all my light away,

There’s no love remaining or trust or faith,

Just a little flicker of hope

Remains,

To carry me along like a dandelion seedling

Floating in the winds.

–Jeanette ©2017

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 A Painter’s Interruption

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A Painter’s Interruption

Ripples across the water’s surface,
On a sticky evening,
Shadows of night creep in,
Latches are locked and secured,
Attics are closed and sealed,
Windows are double-checked,
Pinpricks touch her spine
As she sets in front of her unfinished canvas
Where the candlelight flickers across it,
Her limbs are tired and growing numb,
She drops her paintbrush to the waiting tray,
Her gaze follows the distant moon
Through her side window,
As the wind chimes chatter,
Stagnant air fills her bedroom,
She looks on at her brushstrokes
In blue and green,
A crimson sunset,
Then, she remembers that she didn’t
Lock the doors downstairs,
Passing a dainty dollhouse on the landing,
She follows the stairs to the bottom,
Sliding the locks in place,
Fire explodes behind her
In the fireplace,
Her mending basket is near,
Blurry smoke fills the room,
Something whirls in the smoldering embers,
An acrid odor touches her nose,
She pours water over the glowing light,
It is done and she is relieved,
Even though the smell lingers of burnt leaves.
–J. E. Cook ©2017

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Sensible Relevance

One need not be a hollow ember to be preoccupied,

One need not be an enterprise;

The mind contains passageways and trailing thoughts

transcending

Quantifiable references in life. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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She chose Love over what was Expected

During a blue moon,

He reached for her hand,

Brought to his mouth for a quick peck,

He pressed his lips to her upturned palm,

She trembled slightly,

Her exposed neckline caught his eyes,

She did not move and was afraid to breathe,

His lips touched her waiting mouth,

Then his seduction took over,

Her senses went crazy inside,

As her fingers grabbed for his bare chest,

When he entered her,

She found herself as she tilted her hips

Towards him,

Revelation filled her mind,

In a blinded rush,

As they moved together,

Later, his sharp cry signaled

His release,

He still held her,

For several minutes

Before they parted,

His breath touched her neck

With small bursts of exhaustion,

He touched her ear,

Then whispered,

Not trite at all,

My love.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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My Deceitful thoughts about Delicious Truffles

When your mind betrays you and you desire more of something delicious…but maybe, you should not.

My desires for the most delectable

Chocolate creations are persuasive and compelling…

Maxim’s de Paris

Those truffles crafted with Champagne and Cognac

The rich dark chocolate and powdered sugar coating,

So, exquisite,

With the cocoa butter, eggs and rich butter,

From Saint Jean, du Cardonnay of France.

Or maybe, Pink Champagne truffles that are so velvety

and complex in flavor from Charbonnel et Walker,

Yes, these are to dream about often with their powdered sugar

Exterior and wonderful creamy center with a light strawberry flavoring

Mingling with the champagne of pink,

The butter and the lightly dusted outside mix with milk chocolate

As they are consumed slowly to savor the taste,

From The Royal Arcade at 28 Old Bond Street in London

I crave them in a fervent way when they gone

Because they are potent in a deep-seated way bringing

On an ardent appeal for more.

Seeking the best chocolate truffle formation

With the finest flavor is often my devious diversion,

They accompany my coffee or tea selection with harmony

And balance of taste,

Something nothing can match—this accompaniment

Is marvelous in colossal sensations and with superb flavors

Becoming magnificent.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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How Hard Was it?

Pulling to the curb to park,

Pausing and taking in the numerous

Cars and other vehicles

surrounding the building

And the church we were married in,

Watching a young man smoke at the edge of the

Approaching sidewalk,

Thinking about why I am here and if I can go inside,

Checking my reflection in the rearview mirror,

Then, looking at the display on my phone to see

The exact time,

It’s just minutes before the designated time,

Taking a cleansing breath,

And telling myself that I can do this,

Stepping out as the sunshine touches

My upturned face,

Crossing the street and keeping my eyes

On the young man puffing on his cigarette,

Is he a greeter or not?

