Poetry penned on a Labor Day Morning

Life of a Girl in 2018~

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

As she pulled the blankets over her head.

She only sought the darkness and warmth

Within this enveloping cave

Of close rapture,

And then her mind went on…

“I hope you’re thinking about me.”

She touched her hair,

“Why do we close our eyes when we

Pray?”

I do this when I kiss you,

The most beautiful things in my life

Are felt inside my heart not seen.

I watched the white roses die

That you brought me

Littering my window sill with them

all those

Dried, brown petals.

We were naughty together

Two days ago,

Sleeping in your parents’ room

Sharing a cold bottle of Gin,

We found in their kitchen

Mixing it with jarred cherries

And ice-cold Sprite,

While we

Snapchatted us,

naked

Bodies to our close friends,

I see nothing better // I keep him forever,

Plays over and over,

It is printed inside my head,

The smell of sulfur

Penetrating my senses,

As the Disneyland Princesses

Dance to the musical notes,

so, I’m still at that confusing stage,

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

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 Guiding Experiences

When the worship hour

Comes upon a being of Earth,

Where do they look for guidance and

Extreme measures in solution?

 

Maybe, they turn to the Buddhist

Practices in mantras and mandalas

Or a nun’s string of prayer beads,

Or a more natural experience

From the lands,

In Native American practices

where cultures identify with nature

And they hear the beat of the

Drums,

This repetition

Makes their spaces

Infinite

Opening their minds

To the systematic

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

 

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Autumn Abundance

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

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

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Creative Outlets Explored~

Come visit our Art Studio at the Kerr Farm!

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

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

 

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

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

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

It’s a Jungle in Here by K. Wilde

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It’s a Jungle in Here by K. Wilde

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leaving a Legacy of Hope by Mark Gregston

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Why “Nothing But Trouble” is Nothing But Brilliant

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

(Travalanche)

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

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

View original post 1,210 more words

Poet, Photographer, & Writer

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

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

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

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Poetry in 2018~

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February Grief

 

To be told that your lover is gone,

As gently as one can be told

That your lover, the man you wanted

To marry,

Planned to spend the rest of your life

With,

That man is no longer among the

Living,

He disappeared like

The white feathery pins of a dandelion

In the wind,

Drifting off to another place,

Gone back to the earth’s soil,

Taking root,

To become something else,

Strolling through the wild vines

With another widow,

Feeling like the hay chafe

Left behind by the grazing herd,

Moments pass,

She feels something lingering

Like his fingers touching her

Intimate places hid from the world,

Or him watching for her

Among the forest leaves and withering pines,

As the stars of our universe

Sparkle and shine,

The wind like his warm breath,

He could be alive somewhere waiting,

Or watching the slippery stones of moss

In the flowing crystal streams,

Her female soul wants to run

For the moors,

To be together wild and free,

Because the living has no answers

For her,

Will he watch her undress now?

She hopes her memory does not

Grow vague of him,

Like a dusty forgotten canvas,

The artist has gone

Leaving it behind,

Unfinished was their love,

Disappearing

Thrown away

Rubbish remains

She desires to dissolve gradually

Free to let go,

Without sound,

Becoming one of those

Vacant houses standing still

After the harvest,

With no heat or lights,

She remembers the blossoms

Of their secret garden,

Thriving all summer long,

Nourishing them daily,

Those river roses of pinks and reds,

Are fading,

Past their peak

And gone

No mark left behind

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

 

 

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Rain cometh upon Our Journey

 

Raining in the night,

Leaves on the ground,

Flashes of light,

Winter somewhere,

Wrens to the South,

Maybe, the Gulf of Mexico,

Not Bangor,

Rain still falling,

Covering a valley in mists of it,

Fog filling in among the weaving

Trees,

The river filling,

Weight of raindrops pulling,

Autumn leaves losing color,

Large puddles forming

In wet fields of mud and swampy debris,

Pathways are murky and slick,

Still, the water comes down

As yellow headlights swallow up

The countryside,

With faith in the plan,

We continue this journey

Faith in the course of it,

Swimming on among the sea

Of raindrops,

Cascades of water cover the

Dirt roads and the saturated lands

Are minutes from flooding

The valley ahead,

But, we go on,

It’s too dark to

Turn back,

We need to be HOME. —J. E. Cook ©2018

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Autumn Dances

 

To look out the window

Filled with continued longing,

Eyes seeking the ground

Towards the flowing river

With the extending trees on fire

With the high colors

Of the crisp autumn season,

 

Who’s soul dances among

Those brittle leaves

Covering the moist ground?

