Remembering what You were like

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With me, you were often a different person…

 

Curled inside the new

quilt your mother made us

Feeling the warmth, it provides me

I love that feeling of the cool denim hugging

My naked body,

The blue lining keeping in the inner heat,

Our wedding anniversary of one year has

Arrived and gone,

You have been away for a while on business

In New Orleans,

I missed you so much,

But your phone calls kept me grounded

Here

I shiver and pick at a loose thread hanging

From the quilt’s corner.

You join me under it and many others

like it,

Glad to have you back inside with me,

I cuddle close to your muscled chest

Warm suntanned skin, as fresh balsam scents

with vanilla

are mixed into our shared air,

I rise to kiss your sultry closed mouth,

Our lovemaking begins,

A pin in the fabric pricks my tender skin

Along my inner arm,

I’m snagged by it and a trail of red

Smears me as I move with you,

This not being the first time your mother

Forgot a pin or lost one,

Your lips touch the wounded spot

And everything is better and forgotten

As you keep kissing my skin

Moving upward

To my breasts and lingering there

For several moments,

I’m drowning in your passion,

A devotion that I never considered

An accident,

It was what I once wished for

However, the price became too high

And it had so many strings attached to it,

Ones that were hidden and often dormant

Until they were unleashed by something

Unexpected and unwanted. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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I enjoy starting each day by reading…

Sometimes, it is a book and other times it is a small selection of admired poetry. Here are some of my favorites by poets in time. William Blake is the one I would have to pick if I had to site one favorite poet; however, I have many favorite poets, writers, and authors that I often turn to every morning while I sip my coffee or tea in those early hours as the sun rises and creates an inspiring image on our skies. 

The Garden of Love

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst, 
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not. writ over the door;
So I turn’d to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
–WILLIAM BLAKE~

‘Out, Out—’Related Poem Content Details
BY ROBERT FROST
The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard
And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behind the other
Under the sunset far into Vermont.
And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,
As it ran light, or had to bear a load.
And nothing happened: day was all but done.
Call it a day, I wish they might have said
To please the boy by giving him the half hour
That a boy counts so much when saved from work.
His sister stood beside him in her apron
To tell them ‘Supper.’ At the word, the saw,
As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,
Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap—
He must have given the hand. However it was,
Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!
The boy’s first outcry was a rueful laugh,
As he swung toward them holding up the hand
Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all—
Since he was old enough to know, big boy
Doing a man’s work, though a child at heart—
He saw all spoiled. ‘Don’t let him cut my hand off—
The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!’
So. But the hand was gone already.
The doctor put him in the dark of ether.
He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.
And then—the watcher at his pulse took fright.
No one believed. They listened at his heart.
Little—less—nothing!—and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

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An Unexpected Summons

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Come, you fragile poets filled with the sea’s liquid.
Come and leak your speech upon our parched beaches!
Come and sing with the ocean’s primordial influences.
Come and sanctify our living dictionary.
Come and listen to our seas–rivers–the many lakes.
Come and offer a levy to our tributaries.
Come and accompany us.
Come with your mask of shifting personas falling away.
Come with your torches burning.
Come add your bouquet to the existing aroma.
Come bring your artfulness for our sake of the art.
Come with your lacerations, tender, and red.
Come with your heart brilliant or obscure.
Come with your words for the distinguished dead.
Then go to the notorious graves and remember their souls.
And recite all of your remembrances.
Yes, come and find your passion; your true natural ability:
The marriage of thoughts to be esteemed hydration.

–J. E. Cook ©2016

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a long time gone by Karen White

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My thoughts on this novel…

I have read most of White’s published novels, and I think this one is my favorite thus far!

Home means so much to all of us and to each it is a different definition in our minds. White creates a meaning for her characters and shares it with her words. Her sensory descriptions make the images appear to me as read this fabulous book. Heirloom objects mentioned in repetition throughout make it true to her reader.
Vivien is wild at heart and often coming undone with her past chasing her and matching her in thoughts. Dementia is appearing through her mother’s actions and her speech. Mothers and daughters are evolving inside the story. The Walker women share some history and it drives the storyline along with surprises towards the ending.
Inherited ways are thought and discussed. Returning home is the key to facing Vivien’s past. Through Carol Lynne’s dairy, the reader learns the meaning of motherhood and how a women’s destiny can be revealed through those that she gives life. Children often shape women’s lives and what they do in the future. This is what the circle of life is for mothers and it takes place in this story.
The ghost of the dead woman takes form and drives the story into the past and what happened before Vivien was born. Generations are involved and objects give clues to what happened in the past. A ring inspires people to seek its meaning and it brings curiosity along the way to the intended discovery.
Whites handles the shifting timelines so well in all of her novels including this one. The era of the 1920’s has always fascinated me, and I became compelled to learn more about this timeline as I read on.

