Memory Lane

Memory Lane

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image may contain: outdoor

Distance from it

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

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

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

Reviews:

Rick Bird Very nice poetry and artwork.

Lee Todd Lacks An inspiring transformation. Insightfully written.

Innocence seeking Knowledge by J. E. Cook

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

Innocence seeking Knowledge

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

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

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

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

Reviews:

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

Sad Love Lines

Sad Love Lines

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

~Loved to Death~

Loved to Death

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

flowers2

Pacific by Tom Drury

Pacific

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

31534058

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

40663998

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

Marian’s Plight

Marian’s Plight

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

Image may contain: 1 person

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

The Promise by Ann Weisgarber

The Promise

Well, it started very intriguingly with “Promise” but I felt very troubled after finishing this one…

Pick up this book, if you want to read about Galveston and its history while learning about the struggles in a close community. I would recommend her first novel, too because is an excellent read and very informative, too.

Ann Weisgarber uses her research knowledge well in her fiction works with intriguing characters and she creates a great depth for a sense of place inside her books. I will be reading more of her written words in the future. She makes a reader think deeply and want to know more after shutting the cover of her novels. 

By the way, this cover on this paperback version matches mine and I love it. It conveys the true image of the story once Catherine arrives in Galveston. Galveston is also a main character once the story is set on this island with the dairy farm and the close sea water in the view from the veranda of Oscar’s house on stilts situated on a small rise.

Weisgarber’s first novel was beautifully crafted and I could not put it down. The historical characters in it were very well formed and I couldn’t forget them. They were convincing and that is something I missed this time around with some of these characters along with the situations in which they interacted and how they reacted. The results of some of the scenes were troubling for me. Oscar’s loyalty is real and Nan’s feelings towards him are also very strong. Catherine reveals her true feelings, too towards Oscar in her final actions.

The two narrators did not work for me in this story because I loved Catherine’s voice and Nan’s voice grated on my nerves! She is very negative and a real killjoy to this story. Nan Ogden becomes the real main character, not Catherine once Mrs. Williams is introduced into this saga of characters in Galveston. Nan is in the Prologue, and she returns as a narrator that doesn’t bring anything to this but sorrow, negative opinions, and jealous thoughts. Her personality is that of a villain.

The characters do make plenty of promises to reflect back to the title. However, the promise to take care of Andre is not totally revealed at the end along with other loose ends where the reader must draw their own conclusions about what really happened to some of these characters.

Catherine is new to Texas and she arrives on the island trying to bury all the hurt her life has brought to her back in Ohio where the community turned up their noses at her because she let down her guard and loved the wrong man. A man tied to another woman that was not fulfilling his desires the way Catherine could for him. A marriage doomed because of some uncontrollable forces bearing down on it. Catherine feels trapped, alone, and she decides to leave the area by going off to marry a man from her past that she has not seen for years.

Catherine becomes Andre’s saving grace and he does appreciate her actions and her direction. Andre is starting to care about her and her presence in his young life. She is a beautiful woman that does what she has to do to protect this small boy during a battering hurricane and in my mind, she is the hero of this story. Andre is comforted by her singing, her actions, her protection from the tragic events around them as they seek shelter at a higher level together. She provides this boy with nourishment, even though, she has no experience in this area or much knowledge about raising children. Catherine does what comes natural to her in this time of need for Andre. She puts him first as a mother would do and she guides him through this tragic event even when she tells him to go the Nan’s homestead and leave her behind to wait for Oscar to return. She is always thinking about other people and their needs, not her own.

Oscar is a dear man that truly loves Catherine and he puts everything aside for her but his farm commitments and the community he lives in are still what makes him tick and what is most important to him. His passion for his animals is beautiful. Social taboos do not stop him from loving this woman and being very understanding with her needs. She is starting anew with him and I think he is doing the same in this setting in Texas with his second wife. He values her input and her company in this unforgiving setting.

Nan has a lot of her past still in her thinking, such as troubles with close relationships and bad experiences involving men in her life. However, she doesn’t let them go. She never tries to move past them. Nan keeps them on her sleeve. Her personality is altered by these bothersome experiences with men she has loved and lost. Nan will not bend or change. I think she is smart in the areas of dealing with her geographic surroundings because of her experience in this area of the country. She warns Catherine about the snakes in the beginning of the story. What still bothers me is why didn’t Nan remove the poison from Catherine’s hand and arm when she is caring for her after the incident in the pasture? Did Nan purposely leave it as is? During the conclusion of this fiction story, the reader is brought back to Nan’s voice and point of view. She is cleaning and thinking about what to do about Andre. I feel she wants Andre for herself because of the “Promise” she made in the beginning to his mother.  I think this is why the book ended the way it did because Nan is the focal character and she gets what she wants in the end!

Music is a symbol in this story often along with setting the time period in the 1900’s. Classical songs are featured with Catherine and Nan both being musicians. I felt this was the only thing they had in common.

Nature, animals, and pelicans in the area are referenced. Child-rearing in the 1900’s is also a key element. Nan’s approach and Catherine’s are very different. I felt Catherine was a better mother and had a tender side that I admired with a wonderful teaching method.

Oscar is a man that conveys trust, honor and being committed always to his community of people. He has strong values and lives by them daily in the story. Catherine tells Andre about his father’s childhood and his life back in Ohio. She instills this family history in Andre.

I did not expect the story to end like this and I felt empty after finishing it. It brought about a void to me. When the storm grows strong and the air turns bad with the humming and shattering noise, it brings death to mind. The salt in the air and everywhere it is not wanted because of the rising sea waters, and Catherine takes Andre to the attic stairs, I felt her pain and her confusion during this scene. Nan was strong but in that scene, Catherine was also very fearless at times by comforting Andre when she didn’t feel quite sure what to do. She never let him know how truly afraid she was inside her mind and that was what a true parent does for a child in a situation like this and she wasn’t a female that had carried a child inside her body. At least, it is not said that she ever did. I thought maybe she was expecting an infant and I was hoping she could tell her husband this news when he came back. But, that never happened.

I did not feel Catherine longing to return to Ohio. She thought of her mother and even thought about writing her mother. The social rules of the 1900’s stopped her from returning to that former life and writing her mother in Dayton. Nan’s inability to read is visited through her questioning the information in the letters she encounters while she is cleaning up after the storm. The differences between the two women and their voices are very opposite. Nan is an unpolished woman and a no-nonsense type. Catherine is a very polished female in her appearance and her manners. The isolated landscape on the dairy farm is not what Catherine is accustomed to but I think she tries very hard to make the most of it. I felt she had courage in her heart to try to fit in while also keeping some of herself the same because Oscar admired her for the woman she was when he knew her in Dayton.

The history in the novel is valuable and intriguing to read about now. The setting in Texas is well done with the details about the surroundings where Oscar farms and cares for his community.