Memory Lane

Memory Lane

Taking in the beauty
Of the countryside
Rows of hay fields smelling so
Sweetly,
The apple orchards,
And the birches with their delicate
Leaves moving in the wind,
The woods are so full
Of miraculous treasures
Old fossiled bones, hiding creatures,
And so much more,
Here away from all the people,
Like wandering through a dream world
In a state of dizzy adventure
With a shuttering effect against time,
Apparitions in the trees above
Playing and becoming orbs to float about
In the cool, deep green
Of it,
With the smell of moss and earthy specks of dirt
As bands of light stream in,
The trees forming a delicate lattice
To defuse all the brightness
Stickers and briers on the border,
Visions bringing about strange
Circumstances inside my head,
Nothing became permanent to me
From trampling through those lovely woods
Except being enchanted by its beauty
And still thinking of him,
This one is gone,
The male that caused her to love him,
My solitary ways and moodiness
The result,
Locking myself away with a pile of books
Watching movies alone,
That feeling of melting in light
Always present
Our stolen time is gone forever,
I wait in the fields for your return
Even though I know it was not possible
Dusk has arrived,
I could smell your presence
Here in a world so green
But it is not human
There is nothing I miss more than your
loving touch,
I am aware you are now in another
World that I can’t access,

Except for this; the field of awareness
I’m without you,
Pollen in my hair, grass on my clothing
Your name is still on my lips
As I call it and no answer will ever
Arrive,
Your old letters inside a box
Buried deep in my closet,
Folds of your penned words
Still there,
If I chose to read them again,
My desperate mind on you.
We did belong to each other once
The mistake was you gave me up,
Time spent apart,
However, I still read to you in
The silent dark,
Sometimes gazing out the window
Thinking about the trails in our life
And being turned away
Knowing it was called a mistake
Delirious sometimes from lack of rest,
Peculiar moments not so distant,
Realizing you were only a man
Not some weed among the brambles
Looking for riches in the deep soil,
Just a man that lost his mission,
Our life truncated together to serve
Others and accommodate them,
All I wanted is our happiness to
Survive and be our story of life
But, it is a cautionary tale
Of a love gone bad leaping into
Blackness where I remain, the injured female,
By the monster you revealed living
Inside you,
Causing a flurry of panic
To me, that was an imaginary being
Until the horror was real
The absence of love,
I can’t speculate over that is banished
To memories that I can only access
Through my dreams.–J. E. Cook © 2019

Lee Todd Lacks This is incredible, Josie. The sublime natural imagery, the disarmingly powerful shift between the speaker’s vision of the forest and her recollection of a wayward lover. Beautifully written!
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Sunday on the Dear John Show

Welcome to The Dear John Show, Facebook live poetry reading, Sunday 14th April 2019, with Christine Barker, Chris Edridge, And, Your Host, John Kavanagh.

Christine read my poem on this live show. Thank you, Christine Barker and John Kavanagh for picking one of my poems for this April session of poetry. 

**This session was live with Shannon Larisse Sharpe & Christine Barker.

Dear John Show-live Broadcast

My poem, titled, Keep Me Pristine and Alive, requested by the host. on 04/14/2019 it was read by Christine Barker from Germany live.

Poetry with John~

Listen here:

I Am With You –
Written by John Kavanagh –
Music by Alan Johnson –
Narrated and produced by Hank Beukema
Copyright John Kavanagh 2015
All rights reserved

When you waken in the morning
and you open up your eyes
When the light shines in your window
And the birds sing in the skies
Do I still become your first thought
Do you still call out my name
Am I still your shining knight
Your life’s eternal flame
When you step into the sunshine
And feel the cool fresh air
Do you feel a little lonely
Do you wish that I was there
Do you think of me each moment
Does my memory bring you joy
Do you have those tender moments
When alone do you still cry
When you lay upon your pillow
and the moon is big and bright
Do you say a little prayer for me
and wish to hold me tight
When you drift into the dream world
And all again seems real
Does it help to ease your heartache
When you tell me how you feel
When you awaken in the morning
and your eyes are open wide
is your pillow wet from teardrops
Wept from deep inside
Do you feel it in your heartbeat
that things will be alright
for my darling I am with you
throughout each day and night.

