Sweet & Crazy, A novel by Patty Dann

Sweet & Crazy

 

Many funny moments & many sad thoughts, too.

At thirty-nine, Hanna Painter has returned to her hometown of Ash Creek, Ohio. Her husband, Ed is dying of cancer inside their home. Pete is four when his father passes away there. This is the start of Hanna’s journey without her husband by her side.

Hanna, a young widow and her son trying to go on after the death of her husband. Now, a single mom that had hopes of a bigger family instead of a smaller one. Pete becomes a five-year-old expressing so much laughter while his mother grieves inside for what she had once and it is gone. Her close friends and her dreams are keeping her afloat.

Little Pete tells his mom, “Now you’re a window,” he says this after his dad dies in their home. He is quicky, and a comical boy often during this story.

Hanna is teaching older women to write about their lives at the local YMCA and she also works at the local library. Eventually, Pete starts kindergarten and he quickly finds a best friend, named Omar, the Indian son of Mazur, who runs the local cleaners in a strip mall in their town.

Pete wants to keep of his father’s stuff and he moves most of it to his closet for safe keeping. Their neighbor, Thomas becomes a central person in their lives. September 11 becomes an important topic among these characters as the story unfolds and shows us what they felt about it. Thomas works as a cooper at the eighteenth-century colonial restoration outside of town that he calls The Hill. However, he also leaves town often on business. During one of his road trips, a girl appears in his drive. She is driving a flashy sports car and Hanna sees her from her kitchen window.

Hanna, Thomas, and Pete form a  new family together. The Twin Towers are attacked and changes appear in their community.

Prejudice thoughts are a recurring device towards the end of this book. Mazur and his family are a target in the community and Hanna finds herself puzzled by this and the why behind it. Maureen enters Thomas’s life and in turn, she enters into Hanna’s too. The Hill is a setting where the characters often meet or retreat to during the story. Hanna’s dreams are central, too as these characters grow closer to each other.

I’m on page 144 of 208 of Sweet & Crazy: and, Pete asks his mother about the mailman, “Why is he wearing those special gloves?”

The whole story is about Hanna and her life. The ending leaves me thinking about some of the other characters and what happened to them. However, I think Hanna finds what she is looking for through Thomas in the end.

Patty Dann’s writing is very poetic throughout this novel and a joy to read.

Sweet & Crazy

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Literary kickoff to 2019-Marly

Follow this link below:

https://thepalaceat2.blogspot.com/2019/01/literary-kickoff-to-2019.html?fbclid=IwAR29BngHG-wI1Vev8kQuEcKXyVU_79seW73vOaQPd2vU1xf21N8AQGaY6a4

Tuesday, January 01, 2019-Marly Youmans

On the very first day of the year,
on the eighth day of Christmas,
on the Feast of the Holy Name…

I am signing away a two-year option on my novel Catherwood to Toronto director Bill G. Taylor and producer Coral Aiken. As one does at the start of a new year…

Good luck to them. And now they have through the last day of 2020 to do what they must do.

Happy New Year to all! And a merry and mad medieval Feast of Fools to you.

As on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, we will have all five of us (plus the inimitable Campbell Higle, childhood camp friend of Rebecca) at home for a feast. Husband, sons, daughter, and friend. And that, my friends, is entirely sweet and meet and jolly.

Michael is hard at work on pies and ducks and many surprises. And I am doing a final read of a forthcoming novel while he labors with chef-genius in the kitchen.

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Happy New Year to All~ringing in 2019

Please listen to the Dear John Show at this link  below:

My poem titled, Beams of Joy, will be read by Nina Thilo on this program towards the end of this broadcast. Enjoy these various readings as the year comes to an end.

To have my poem read by another poet is to me a wonderful feeling of accomplishing what I set out to do–convey a message through my writing; however, some poets find it hard to turn over their poems to another to be read out loud to an audience. What are your thoughts on this? Fellow poets and poetesses drop me a line on your view on the subject.

A tender Love poem that creates a painting of emotions with the words in a perfect structure without being too graphic in nature.

Closing 2018, writing poetry.

