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!
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Sunday on the Dear John Show

Welcome to The Dear John Show, Facebook live poetry reading, Sunday 14th April 2019, with Christine Barker, Chris Edridge, And, Your Host, John Kavanagh.

Christine read my poem on this live show. Thank you, Christine Barker and John Kavanagh for picking one of my poems for this April session of poetry. 

**This session was live with Shannon Larisse Sharpe & Christine Barker.

Dear John Show-live Broadcast

My poem, titled, Keep Me Pristine and Alive, requested by the host. on 04/14/2019 it was read by Christine Barker from Germany live.

Poetry with John~

Listen here:

I Am With You –
Written by John Kavanagh –
Music by Alan Johnson –
Narrated and produced by Hank Beukema
Copyright John Kavanagh 2015
All rights reserved

When you waken in the morning
and you open up your eyes
When the light shines in your window
And the birds sing in the skies
Do I still become your first thought
Do you still call out my name
Am I still your shining knight
Your life’s eternal flame
When you step into the sunshine
And feel the cool fresh air
Do you feel a little lonely
Do you wish that I was there
Do you think of me each moment
Does my memory bring you joy
Do you have those tender moments
When alone do you still cry
When you lay upon your pillow
and the moon is big and bright
Do you say a little prayer for me
and wish to hold me tight
When you drift into the dream world
And all again seems real
Does it help to ease your heartache
When you tell me how you feel
When you awaken in the morning
and your eyes are open wide
is your pillow wet from teardrops
Wept from deep inside
Do you feel it in your heartbeat
that things will be alright
for my darling I am with you
throughout each day and night.

John Kavanagh © 2015
All rights reserved

 

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. 

The Echoing Sun Rays~Poetry by J. E. Cook

Image may contain: one or more people and bird

The Echoing Sun Rays

The sun does make a big difference,
Each day to me,
It makes me happy to see it in
the skies.
As merry thoughts swirl inside
My head, hiding the ringing
In my ears.
I and my tribe
welcome this Spring to come forth.
The Skylark, hummers, and Robins
Arrive on the lawns, in the new buds, and
Around the blooming newness.
These birds of the bushes, trees,
And everywhere green.

Singing louder with the sun up high,
A cheerful sound. 
While we enjoy the fresh air,
On the patios, decks, and porches.

In our youth, this was the time to
Explore the Birches, orchards, and
Creekbeds with renewal
In mind, 
A place to take in the warmth
Again.

Till the little ones become a bit weary
With this sunshine event on the lawn,
The sun does descend again,
And, it has to have an end:

Round up the little ones and go in,
all these sisters and brothers,
Like birds in their high-up nests,
Are ready for a quick rest;
No more sunshine until another
Day of brightness & warmth. –J. E. Cook © 2019

Image may contain: Tori Fraley, smiling, grass and outdoor

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.

St. Paddy’s Day with Poetry on the Dear John Show~

This one (below) by me was read by Nina Thilo this Sunday on the show.  She does such an excellent job of reading my work live. 

 

The Small Town Life of Rae Michaels

Cigar boxes, old trailers, and

a Texaco station

Past the Gardenia patch,

Skipping through the woods

On the dusty path,

Watching a group of tramps eat out of cans

By the still tracks,

Rae was restless and she wanted more

Than this small town gave her,

She thrashed in her cold sheets

This morning,

Rising early to greet the bluebirds,

Bucky right at her heels,

Scaring those little birdies away,

 

Her hands were empty of silver coins,

She wanted more from here,

Gleason’s Barber Shop was

Hopping with male chatter,

Her daddy was fixing stuff again

Outside the garage doors,

Bucky still by her side

With his tongue hanging out,

Jimmy across the street collecting

Nehi bottles in his wagon,

Hardy walking with him,

Telling him about the weather

Down South,

Curls & Stuff Salon

Full of ladies under pink dryers

With glam magazines in their laps,

And a cup of tea or coffee

nearby them,

Why couldn’t she find her

Happiness here?

