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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Four Seasons of Change

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Sunflowers in the middle of my table

Always reminding me of

Their beauty and their seeds of giving.

 

In my garden, the tomatoes, squash,

And yellow cucumbers grow right

Beside them.

 

They stand like sentinels

Waiting for the yellow finches

To peck out their faces

 

Morning arrives with a flush of pink

Near the horizon

It clears as the sun rises

 

The soil in the garden

Now soft from the overnight

Rain shower

 

My journal rests on the picnic table

As I drop the seeds into the turned soil

With the hole waiting for each seed to

Land

 

Never packing too tightly

For the green shoots to rise

The delicate growth following the sunshine

 

I always keep the dirt in the garden

Instead of the place where I sleep

And eat.

 

Every day, I hope no souls get

Called to the heavens.

A daily thought as I plant away.

 

No pesticides for me or my dirt patch

I think as the old lullabies play over and

Over inside my head—sunrises & sunsets

Forever over the fields of growing crops.

 

Autumn will bring out the dressed scarecrows,

Various gourds, and glowing Jack-o’ lanterns

Harvest festivals will fill the city streets

As people shop for homemade bread and cakes.

 

The dust of the harvests will fill the farmhouses

Bright blue skies will carry the scent of burning leaves

A cloudless sky will greet us with winter after

The memories of festivals fade

 

Falling stars on the horizon

But the Harvest Moon rises above

Like a great ball of fire

I’ll miss these subtle changes of color

When winter sets in with the coldness always

Near.  –J. E. Cook ©2017

skysparklesunny

Beaches & Sunflowers

Remembering dancing with friends and

A boyfriend

Me wearing sunglasses most of the time

Due to my sensitivity to

Bright lights,

beach trips

With colorful bathing suits

Rolling waves

Knocking us over

Our knees hitting the sand below us

Collapsing from exhaustion

On our beach towels

And drinking cold cans of beer

Together

Floppy hats covering aging women’s

Faces from the sun

Wearing wet suits home

Inside a stuffy hot car

Our sensible shoes left at home

Envying the people inside the air

Conditioned shops as we pass them

Watching ice cream being served up

Others sipping on iced drinks in varying

Colors and flavors

The drive making us sleepy

Wanting only a nice cozy bed

After a refreshing shower

Floral-print summer dresses cover our

Sun-kissed bodies and sand is between

Our bare feet and our flip-flops

Envying the colors of the sunflowers

In the fields, we pass

Their faces turned to the sun

Like us on the beach

Loving to be surrounded by their

Happy faces

Their seeds are so useful

Yes, they are my favorite flower

Even though, picking one flower

As a favorite is such a difficult

Choice in life. —J.E. Cook ©2017

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Shared Sunsets

DONELOL
A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.
~Having the right connection~

Shared Sunsets

The girl that is rare
Is the one dear to one’s heart.

As I stand by my tree of choice
And watch the sun make its
Colors at Sunset
With the birds lining the tree
Branches–but not uttering a song
At all
As puddles fill with insects
And the rows of corn
Flutter in the wind
In all the fields sprawling
Before me
The black silhouettes
Further out reflect the remaining
Reds in the skies

Those evening skies
As I hold the hand of my closest
Friend and we remain silent
And happy with the passing
Of time
Because it happens with us
Together
Before this lovely scene in
The sky.
–J. E. Cook ©2017
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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.

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

Poetry in Motion with the Flow of Tides

 

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Quinn after her bath

 

The Secret World of Magical Beings

A Poem by Josie Cook

World of written and spoken words…

The Secret World of Magical Beings

Stuck in a plantation of growing confrontations,

My passage to another location becomes

a portal to numerous words unheard until this date.

Many tiny pixies, genies, and sprites

drift with the bluebirds.

They are a mere symptom from some unwritten world.

With the sky above their land and the

Oceans riding to the wind-blown sand,

Little by little, their world construction is created.

From the darkness of night to the light of dawn;

From all that is obscure, and from all that is pale.