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My Sunflower painting was done in the studio in 2018

Memories of You
 
To stand at the edge of the bay,
Thinking about my
Life in somewhat general terms,
With the rising sun,
And a tide low at this moment,
Watching the men fish so distantly
From me,
Closing my eyes,
I feel the presence of you,
Memories laced with these fluttering butterflies
That gathered around us on our
Deck,
The shadowed silhouettes of the boats,
Against the morning skies,
Squinting to escape the rays of light,
I pretended to be content a lot
During our relationship to avoid
Tensions between us,
A crimson sky was not what I desired,
The briny smell of this water
Doesn’t bother me,
I welcome the call of the shorebirds,
But the memories of you are always
With me when I visit the East coast,
We met and it was like summer for me,
As I watch this changing view of a beautiful
Turret with the sun coming up behind it,
I miss you–still.
The water laps between the dock posts,
As the sun becomes a distant blur,
Rising,
Being with you was the only thing
I ever wanted,
We shared a secret that binds us
Together –even now,
As I sit in this Adirondack chair,
Missing you,
I remember how my little girl
Would wiggle her fingers
Over yours,
Like a blooming sunflower,
You did not imitate her until later,
Memories beat inside my head,
Delicate shapes with brilliant colors
As you form a pattern in our garden,
It is just dead vegetation now and
Loose dirt,
Always something missing now and then,
The sun higher in the sky,
Spilling colors in orange and yellow
Over the water,
The dock boards are cracked and worn,
That first kiss,
His lips were soft on mine,
He will never kiss me again. —J. E. Cook © 2018
 
 

The End of Vandalism

The End of Vandalism by Tom Drury
“Rather than writing about international events, I write about individual lives,” –Tom Drury

I think this is Drury’s first novel and it is so impressive!

There are some very sad moments; however, there are also many funny situations, too. The vivid landscape and sense of place are moving as a reader turns the pages. This contemporary story is full of characters so like real life with the daily events. I counted about sixty-eight characters inside this novel and all of them are vivid in their own personalities and their unique flare is brought to life through Drury’s writing voice. His made-up world is filled with these people in their community as they live their daily lives together.

Louise Darling captured my heart as I read her story and experienced her emotional life. She is my favorite character in this book. Her relationship with Dan is eye-opening to what couples can overcome if they stay faithful to each other. I often thought Dan was going to stray or maybe, Louise would move on and never return to her marriage. Their shared loss is the most heart-breaking moment inside this novel but when they reunite it is also the sweet spot of this novel.

I laughed out loud often as I read this one. My first novel by Drury was The Black Brook. Then, I watched the movie, based on his Driftless Area. I loved this movie and brought it. His amazing storytelling makes me want to read more of his writing.

“I love the way that people speak,” he says. “Sometimes when I didn’t know what was going to happen next, I would bring in a new character and see what they said.”–Tom Drury

This novel has a lot of emotion tucked into the pages! So, the overall experience is somewhat drawn from inside the individual reader’s soul.

“There is elation and sadness, death and birth, love and jealousy, co-operation and betrayal. All the great emotional transactions that happen wherever people come together.”–Tom Drury

The End of Vandalism has a sequel titled, Hunts in Dreams. I am going to look for this one and get it. I can’t wait to read more about these characters and their community.

Drury’s writing reputation is further enhanced by the film version of his novel, titled– The Driftless Area, which he himself adapted for the screen so do yourself a favor and watch it! The movie has an impressive cast that includes Zooey Deschanel, Anton Yelchin, Frank Langella, and Ciaran Hinds. I enjoy watching it again and again!

 

Almost Missed You

Almost Missed You

A rollercoaster of emotions as I read and finished this novel. I know it is an amazing read when I am really quite sad that it is finished!

The exploration of the degrees of forgiveness is wonderful and these characters are very layered with real and compelling thoughts.

Violet goes through a huge transformation along with Caitlin as this story unfolds with the human factor of being a mother trying to protect their child or children.

However, George is the one that completely surprised me as I finished this book. He doesn’t really have a big part in this novel until almost the end. He mostly comes through in Caitlin’s thoughts as this story begins and starts to move forward.