John Kavanagh © 2015
All rights reserved

 

Shared Sunsets by J. E.Cook, read by John Kavanagh, live

I would like to thank John for picking my poem to read this Sunday and doing it so well on his live show that he hosts every Sunday on Facebook. 

Give a listen here and take in the lovely poetry shared live with a poetry community of caring individuals. 

St. Paddy’s Day with Poetry on the Dear John Show~

This one (below) by me was read by Nina Thilo this Sunday on the show.  She does such an excellent job of reading my work live. 

 

The Small Town Life of Rae Michaels

Cigar boxes, old trailers, and

a Texaco station

Past the Gardenia patch,

Skipping through the woods

On the dusty path,

Watching a group of tramps eat out of cans

By the still tracks,

Rae was restless and she wanted more

Than this small town gave her,

She thrashed in her cold sheets

This morning,

Rising early to greet the bluebirds,

Bucky right at her heels,

Scaring those little birdies away,

 

Her hands were empty of silver coins,

She wanted more from here,

Gleason’s Barber Shop was

Hopping with male chatter,

Her daddy was fixing stuff again

Outside the garage doors,

Bucky still by her side

With his tongue hanging out,

Jimmy across the street collecting

Nehi bottles in his wagon,

Hardy walking with him,

Telling him about the weather

Down South,

Curls & Stuff Salon

Full of ladies under pink dryers

With glam magazines in their laps,

And a cup of tea or coffee

nearby them,

Why couldn’t she find her

Happiness here?

 

Miss Martha lets her

Hangout at her place,

Her son a bit slow in the head,

Wears his hair clipped short

Because his mom wants it

That way,

She brings him sweets from

MacAlister’s Drug store

And Miss Martha

Always treats him like a baby

Still at the age of eleven,

Wiggly in his seat on the porch,

They watch the silos being filled

Together while Bucky naps near,

Mac arrives clutching his ball and bat

Against his chest,

Asking them to join him at the park,

Rae sits aside her book in her lap,

Miss Martha is inside making fudge,

Rae puts her nose to the screen

To tell her they’re leaving,

They race across the open fields

Of mustard and tall grass,

Bucky chasing them from behind,

Another afternoon in the sun

With friends on the baseball diamond,

The gang is there,

Daisy, Alice, Teddy, and Sam.

Rae decides maybe, life isn’t so

Bad here after all.

The game starts and she finds

Herself lost in the gathering of

Friends as the sun beats down on

Them together in the dust, the heat,

And the beauty of sharing with close

Friends and also competing for just a little while.–J. E. Cook © 2019

Listen to the show here:

Special Thanks to Nina Thilo for reading my poetry again this weekend! Always a pleasure to be featured on this live show with John Kavanagh as the host.  

Spite Fences by Trudy Krisher

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2718963677

Spite Fences by Trudy Krisher

Such a talented writer with such passion for the land, the people, and small communities–she weaves a lovely story with history, pain, success while telling the inner story of young girl and her own struggles with her family ties and what she really feels and wants from life.

I didn’t want this one to end, and I am still thinking about her characters with their lives before them in this community of racial struggles. Krisher creates a real village of people that interact with such emotion and feelings about what they believe in, what is told to them, and what they are dreaming of happening soon.

This book is powerful as it relates to what we are seeing now in our world and what we are hearing about on the local news. It is sad that this is making a come up and it probably never left us but was hidden deeply from some of us that find it so ugly. Through Maggie Pugh’s eyes, the reader sees what is happening and also feels what she has inside her soul. With the help of her close friends like Pert, Maggie survives a lot and accomplishes so much with others throwing hate her way. This is Maggie’s story in a time of crisis, fighting, and racial struggles. She keeps going after many setbacks and keeps her head held high.