No being is dismayed by the revelation of their splendid words.

They live among trunks, branches, leaves that ground them

To their hidden world.

The one that sees them is the one that believes in them,

their life creations are written inside the deep forest

where the pale leaves exist with the colorful ones,

Among the living organisms and the bright reflections,

Underneath loose bark, and the deep depths of the liquid pools,

Their enigma is born to protect the free speech of the open plains.

The casting of an evil curse upon their world will be protested and

Dissolved by the disbanding of it.

Evolution comes from their seas and the creation of their words;

Wondrous chortling from the bemused elves

Flows through the open air as the wind blows away the sadness and despair.

For this is now their land and one that no individual owns.

 There is no escape from their world, they treasure

this collection of their words.   –J. E.  Cook ©2017

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UNITED IN PEACE COLLABORATION, 2016

73 voices from 17 different countries around the world unite in peace. All these poets are in alphabetical order by their first name. *Please feel free to copy and share all these verses on your page.

As the Christmas lights shine brightly again
I hear some laughter now and then
I can’t help but wonder how comforting it must be
That despite all my blunders, to have such a loving family
5hade5layer – USA

This picture makes me think of my sister.
She lives on the other side of the country from me.
It remind’s me of the happy times we had together at these time.
Luckily she’s coming next year with my nephew and nieces.
Andrew Jacobs – USA

The bough of an oak tree. Each sunrise, a Christmas season regarding non-religious affairs of love. Every culture a string of light, learning the civilizing tradition. Its circumference is revealed by a day of joy. And that sun in the sky-will umbra and preserve all Christmas season… And love will bath our world forever.
Arthur Henn – USA

The lights cascade down
Spilling light like joy
Shedding light on to happy faces
Of family spending time together
Ashley.J.Parker – New Zealand

Bells jingle at every door as boughs play lyre and the merry breeze sings Carol.
Cladded as friends, we cross the fences gathering on the warm lap of mother green for this holy feast.
Singing with glee, praying for peace, we share smiles, love and cake.
The lights dance against the night while Heavens peeked through the curtain and smiled.
Atiba Sheikh – India

Let light be shed in our lives this day
Make us realise that come what may
We’re united by LOVE which remains in our heart
Even though we be ten thousand miles apart
Babsie Bell – Scotland

It’s the light in the dark
That stops the family falllng apart
The light keeps raining down
Keeping them safe and sound
B. Coelho – UK

In this time of change, we should not change,
for no matter what may fall,
our love for all who walk this earth
is the love that conquers all.
Beccy – UK

It’s the light in the dark
That stops the family falllng apart
The light keeps raining down
Keeping them safe and sound
Bobbie – UK

man defines the divine in his own limited terms
with electric lights replacing inspiration
and our own illumination replacing the holy
this season, let us embrace those things which we do not know
bob strating  – USA

Meeting in accord
Celebrating
The ultimate love story ever told
Let love continually shine in you
Cassie – Kenya

Give thanks and enjoy these holidays,
For we never know when it’ll fade away.
May you experience joy, laughter, peace, and hugs,
And spread kindness to all who need love.
Chantal – USA

Asking answers in a dark;
Stairing questions in a sun.
Paint a world black to blind;
Our breath feed truth a fund.
Cory Barrett – USA

Lights shine their path upon the bark.
Laughs sing a songs all like a lark.
Hands and arms spread warm and love.
Heaven looks down from high above.
crystal – Sweden

All the loves of this earth, ever loved shall
be revealed again thru the sparkling, camouflagic
hope, unfolded onto delicate surfaces gently placed
from the heavenly flame…..peace on earth.

dana – USA

The night looks almost eerie,
if it didn’t look so warm,
the lights, the joy, the friendships,
keep us up until the dawn.
Daniel Marchetti – Australia

 

“The warmth, respect and true affection
Can bind us all without hesitation
Together we’ll face this moonless night
With love in our hearts, our Christmas light.”

