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

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

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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.

The Bishops’ Trip across America on Bicycle Wheels

A book about using fresh perspectives and adopting the right mindset to conquer obstacles in your path as you pursue your dreams. Not only are there wonderful stories in each chapter, they also included some pictures of their experiences as they peddle along together. 

black road bike leaning on red blue and white wing graffiti wall

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I finished their book titled, Wheels of Wisdom by Tim & Debbie Bishop. It is a story a pair of well-connected people on a bike trip together. They are bicycling across America. Taking in the scenery and experiencing adventures, new shared perspectives, and they are finding ways to overcome daily obstacles on the open road together.

This book incorporates faith through this couples’ experiences and the sharing of their thoughts. They also share an eye for the right details as they penned this book and they provide many philosophical reflections in the chapters of this volume of unified spiritual travel.

I never thought about how little one can take on a trip like this one.

Doing without isn’t always a burden but a blessing in some ways. Debbie writes about becoming too attached to her belongings as she describes how she did her laundry. Drying it by hanging it on her back rack so it can dry in the wind as she peddles on towards another destination. Socks, tops, and bike shorts hanging from her bike in various ways while tackling heavy traffic.

Only the bare necessities can be kept on the road trip via a single bicycle because excessive weight can cause too much swaying and overly tired legs.

While in North Dakota, Debbie loses one of her cherished sandals and she realizes that even though, she is heartbroken because she was attached to these rather expensive sandals, the incident reminds her not to become too attached to her possessions. Instead, she focuses on the beauty of nature around her as she bikes through the area. Debbie redirects her feelings. She knows that traveling simply is best. Her freedom to enjoy the area wins over dwelling on her painful loss.

Balance in life is important and it relieves stress. Shifting thoughts often helps to decrease grief felt over a loss. When one’s burden is too heavy, make it easier by lightening it. Excess baggage can drag a person down.

However, the clutter that I am talking about is emotional clutter inside our heads. Baggage that we don’t let go of or get rid of because we are mad, jealous, bitter, and we keep a grudge stored up inside our souls. This creates an unhealthy mental process inside us. Our thinking becomes cloudy with hate and resentment.

Tim addresses this emotional baggage while in Oregon. He writes about identifying the problem and purging it to move on and progress towards one’s goals.

If you need to forgive someone or grieve a loss, then do it because it will set you free. Surrender to it, and choose to move on for your own freedom from it. Then, celebrate life without the burden. It will be more meaningful and you will fulfill much through this process of letting go to enjoy this world without that rusty, heavy anchor pulling at your soul.

This couple addresses many challenges as they continue to travel while changing together to pursue their shared goal. Challenges however rough can transform a person.

Debbie writes about challenges in life and making an effort to take them on.

In our daily lives, there can be many challenges like social ones, physical ones, or even financial ones that nag at us. Debbie writes about a physical challenge that bothers her as she peddles through Oregon’s countryside. However, she tells how the experience becomes worth her pain because of the breath-taking beauty she sees in an amazing combination of forests, snow-covered mountains, and lava fields. Her satisfaction at the end of her day becomes priceless to her.

Enduring pain can often pay off with such tremendous happiness if one just hangs in there and faces the challenge. Sometimes the change is so significant and if a person allows it to transform them, they can feel a wonderful liberation inside their bodies that moves them to believe in the commitment to conquer these daily challenges. They are often out of our control and can’t be avoided.

Bumps in the road. Yes, there are many on this trip, and they don’t always turn out the way that was planned but they often are worth it in the long run because they provide such wonderful reflections on life and solving those unplanned struggles that pop up without warning.

So, pick up this book and learn more about using wisdom to conquer those bumps, detours, and learn how to avoid self-inflicted pain. Debbie and Tim will provide the life lessons and show you how to appease your restless spirit as you turn the pages of their book penned together.

**The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this printed edition through BookCrash.

 

Today’s Poetry~

A Different World

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

 

Nature and what it brings…

 

A Different World

 

The sky seems low to the ground,

A heavy mist or a light rain in the air,

My shoes squelch in the puddles,

The river runs fast,

The little footbridge is covered in wet leaves,

A large of group of trees surround it

And it is so quiet here,

The wind chafing the leaves together is all I hear,

It is a forest of sap and darkness,

Pathways through the woods,

A different world,

With water meadows and overgrown spots,

Abandoned shelters and eerie unnerving shadows,

The feel of isolation is keen,

My instinct to turn around and leave,

But the beauty of it draws me in,

A walk even if the weather isn’t perfect,

I gaze at the swift water and long for the summer

Days,

A small cat appears,

On the bank before me,

Cleaning its paws and then, it runs away.

To be an animal–they cope so differently

Than us humans.–J. E. Cook ©2017

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Our first Paint Bar Party in our New Location on the Square in Urbana, OH~

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roxy'spbar1a

~Roxy’s finished Painting~

mine1a

~The painting I finished during this class~

coveredbridge1a

~My prototype that we used during the class to follow as an example~ 

Book a Paint Bar Painting Party today with me and enjoy a session of art therapy with your favorite group of friends. We supply the canvas, paints, brushes, and light snacks for one price per person. You can pick your subject to paint for your party group and the theme of the party. It’s a fun experience that you can remember by hanging your finished product on your wall or giving it away for a gift to a special someone.

The Worst didn’t Happen because of Him

To have his hand by me for comfort and safeness

After a day of thinking about the worst

And now happy that it didn’t happen

To Us,

His solid body next to mine,

As I think about how crazy it was to imagine

The worst,

Embarrassed by it,

However, a mistake is

What happens when I am preoccupied

By life,

Distracted and not looking at the details.