George Hardy becomes Maggie’s saving soul as she gets to know this secretive man. She wants him to accomplish his goals. While all along, Maggie feels torn about her connections to him as her own mother turns against her. Maggie’s sister is a focal point between them. Gardenia is more fragile than Maggie and also represents beauty to their mother. 1960 becomes a year to remember for this family that is struggling with each other, their community, and not having enough money to run their household unless Maggie can keep working her magic. Maggie’s camera becomes a unique tool for her to use daily as she uncovers so much hate. However, she also captures some deeply touching moments in these lives.

There is a strong sense of place inside these pages along with a cast of characters that the reader is drawn to in many ways, even though some of them can be very mean, stupid, and set in their ways. The wisdom inside this cover is brilliant and the story is so well-crafted!

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Ali Cobby Eckermann wins $215,000 literary prize~Unemployed Indigenous poet~ Some Dreams do Happen.

The Windham-Campbell prizes are unique in that authors generally have no idea that they are in the running for one. Administered through Yale University in the US, they do not have an open submission process but take nominations from appointed members of the literary community.

Ali Cobby Eckerman

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/01/unemployed-indigenous-poet-ali-cobby-eckermann-wins-215000-literary-prize?fbclid=IwAR2NR9ORkWDXrx0c1WXNGQuAg7X7uqwFiEz0RljDHdb4JHDVGuTgNacpZV8

All information from the link above.  Just passing it along for all poets to read!

Her words:

“My son and my grandsons are moving back to South Australia in the next few months, and it will just allow us some stability to grow up together under the one roof,” she said.

“I haven’t really had that option before in my life. Just the thought of maybe being able to purchase a home or rent a home, and for us to be together and have that stability is something pretty new to me.

“I’ve been so grateful for the recognition of my work so far, and could never have foreseen something of this magnitude.”

The awards will be presented in September in a ceremony at Yale.

“It also feels like an award that is honouring my family’s story, and the three generations of us that didn’t grow up together,” said Eckermann.

“I want to accept this award on behalf of my grandmother who walked out of the Maralinga bombs [the British nuclear testing that occurred near Maralinga, South Australia, in the 50s and 60s to the great detriment of local Indigenous people] with her little children, and then my mother was taken from her – to my grandmother and my mother, who were so dignified in their pain. Life changed so dramatically for them, and they stayed really dignified and that’s the legacy they’ve given me.”

I love it when people are given a chance to be something better because they worked so hard for it, and finally, it pays off, even though it is their passion to create instead of working in some dead-end position where they will never bloom into what they dreamed of being during their lives.

Image may contain: Josie Cook, smiling

Sunday Poetry with Dear John Live

Welcome to The Dear John Show, Sunday 3rd March 2019, with Nina Thilo, Christine Barker, Chris Edridge and myself, Your Host
John Kavanagh. Nina Thilo will read my Tribute to Mary Oliver. Thank you, Nina, for a lovely reading and picking my poem to read today.  

 

A Tribute To a Poet

Among the tapering, tall trees,

I view the willows by the water

The sweet locust full of fiery colors,

The blue beech, river birch, and the white pines,

All give me such hints of gladness, with joy

For this wilderness hike.

Daily doses of nature

Could provide me

With a spiritual renewal,

Since I am so distant from this land

I seek this for myself,

in which I see purity and beauty,

And I  never hurry through this sweet

Glen of Helen,

but I do walk slowly, and stop often.

Around me, these trees, show their leaves

and call out to me, “Stay here with us.”

The sun’s light weaves through their branches

Creating orbs of floating colors.

And they say again, “come to us”

In their world with rays of light to shine forever

Among them.– A tribute to Mary Oliver (1935-2019)– J. E. Cook © 2019

 

Dandelion Fairy Hatch Patch

DANLIONFANTAAA

Dandelion Fairy Hatch Patch~Fantasy painting in acrylics, glazes, & gloss finish. I love creating unique designs with nature incorporated. This is my February art project after finishing my Valentine’s themed art. Thinking of Spring and new growth.  