 

Keeping a gardening journal and talking about the replanting of a garden that held family memories was a nice touch too. The meaning behind the visiting crows and what a certain tree meant to the main character made me think about how nature often influences our daily thoughts. Mississippi is the location and setting in this riveting well-structured fiction novel. Storms and flooding play into the family history as a ghost visits and the cypress swamp sings in the background. Vivien is on her personal quest and journey as she rebuilds her life and leaves one behind that involves a self-centered ex-husband and a step-daughter that she can’t forget.

 

Mississippi is the location and setting in this riveting well-structured fiction novel. Storms and flooding play into the family history as a ghost visits and the cypress swampland sings in the background. Vivien is on her personal quest and challenging journey as she rebuilds her life and leaves one situation behind that involves a self-centered ex-husband and a step-daughter that she can’t forget. A step-daughter that becomes her focal point towards the end of the book. Chloe has made a lot of inroads and personal connections by visiting Vivien after she returns home. She becomes unforgettable even after she is retrieved by her father.

 

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A Girl named Rose

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A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.
” A prose poem of love…realization. ”

A Girl named Rose

The young woman called Rose
misses the crisp autumn in her hometown,
With many amazing sunsets against the forest trees,
She often sat on the top of her building
Watching those same trees with her early morning coffee,
This October is bringing out the Halloween sprites, ghosts,
And a variety of candy in the local stores,
She has visited the Nevada desert several times
In her travels,
Watching the peculiar animals living there,
Noting the absence of trees,
Her campsite always smelling of simmering beans
and dying wood,
Her merry band of waifs and adventure seekers
Filling the circle around the warming flames
As they talked about their dreams and lost hope.
Billy, her steady travel partner,
The creative one, so imaginative and funny,
Keeping her going and sometimes grounded too
Long in the same spot,
They were high most of the time when they could
Afford to buy or someone was sharing it,
One morning, Rose found Billy’s tattered sleeping bag
Empty,
She started dreaming of visiting Mississippi,
As she watched another sunrise
Alone and feeling lost,
Sometimes she thinks she smells bacon
Frying in the morning, before she rises,
But it is only the smell of beans lingering
Rose desires to taste her mom’s
Cooking again,
Her group leader decides to take
Them to Colorado instead,
Some weary participants
depart for San Francisco leaving
Early before Rose is packed up for departure,
So early, they can see the fog in the distance
Before the sun burns it off,
Her memories come back like a flowing
Stream,
Rose wants to see her home place soon,
Where the KKK had a history and civil rights
Brought so much drama,
She buys a bus ticket with her last coins
and few dollar bills, hide in her pack’s lining.
As Rose sits down in the back of the crowded bus,
She sees two pregnant girls sharing a bag
Of powdered doughnuts and giggling,
Her stomach growls loudly and she coughs,
They turn to stare her way,
Rose turns to the window and watches
Half-naked children play in a big mud puddle
Outside a rundown apartment building,
She never dreamed of having babies or a family,
Her mom passed on her dreams to Rose
As she rocked her in the mornings.
Back in her old town,
Rose seeks her own room,
A room she knows her aunt
Has waiting for her return,
She thinks about how her only aunt
Brought her soup in bed and checked her forehead
When she was too ill to attend school,
Some prissy lady passes Rose on the sidewalk
And Rose does not miss the look in her eyes
As she goes by,
So, condemning and hateful,
Rose wonders if she smells bad or if it is her
Ratty hair and soiled clothing that brings this on,
She has bathed in gas station restrooms and begged
For rides on this trip to reach home,
Rose reaches her favorite tree before her home,
Inside a park near it,
She stops to visit and sits at the base of it,
Enjoys the shade it brings and gentle breeze
Coming from the moving river,
Her mind empties and she closes her eyes,
Rose is weary and frightened at the same time,
Sleep comes,
She remembers overhearing grown ups
Talk at the kitchen table about the floods
Of the 1920’s,
Babies crying in the background,
Rose thinks about mothers and daughters,
Their similar ways and mannerisms,
She remembers that she hasn’t visited
New Orleans yet,
The river was always a boundary for her own
Mother,
One created by a man in her life,
A river can sweep up everything in its path
Like a man,
Your destiny becomes someone else’s
Leaving behind your dreams,
Decisions made by someone else
Crushed options and plans abandoned
As the path changes,
Rose wants the bad involvements to go away,
Her destiny feels not as hers,
She falls to sleep recalling
Her own plans,
She wants to figure it all out on her own,
A smile touches her sleeping features
As a shadow moves over her form.
A familiar young man gently picks her up
And he gathers her close,
Carrying a sleeping and exhausted Rose
To her home.
She wakes up in her room
Surrounded by her aunt and her family,
And it all comes back to her,
As Emily, her younger sister pats her hand
And starts introducing her to
The strong man that delivered her to them
A man, from her past, her first love,
And her destiny.
Rose has been dreaming of this day,
But she never believed it would be true
In real life,
Tears fill her big green eyes,
And she sits up to hug him to her,
He whispers in her ear,
“What took you so long?”
She says, “I wanted to explore the world
Around me, before I landed.”
“You were always so much like a Monarch
Butterfly seeking its destiny.”
He tells Rose this, as he kisses her cheek
And considers her wet eyes.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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.