I go directly to him,

Thinking maybe he’ll remember me,

“Taking a smoke break I see—is everyone inside?”

“Yes, they just returned from the gravesite.”

He says this as he smiles at me,

But he says nothing else.

I go inside,

As I enter, one of his sisters comes to join me.

She greets me by asking me if I am indeed,

Jeanette,

I respond with a yes and a nod,

As she pulls me in for a hug,

She points out where everyone is seated.

And she thanks me for coming,

I feel shaky–like this is all surreal,

After talking with his three sisters,

I sit a bit with his mother,

She is quite distressed at times,

However, she is holding together for the

Most part,

Then, after viewing some old photos of him,

she dissolves and heads for the restroom,

A former middle school teacher approaches me,

He stands very near my chair and he goes

Down on one knee,

He asks, “How hard wasn’t to walk through those doors today?”

I respond to his question, “It was one of the hardest things I have

Ever done, but I felt like I must or I might regret it

Forever.”

“I understand.”

Then, the man’s oldest son—the man I was married to

For almost ten years, but separated from him

for almost

Seven years

comes to the table I am sitting at

And he joins us,

This son is the one that stepped up,

And took care of every detail for me

Pertaining to this sad event,

Even though he lived out of state,

And had his own reasons for not

Wanting to address this sudden situation,

I will always be grateful to him for doing so

With such courage and kindness towards me.

May you now rest in peace,

Because life never represented much of it

While you were here with us,

Walking out was as difficult as entering

That day with sun still shining overhead,

As I departed,

Driving down the street on which

You died inside this tiny village

Where you spent most of your lifetime,

A village where you were raised

And where you died suddenly

Without me by your side.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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A Rainbow Appears after the Storm

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I remember your sly grin,

I did so yesterday while doing my routine shopping

In the much-needed rain,

I haven’t decided whether I like this or not,

But you were there in my thoughts,

After a passing stranger’s cologne lingered in the

Dewy air,

He had that same stubborn look on his face as

He looked up into my eyes.

We shared a lot of good in a short period,

I think about your once familiar touch and long kisses,

However, that can’t fix it all,

So I push onward because you were more than I could

Ever handle.

It’s all foreign to me now,

Mostly because I didn’t really know you at all.

Your thirsty addiction for the drug scene won and it

Broke us.

My desire for you is currently very faded and wilted

Like a battered yellow rose from Texas dying in the summer sun

Of a humid Ohio season.

The dark skies are clearing and I’m persevering

With strong courage to succeed,

That rainbow there—stands for my renewal in life

and my striving

Commitment to being a pure soul again

with my utmost goals always

remaining

Firmly planted in my educated thinking.

–J. E. Cook 2016

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lock and key by Sarah Dessen

 A story about sisters, family, and discovery.  There are keys that fit the locks to open the possiblities to reach your future. Dessen writes about Ruby’s journey to her destination and what it brings with it to help her fulfill her goals.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

I finished this one and that made me sad because I am still thinking about these characters and their relationships with each other.

This is a beautiful story about relationships in general and learning to trust after being hurt. The story behind the key follows with the reader as this unfolds and it plays a big part in the theme and the progression of these lives.

Dessen crafts a progression of her main character, Ruby with all the facets on display as this young girl develops into a wonderful person with an adult insight into relationships and what is important to a family unit.

“Our definitions were as different as we were ourselves.” (288) Quite a quote to remember and take away from this novel.

Ruby’s thesis on the term family is often a part of this story, too. She becomes a unique student with her goals driving her toward finding the right college or university to attend after she completes her education in a new location with new friends and a new family unit.

I read the paperback edition of this one. The key is a small part of the cover image but I know what it looks like from the description and the big part it plays in Ruby’s life and another woman’s career. Ruby’s key becomes a noted item that helps another character find her success and also helps her find love right around the corner from her where it has always been located. This older character’s progression leads her to love, trust, and letting go.