Order this design on bags, journals, leggings, skirts, pillows, phone cases and more at this link below:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/0370549/works/37215576-dandelion-fairy-hatch-patch?asc=u&ref=recent-owner

Sad Love Lines

Sad Love Lines

On this day, I write these saddest lines…
The night was a shattered eclipse
and the blue stars were shivering in a very distant land.
This night, the wind raked the sky of color and sung about it.
Tonight, I can write about it.
I loved him, and sometimes he loved me, too.
Through all of our nights like this one, he held me in his arms,
While I kissed him again and again,
under the endless sky of darkness.
He loved me sometimes, and I loved him, too.
How could he not have loved me?
His great blue eyes still seeing me.
Tonight, I can write the saddest story.
To think that I do not have him. To feel that I have lost him.
To hear the immense silence, still more immense without his love.
these verses stick in my soul like the dew to the pink roses.
What does it matter that my love could not keep him here?
The nights are shattered because he is not with me.
In the distance, someone is singing about this.
In the distance–almost every night,
My soul is not satisfied since I lost him.
My sights are searching for him still
as though to go to him.
My heart looks for him still, and he is not with me.
The same night waking among the same trees
Beyond me.
of that time, that is no longer the same.
I love him, that’s certain, but how I loved him is mine always.
My voice has tried to find a way to touch him.
Another’s love, he was in the end. Like my kisses before,
He is gone.
His voice. His beautiful body. His infinite blue eyes.
I no longer have him, that’s certain, but maybe he will remember me.
Love is so short often, forgetting is too long.
Because of these nights,
like this one in which I held him,
my soul, has lost him and those are static embraces.
Though this is a lasting pain that makes me suffer,
and these will be the last verses that I write for him.
Or, maybe, not. –J. E. Cook © 2019 (in memory of you)

~Loved to Death~

Loved to Death

Loved to Death
 
I don’t love you for the roses growing in the color of topaz and burgundy,
in your garden of nevermore upon those
Mountain terraces that blanket the entrances of
The smokey hills flourishing among the rises and peaks,
or for the red, death-scented carnations that bring fiery heat to my inner core
When I remember the ending of our union.
 
I love you as one loves certain obscure slightness in reason,
On days of frustration,
So secretly, between this shadowy junction of your inner thighs,
and with my inner tendencies exposing your fresh awakening inside my embracing hold,
As my endless kisses translate my wanting.
 
I love you as the trees of spring are blooming but also carrying in
Their intoxicating fragrances,
the light from these flowers is not hidden, within these branches,
and thanks to your love this tight aroma rises between us,
from this coupling and lives dimly inside my body for days at a time.
 
I love you without knowing how you move me to be with you,
I love you directly without prejudice thoughts;
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to do so,
except in this tranquil way in which I am not alone but with you,
so close that you are upon my chest each night,
so close that our eyes meet in my dreams of you. –J. E. Cook © 2019

flowers2

Pacific by Tom Drury

Pacific

Well, I have read two of his books back to back.

This one is a bit weak at the end, I felt it took another turn towards the ending. There are some crazy twists inside this novel. However, this turn is peaceful with a beautiful view! 

I do admire going back to these characters! I do like visiting them again.

There is a mystery at times, passion in some relationships, there are imaginative qualities, too. Drury’s freeform is something I admire because I use it often in my writing, too. He catches the small town feel, flavor, closeness and it is nice to read here inside these pages. Moral codes are tested along the way as this story unfolds and builds with these characters and their shared connections.

Going back to Grouse County, I love the New Luddites that emerge with Micah as he goes out on his own to another place. Charlotte is an active voice in his world. She seems to ground him.

Lyris is fighting with her ghosts and her past. Tiny is still being the bad guy with his petty movements in this community. Surprises enter and laughs are involved. The Laughing Bandit is exposed in time. A shipping giant is missing nine packages and Tiny’s car drifts along the snow-covered highways. He stops at the tavern and he encounters Sandra Zulma. Then, things change.

