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

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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

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Dandelion Fairy Hatch Patch

DANLIONFANTAAA

Dandelion Fairy Hatch Patch~Fantasy painting in acrylics, glazes, & gloss finish. I love creating unique designs with nature incorporated. This is my February art project after finishing my Valentine’s themed art. Thinking of Spring and new growth.  

Order this design on bags, journals, leggings, skirts, pillows, phone cases and more at this link below:

https://www.redbubble.com/people/0370549/works/37215576-dandelion-fairy-hatch-patch?asc=u&ref=recent-owner

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)

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.

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

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

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.

Another Poem of mine Read by Nina

Listen in, and hear my poem read by Nina Thilo and how beautifully she does it!

The poem is called Undying Love.

 

Undying Love

Every time I close my eyes

I’m right back

With you,

The cream sheers billowing

In the spring breeze

With the lavender lilacs

In full bloom,

Open windows welcoming

The exquisite

Fragrance inside,

Where we are entwined

Among the cool satin sheets

Enjoying each other’s

Company

And embracing almost

Too wildly

With our passions

Heated up,

Sharing endless kisses

While our bodies

mold with intense

Emotion for each other.

No matter how much

Time goes by

I will always remember

Those sultry minutes together

With unlimited loving for

Each other,

Our connection

Was truly strong

And indifferent

To any obstacles,

We nurtured

And openly

Expressed our

Love for each other

With unforgettable

Shared expressions

Of true romance,

Something no one

Can rob us of,

Because this enduring

connection

never

Died.  –J. E. Cook © 2019

We always did the garden together.
It had plenty of variety

and always had sunflowers and the lilac trees were near it.

Sweet & Crazy, A novel by Patty Dann

Sweet & Crazy

 

Many funny moments & many sad thoughts, too.

At thirty-nine, Hanna Painter has returned to her hometown of Ash Creek, Ohio. Her husband, Ed is dying of cancer inside their home. Pete is four when his father passes away there. This is the start of Hanna’s journey without her husband by her side.

Hanna, a young widow and her son trying to go on after the death of her husband. Now, a single mom that had hopes of a bigger family instead of a smaller one. Pete becomes a five-year-old expressing so much laughter while his mother grieves inside for what she had once and it is gone. Her close friends and her dreams are keeping her afloat.

Little Pete tells his mom, “Now you’re a window,” he says this after his dad dies in their home. He is quicky, and a comical boy often during this story.

Hanna is teaching older women to write about their lives at the local YMCA and she also works at the local library. Eventually, Pete starts kindergarten and he quickly finds a best friend, named Omar, the Indian son of Mazur, who runs the local cleaners in a strip mall in their town.

Pete wants to keep of his father’s stuff and he moves most of it to his closet for safe keeping. Their neighbor, Thomas becomes a central person in their lives. September 11 becomes an important topic among these characters as the story unfolds and shows us what they felt about it. Thomas works as a cooper at the eighteenth-century colonial restoration outside of town that he calls The Hill. However, he also leaves town often on business. During one of his road trips, a girl appears in his drive. She is driving a flashy sports car and Hanna sees her from her kitchen window.

Hanna, Thomas, and Pete form a  new family together. The Twin Towers are attacked and changes appear in their community.

Prejudice thoughts are a recurring device towards the end of this book. Mazur and his family are a target in the community and Hanna finds herself puzzled by this and the why behind it. Maureen enters Thomas’s life and in turn, she enters into Hanna’s too. The Hill is a setting where the characters often meet or retreat to during the story. Hanna’s dreams are central, too as these characters grow closer to each other.

I’m on page 144 of 208 of Sweet & Crazy: and, Pete asks his mother about the mailman, “Why is he wearing those special gloves?”

The whole story is about Hanna and her life. The ending leaves me thinking about some of the other characters and what happened to them. However, I think Hanna finds what she is looking for through Thomas in the end.

Patty Dann’s writing is very poetic throughout this novel and a joy to read.

Sweet & Crazy

Poetry penned on a Labor Day Morning

Life of a Girl in 2018~

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

As she pulled the blankets over her head.

She only sought the darkness and warmth

Within this enveloping cave

Of close rapture,

And then her mind went on…

“I hope you’re thinking about me.”

She touched her hair,

“Why do we close our eyes when we

Pray?”

I do this when I kiss you,

The most beautiful things in my life

Are felt inside my heart not seen.

I watched the white roses die

That you brought me

Littering my window sill with them

all those

Dried, brown petals.

We were naughty together

Two days ago,

Sleeping in your parents’ room

Sharing a cold bottle of Gin,

We found in their kitchen

Mixing it with jarred cherries

And ice-cold Sprite,

While we

Snapchatted us,

naked

Bodies to our close friends,

I see nothing better // I keep him forever,

Plays over and over,

It is printed inside my head,

The smell of sulfur

Penetrating my senses,

As the Disneyland Princesses

Dance to the musical notes,

so, I’m still at that confusing stage,

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

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 Guiding Experiences

When the worship hour

Comes upon a being of Earth,

Where do they look for guidance and

Extreme measures in solution?

 

Maybe, they turn to the Buddhist

Practices in mantras and mandalas

Or a nun’s string of prayer beads,

Or a more natural experience

From the lands,

In Native American practices

where cultures identify with nature

And they hear the beat of the

Drums,

This repetition

Makes their spaces

Infinite

Opening their minds

To the systematic

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

 

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Autumn Abundance

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

J. E. Cook has published poetry with the Antioch Voice, Z Publishing, and at People-are-amazing.com. She participates in poetry readings at local coffee shops and often is a wordsmith when editing poetry along with being an art instructor & artist, a photographer with a driving passion for natural images with creativity incorporated, a web-based graphic creator, and a freelance editor. She’s an avid reader/writer that is prone to take off with her camera in hand on wild adventures in the woods and to follow her imagination to the sea.

She enjoys all forms of writing, specifically poetry, as she strives to finish one of her fiction creations in the form of a novella. Her creative influences include Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, Margaret Keane, William Blake, Eudora Welty, Rachel Carson, Arthur Rimbaud, Mary Oliver, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Donna Tartt, and Robert Frost.

Her love for summer keeps her outdoors when possible during this season. She hopes to one day pursue her dream of writing full time. Her work is available online and in print. You can view her written work, author reviews, and her photography at this web location https://josiecook48.wordpress.com.

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