Ruby’s relationships inside this thick volume are intriguing and she begins to see more inside these people instead of what is only located on the outside of them.

This is one of my favorite novels and I will remember it for a long while. Just like Ruby remembers the boy next door in this story. Supporting characters are apparent and moving.

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Poetry penned on a Labor Day Morning

Life of a Girl in 2018~

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She said, “long live chocolate, vodka, and Heroin.”

As she pulled the blankets over her head.

She only sought the darkness and warmth

Within this enveloping cave

Of close rapture,

And then her mind went on…

“I hope you’re thinking about me.”

She touched her hair,

“Why do we close our eyes when we

Pray?”

I do this when I kiss you,

The most beautiful things in my life

Are felt inside my heart not seen.

I watched the white roses die

That you brought me

Littering my window sill with them

all those

Dried, brown petals.

We were naughty together

Two days ago,

Sleeping in your parents’ room

Sharing a cold bottle of Gin,

We found in their kitchen

Mixing it with jarred cherries

And ice-cold Sprite,

While we

Snapchatted us,

naked

Bodies to our close friends,

I see nothing better // I keep him forever,

Plays over and over,

It is printed inside my head,

The smell of sulfur

Penetrating my senses,

As the Disneyland Princesses

Dance to the musical notes,

so, I’m still at that confusing stage,

I can’t wait to go home. –J. E. Cook ©2018

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 Guiding Experiences

When the worship hour

Comes upon a being of Earth,

Where do they look for guidance and

Extreme measures in solution?

 

Maybe, they turn to the Buddhist

Practices in mantras and mandalas

Or a nun’s string of prayer beads,

Or a more natural experience

From the lands,

In Native American practices

where cultures identify with nature

And they hear the beat of the

Drums,

This repetition

Makes their spaces

Infinite

Opening their minds

To the systematic

Solutions buried inside them. –J. E. Cook (C) 2018

 

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Autumn Abundance

 
A morning where my head
Is filled with thoughts of the day’s
Beginning as I leave my pillow,
 
At the window,
My view is of a fall day,
A day that starts off cold
And a bit dark in the early
Hours,
Then it warms with the crackling of
My fire,
 
Into the afternoon,
A day will be filled with picking apples,
While wearing a cozy wool
Sweater over a long-sleeved
Undershirt, instead
Of adorning a winter coat.
My favorite pair of faded jeans
And some cowboy boots,
My sweater is big enough
To get lost in
As I walk in my worn armor
Along the leave-specked path
Towards the naked woods
Where I seek some peace
From this bustling world
Before I go on
With my day and the coffee
In my hand,
Warms my chilly core,
 
As I visit the flowing stream
Near my home,
Book in pack
Begging to come out,
I grab a seat on the nearest boulder
And break open the next chapter
While sipping the froth off
my
Brewed delight.
 
The crop has harvested across
The dried-weeded banks,
The cool air is filled with its
The sadness of loss,
 
As the barren branches
Scratch each other
In the winds of autumn,
This is the beginning of
Lost colors where winter
Takes over
Bringing with it,
The dreary monotones
Of sorrow, coldness, and death. –J. E. Cook ©2018
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The Bishops’ Trip across America on Bicycle Wheels

A book about using fresh perspectives and adopting the right mindset to conquer obstacles in your path as you pursue your dreams. Not only are there wonderful stories in each chapter, they also included some pictures of their experiences as they peddle along together. 

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I finished their book titled, Wheels of Wisdom by Tim & Debbie Bishop. It is a story a pair of well-connected people on a bike trip together. They are bicycling across America. Taking in the scenery and experiencing adventures, new shared perspectives, and they are finding ways to overcome daily obstacles on the open road together.

This book incorporates faith through this couples’ experiences and the sharing of their thoughts. They also share an eye for the right details as they penned this book and they provide many philosophical reflections in the chapters of this volume of unified spiritual travel.

I never thought about how little one can take on a trip like this one.

