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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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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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!

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.

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~Loved to Death~

Loved to Death

Loved to Death
 
I don’t love you for the roses growing in the color of topaz and burgundy,
in your garden of nevermore upon those
Mountain terraces that blanket the entrances of
The smokey hills flourishing among the rises and peaks,
or for the red, death-scented carnations that bring fiery heat to my inner core
When I remember the ending of our union.
 
I love you as one loves certain obscure slightness in reason,
On days of frustration,
So secretly, between this shadowy junction of your inner thighs,
and with my inner tendencies exposing your fresh awakening inside my embracing hold,
As my endless kisses translate my wanting.
 
I love you as the trees of spring are blooming but also carrying in
Their intoxicating fragrances,
the light from these flowers is not hidden, within these branches,
and thanks to your love this tight aroma rises between us,
from this coupling and lives dimly inside my body for days at a time.
 
I love you without knowing how you move me to be with you,
I love you directly without prejudice thoughts;
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to do so,
except in this tranquil way in which I am not alone but with you,
so close that you are upon my chest each night,
so close that our eyes meet in my dreams of you. –J. E. Cook © 2019

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Marian’s Plight

Marian’s Plight

After the hurricane,
Everything is cold and dark,
Water stains streak the walls
Of the hollow houses,
With rugs turned to threads,
Birds in nests
Between ceiling beams exposed,
Chairs bent and broken,
The movie theater
An empty shell
With petrified seats,
Pipes broken
In the restrooms,
Ghosts hiding in the rafters,
Plywood over the fronts of
Store windows,
Flatbed trucks hauling
To landfills passing the churchyards
So bare,
Sidewalks missing and buckled,
Bats filling the steeples,
She is missing Colorado now,
It is just words, in a song now,
To her,
She is a high-spirited gal
Feeling a bit broken
Here,
Her uncertain steps
Through the torn grass,
Picturing her world
Before the storm,
The sky a paler blue
Today with the sun
So bright,
She watches the men
Travel north
With the flatbeds full,
To Dump road,
Near the Red River,
This feels like another country,
With the bulldozers and burial mounds of
Dead animals,
Sounds so loud as the birds
Swarm over them,
Mountains of dirt and refuse
From the ridge,
Sacks of trash
As the wind darts
The tops like ghosts,
Steepness is gone,
Scraping noises echo
A thunderstorm won’t
Be welcome for quite a while
No matter how much
The town needs rain,
Marian goes back inside
The tall brick building
Where candles shine
Electric still off,
She thinks about white lilies
And their fragrance
A garden scene
With trellis laced walls
Of tiny pink roses,
If only she could be there,
Instead of here among
The damage and clean-up crews.
She stirs the soup over the fireplace
Flames,
Something to fill their stomachs
When they return for another
Load,
Before they start again,
Bread on the narrow
Long table with bottles of water,
Sheriff’s cruisers bringing more supplies
To the small town torn apart now.
She doesn’t trust anyone
Not even around her own duplex,
As she folds the packing quilts,
Marian daydreams of other scenarios
Even though, she could never leave
Without helping this community now. –J. E. Cook © 2019

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Read on this live show, Sunday, February 17th, 2019 by Christine Barker.

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

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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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Poetry in 2018~

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February Grief

 

To be told that your lover is gone,

As gently as one can be told

That your lover, the man you wanted

To marry,

Planned to spend the rest of your life

With,

That man is no longer among the

Living,

He disappeared like

The white feathery pins of a dandelion

In the wind,

Drifting off to another place,

Gone back to the earth’s soil,

Taking root,

To become something else,

Strolling through the wild vines

With another widow,

Feeling like the hay chafe

Left behind by the grazing herd,

Moments pass,

She feels something lingering

Like his fingers touching her

Intimate places hid from the world,

Or him watching for her

Among the forest leaves and withering pines,

As the stars of our universe

Sparkle and shine,

The wind like his warm breath,

He could be alive somewhere waiting,

Or watching the slippery stones of moss

In the flowing crystal streams,

Her female soul wants to run

For the moors,

To be together wild and free,

Because the living has no answers

For her,

Will he watch her undress now?

