Looking at a blank page – Part 1


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I am so drained by the actions of the President of the United States, all politicians, lobbyist, protesters, those who hate, destroy or wish to destroy history; the news media, you get the idea… I must return to my safe place within my mind to rest.  That place is the blank page before me where thoughts come alive and I remember the stories of my great-grandmother who was the “Keeper of the Memories” for the family.  Everyone called her “Ma”.

   She told me of Fosee, a descendant of many generations of warriors.  Born in a round birch bark dwelling in the circle of a Chickasaw Over Town Tribe in what would later become Eastern Mississippi. His father had given him the name Fosee; the meaning of that name was “Bird”.   The other boys teased him because of his tall skinny body; they would jeer at him and run away singing “Little Bird, Little Bird, fly away”.   So, he played alone, kicking around the Chukka Ball in the open yard in the middle of the town’s circle of dwellings; he hunted small animals.

   Fosse’s father held a place of importance in the tribe; he was a powerful warrior, a skilled hunter.  His mother was an exotic looking woman from a Choctaw Tribe in what would become Alabama Territory.  Her beauty and gentle nature were the reasons his father has chosen her to be his bride.  Fosee was their only child, living in the same dwelling with his parents and grandparents.

   He remembered all of his grandparents.  Yet. it was his Chickasaw grandfather that he loved most.  He remembered the elegant clothes and colorful beading sewn onto the soft deerskins by his grandmother.  His grandfather’s white hair flowed about his shoulders and when he would go to the river with him to bathe, Fosee could see the dark skin engraved with the scars of war. 

   Fosee would listen to the stories his grandfather told around the cooking fires, he would see his eyes soften and glisten when he talked of the loss of family and friends in battle.  Fosee was just a boy when all four of his grandparents died from a disease brought into many villages’ by the white man.

Fosee was my great-great-grandfather…   

Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree-Part 1- Fosee

Author’s Books:

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Author: Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

Artist/Writer of Fiction, Poetry, Prose and Thoughts, Opinions Born in Alabama to a Native American (Chickasaw) father and an emotionally absent mother since the Author's birth, raised by her father, her Native American great-grandmother and an African-American woman whom were all grand storytellers. As early as four years old she was roaming the countryside around her home alone or with her father; and at night she sat at the feet of these strong-minded individuals listening to the stories of their lives. Summers she lived with her fathers' sister in Birmingham, Alabama; it was that she would discover a library, and mingle with her aunt's circle of friends that included local writers, artist, and politicians. A cabin deep within the Black Warrior Forest was her playground on the weekends. Her aunt encouraged her imagination by introducing her to journaling, which she filled with stories over the summer. Planted was the desire to write, a seedling waiting to spurt from the warm southern heart of a child. Her love of art and painting came through the teachings of a grammar school teacher which she pursues when the well of words dry up when writing. Throughout the years along with her father, great-great-grandmother, and her beloved Aunt Francis, other influences were her high school English teacher Mrs. S. Odom, writers Faulkner, Capote, Fitzgerald, and Harper Lee. Later in life, she discovered the warm and comic writing of Grace Paley. The vivid poetry of William Carlos Williams; the strong poetry of Phyllis McGinley, and the world's most exciting women, Maya Angelou are some of the poets at the top of her list. Nonetheless, with adulthood, the desire to write buried itself deep within, the dream wilted but did not die. It laid dormant, gaining experiences all written in hidden journals. These experiences, the contents of these journals became short stories and poetry reading to share with the world. She writes of many life experiences in poetry format; questioning everything from Mother Nature to God...the poetry is raw and may not be understood by all. Yet, it comes from deep within and reads of truth within her soul. The harshness that shrouded her life would cause her to withdraw from most of the world; it fills the pages of her writing, the heartache, the abuse, and the denial her mother frankly portrayed. Today, she enjoys her children, grand and great grandchildren, her four-legged companion Mason, they live in Southern Wisconsin...far from her southern roots; however she continues to write and paint daily. Ann has published in Kindle eBooks and paperbacks at Amazon.com: Book #1 Echoing Images from the Soul 2012 Book #2 Beyond the Voices 2012 Book #3 Reflections of Poetry 2013 Book #4 Honeysuckle Memories 2013 Book #5 Sachets of Poetry on Adoration, Anger, Asylums and Aspirations 2014 Book #6 My Journey into Art 2014 Book #7 Asterial Thoughts

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