Literary kickoff to 2019-Marly

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Tuesday, January 01, 2019-Marly Youmans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Second poem of 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Closing 2018, writing poetry.

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My Sunflower painting was done in the studio in 2018

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

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.

The Bishops’ Trip across America on Bicycle Wheels — Josie’s Kaleidoscope

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. I finished their book titled, Wheels of Wisdom by Tim & […]

via The Bishops’ Trip across America on Bicycle Wheels — Josie’s Kaleidoscope

lock and key by Sarah Dessen

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

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Poetry penned on a Labor Day Morning

Life of a Girl in 2018~

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

As she pulled the blankets over her head.

She only sought the darkness and warmth

Within this enveloping cave

Of close rapture,

And then her mind went on…

“I hope you’re thinking about me.”

She touched her hair,

“Why do we close our eyes when we

Pray?”

I do this when I kiss you,

The most beautiful things in my life

Are felt inside my heart not seen.

I watched the white roses die

That you brought me

Littering my window sill with them

all those

Dried, brown petals.

We were naughty together

Two days ago,

Sleeping in your parents’ room

Sharing a cold bottle of Gin,

We found in their kitchen

Mixing it with jarred cherries

And ice-cold Sprite,

While we

Snapchatted us,

naked

Bodies to our close friends,

I see nothing better // I keep him forever,

Plays over and over,

It is printed inside my head,

The smell of sulfur

Penetrating my senses,

As the Disneyland Princesses

Dance to the musical notes,

so, I’m still at that confusing stage,

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

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 Guiding Experiences

When the worship hour

Comes upon a being of Earth,

Where do they look for guidance and

Extreme measures in solution?

 

Maybe, they turn to the Buddhist

Practices in mantras and mandalas

Or a nun’s string of prayer beads,

Or a more natural experience

From the lands,

In Native American practices

where cultures identify with nature

And they hear the beat of the

Drums,

This repetition

Makes their spaces

Infinite

Opening their minds

To the systematic

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

 

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Autumn Abundance

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