 

Miss Martha lets her

Hangout at her place,

Her son a bit slow in the head,

Wears his hair clipped short

Because his mom wants it

That way,

She brings him sweets from

MacAlister’s Drug store

And Miss Martha

Always treats him like a baby

Still at the age of eleven,

Wiggly in his seat on the porch,

They watch the silos being filled

Together while Bucky naps near,

Mac arrives clutching his ball and bat

Against his chest,

Asking them to join him at the park,

Rae sits aside her book in her lap,

Miss Martha is inside making fudge,

Rae puts her nose to the screen

To tell her they’re leaving,

They race across the open fields

Of mustard and tall grass,

Bucky chasing them from behind,

Another afternoon in the sun

With friends on the baseball diamond,

The gang is there,

Daisy, Alice, Teddy, and Sam.

Rae decides maybe, life isn’t so

Bad here after all.

The game starts and she finds

Herself lost in the gathering of

Friends as the sun beats down on

Them together in the dust, the heat,

And the beauty of sharing with close

Friends and also competing for just a little while.–J. E. Cook © 2019

Listen to the show here:

Special Thanks to Nina Thilo for reading my poetry again this weekend! Always a pleasure to be featured on this live show with John Kavanagh as the host.  

Ali Cobby Eckermann wins $215,000 literary prize~Unemployed Indigenous poet~ Some Dreams do Happen.

The Windham-Campbell prizes are unique in that authors generally have no idea that they are in the running for one. Administered through Yale University in the US, they do not have an open submission process but take nominations from appointed members of the literary community.

Ali Cobby Eckerman

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/01/unemployed-indigenous-poet-ali-cobby-eckermann-wins-215000-literary-prize?fbclid=IwAR2NR9ORkWDXrx0c1WXNGQuAg7X7uqwFiEz0RljDHdb4JHDVGuTgNacpZV8

All information from the link above.  Just passing it along for all poets to read!

Her words:

“My son and my grandsons are moving back to South Australia in the next few months, and it will just allow us some stability to grow up together under the one roof,” she said.

“I haven’t really had that option before in my life. Just the thought of maybe being able to purchase a home or rent a home, and for us to be together and have that stability is something pretty new to me.

“I’ve been so grateful for the recognition of my work so far, and could never have foreseen something of this magnitude.”

The awards will be presented in September in a ceremony at Yale.

“It also feels like an award that is honouring my family’s story, and the three generations of us that didn’t grow up together,” said Eckermann.

“I want to accept this award on behalf of my grandmother who walked out of the Maralinga bombs [the British nuclear testing that occurred near Maralinga, South Australia, in the 50s and 60s to the great detriment of local Indigenous people] with her little children, and then my mother was taken from her – to my grandmother and my mother, who were so dignified in their pain. Life changed so dramatically for them, and they stayed really dignified and that’s the legacy they’ve given me.”

I love it when people are given a chance to be something better because they worked so hard for it, and finally, it pays off, even though it is their passion to create instead of working in some dead-end position where they will never bloom into what they dreamed of being during their lives.

Image may contain: Josie Cook, smiling

Sunday Poetry with Dear John Live

Welcome to The Dear John Show, Sunday 3rd March 2019, with Nina Thilo, Christine Barker, Chris Edridge and myself, Your Host
John Kavanagh. Nina Thilo will read my Tribute to Mary Oliver. Thank you, Nina, for a lovely reading and picking my poem to read today.  

 

A Tribute To a Poet

Among the tapering, tall trees,

I view the willows by the water

The sweet locust full of fiery colors,

The blue beech, river birch, and the white pines,

All give me such hints of gladness, with joy

For this wilderness hike.

Daily doses of nature

Could provide me

With a spiritual renewal,

Since I am so distant from this land

I seek this for myself,

in which I see purity and beauty,

And I  never hurry through this sweet

Glen of Helen,

but I do walk slowly, and stop often.

Around me, these trees, show their leaves

and call out to me, “Stay here with us.”

The sun’s light weaves through their branches

Creating orbs of floating colors.

And they say again, “come to us”

In their world with rays of light to shine forever

Among them.– A tribute to Mary Oliver (1935-2019)– J. E. Cook © 2019

 

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)