Dhaye – Philippines

“Stars speaks of the story of miracle
As the sky brightens up in delight
With the news of the birth of Christ
Every broken soul finds a hopeful light”
Dhiman – India

Surround your hearts around the festive table
Wrapped together, Christmas presents, in prayer
Joy below the tree of life, one holy family
Happy Birthday baby Jesus light of lights
Earl Schumacker – USA

delighted faces all aglow
round table with food to spare
star lit nooses hanging some
the feast goes on with flare.
Einstein Noodle – USA

Light flickers, framed by the love of many tongues.
Life – grown from roots deep draped in radiance.
Empathy clasps trembling hands, whispering hope
‘Pon horizons, may prayers be Heaven heard.
emmajoy – UK 

From the darkened whispered world we rise

And come now together in radiant light

So with echoed songs of unity’s voice

This blessing flows into the heavenly night

  1. Froman – USA

Bring evergreen to deciduous night
by baubles and stars let there be light
‘neath angels drink and eat our fill
we trust in the spring of our earthly will.
Gandre  – USA

Mesmerized by darkness, shadows dance in eternity
growth to infinity – that’s their nature is
so easy that it takes effort to say ‘no’..
but saviors are the droplets
emancipated and attached to light of God
the end of dark
brings then the birth of us
Gaurav – India

Beneath life’s boughs all mankind waits
on what is offered by the fates,
praying for, both love and peace,
and that all worldwide strife will cease.
Gee – England

Count your day with a smile and never with tears.
Count your night by the day and shadows will fall behind you.
Count your life by happiness and not with pains.
Every time we love,everytime we give,it’s Christmas.

Ifeoma Isabella okeke – Nigeria

Christmas Time; a gift, the holy & sacred birth of Jesus
A time when mankind unites in warmth, tolerance, respect and true affection
Jesus; the tree of life, his light & power shine from God’s deep, foundational roots
Allowing his gleaming love to cascade down over us, like oil, overflowing & filling us
Im His Daughter – Canada 

Gathered tenderly under the glow
Remembering gifts from long ago
Not the toys and season’s decor
But a gift from the Father we love and adore
James Andersen – USA

Waited year for such a twilight,
Where we all pray under the bright light,
Fight all the evils on the Christmas night,
Let’s make it a beautiful sight.
Jasbir Kaur – India

The faithful gather glowing warm
To celebrate the precious Son..
May all the Earth come together in Love
And Sing in Praise to Heaven Above.
J.J. NIGHTINGALE – USA

I pray the hope of peace can expand to every nation.
I pray every child and family is safe and have shelter.
The sound of war is silence.”

I hope you like dear friend.
John Castellenas/Coyote – USA

 

Love is the answer no matter the question,
Give it and I will return three fold.
Learned through practice and not suggestion,
More than a rule than is made of gold.
J Todd Underhill – USA

Under world’s tree with angel’s our spirits join kneeling.

Light of life between our heart’s fire and heaven’s stars shining.

What joy, what pain, what tears humanity is calling.

Christmas made real by all praying, sharing, giving.

Kathy Van Kurin – USA

Here we are to eat the feast of peace,
Just enough to celebrate the scene,
When the stars all begins to sing,
That here comes the true prince of peace.
Kay Salisu Titilola  – Nigeria

There is a tree, and light.
There are people we know because we know people.
We love each other, we may not know it yet.
Stand up and hug.
Keith Martell – USA

A light rises, guiding warm stars
And spirits finding solace
In all the worlds that feeling
Comes with the welcome of a timeless meeting
Ken Simm – UK

when all of nature reflects

darkness fades from within

spirits shine and joy unveils

and love flows into everything

Ladysue – USA

Winter night, and sparkling bright, amber pearls abound.
Friends so dear and family near, gather all around.
Twilight song to night so long, can you hear the sound?
Laughter rings and carol sings, joy for blessings found.
Lawrence Raybon – USA

Sitting around the table under the tree,
No empty, cold, lonely spaces,
Only the chatter, smiles, of friendly faces,
To happiness, joy and love is key.
Lydia B. – USA