Louise is someone I admire and I like hearing her voice. Hans Cook is taking care of her mother by being there. Mary Montrose dreams vividly. Louise has a close connection with Mary. They know what each other is thinking by their connection. They are agreeable in most cases after discussion. Mary saw Louise in her dream and she thought she was a beautiful woman and told Hans this. Dan supports Louise through her loss.

Micah wants to buy a California smoke but isn’t old enough. “I saw you at the marijuana doc’s” (p.171). A man takes a silver case out and hands Micah a joint. Micah thanks him. This man, Mark invites Micah to stay with him and his girlfriend on the beach. She is Beth with the freckles, green eyes, and strawberry blonde hair. They hang out eating curry and drinking red wine together. Beth paints and doesn’t sleep well. Her and Micah connect. They sit on the porch together and watch the moon. “down to the sea”(p.173).

Sandra is seeking Jack in the woods. Lyris is seeking out Micah through Joan. At the beach, Lyris calls his name, and he forgets the lost match. He hugs her. They walk down the Pacific and she enters the water. They wade in the surf together. Lyris’s yellow dress floats on the water’s surface. The gulls are silent but present above them. A ship is on the horizon and they stand hand in hand. The waves hitting them but they are never moving. It is over.

Two different communities brought together here. Haunted souls with promises and circumstances.
But, there is peace at the end.

31534058

I like this cover image; however, mine looked like the above image. 

40663998

Another cover image: I prefer the one above with the colors and bridge!

Marian’s Plight

Marian’s Plight

After the hurricane,
Everything is cold and dark,
Water stains streak the walls
Of the hollow houses,
With rugs turned to threads,
Birds in nests
Between ceiling beams exposed,
Chairs bent and broken,
The movie theater
An empty shell
With petrified seats,
Pipes broken
In the restrooms,
Ghosts hiding in the rafters,
Plywood over the fronts of
Store windows,
Flatbed trucks hauling
To landfills passing the churchyards
So bare,
Sidewalks missing and buckled,
Bats filling the steeples,
She is missing Colorado now,
It is just words, in a song now,
To her,
She is a high-spirited gal
Feeling a bit broken
Here,
Her uncertain steps
Through the torn grass,
Picturing her world
Before the storm,
The sky a paler blue
Today with the sun
So bright,
She watches the men
Travel north
With the flatbeds full,
To Dump road,
Near the Red River,
This feels like another country,
With the bulldozers and burial mounds of
Dead animals,
Sounds so loud as the birds
Swarm over them,
Mountains of dirt and refuse
From the ridge,
Sacks of trash
As the wind darts
The tops like ghosts,
Steepness is gone,
Scraping noises echo
A thunderstorm won’t
Be welcome for quite a while
No matter how much
The town needs rain,
Marian goes back inside
The tall brick building
Where candles shine
Electric still off,
She thinks about white lilies
And their fragrance
A garden scene
With trellis laced walls
Of tiny pink roses,
If only she could be there,
Instead of here among
The damage and clean-up crews.
She stirs the soup over the fireplace
Flames,
Something to fill their stomachs
When they return for another
Load,
Before they start again,
Bread on the narrow
Long table with bottles of water,
Sheriff’s cruisers bringing more supplies
To the small town torn apart now.
She doesn’t trust anyone
Not even around her own duplex,
As she folds the packing quilts,
Marian daydreams of other scenarios
Even though, she could never leave
Without helping this community now. –J. E. Cook © 2019

Image may contain: 1 person

Read on this live show, Sunday, February 17th, 2019 by Christine Barker.

