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

Advertisements

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~

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.  

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!

Thunderstorms of Spring

Thunderstorms of Spring

 

Rain comes,

With big splashing drops

Landing in the mossy green

Waters

Streams flowing

White light

Flashes

Followed by claps

Of thunder

Changing from light

To heavy,

Falling straight

And bouncing fines sprays,

as

Rainbow swirls form on the concrete,

 

Wet skin

Locks of hair pressed close

Raised faces

Laughing in the showers

Of it,

 

Empty spaces

Filling with it,

Cold shivers

Come with it,

Blast the heater to

Get rid of it,

The city is another place

with it,

 

With faded bright colors

Among patched plaster

And corrugated metals,

Some old and tired,

Buildings built at different

Times,

 

Floating garbage

Moving slowly

Down a hilltop,

 

The stucco houses

With terraces

Rest there,

 

Canceled flights

And the need for dry

Clothes,

 

Artists painting away

The blues,

Others looking into

Bookcases

And writing in their

Journals,

 

As the gusts of rain

Batter against these

Shelters,

 

The environment

Changing what everyone

Does and sees at once.–J. E. Cook © 2019

uninfog5aa

 

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.

lock and key by Sarah Dessen

 A story about sisters, family, and discovery.  There are keys that fit the locks to open the possiblities to reach your future. Dessen writes about Ruby’s journey to her destination and what it brings with it to help her fulfill her goals.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

I finished this one and that made me sad because I am still thinking about these characters and their relationships with each other.

This is a beautiful story about relationships in general and learning to trust after being hurt. The story behind the key follows with the reader as this unfolds and it plays a big part in the theme and the progression of these lives.

Dessen crafts a progression of her main character, Ruby with all the facets on display as this young girl develops into a wonderful person with an adult insight into relationships and what is important to a family unit.

“Our definitions were as different as we were ourselves.” (288) Quite a quote to remember and take away from this novel.

Ruby’s thesis on the term family is often a part of this story, too. She becomes a unique student with her goals driving her toward finding the right college or university to attend after she completes her education in a new location with new friends and a new family unit.

I read the paperback edition of this one. The key is a small part of the cover image but I know what it looks like from the description and the big part it plays in Ruby’s life and another woman’s career. Ruby’s key becomes a noted item that helps another character find her success and also helps her find love right around the corner from her where it has always been located. This older character’s progression leads her to love, trust, and letting go.

Ruby’s relationships inside this thick volume are intriguing and she begins to see more inside these people instead of what is only located on the outside of them.

This is one of my favorite novels and I will remember it for a long while. Just like Ruby remembers the boy next door in this story. Supporting characters are apparent and moving.

doubleexposethem

Leaving a Legacy of Hope by Mark Gregston

(The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this e-book through BookCrash.)

I recently read this and now, I am reflecting on the material through some noted quotes that I gathered during the reading over time.

Thinking about what it means to be a grandparent is the main consideration as one reads this e-book. The Heartlight center is for struggling teens and it is helping many of them daily. As I read, I took notes, and I thought about these quotes I noted. They were put down because they were important to me and, I wanted to reflect on them later. Then, I included them here because I liked them and admired them. Here they are, and I think you will understand why this volume of writing is an excellent read for grandparents, parents, and the teens out there because this material involves them and their lives.

“Your position is unique. Your relationship is paramount.  Pursue it well. Make the most of the years you have to invest in the lives of your grandkids.” This quote is the most important to me as I think about my grandchildren and their grandbabies in the future.

Trying to make every day and every moment unique is something I aim for as I spend time with my children and my grandchildren. I try to find a way to make them feel it too by making sure I am engaged with them while we are together and by being happy while we are spending these minutes in each other’s company.

“This is what I concluded: Don’t save for that special occasion because the special occasion is today.”