Doing without isn’t always a burden but a blessing in some ways. Debbie writes about becoming too attached to her belongings as she describes how she did her laundry. Drying it by hanging it on her back rack so it can dry in the wind as she peddles on towards another destination. Socks, tops, and bike shorts hanging from her bike in various ways while tackling heavy traffic.

Only the bare necessities can be kept on the road trip via a single bicycle because excessive weight can cause too much swaying and overly tired legs.

While in North Dakota, Debbie loses one of her cherished sandals and she realizes that even though, she is heartbroken because she was attached to these rather expensive sandals, the incident reminds her not to become too attached to her possessions. Instead, she focuses on the beauty of nature around her as she bikes through the area. Debbie redirects her feelings. She knows that traveling simply is best. Her freedom to enjoy the area wins over dwelling on her painful loss.

Balance in life is important and it relieves stress. Shifting thoughts often helps to decrease grief felt over a loss. When one’s burden is too heavy, make it easier by lightening it. Excess baggage can drag a person down.

However, the clutter that I am talking about is emotional clutter inside our heads. Baggage that we don’t let go of or get rid of because we are mad, jealous, bitter, and we keep a grudge stored up inside our souls. This creates an unhealthy mental process inside us. Our thinking becomes cloudy with hate and resentment.

Tim addresses this emotional baggage while in Oregon. He writes about identifying the problem and purging it to move on and progress towards one’s goals.

If you need to forgive someone or grieve a loss, then do it because it will set you free. Surrender to it, and choose to move on for your own freedom from it. Then, celebrate life without the burden. It will be more meaningful and you will fulfill much through this process of letting go to enjoy this world without that rusty, heavy anchor pulling at your soul.

This couple addresses many challenges as they continue to travel while changing together to pursue their shared goal. Challenges however rough can transform a person.

Debbie writes about challenges in life and making an effort to take them on.

In our daily lives, there can be many challenges like social ones, physical ones, or even financial ones that nag at us. Debbie writes about a physical challenge that bothers her as she peddles through Oregon’s countryside. However, she tells how the experience becomes worth her pain because of the breath-taking beauty she sees in an amazing combination of forests, snow-covered mountains, and lava fields. Her satisfaction at the end of her day becomes priceless to her.

Enduring pain can often pay off with such tremendous happiness if one just hangs in there and faces the challenge. Sometimes the change is so significant and if a person allows it to transform them, they can feel a wonderful liberation inside their bodies that moves them to believe in the commitment to conquer these daily challenges. They are often out of our control and can’t be avoided.

Bumps in the road. Yes, there are many on this trip, and they don’t always turn out the way that was planned but they often are worth it in the long run because they provide such wonderful reflections on life and solving those unplanned struggles that pop up without warning.

So, pick up this book and learn more about using wisdom to conquer those bumps, detours, and learn how to avoid self-inflicted pain. Debbie and Tim will provide the life lessons and show you how to appease your restless spirit as you turn the pages of their book penned together.

**The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this printed edition through BookCrash.

 

Creative Outlets Explored~

Come visit our Art Studio at the Kerr Farm!

The studio is at 2770 Shrine Road, Springfield, Ohio 45502 where we hold Private events, scheduled workshops, and offer artistic services including mixed media artworks. 

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This spring we are working on some brand new projects. Here is a preview:

 

The third box is in progress right now, stay tuned for it!

We offer personal private art lessons along with a special this spring of either a Best Friends Art Session that is for our best buddies that want to hang out and enjoy their creativity together for 60.00 or a Mother’s Day paint session with your mom up until the holiday for the same low price.  This includes a 16 by 20 stretched canvas and up to two hours of studio time with tailored professional instruction and creative fun where we supply the paints, brushes, and everything needed to complete your canvas during this personal session. Schedule soon because this offer is limited. Pay half of your fees upfront to hold your spot in the studio. This deposit is required for scheduling this private instruction together.

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We are featuring this created image called Rainbow Bloom as a class for Spring. There will be more images added soon to pick from and there are also several examples posted on the Kerr Farm Facebook page to design a class around for your private lesson or any unique session including special events, our Kids Camps, and other fundraisers. Of course, rates will be different depending on the type of class and the number of people attending each session. We provide individual quotes for all events including private Birthday parties at our studio via private messaging located on the Kerr Farm’s Facebook page.