Strands join us with love growing luminous
weaving harmony with our best humanness
dissuading words and actions ever ruinous
playfully sharing our quirks so humorous!
Margie – USA

Our hearts must be open for the sacred to fall in-
Light the path to their reception, let sternums break in love.
This season, recall the forgotten; give voice
to the unloved: invite someone to come in from the cold, with you.
(Nuestros corazones necesitan abrirse para que la sagrada entre-
Ilumina el camino para su recepcion, permiten los pechos
romperse en amor. Esta estacion, recuerda los olvidados, da voz
a los no amados. Invita que alguien retirarse del frio, contigo.)
Marie Anzalone/ Raquelita – Guatemala

Gather your Family,
of bonds not blood,
whose light has shined
upon your life.
Matthew W. – Australia

gathered lights for the young and old
shine upon hearts left in such cold
bring the scent of warming prayers
answered by our Lord, The One that cares
M. Cotterman – USA

Oh Holy night, the Lord Savior has come.
Bright glowing faces, lighting up a new night,
Peace, love, joy, and happiness toward all.
May your days truly be merry and bright.
ME Lyle – USA

Under the spring sky
celebrating, why?
It’s not Christmas in this picture
Just a falsehood, a conjecture
Mikael – Finland

It is that season … once again
Of hearths aglow and hearts within
That season when I stand apart
Longing to feel a … joyous heart.
Misery – USA

Beneath the Tree of Life we dance and dance
Held together by common bonds of caring
We celebrate together year after year
It’s all about the strength of love and sharing
Miss Owl – Somewhere

The family gathers ’round the tree
No fancy frills for all to see.
Just love and laughter for to share
And mem’ries made in Christmas air.
Miss Sharon ” USA 

Let me sit beneath the bough before the break of dawn
Let me honour those I love the living and the ones I mourn
Let me know that hope is a psalm that makes us strong
Let the light of family be the foundation of our eternal song

Moon – Somewhere

When the world has become faithless and miserable,
When souls cry across all lands.
We shall create this selfless miracle
With the light that illuminate our hands.
Nwang – India

Harp strings are the orchestration of love
and civilization in our world of survival…
Each precious life is a gift from heaven
as we gather together in love and devotion…
Patricia E. Wedel  – USA  

The tree gives hope.
Shelter and peace.
They break bread
The world unites..
Paul Bell – UK

Sparkling lights reaches the soul
Illumination of the lonely hearts
Gathering of the kin, warms hugs
Blessings – comforting love.
Pax – Philippines 

in between the warmest of hellos and goodbyes I spend my time
suspended in love and light with my dearest ones; dusk settles damply,
dreamily, but every gaze shines wetly with merriment
and keeps me lovely cozy inside.
peacemilk ” Canada

Rows of lights are falling
Like diamonds to the ground
And friends, my hopes, are calling
Where loving might be found…
Peter Rogerson – UK

As we come together, all holding hands,
Around this table of hope, and love,
We create this family, from many lands,
To honor what the season’s, truly made of.
P.L. Reed – USA

We are all but lights
illuminated by one another
seasons come and go
but our bonds remain
PoppySilver  – UK

The connection may not be real.
Our hearts may not be working.
But our souls are flying,
free from everything,
hugging and dancing with each other.
Priscila Sousa – Portugal

I looked infront, she was not happy
I invite comparison with her.
we saved us from ego.
we cherrished happiness each other
rajasjree r – India

Together forever
The thing that you see
happiness in your eyes
can you see
Rebecca G. – USA 

May darkness be swept away by the magical light,
Let us find peace and comfort in each other’s company.
Of earth we are made of – into earth we return,
let’s celebrate our love for nature this holidays!
Ria – UAE

From heavens high ✨ soft starlight cascades down ✨
to light ✨ this sharing, with all gathered ’round.
Love’s set aglow their heart’s ‘ with God’s renown,
for peace 🌿 they pray together, without sound”*
Richard W. Jenkins – USA