Thunderstorms of Spring

Thunderstorms of Spring

 

Rain comes,

With big splashing drops

Landing in the mossy green

Waters

Streams flowing

White light

Flashes

Followed by claps

Of thunder

Changing from light

To heavy,

Falling straight

And bouncing fines sprays,

as

Rainbow swirls form on the concrete,

 

Wet skin

Locks of hair pressed close

Raised faces

Laughing in the showers

Of it,

 

Empty spaces

Filling with it,

Cold shivers

Come with it,

Blast the heater to

Get rid of it,

The city is another place

with it,

 

With faded bright colors

Among patched plaster

And corrugated metals,

Some old and tired,

Buildings built at different

Times,

 

Floating garbage

Moving slowly

Down a hilltop,

 

The stucco houses

With terraces

Rest there,

 

Canceled flights

And the need for dry

Clothes,

 

Artists painting away

The blues,

Others looking into

Bookcases

And writing in their

Journals,

 

As the gusts of rain

Batter against these

Shelters,

 

The environment

Changing what everyone

Does and sees at once.–J. E. Cook © 2019

uninfog5aa

 

The Process of Revision

~Revision~

This process is a very important step for a writer and poet and also one they often find as a tedious work step in their daily schedule. It can bring moments of frustration along with deep clarity and understanding of the whole piece of work before them. I often go back to my body of work and find edits to complete it in a more fulfilling manner. Putting away my writing and revisiting it at a later time has proven to be a vital tool in my writing process. The length of time varies depending on the type of writing and genre. 

Here is a poem I revisited today and revised according to my thought process this morning. I think it is an improved version of the original poem penned over a year ago. 

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, not here.
Rain still falling,
Covering this valley in mists of it,
Fog filling in among the weaving
Trees,
The rivers filling,
The weight of these raindrops pulling,
Autumn leaves losing their colors,
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 before us,
With faith in our plan,
We continue this journey with
Hope inside the course of it,
Swimming on among the sea
Of raindrops towards our destination,
As these endless
Cascades of water cover the rutty
Dirt roads and the saturated lands before us,
become ponds of filth,
We
Are minutes from the flooding of
The valley that lies ahead,
But, we go on,
It’s too late and dark to
Turn back,
We need to be HOME. —J. E. Cook ©2018 (revised 2019)
herface19

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

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.

Google image

 

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.

Beams of Joy

 

Colored moonbeams with

Fracturing light bring an endless discovery of

Shimmering beauty

To our eyes

As we meet

Beneath a canopy of green brilliance

Pearl colored butterflies glisten with movement

Above us,

Your smile grants me permission to touch your

Cheek with my lips and move to your mouth,

Leaving me breathless with desire for you.

Serenity in your movements

As we embrace is shared, and

Our hearts beat with our silent yearnings,

You seem to find my touch inviting,

Pure romance shared between us.

 

Perfumed nectar of blooming emotions with

A sultry mist kissing our bodies,

As we lay entwined on this feathery grass bed,

Exploring each other amidst

A growing whispering wind of gentleness.

Moving lights twinkle and reflect off the still bay,

Unaware of our shared love, our moment of true beauty.

 

Leaves trickle to the ground like tiny winged-beings,

As we gaze upon wooded silhouettes in the distance,

Mysterious against a velvet sky of light violet and pink,

Still, its beauty falls like a summer rain of refreshment,

Drenching bodies with it.

A full moon makes an inviting appearance,

We are happily enchanted by it, as

We stare at the dark horizon before us.

A pulsation of growing affection envelopes us,

We have become so

Blissfully joyous in our company,

As we seek another embrace among the

Arriving darkness,

With your hypnotic movements, I seek you again.

We sing in a sensual duet of love, as it

Echoes through tree-lined vistas of mulled colors,

Increasing our tempo,

We dance to a shared rapture of climbing

Emotion with

Fevered embraces, as we  sway together,

Clutching each other, heads arching back,

My hair like chocolate ribbons flowing in the air.

Shooting stars filling our minds,

The trails of shared and murmured gasps,

Fireworks growing within and intensely exploding

With rushed joy,

Illuminating our faces,

With intense desire

Containing new sensations that are

Quivering,

Under a starlit sky as ecstasy shines

Between us.