It’s a Jungle in Here by K. Wilde

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It’s a Jungle in Here by K. Wilde

I requested a children’s book to review from BookCrash because I know a good book can change my mood or in this case, the mood of my young audience as I read it to them.

The publisher provided me with a copy to review. The author is Kristie Wilde and she has an intensive background in creating artwork for print publications.

I must say the cover is intriguing and well-designed. The cuteness draws me to open it. The author not only writes this story, she illustrates the pages with depth, perception, and clarity. There is a spiritual feeling conveyed from presentation inside the soft-covered book for children. As one reads it to a small child, this feeling comes forth and provides an upbeat overall mood.

The small volume makes a unique treasure for preschool age tots.  I know my grandchildren will enjoy it with all of these colorful pages showing them what a jungle life is to our world. I gathered the background of this author through her detailed artwork on each page. She has a wonderful gift of colorful talent. This particular publication is one in a series titled, Joyful Creation Series: Made For a Purpose, So Great a Love. Not a long story in length; however, perfect for reading to a small child in the developing stages of comprehension. We all could agree, that most toddler-age children don’t sit still for very long, and this book is just long enough to engage them. The beauty of the images with rendered backgrounds will keep them interested as the story unfolds before their eyes. I believe all children notice images of animals with an increased attention just as they do when they see them in person. They are drawn to them and this author draws them into her story with these included images brought forth with her own creative talents and her keen eye for details.

Her theme is celebrating the differences and uniqueness of our world.  A jungle-type life is filled with all types of living creatures in various sizes, colors, and individual shapes. This world that we live in is also filled with diverse beings with individual behaviors and body images.

It has a glossary that adds to the value of this book with more colorful images of each species along with the individual characteristics.

This author is the owner of Wilde Art and Wilde Art Press. Watercolor seems to be her medium of choice as she crafts her images for these beautiful books. Her realistic images inside this volume are conveying the life of the animal in the habitat they occupy.

Take a Look at Kristie’s websites: Wilde-art.com, Wildeartpress.com, or Contact her at:
Kristie@wilde-art.com.  

Publisher: Wilde Art
ISBN-13: 978-09974828-2-9
ISBN-10: 0-9974828-2-9
Copyright 2018

Leaving a Legacy of Hope by Mark Gregston

(The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this e-book through BookCrash.)

I recently read this and now, I am reflecting on the material through some noted quotes that I gathered during the reading over time.

Thinking about what it means to be a grandparent is the main consideration as one reads this e-book. The Heartlight center is for struggling teens and it is helping many of them daily. As I read, I took notes, and I thought about these quotes I noted. They were put down because they were important to me and, I wanted to reflect on them later. Then, I included them here because I liked them and admired them. Here they are, and I think you will understand why this volume of writing is an excellent read for grandparents, parents, and the teens out there because this material involves them and their lives.

“Your position is unique. Your relationship is paramount.  Pursue it well. Make the most of the years you have to invest in the lives of your grandkids.” This quote is the most important to me as I think about my grandchildren and their grandbabies in the future.

Trying to make every day and every moment unique is something I aim for as I spend time with my children and my grandchildren. I try to find a way to make them feel it too by making sure I am engaged with them while we are together and by being happy while we are spending these minutes in each other’s company.

“This is what I concluded: Don’t save for that special occasion because the special occasion is today.”

“Teens now rely more on their peers than they do their parents, creating a blind leading the blind scenario that hardly fosters maturity, barely encourages responsibility, and certainly can’t be a great fountain of wisdom.” I consider this quote and I think about what I have experienced with my own children and what I might see in the future with my toddler age grandchildren when they reach their teenage years. Will it still be like this? I believe with my own children, this wasn’t the case most of the time. I think friends do have some bearing on what teens find helpful and what they decide to follow and address daily. However, if their parents are instilling good values this will not be a big issue. I think in my case, most of the time, my parental guidance won over my child’s friends guiding their decisions and if it didn’t they usually wished it had been their choice in the first place. My children would feel guilty if they did wrong and most likely, they wouldn’t do it again.