When you string the Christmas light around the house
Make sure one is strung around your heart,
For the ribbons, bows and tinsel pale in comparison
To the gift that comes from the heart.
The Rock and Roll Cowboy – USA

‘I’m glad you made it,’ says she to the he to her left.
‘I said I would, now here I am,’ replies said he to she.
‘It wouldn’t be Christmas without you,’ says she.
As he smiles at the lights a-glinting in her eyes.
Ron Askew – UK

Eyes filled with relief, words filled with sweetness, laughter, not on people but on jokes.
Everyone is surrounded with the drugs of love and happiness
People don’t care about where they belong or what is their faith. The only thing they care about is this great day.
That’s the beauty of Christmas and a collaboration…
Shasha – India

” I rose in love to heaven’s height,
The moon was full, the stars were bright.
The darkness slowly moved away,
My life and heart shine with YOUR Light.”
Shabeeh Haider – Pakistan

five strings of fairy lights fall from the branch of the tree at twilight,
touching the hearts of the humans below, souls intertwined, laughter and faces aglow.
you can hear the crickets come alive in the night, and oh, how wonderful it is to witness such a sight.
on the very bench that you sit; finally, you say the words “i’m all right”, and mean it.
shiloh marie – USA

This tree has watched my son grow
From little boy to a strong young man.
Here it stands in graceful beauty
A small piece of the Master’s plan
Tate Morgan – USA

Join us beneath our lighted maple,
Please come enjoy our yuletide table,
And when you hear jingle bells ring,
Smile and laugh and loudly sing.
Ted Kniffen  – Canada

It takes a whole village to raise a child

we now live in the biggest village in history.
Let us cherish one another.
Tony Jordan – UK

Another Christmas approaching fast,
Stuff the turkey, just hope it lasts.
A joyous dinner with family and friends;
Wishing the day would never end.
Valentine – USA

it reminds me of peace and tranquility
a family together celebrating the season
the great tree reminds me of a great strength
and the light is the light of God watching over us all…
wordman – USA

Spreading love and giving comfort

Is all that matters in the real world

Gather around, ye all

For Christmas bells are being being heard
YumnaKay – Pakistan

Visit this location to view the original post:  http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/emjoy/1864907/

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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nettie3

After the Rain, Darkness sets In

 

The dark evenings are filled

with shimmering lights,

After dusk arrives,

The stars fill in the skies,

The moon joins in to complete

The barrier over our sun,

Then, the colors of the night

Enter the distant skies,

Staring at it long enough,

We can see with the shadows

Appearing around the fringes,

As the light remains; only much dimmer,

in different hues and pigments becoming modified

colors.

Street lamps glow and little streams of light

Appear around growing objects and endless fixtures,

Varying shapes and familiar likenesses are in altered

States of darkness…

A star is shining somewhere guiding

Us through the night.

 

After a rainstorm, the sky is cloud-covered and moonless,

That is when the real darkness sets in,

Strong breezes tickling the back of my neck,

The smell of the rain still in the air coming through

my

Open windows in the bedroom,

Touching my exposed skin as I try to get back to sleep,

Missing you on your side of the Queen-size mattress,

The garden outside calling your name

And wanting your expert attention

That only you can give it after the rain,

Come home and give it to it.

That’s all I will ask now,

Not for me, but for it.

The dark has taken all my light away,

There’s no love remaining or trust or faith,

Just a little flicker of hope

Remains,

To carry me along like a dandelion seedling

Floating in the winds.