She hopes her memory does not

Grow vague of him,

Like a dusty forgotten canvas,

The artist has gone

Leaving it behind,

Unfinished was their love,

Disappearing

Thrown away

Rubbish remains

She desires to dissolve gradually

Free to let go,

Without sound,

Becoming one of those

Vacant houses standing still

After the harvest,

With no heat or lights,

She remembers the blossoms

Of their secret garden,

Thriving all summer long,

Nourishing them daily,

Those river roses of pinks and reds,

Are fading,

Past their peak

And gone

No mark left behind

To shake the memories again. –J. E. Cook ©2018

 

 

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Rain cometh upon Our Journey

 

Raining in the night,

Leaves on the ground,

Flashes of light,

Winter somewhere,

Wrens to the South,

Maybe, the Gulf of Mexico,

Not Bangor,

Rain still falling,

Covering a valley in mists of it,

Fog filling in among the weaving

Trees,

The river filling,

Weight of raindrops pulling,

Autumn leaves losing color,

Large puddles forming

In wet fields of mud and swampy debris,

Pathways are murky and slick,

Still, the water comes down

As yellow headlights swallow up

The countryside,

With faith in the plan,

We continue this journey

Faith in the course of it,

Swimming on among the sea

Of raindrops,

Cascades of water cover the

Dirt roads and the saturated lands

Are minutes from flooding

The valley ahead,

But, we go on,

It’s too dark to

Turn back,

We need to be HOME. —J. E. Cook ©2018

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Autumn Dances

 

To look out the window

Filled with continued longing,

Eyes seeking the ground

Towards the flowing river

With the extending trees on fire

With the high colors

Of the crisp autumn season,

 

Who’s soul dances among

Those brittle leaves

Covering the moist ground?

 

To be a wisp of a girl again

Walking around the gathering, wet

Stones in the swift stream,

Dancing among the tall, magnificent

White birches in the back fields,

Staying along the river

To return home

After an afternoon spent in the warm beams

Of sunlight breaking through. –J. E. Cook ©2018

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My Poems about Our Water~

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A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

Summer is gone and now reality returns…

Clubhouse Days

 

Gazing at the old wooden rackets

Among the endless sepia photos,

History of past crowds,

Tournaments long gone,

Locations changed or forgotten,

Blurry images of loving couples in fine outfits

Enjoying the elegant clubhouse dances,

Those pale, lacy dresses with close fitted

Bodices,

Parasols in the sun as they stroll in the sands,

Dashing gentlemen claim their hands,

As little girls and young boys race around corners,

People gather to share drinks at covered tables,

Their cheerful vital attachments forming during

The seaside summer seasons,

As the fluttering butterflies kiss the open roses

Gracing the porches of their rented beach houses,

Moving from sepia to black & white to colors

On the club walls as time marches on,

Nearly no one notices the changes here as the sea scents

The air and the cheerful blue sky fills their open spaces

Where attractive people lounge by the water with

Pretty drinks as their children build empires in the white

Grains surrounding them,

The focus is on fun and games while the warm season lasts

And freckles form to stretch across their sun-kissed

Cheeks calming their inner souls

And releasing positive senses to prevent old inner tensions,

Young couples watch the constellations light up while

They cuddle deep into each other around

Shared beach fires,

Burning hotly to fin off the night chill after

The sun disappears and the moonlight

Swaps it, a

Welcome replacement to neon-lit offices

And cluttered desks,

A sabbatical of free-time where young

Girls wear Jackie O sunglasses and tie

Their wet hair back in jolly ponytails,

Yachts and big liners fill the harbors

Waiting to be sailed,

Blue waters, elegant couples, members and

Invited guests circling the pristine decks,

Inlets of fascination and narrow boarding docks

Waiting for their evening return.–J. E. Cook ©2017

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Arriving at the Ocean

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

Sharing the same thoughts…and views.

 Outside my seaside window,

I watch the sky melt like a hot

Crayon,

The bright colors becoming a

Canvas for the many sailboats

On the midnight blue surface,

Their lights streaming across

The shimmering waters,

I often dreamt of the sea

From my Ohio location,

Freedom on the moving

Liquid,

Yearning for an adventure

There,

A long voyage with a special

Someone near me,

A wonderful communicator

To share my thoughts,

No soothing egos or severe misunderstanding,

Just the peace of the wilderness

Surrounding our shared views,

Two hearts and souls

In unison,

Cradled in the hands of each other

With undouble bonds,

Sorting through the world together. –J. E. Cook ©2017

 

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Waterways of Our Land

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

Water so important to us!

Our river is slow-moving

With twilight circling it

Without hesitation,

Mounds of dirt along it,

Marshes along the way,

Foaming gorges here and there,

Stone islands in the middle,

Providing

Gateways to other arteries,

Banks with forests lining them,

I think about other waterways

Like the Red Sea and the Atlantic Ocean,

The sands in them,

Do those tiny grains have

Some pink quartz inside…or any

Hard stones like diamonds.

 

Flowing water in dams

And over cliffs

Create a sound unique

Depending on the location,

Water is always needed in cultures

No matter royalty or poverty

It is a commodity,

Unlike ordinary everyday dust.

            –J. E. Cook © 2017

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