“I do believe that parents have to be relational in their approach to their teens. They can’t lead in such an authoritarian way that it pushes their child away.”

Yes, this is the approach, I have always followed and believed in when parenting my own children. I think I will continue to follow it because it has proven to be the right approach in my family.

“Political correctness hampers the ability to speak freely, and the rights of all have so far encouraged more division than unity.”

This is increasing daily in our current period. I often don’t talk about it with family members because it is a harsh point in our relationship. It is a topic to have guidelines in place before even discussing it. If one establishes in the beginning that everyone is free to have their own opinions and choices, I think one might be able to talk about it without being aggressive towards each other or crossing lines that can’t be fixed with each other.

“Teens today are stuffed with information yet starving for wisdom.”

I think everyone now feels an information overload often and it creates unneeded stress. Information must come with breathing room and allow for an expansion in the future at a rate that the individual feels comfortable with learning it and processing it. This rushed society is overrated, and it creates a lot of unneeded havoc over time quickly. The overload and the sense of urgency are often too much for a person to process without leaving out mistakes because they move on it quickly and this wisdom is not a factor in their quick decision like rolling the dice and taking whatever turns up as what it will be. I am finding it hard to keep up lately due to the overload of information and I note that steps are skipped often to complete a task quickly. However, some teens today seem more adapted to this rush and the information overload. Then again, some of them may desire to slow down and take in what their grandparents have to offer them in the way of learned knowledge. I see it in my family, we have teens that love hanging out with their grandparents to learn and share ideas.

“…sometimes we communicate loudest and smartest when we say nothing at all.”

Yes, that silence can say a lot on its own. And, when we come across loud, it doesn’t solve anything. It shows that we let it get to us and we lost it. The control of emotions can be difficult but often it is the key to not saying what we look back on as a huge mistake.

“Positive change rarely comes out of negative criticism. In other words, complaining doesn’t fix anything.” Learning this can become a difficult lesson but it is always a very important one. There are times when certain complicated issues must be addressed; however, how we handle them is so crucial to a good relationship and keeping it.

“The need to have fun together is paramount. How much you laugh together is a good measurement of your relationship.” I think this is true and something that must be put forward before we meet in our inner thinking. Make the decision to be positive and be a leader in making it happen by making sure it is always present in our attitudes towards each other.  Thinking in this manner from the beginning and keeping it in place.

“A condescending and arrogant presence pushes me away. It’s fake and disingenuous. I prefer the presence of imperfect people who allow—no, who welcome and embrace—other imperfect people.” This is another rule to live by in my thinking. It is what I practice, and I don’t tolerate anything less. At this stage in my life, I can’t change what I believe when it is a proven way to approach life.

Of course, there is a lot more in this e-book, and that is why it is important to read it and think about the included observations and the specific relationship information deeper and consider it again. Revisit this e-book, to think about what works and what is a wonderful way to raise these youths together.

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Why “Nothing But Trouble” is Nothing But Brilliant

https://www.facebook.com/candyworld48/
**Visit my page devoted to artists & comedy ~

(Travalanche)

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A few days ago, I did a birthday post about Dan Aykroyd and how his film career has been but a shadow compared to the brilliance of his performances on Saturday Night Live in the mid to late 70s. When writing the post I came across a couple of references (uniformly negative) to his one directing effort Nothing But Trouble.  Believe it or not, I had never even heard of the film. In 1991, when it came out, I was enrolled at NYU film school and working a 30 an hour a week day job; I wasn’t paying much attention to first-run movies. Also, from what I understand, Nothing But Trouble sank like a stone at the box office. It came and went very quickly. As the expression goes, ‘If you blinked, you missed it.”