–Jeanette ©2017

iris

 A Painter’s Interruption

fairybytf

 

A Painter’s Interruption

Ripples across the water’s surface,
On a sticky evening,
Shadows of night creep in,
Latches are locked and secured,
Attics are closed and sealed,
Windows are double-checked,
Pinpricks touch her spine
As she sets in front of her unfinished canvas
Where the candlelight flickers across it,
Her limbs are tired and growing numb,
She drops her paintbrush to the waiting tray,
Her gaze follows the distant moon
Through her side window,
As the wind chimes chatter,
Stagnant air fills her bedroom,
She looks on at her brushstrokes
In blue and green,
A crimson sunset,
Then, she remembers that she didn’t
Lock the doors downstairs,
Passing a dainty dollhouse on the landing,
She follows the stairs to the bottom,
Sliding the locks in place,
Fire explodes behind her
In the fireplace,
Her mending basket is near,
Blurry smoke fills the room,
Something whirls in the smoldering embers,
An acrid odor touches her nose,
She pours water over the glowing light,
It is done and she is relieved,
Even though the smell lingers of burnt leaves.
–J. E. Cook ©2017

pkblooms1

Sensible Relevance

One need not be a hollow ember to be preoccupied,

One need not be an enterprise;

The mind contains passageways and trailing thoughts

transcending

Quantifiable references in life. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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bluwater2

She chose Love over what was Expected

During a blue moon,

He reached for her hand,

Brought to his mouth for a quick peck,

He pressed his lips to her upturned palm,

She trembled slightly,

Her exposed neckline caught his eyes,

She did not move and was afraid to breathe,

His lips touched her waiting mouth,

Then his seduction took over,

Her senses went crazy inside,

As her fingers grabbed for his bare chest,

When he entered her,

She found herself as she tilted her hips

Towards him,

Revelation filled her mind,

In a blinded rush,

As they moved together,

Later, his sharp cry signaled

His release,

He still held her,

For several minutes

Before they parted,

His breath touched her neck

With small bursts of exhaustion,

He touched her ear,

Then whispered,

Not trite at all,

My love.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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My Deceitful thoughts about Delicious Truffles

When your mind betrays you and you desire more of something delicious…but maybe, you should not.

My desires for the most delectable

Chocolate creations are persuasive and compelling…

Maxim’s de Paris

Those truffles crafted with Champagne and Cognac

The rich dark chocolate and powdered sugar coating,

So, exquisite,

With the cocoa butter, eggs and rich butter,

From Saint Jean, du Cardonnay of France.

Or maybe, Pink Champagne truffles that are so velvety

and complex in flavor from Charbonnel et Walker,

Yes, these are to dream about often with their powdered sugar

Exterior and wonderful creamy center with a light strawberry flavoring

Mingling with the champagne of pink,

The butter and the lightly dusted outside mix with milk chocolate

As they are consumed slowly to savor the taste,

From The Royal Arcade at 28 Old Bond Street in London

I crave them in a fervent way when they gone

Because they are potent in a deep-seated way bringing

On an ardent appeal for more.

Seeking the best chocolate truffle formation

With the finest flavor is often my devious diversion,

They accompany my coffee or tea selection with harmony

And balance of taste,

Something nothing can match—this accompaniment

Is marvelous in colossal sensations and with superb flavors

Becoming magnificent.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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How Hard Was it?

Pulling to the curb to park,

Pausing and taking in the numerous

Cars and other vehicles

surrounding the building

And the church we were married in,

Watching a young man smoke at the edge of the

Approaching sidewalk,

Thinking about why I am here and if I can go inside,

Checking my reflection in the rearview mirror,

Then, looking at the display on my phone to see

The exact time,

It’s just minutes before the designated time,

Taking a cleansing breath,

And telling myself that I can do this,

Stepping out as the sunshine touches

My upturned face,

Crossing the street and keeping my eyes

On the young man puffing on his cigarette,

Is he a greeter or not?

I go directly to him,

Thinking maybe he’ll remember me,

“Taking a smoke break I see—is everyone inside?”

“Yes, they just returned from the gravesite.”

He says this as he smiles at me,

But he says nothing else.

I go inside,

As I enter, one of his sisters comes to join me.

She greets me by asking me if I am indeed,

Jeanette,

I respond with a yes and a nod,

As she pulls me in for a hug,

She points out where everyone is seated.