We collapse with tenderness

As the evening blankets us in moist air

And fond thoughts of each other.  –J. E. Cook © 2018

 

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 bought it so I could watch it again. 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~

VGilbertartist

~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 has to make up her mind and try to convince her parents that she must have at least one new toy to fulfill her treasured 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?

The friendly lady clerk 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 she tidies up the display 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. (revised-2019)

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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
gorgousbride

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

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

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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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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 blinding 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 a 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?

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– by my chair and he goes
 
Down on one knee,
 
He asks, “How hard was it 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 the sun still shining overhead,
 
As I departed,
 
Driving down the street, in this village, where
 
You died,
 
Where you spent most of your lifetime,
 
A village where you were raised
 
And where you died so suddenly
 
Without me by your side.
 
–J. E. Cook ©2017(in memory of him) Revised 2019

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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

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Books by Jim Ashley

BOOKS

The old man knew no pleasure

He thought was half as great

As the moments he would treasure

With his books, down by the lake

At the early break of day

With his volumes in a sack

A sandwich for his lunch

And something for a snack

The birds were already waiting

To engage in song

They accompanied the story

In his head; he hummed along

His chair was where he’d left it

In the shade, by the water’s edge

Where he’d always kept it

A ribbon marked the page

The characters stood silent

Awaiting the command

That would bring them back to motion, when

The book opened in his hand

Suddenly surrounded by

Friends and enemies

Words of ghosts would start to fly

Across the centuries

Arguments, made long ago

Would make their case again

Dialog, both to and fro

Would swirl around his brain

And so, he sat, so motionless

In the center of it all

No passerby would ever guess

That kingdoms rise and fall

That lovers give their hearts and tears

That villains wield the knife

To take the blood and steal the years

Of an unsuspecting life

That a hero strove to do the deed

That no one else could do

And, against all odds, he would succeed

If his heart was good and true

An old man with a sack of books

Stood up to walk back home

A thing’s not always how it looks

He’s not at all alone

Distance from it. A Poem by J. E. Cook

Revised to edit my typo in this one~ 🙂 Please read again.

Josie's Kaleidoscope

Image may contain: outdoor

Distance from it

I was frustrated with myself;
I told myself to try harder; however,
my anger did not end. 
I was frustrated with my situation:
I told it to leave, my anger kept growing.

I was bathed
in my inner fears,
Night & morning, I had tears:
I sought the sun with its smiles
And warmth,
And with it came the softness of
moods.

I grew with it in both day and night.
Till I bore a bright smile myself.
my foe became something
that shines even now,
Before me and keeps me anchored.
into my garden to steal this light,
When the night has arrived;
In the morning, I will be glad I see;
My foe is outstretched beneath the
Distant treeline so far
Away from me.–J. E. Cook © 2019 (in memory of William Blake)

Reviews:

Rick Bird Very nice poetry and artwork.

Lee Todd Lacks

View original post 6 more words

The Echoing Sun Rays~Poetry by J. E. Cook

Image may contain: one or more people and bird

The Echoing Sun Rays

The sun does make a big difference,
Each day to me,
It makes me happy to see it in
the skies.
As merry thoughts swirl inside
My head, hiding the ringing
In my ears.
I and my tribe
welcome this Spring to come forth.
The Skylark, hummers, and Robins
Arrive on the lawns, in the new buds, and
Around the blooming newness.
These birds of the bushes, trees,
And everywhere green.

Singing louder with the sun up high,
A cheerful sound. 
While we enjoy the fresh air,
On the patios, decks, and porches.

In our youth, this was the time to
Explore the Birches, orchards, and
Creekbeds with renewal
In mind, 
A place to take in the warmth
Again.

Till the little ones become a bit weary
With this sunshine event on the lawn,
The sun does descend again,
And, it has to have an end:

Round up the little ones and go in,
all these sisters and brothers,
Like birds in their high-up nests,
Are ready for a quick rest;
No more sunshine until another
Day of brightness & warmth. –J. E. Cook © 2019

Image may contain: Tori Fraley, smiling, grass and outdoor

Distance from it. A Poem by J. E. Cook

Image may contain: outdoor

Distance from it

I was frustrated with myself;
I told myself to try harder; however,
my anger did not end. 
I was frustrated with my situation:
I told it to leave, my anger kept growing.