Nothing But Trouble (written by Aykroyd from a story by his brother Peter) stars Chevy…

View original post 1,210 more words

Poet, Photographer, & Writer

J. E. Cook has published poetry with the Antioch Voice, Z Publishing, and at People-are-amazing.com. She participates in poetry readings at local coffee shops and often is a wordsmith when editing poetry along with being an art instructor & artist, a photographer with a driving passion for natural images with creativity incorporated, a web-based graphic creator, and a freelance editor. She’s an avid reader/writer that is prone to take off with her camera in hand on wild adventures in the woods and to follow her imagination to the sea.

She enjoys all forms of writing, specifically poetry, as she strives to finish one of her fiction creations in the form of a novella. Her creative influences include Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, Margaret Keane, William Blake, Eudora Welty, Rachel Carson, Arthur Rimbaud, Mary Oliver, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Donna Tartt, and Robert Frost.

Her love for summer keeps her outdoors when possible during this season. She hopes to one day pursue her dream of writing full time. Her work is available online and in print. You can view her written work, author reviews, and her photography at this web location https://josiecook48.wordpress.com.

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Poetry in 2018~

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February Grief

 

To be told that your lover is gone,

As gently as one can be told

That your lover, the man you wanted

To marry,

Planned to spend the rest of your life

With,

That man is no longer among the

Living,

He disappeared like

The white feathery pins of a dandelion

In the wind,

Drifting off to another place,

Gone back to the earth’s soil,

Taking root,

To become something else,

Strolling through the wild vines

With another widow,

Feeling like the hay chafe

Left behind by the grazing herd,

Moments pass,

She feels something lingering

Like his fingers touching her

Intimate places hid from the world,

Or him watching for her

Among the forest leaves and withering pines,

As the stars of our universe

Sparkle and shine,

The wind like his warm breath,

He could be alive somewhere waiting,

Or watching the slippery stones of moss

In the flowing crystal streams,

Her female soul wants to run

For the moors,

To be together wild and free,

Because the living has no answers

For her,

Will he watch her undress now?

She hopes her memory does not

Grow vague of him,

Like a dusty forgotten canvas,

The artist has gone

Leaving it behind,

Unfinished was their love,

Disappearing

Thrown away

Rubbish remains

She desires to dissolve gradually

Free to let go,

Without sound,

Becoming one of those

Vacant houses standing still

After the harvest,

With no heat or lights,

She remembers the blossoms

Of their secret garden,

Thriving all summer long,

Nourishing them daily,

Those river roses of pinks and reds,

Are fading,

Past their peak

And gone

No mark left behind

To shake the memories again. –J. E. Cook ©2018

 

 

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Rain cometh upon Our Journey

 

Raining in the night,

Leaves on the ground,

Flashes of light,

Winter somewhere,

Wrens to the South,

Maybe, the Gulf of Mexico,

Not Bangor,

Rain still falling,

Covering a valley in mists of it,

Fog filling in among the weaving

Trees,

The river filling,

Weight of raindrops pulling,

Autumn leaves losing color,

Large puddles forming

In wet fields of mud and swampy debris,

Pathways are murky and slick,

Still, the water comes down

As yellow headlights swallow up

The countryside,

With faith in the plan,

We continue this journey

Faith in the course of it,

Swimming on among the sea

Of raindrops,

Cascades of water cover the

Dirt roads and the saturated lands

Are minutes from flooding

The valley ahead,

But, we go on,

It’s too dark to

Turn back,

We need to be HOME. —J. E. Cook ©2018

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Autumn Dances

 

To look out the window

Filled with continued longing,

Eyes seeking the ground

Towards the flowing river

With the extending trees on fire

With the high colors

Of the crisp autumn season,

 

Who’s soul dances among

Those brittle leaves

Covering the moist ground?

 

To be a wisp of a girl again

Walking around the gathering, wet

Stones in the swift stream,

Dancing among the tall, magnificent

White birches in the back fields,

Staying along the river

To return home

After an afternoon spent in the warm beams

Of sunlight breaking through. –J. E. Cook ©2018

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