“Teens now rely more on their peers than they do their parents, creating a blind leading the blind scenario that hardly fosters maturity, barely encourages responsibility, and certainly can’t be a great fountain of wisdom.” I consider this quote and I think about what I have experienced with my own children and what I might see in the future with my toddler age grandchildren when they reach their teenage years. Will it still be like this? I believe with my own children, this wasn’t the case most of the time. I think friends do have some bearing on what teens find helpful and what they decide to follow and address daily. However, if their parents are instilling good values this will not be a big issue. I think in my case, most of the time, my parental guidance won over my child’s friends guiding their decisions and if it didn’t they usually wished it had been their choice in the first place. My children would feel guilty if they did wrong and most likely, they wouldn’t do it again.

“I do believe that parents have to be relational in their approach to their teens. They can’t lead in such an authoritarian way that it pushes their child away.”

Yes, this is the approach, I have always followed and believed in when parenting my own children. I think I will continue to follow it because it has proven to be the right approach in my family.

“Political correctness hampers the ability to speak freely, and the rights of all have so far encouraged more division than unity.”

This is increasing daily in our current period. I often don’t talk about it with family members because it is a harsh point in our relationship. It is a topic to have guidelines in place before even discussing it. If one establishes in the beginning that everyone is free to have their own opinions and choices, I think one might be able to talk about it without being aggressive towards each other or crossing lines that can’t be fixed with each other.

“Teens today are stuffed with information yet starving for wisdom.”

I think everyone now feels an information overload often and it creates unneeded stress. Information must come with breathing room and allow for an expansion in the future at a rate that the individual feels comfortable with learning it and processing it. This rushed society is overrated, and it creates a lot of unneeded havoc over time quickly. The overload and the sense of urgency are often too much for a person to process without leaving out mistakes because they move on it quickly and this wisdom is not a factor in their quick decision like rolling the dice and taking whatever turns up as what it will be. I am finding it hard to keep up lately due to the overload of information and I note that steps are skipped often to complete a task quickly. However, some teens today seem more adapted to this rush and the information overload. Then again, some of them may desire to slow down and take in what their grandparents have to offer them in the way of learned knowledge. I see it in my family, we have teens that love hanging out with their grandparents to learn and share ideas.

“…sometimes we communicate loudest and smartest when we say nothing at all.”

Yes, that silence can say a lot on its own. And, when we come across loud, it doesn’t solve anything. It shows that we let it get to us and we lost it. The control of emotions can be difficult but often it is the key to not saying what we look back on as a huge mistake.

“Positive change rarely comes out of negative criticism. In other words, complaining doesn’t fix anything.” Learning this can become a difficult lesson but it is always a very important one. There are times when certain complicated issues must be addressed; however, how we handle them is so crucial to a good relationship and keeping it.

“The need to have fun together is paramount. How much you laugh together is a good measurement of your relationship.” I think this is true and something that must be put forward before we meet in our inner thinking. Make the decision to be positive and be a leader in making it happen by making sure it is always present in our attitudes towards each other.  Thinking in this manner from the beginning and keeping it in place.

“A condescending and arrogant presence pushes me away. It’s fake and disingenuous. I prefer the presence of imperfect people who allow—no, who welcome and embrace—other imperfect people.” This is another rule to live by in my thinking. It is what I practice, and I don’t tolerate anything less. At this stage in my life, I can’t change what I believe when it is a proven way to approach life.

Of course, there is a lot more in this e-book, and that is why it is important to read it and think about the included observations and the specific relationship information deeper and consider it again. Revisit this e-book, to think about what works and what is a wonderful way to raise these youths together.

preschoolideas1

 

~New Releases of Poetry from Ohio~

WOWVW1AAA

 

Our Ohio poetry collection is out and hot off the press today, Sunday, September 24th of 2017.

Please read my poem representing Ohio poetry creation along with other talented poets’ contributing written work. This new publication is available currently on Amazon for purchase in a Kindle edition or in print paperback.

Remember to vote on the Amazon site via a reader review below the Ohio’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology. Vote for your favorite poet included in this Ohio poetry collection and remember to include the title of their poem with their name in your review. By reviewing their crafted poetic contribution to this unique Ohio publication, you will allow them to advance into a drawing for a full-book publication produced by Z Publishing House in the future. Don’t forget to include their name and the title of their poem with your honest review of this Ohio poetry collection of 2017.

 

 

Ohio's Best Emerging Poets

a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36294039-ohio-s-best-emerging-poets”