 

To be a wisp of a girl again

Walking around the gathering, wet

Stones in the swift stream,

Dancing among the tall, magnificent

White birches in the back fields,

Staying along the river

To return home

After an afternoon spent in the warm beams

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

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My Poems about Our Water~

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A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

Summer is gone and now reality returns…

Clubhouse Days

 

Gazing at the old wooden rackets

Among the endless sepia photos,

History of past crowds,

Tournaments long gone,

Locations changed or forgotten,

Blurry images of loving couples in fine outfits

Enjoying the elegant clubhouse dances,

Those pale, lacy dresses with close fitted

Bodices,

Parasols in the sun as they stroll in the sands,

Dashing gentlemen claim their hands,

As little girls and young boys race around corners,

People gather to share drinks at covered tables,

Their cheerful vital attachments forming during

The seaside summer seasons,

As the fluttering butterflies kiss the open roses

Gracing the porches of their rented beach houses,

Moving from sepia to black & white to colors

On the club walls as time marches on,

Nearly no one notices the changes here as the sea scents

The air and the cheerful blue sky fills their open spaces

Where attractive people lounge by the water with

Pretty drinks as their children build empires in the white

Grains surrounding them,

The focus is on fun and games while the warm season lasts

And freckles form to stretch across their sun-kissed

Cheeks calming their inner souls

And releasing positive senses to prevent old inner tensions,

Young couples watch the constellations light up while

They cuddle deep into each other around

Shared beach fires,

Burning hotly to fin off the night chill after

The sun disappears and the moonlight

Swaps it, a

Welcome replacement to neon-lit offices

And cluttered desks,

A sabbatical of free-time where young

Girls wear Jackie O sunglasses and tie

Their wet hair back in jolly ponytails,

Yachts and big liners fill the harbors

Waiting to be sailed,

Blue waters, elegant couples, members and

Invited guests circling the pristine decks,

Inlets of fascination and narrow boarding docks

Waiting for their evening return.–J. E. Cook ©2017

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Arriving at the Ocean

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

Sharing the same thoughts…and views.

 Outside my seaside window,

I watch the sky melt like a hot

Crayon,

The bright colors becoming a

Canvas for the many sailboats

On the midnight blue surface,

Their lights streaming across

The shimmering waters,

I often dreamt of the sea

From my Ohio location,

Freedom on the moving

Liquid,

Yearning for an adventure

There,

A long voyage with a special

Someone near me,

A wonderful communicator

To share my thoughts,

No soothing egos or severe misunderstanding,

Just the peace of the wilderness

Surrounding our shared views,

Two hearts and souls

In unison,

Cradled in the hands of each other

With undouble bonds,

Sorting through the world together. –J. E. Cook ©2017

 

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Waterways of Our Land

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

Water so important to us!

Our river is slow-moving

With twilight circling it

Without hesitation,

Mounds of dirt along it,

Marshes along the way,

Foaming gorges here and there,

Stone islands in the middle,

Providing

Gateways to other arteries,

Banks with forests lining them,

I think about other waterways

Like the Red Sea and the Atlantic Ocean,

The sands in them,

Do those tiny grains have

Some pink quartz inside…or any

Hard stones like diamonds.

 

Flowing water in dams

And over cliffs

Create a sound unique

Depending on the location,

Water is always needed in cultures

No matter royalty or poverty

It is a commodity,

Unlike ordinary everyday dust.

            –J. E. Cook © 2017

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