And she thanks me for coming,

I feel shaky–like this is all surreal,

After talking with his three sisters,

I sit a bit with his mother,

She is quite distressed at times,

However, she is holding together for the

Most part,

Then, after viewing some old photos of him,

she dissolves and heads for the restroom,

A former middle school teacher approaches me,

He stands very near my chair and he goes

Down on one knee,

He asks, “How hard wasn’t to walk through those doors today?”

I respond to his question, “It was one of the hardest things I have

Ever done, but I felt like I must or I might regret it

Forever.”

“I understand.”

Then, the man’s oldest son—the man I was married to

For almost ten years, but separated from him

for almost

Seven years

comes to the table I am sitting at

And he joins us,

This son is the one that stepped up,

And took care of every detail for me

Pertaining to this sad event,

Even though he lived out of state,

And had his own reasons for not

Wanting to address this sudden situation,

I will always be grateful to him for doing so

With such courage and kindness towards me.

May you now rest in peace,

Because life never represented much of it

While you were here with us,

Walking out was as difficult as entering

That day with sun still shining overhead,

As I departed,

Driving down the street on which

You died inside this tiny village

Where you spent most of your lifetime,

A village where you were raised

And where you died suddenly

Without me by your side.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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A Rainbow Appears after the Storm

powerbow1

I remember your sly grin,

I did so yesterday while doing my routine shopping

In the much-needed rain,

I haven’t decided whether I like this or not,

But you were there in my thoughts,

After a passing stranger’s cologne lingered in the

Dewy air,

He had that same stubborn look on his face as

He looked up into my eyes.

We shared a lot of good in a short period,

I think about your once familiar touch and long kisses,

However, that can’t fix it all,

So I push onward because you were more than I could

Ever handle.

It’s all foreign to me now,

Mostly because I didn’t really know you at all.

Your thirsty addiction for the drug scene won and it

Broke us.

My desire for you is currently very faded and wilted

Like a battered yellow rose from Texas dying in the summer sun

Of a humid Ohio season.

The dark skies are clearing and I’m persevering

With strong courage to succeed,

That rainbow there—stands for my renewal in life

and my striving

Commitment to being a pure soul again

with my utmost goals always

remaining

Firmly planted in my educated thinking.

–J. E. Cook 2016

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Liberal Art Campfire

UPPERLEVELS

Liberal Art Campfire

Old stones lead to mossy bark

Dark paths cut through a hardwood forest

Seasons flow in and out here with their individual beauty

The crystal mists tangle with autumn colors

A fresh white snowfall weaves among icy creek banks

Spring flowering dogwoods light up azure skylines,

My subdued drunkenness writes poetry

as nocturnal music creates splendid dances among

green leaves and delicate early blooms,

The sheen of cold wet dew collects

As the pink dawn breaks outside

the rock overhangs,

All night, many of us

sung songs around

the Cobalt Lake.

A golden light touches bare flesh

Eccentric and innocent,

met the arrogant

And the very particular, as a great gray

Raptor breaks through the woods,

with trembling awareness

Bawdy laughter becomes illicit

in the stillness of morning newness

One female vanishes draped in cotton

flanked by a mellow partner,

Ashen dimness hangs in the air,

a swish as a being clusters away

from the stained molded stones,

the last sound remaining,

before all vanish

into the unalterably

Eminence of holy domain.

–J. E. Cook ©2014 revised on 01/22/15

 

Signaling the End of Summer

Signaling the End of Summer

Tiny flickering shadows surround us

by our burning campfire,

Billowing vapors of smoke

wash across the vermillion colored sunset,

A rising disk of radiance fills the sky

becoming a voluptuous red-tinted moon,

Green darkness creeping into the deep seeded

woods as shadows become as sharp as

drawn in with black ink.

Moonlight casts movements from dancing critters of the night,

Among the balsam sprigs and silvery ferns,

Wild cries surprise us as birch leaves billow with a chilled breeze,

An entire summer gone like the changing colors

on the maple leaves fluttering gracefully to land in cold springs.

                –J. E. Cook ©2014

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