I was bathed
in my inner fears,
Night & morning, I had tears:
I sought the sun with its smiles
And warmth,
And with it came the softness of
moods.

I grew with it in both day and night.
Till I bore a bright smile myself.
my foe became something
that shines even now,
Before me and keeps me anchored.
into my garden to steal this light,
When the night has arrived;
In the morning, I will be glad I see;
My foe is outstretched beneath the
Distant treeline so far
Away from me.–J. E. Cook © 2019 (in memory of William Blake)

Reviews:

Rick Bird Very nice poetry and artwork.

Lee Todd Lacks An inspiring transformation. Insightfully written.

Innocence seeking Knowledge by J. E. Cook

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor, nature and water

Innocence seeking Knowledge

To see a newness of this 
World in a 
Grain of pebbled 
Beach sands,
With the
Heavens echoed in a lovely
Wild Flower, to
Hold an Infinity in the palm of my hand
This new
Eternity in this hour,
As the
Robin of
Redbreast sings far away,
This vision
Puts all Heavenly thoughts away,
Where a
Dovehouse is filled with
Doves and another being the gray crying
Pigeons,
Shuddering with their inner fears,
Predictions will ruin the State of this
Earth,
Horses and ponies upon the murky
Roads
Of dirt and rivers of muddy waters,
For Heaven is now full of
Human blood,
With the outcries of the hunted Humans,
Every fiber of their
Brains are tearing apart.

As a lone
Skylark is wounded,
the wings tattered, 
As Cherubs do cease to sing among us,
Game Cocks are now fighting for their lives, 
As the Rising Sun shines on them,
Every Wolf & Lion 
are running for their lives,
Rising from Hell are
the Human Souls of intense evils. 
These make the wild deer seek here & there, 
Keeping our
Human Souls from 
Caring for
Our
Lambs in the green pastures, 
And yet– they are given to the
Butchers knives among us, 
A Bat flits so close to
The Eve of the morning,
Believe in
The Owl that calls upon us in the 
Night, this one
Speaks to the Unbelievers fright, and those
who shall not hurt the
little Wren crowned in purple,
beloved by Many that cherish
life, by Woman of love, as a wanton
Boy kills those that
Fly, and 
He torments the
Sprites of the forest deepness,
As he 
Weaves… into the endless blackness…
The night where the 
Caterpillars on the Leaves 
Repeat their journey,
Kill not these
Moths nor the Butterflies –yet not born to our eyes.

For our
Last Judgment has not arrived, 
He who shall be at
War in our lands,
Shall never pass to peace, for
The Beggars & Widows are needing
A Feeding as
The Gnats 
Poison their only means, 
This poison of the 
Darkness in black,
Is the sweat of rich devils among us, 
They poison 
the Honey Bees and are the dirty con
Artists with Jealous souls, 
Princes in 
Robes of black, as the
Beggars wear
Rags of hopelessness and dream of
Toadstools where fairies lead them to
Morals of gold.

A Truth is not told, as 
Beats in the Earth 
Are all the Lies
they can invent, 
It is not right as it should be so 
Men have made us filled with
Woes of sickness, death, & despair, 
And when we are rightly repairing 
This World as we go safely for
Parts unknown, 
Joy & Woe are woven finely together
Becoming 
A Clothing for our souls so divine, 
Under every grief thought, we pine for
a joy with silken heart, a 
Babe with longing for the
all these Human Lands, where 
Tools are made to solve,
Born to the hands of
Every Farmer that
Understands our
Every Tear from Every Eye
Among this world.–J. E. Cook © 2019

Reviews:

Lee Todd Lacks What a brilliant allegory for the subversion of Nature. So powerful, Josie!