The Dear John Show

Another Poem of mine included in the live show this Sunday. 

Welcome to The Dear John Show, Sunday 26th May 2019. Live poetry readings from around the world, here on Facebook. With Nina Thilo, Christine Barker, Chris Edridge and myself, Your Host, John Kavanagh.

Visions in my Sleep

I am looking for the most
Beautiful place on Earth,
With long, blue & green views,
And silhouettes of black twisted trees
On the distant skylines,
Fields of sunflowers in a variety of
Colors,
Sweet air drifting in on a slight breeze.

Endless expectations with lovely views,
Possibilities for fresh blue waters with
Cascades of showering droplets
Among the grasses of flowing fields.

The evening star against dark blue skies
Filled with pinpoint lights,
Pastures of horses & ponies roaming freely,
With moon against the black indigo at
Midnight,
Purifying richness in the hills of green.

Fading silver lights at dawn as the woods fill
With watchers of the night like weasels and
Raccoons and the lonely owls up high.

It’s a dream and it is mine. I am hypnotized by
The beauty of it in the visions I see. Gorgeous
Views with mild darkness set after the remains
Of the day.

To disappear from my bed into this world would
Be pleasant with a life of freezing coldness gone
Forever with roads of climbing beauty before me
Often without any real stress to bother me.

Reality returns in my old house with fifty plus years
Spent and my battered coffeepot filling the air
As it brews with a scent of waking,
As I think about the philosophy of living and death
Of strangers,
Dreadful histories glancing through my brain,
Outside my window, the birds sing and their pretty
Voices sooth my ears hiding the pain of all my years. –J. E. Cook © 2019

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Dear John Show

I had two of my poems featured on this live broadcast! Give a listen and enjoy!

So very honored to have two of my poems included in this Sunday’s live show. Christine Barker and Nina Thilo read my poetry. The host, John Kavanagh requested one of them and Nina Thilo requested the second poem for today’s show. This is very unusual to have two poems read together on the same Sunday edition. You can listen to the show at this link address.

 

https://lnkd.in/ePwbCWA

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.

Innocence seeking Knowledge by J. E. Cook

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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!

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

Great poetry shared here on Sunday!

Josie's Kaleidoscope

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…

View original post 284 more words

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

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!

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

Second poem of 2019

Barn Adventures
 
Inside the rough walls,
She saw the last rays of
The sun striking the stacks of hay,
A steamer trunk rested in the corner,
Brass shining,
Outside a blanket of dark grey
Clouds tinged with blues,
Compressed the cloud line
With the evening light mulled
With oranges and purples.
 
She opened it,
The dusty top touching the barn wall,
Hats, dresses, shoes, purses,
And other trinkets almost
Spilled out,
Even a couple of coats and jackets
Mixed with the selections,
She sat down on a wooden stool,
Pulling a filly dress over her
Shorts and a tank top,
Full sleeves of shiny satin,
A lace high-collar.
 
She pushed her bare feet
Into some high black boots
And picked up a boxy black purse
To match,
A gold compact tumbled out the
Seams,
The latch not properly closed,
She looked into the mirror of it,
And applied the pink rouge.
 
Everything fit well,
Even the hat with long
Flowing feathers,
With closed eyes
She tilted her head,
Remnants of the past
Floated among her thoughts,
Children walked through the fields
Of clover with sweet white-tipped blooms
Touching their shins,
The folds of the skirt,
Moved with her gait,
She opened the barn doors
To view the almost gone sun,
Thinking about what she could do
With these treasures of yesterday.–J. E. Cook © 2019
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