My Beloved One

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I remember many shared seconds, minutes, and hours

Between us,

Some so very special and others too intense with violence,

You came into my life after I cast a wish in desperation,

I thought you were my granted remedy to life’s

Classification of love,

Those first months were full of it,

You seemed strong and well healed,

Like you overcame all your life’s disappointments, trials,

And countless teases filled with scorn.

We grew together and shared our closest thoughts,

The outside world crept in on us,

We were unable to keep the gate locked and sealed,

Your anger over not being in control,

Consumed and punished your soul,

Our joyous dances were tarnished and battered,

I couldn’t comfort you enough to make you forget,

Your past was defining you once more,

Our dual carriageway became more difficult to navigate,

You took with greed and stopped sharing or giving,

Now you are at rest it appears,

Making me a widow; something I thought about often.

 

Some days I still recall you as my head pounds

With pain reminding of your numerous punches

In that one place,

Recalling your muscular knees digging into my narrow shoulders

As you sat on my hurting chest,

Me sinking further into the quilts crafted by your

Mother’s blind hand,

Blackness occurring,

My breath slowing and pausing,

Hearing background noise mingled with familiar voices,

A slight imbalance,

Enough to gain a bit of control,

Then standing by the dark window,

Screaming so loud as my lungs would allow,

Feeling the swelling and bruising of my face,

Seeing you inches from me,

Gawking and shaking,

Turning and fleeing,

Those are not memories, I wish to recall now,

Only the sweet times that we had and captured,

I will still protect those as I thought you once did,

You will never read this,

I am compelled to release it,

My misery is over and you have gone into eternity,

I don’t know if you will be granted that next life.

I always loved you and I am told by your mother

How sorry you were for what you did to us,

I couldn’t live with you anymore,

My daughter’s protection is always my charted purpose,

I will shield her from you as she saved me from

Your aspiration to make me your dead target.

Your slamming hands created some permanent nerve damage,

However, your fate has ended our suffering now.

You are my beloved, and always will be because I forgive you,

As I keep recalling one scene from our shared past,

Opening the door, finding you on the enclosed porch

Appearing to be sleeping with several electrical cords

Entwined and wrapped around your neck tucked inside

Your dusty work jacket as your eyes opened to meet mine

In the dim morning light streaming in through those porch

Windows as tears rolled down your whiskered covered

Cheeks,

Those eyes blood laced and tired,

You tried to hang yourself in our tiny garage along the alley,

But the beam broke under your weight not allowing you

To complete your yearning that early morning.