Accidents are accidents—not on purpose.

Closer to him now,

My body fits his shape well,

The residual effects are now gone

Because of him. –J. E. Cook (C)2017

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Moving On~not always a choice~

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Moving On

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

leaving a place of love and happiness…

Moving On

 

Moving is scary to me,

Leaving the things behind that I became

Accustomed and familiar to

the change of the seasons every year,

those colors the tree leaves always

become every fall,

the sunrises and sunsets full of the

emptying cloud ranges,

the places on their horizons

that I view each day after day,

sitting on the deck at dawn

watching the day begin and end,

In the morning, the sky bringing up its light,

sitting right beside the big Maple tree

that I will always miss after I am gone

from here,

listening to the rise of the day,

nothing there, except me and that

special tree,

a tree where my daughter spent her

afternoons after school swinging, talking with her

friends, and climbing with her cat,

daylight arrives and I think of haunts of this land,

I’ll miss this tree, the memories will bring it back

After I am gone,

But what I’ll miss even more is this weird little

White house I bought myself,

It’s creaking and moaning during thunderstorms,

Its own pellicular grace and style

That brought me happiness so many times

While I was here.

The garden that I tended and worked in

With its life cycles each season,

Tiny seeds being pressed into the soil

Waiting for them to poke through

The ground,

Maybe, I am just a seed, too

What I’ll remember most is my bedroom

Here,

Because it is right beside my big Maple tree

It stands there like a soldier guard,

My bedroom windows look out to the garden

That I love,

I hate to be a long time gone from this

Place of love and happiness

But, I am moving on. –J. E. Cook ©2017

 

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Allie & my daughter, Victoria having a discussion under the big Maple.

Mother Nature & Our Divinity

In Divinity’s developing, early spring garden

Where many flowing wildflowers flourish,
to produce and cultivate others,

To promote so many varieties in color,
these shades of her beautiful tints stretch

for miles and miles…
such as beauty often does but never lasts

past its challenging termination,

One may never find it

In the same precise shades again,

like heaping painted canvas clinging to the knolls

And the spreading valleys,
nature’s brush of changing colors,
with each hue as bright as the sunshine,
kissing the splendor dispersed over our land,

When a heavy winter coat of white

Arrives and covers the same spots,

This ground rests and sleeps until
spring in the coming year,
then these fragrant blooms come back,
stretching and multiplying over the

Endless growing territories,

Building a constant circle of nature at its best,
the brush of Mother Nature creating art

From loam, mud, and particles of dirt

By mixing the drops of constant rain

with the warm

Endless breezes helping her,
This creation reminds us that miracles exist

And our ultimate survival depends on her,
without her touch, man and his family

Would not flourish like the blooms of

The earth.

These renewing buds

Coming from dry seeds shall carry us on,
as they are blown across the world,
the rain showers arrive to nourish them,

The fall season always prepares the soil for

The approaching slumber,

the endless sun will keep bringing

Its warmth every spring, and

into the rumbling summer,
and soon it will be time for dancing

hummingbirds

And working insects to cultivate the

natural growth,

without her hand, nothing matures,
Mother Nature is our keeper,

and the land’s tending gardener,
There’s no need to change her routine

because it fits our necessities for life,
with the essential gifts of her love.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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Reading Meanwhile there are Letters

This book is based on the correspondence of Eudora Welty & Ross Macdonald edited by Suzanne Marrs & Tom Nolan and it is quite a treasure to read.

In one letter to Welty:

“I don’t quite know what is happening to the country, or has already happened. A friend, formally in the government, writes from Washington about “the coming constitutional crisis,” as he calls it. I believe the country has gone through a moral crisis and failed to recognize it. We proceed cheerfully on our desperate way like a man with a bad doctor and a fatal illness.”– Kenneth Millar (102)
After reading this quote, I thought about how it is so fitting to our current situation in our country!

In her next letter to him I noted this passage relating to the above passage from his letter:

“…I think, the same feeling about the awful things we were perpetrating upon that midnight clear (in Vietnam). I hope and hope, while knowing there’s damage that can never be undone and something lost we can never get back. Just hope for the end of the killing–I think it has to come soon, don’t you?” –Eudora Welty to Kenneth Millar in a letter. (105)

I believe–Hope is always what keeps us going on in times like these! These writers’ thoughts seem to relate to our country’s current government decisions and actions.

As I continue to read and reflect on this:

As I read this thick volume slowly, I reflect on so much of the material covered in their correspondence through their letters, specifically what Welty tells him about nature, writing, and also how he responds to her questions and her personal concerns in the areas of her writing and doing interviews. This can be so useful to authors and poets today. Millar is always reinforcing her through his perspective on her writing talents and her public speaking engagements. When she doubts her written work and her speaking abilities, he always seems to have the right answers about her troubling thoughts and how she might be somewhat off the mark with her personal reflections on her public interviews that she reveals to him inside her letters.  Millar gives her his expert perception on them, and they are always on spot with what is happening with her writing and her unique capabilities.  She, in turn, does the same for him often through her reviews and her feedback on his writing.

Their relationship was truly a working one as far as their writing is concerned. They seem to feed off of each other and reinforce each other as they correspond making their writing endeavours stronger and more successful as years go by.

I will be reading more about them soon and I may post more here on what I find in this treasure of a book about Welty & Millar and their growing relationship as they communicate with each other through letters.

 

GREENWATER