Finn is a mystery at times with his process of thinking about his life and the people in it because he is moving with a somewhat foggy path as he lives with these other characters. One of my favorite parts is Finn trying to go back in time through his thoughts. on page 123, “If one of Finn’s creaky walk-in pantries or child-size built-in cupboards or understair crawl spaces would turn into a portal to another day, another time, he would jump through and emerge on…” this section is about him examining his decisions.

Caitlin’s protective demeanor is on-spot as she thinks about how to help Violet and also protect the children at the cabin. Her first concern is always the boys as she tries to get Bear to Violet.

Violet and Caitlin are both depending on hope as they try to come to terms with Finn’s behavior and the situation he has created in their lives. Then, George enters into the equation and his reactions and thoughts are sharp and richly textured compared to some of the other characters.

On page 278, there is a return to the Connections page, and it’s where George really shines as he confronts Finn. On the following page, “But I was giving you way too much credit. As usual, it’s the women around you who have the courage to step up,…” George is very upset and he’s telling Finn about all the strong women in his life.

On page 292, “I was going there with her to erase the image of you and replace it with her. And instead, I erased her, forever.” –the telling moment!

Violet makes her decisions and she moves with Bear. She has been through Hell. She goes on and she returns to the workforce. She is a single mom, but a lucky one.

This is an amazing debut novel with many twists and turns. Tender and heartbreaking with real connections and painful secrets being uncovered as it flows to the end.

~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

DONELOL
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

1bumbledive

New Poems

bflypk1

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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nettie3

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

iris

 A Painter’s Interruption

fairybytf

 

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

pkblooms1

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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bluwater2

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

powerbow1

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

bestbldingwbow1

Second poem of 2019

Barn Adventures
 
Inside the rough walls,
She saw the last rays of
The sun striking the stacks of hay,
A steamer trunk rested in the corner,
Brass shining,
Outside a blanket of dark grey
Clouds tinged with blues,
Compressed the cloud line
With the evening light mulled
With oranges and purples.
 
She opened it,
The dusty top touching the barn wall,
Hats, dresses, shoes, purses,
And other trinkets almost
Spilled out,
Even a couple coats and jackets
Mixed with the selections,
She sat down on a wooden stool,
Pulling a filly dress over her
Shorts and a tank top,
Full sleeves of shiny satin,
A lace high-collar.
 
She pushed her bare feet
Into some high black boots
And picked up a boxy black purse
To match,
A gold compact tumbled out the
Seams,
The latch not properly closed,
She looked into the mirror of it,
And applied the pink rouge.
 
Everything fit well,
Even the hat with long
Flowing feathers,
With closed eyes
She tilted her head,
Remnants of the past
Floated among her thoughts,
Children walked through the fields
Of clover with sweet white-tipped blooms
Touching their shins,
The folds of the skirt,
Moved with her gait,
She opened the barn doors
To view the almost gone sun,
Thinking about what she could do
With these treasures of yesterday.–J. E. Cook © 2019
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Moonlit Bay, the first poem of 2019

Moonlit Bay
 
Strips of orange and yellow
Fill the skies before us,
A wide sky of colors on
A background of growing
Darkness,
A white orb is close to the
Moon,
The closest planet
Named Venus,
To our Earth,
We held hands
And watched the skies
Change before our eyes
Together,
Is there another world
Out there like or unlike
Ours here?
Silent moments
Passed between us,
A swish of the tides
Below us,
This planet looks somewhat
Like a big star up there
So close to the moon,
Thick cloud cover reflects
Its light,
As all sunlight disappears,
Venus and moon are
A beautiful pair to view,
This rare couplet with
Commonly shared traits of each other,
But not alike at all,
Glowing up high,
Surrounded by tiny lights,
I waited for him to speak,
We have a silent communication
Between us –so it wasn’t needed,
I was in his embrace,
And he needed no more. –J. E. Cook © 2019
drawme8
 

lock and key by Sarah Dessen

Josie's Kaleidoscope

 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…

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