You destroyed us as they craved for it,

Demolished the trust, our loyalty, and our love

With your growing hatred,

You were ailing,

Me—a woman that was beaten down and belittled,

I couldn’t think straight anymore,

I anticipated peace and justice and found none,

Just like you inside your head suffering,

Your single focus ending this torment,

Mine was still seeking peace and something for my child,

Something that you could not give either one of us,

Hope keeps me going,

We felt a kinship at our beginning and built on it,

I broke my own rule to be with you,

My beloved, I want you to be at peace now,

Even though, I am not sure that will be possible

After all, you did here on our planet Earth. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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Death by Devastating Causes

Lawrence Cook

ST. PARIS – Lawrence E. “Frosty” Cook, 57, of Saint Paris, passed away on Friday, February 3, 2017. A gathering of friends and family will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 11, 2017 in the Evans-Purk Building, 115 S. Church St., Saint Paris. ATKINS-SHIVELY FUNERAL HOME, St. Paris, is serving the family.

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Speculating about how things might change

or twist into something so precarious…

 

Down to the final switch of fate,

 

Under the eaves of sturdy beams of trust

 

Where Ivy leaves cling to the walls of timeless flights,

With their own iron grip,

 

Never letting go…of their perilous sights and inner perceptions.

 

Flowing ever so wildly, like the steam from a cooling expressway.

 

Bleeding the dawn until dusk separates the distances.

 

Idling freely among the breezes and cloud torrents,

 

Perspiring amidst the opinions and judgements of others,

 

Preferably, living from one day to the next one,

 

If only these ideas could be unabridged and complete…

 

Not caught in dreams of a woman from your past.

 

Often, continually searching for those lost sensations,

While being in the world as something that might be

compared to confinement with no custody.

 

Then, you are taken away to the holes of hell,

Leaving the pits of deceit behind upon exit.

Shrunken memories become the spoken word,

Serving no real purpose.

 

Yet, faces, they reenter and they go…

Like subtle apparitions arriving so similar to

ghostly mirror images on a surface of a frozen lake.

These somewhat fickle beings become the trend,

Inside the minds that are

never letting go…

Honestly, time doesn’t heal all,

Not the things that never happened, or the things that did.

What is left behind becomes the fog of oneself?

Time,

Is so relentless,

Thoughts are garbled,

Can one honestly, think about their early years

As this insatiable insanity continues to fester,

Longing for a time in the past,

But, there is no future.

These tangles of yearning,

Caused the original darkness where you

Adapted to your inner sanctum

Where loving, hating, and everywhere between…

Caused the cursing, the changing emotions, and

Many hardened thoughts.

 

I am wearing a flowing scarf of strangling tensions,

With the past that has grown tired of the aggressive belligerent,

Tugging,

Of never letting go…

Until you are gone.

–J. E. Cook ©2017 (In memory of Lawrence E. Cook)

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Life’s Quest

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Life’s Quest

 

There’s always a challenge

As the truth has another

Truth underlying it.

Lost souls float past

On the roads, streets, and

Highways intersecting our lives.

The secrets of our souls

Are a part of the whole.

To control their destiny becomes

The key to survival.

Hidden wisps can become

The tools to success,

They may lead to

One’s wall of revelations.

          –J. E. Cook ©2016

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Nobody’s House

Nobody’s House

Vintage lacework
Lines your crumbling porch steps,
Wicked weeds
Grow through your spindled bars of cracked gray-white,
Brown-green moss
Crept in to devour
Your smooth cool surfaces of beady pebbles.
You became so forgotten,
And your history has no recent accounts to verify,
Except for those silk spider webs
and some eerie transparent beings,
Lingering inside your dusty halls,
Where cracked wallpaper becomes tiny dust motes,
With mystical orbs floating upward among the decaying
light fixtures,
And tattered tapestry walls.
Your red clay shingles, long gone in many places,
leaving Big black holes,
Where the spirits and old sorrows collect,
Panes of tall glass are missing and long ago shattered.
Hearty vines are tangled and growing through open areas,
And they surround loose metal gutters clanking in the wind.
You look mournful and sad
With a permanent tired presence,
Circled by tall dead grass and brown gathered scrub,
You have fallen apart
In this lonely address,
Located on a dreary back road,
Among the plowed rows and endless fields,
That meet the sinister thickets,
In abandonment.
–J. E. Cook ©2016
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