The Gilded Gate…

The Gilded Gate…

Thunder bellows from the sky, descending to valley floor,

it roused me from a deep sleep; the one lying beside me

does not move they do not wake. It quickly becomes darker,

the profound sounds hold angrily above the valley bounces

off the forest, trees sways in the wind. Without warning,

the winds spiral upward into the thunder and lightning.

The valley was like a ringed abyss.

 

The wind continued like torment and blaspheming.
A sadness began to settle in, is this the outer certainty

of hell? I questioned my faith, would my lover and I

die within this doomed place, God please hear my

pleading. I cried. Did I fall asleep, did I fall into a restless

dream, and then an obedient voice was heard. Within this

dream. I witnessed countless people, their hopelessness

as they walked slowly through a gate.

 

The dream continued on, leaving me bewildered in my darkest

deepest sleep. Before me rose a widening light, it filled half

of the darkness, “Who Master are those that walk through the

gilded gate”.  My master smiles at me, it was then that the gate

opens to me wide green lawns stretched as far as the eyes could see.

Then marvelous spirits approached. I moved quickly trying to walk

into the moving light.

 

I woke and the darkness fell around me, the wind had left the valley,

I would live for another day.

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Choices – A 100 Word Story

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Choices

A roar of thunder melds with a coming storm, Tom Thornton’s heart is stone; he knows that because he feels nothing.  His wife’s veins once flowed with a passionate fire; now the crimson liquid spread across the floor.  Doors locked, a decision had to be made and quickly.  His life also ended when he would not let Sarah leave.  His heart will never soften; he will never feel the heat of Sarah’s fire again.  The police and ambulance sirens filter into the house.  He sat on the bed asking, “God, will I go to Heaven if I choose to die”?

 

 

©2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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On a Blue Bird Day

It is spring, warm breezes float through magnolia trees.  A gracious woman of the South rises from past memories; her thoughts behind the ice blue eyes. She sits on the bank of a pebbly brook under a Blue Bird sky, the scent of lilac rises from her starched dress.  She dips her fingers slowly into the cool water; she is old and life has passed her by, and the depths of her truth never known.  In her secret place of selfishness her hate for an unwanted child; she stops to ponder her own question; does she deserve the name “Mother”.

 

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Happy Father’s Day Daddy…

30. Women in cottonfield

The painting is from an acrylic and watercolor I did in 2012,  it is one of my favorites as its subjects are from the memory of my childhood; of a place that I loved, and as a child understood the hardships of the times.  My daddy passed away in 1977, he was a good man; he was a Native American farming and living in Northern Alabama.  He farmed almost 500 acres of cotton as a “sharecropper” he made $80 a month and we lived in a tarpaper shack on a small patch of green next to a natural spring that ran into a small creek.  He was the parent who raised me and I would ride on cool mornings to the field in the back of a wagon pulled by two old mules.  At the end of the day I nestled in that same wagon on a soft bed of cotton for the trip home.  My hopes are that he is somewhere beyond the veil of life sitting on the back of a wagon with the sweet smell of smoke from his pipe circling his head as he visits with those he loved and respected.  I wrote the poem below as a tribute to him drawn on the memories of those day.

“A  tribute to Daddy”

 

The Chickasaw Farmer

Rickety old man stood on the cotton wagon a tin of yellow salve in his hand.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

A hot southern sun hides behind the willows on muddy Flint Creek, cotton pickers sweat falling on parched lips taste like salty brine while they wait for the Old man to call “quitting time”.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

Young, old, children, women and men bloody fingers cut by the barbs of the cotton boll dig into the old yellow salve tin.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

Tar bottom sacks emptied of the soft white gold weary feet follow two old sway back mules down a rutted road.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

Crimson clouds from wagon wheels whirl around tired bodies and drained minds; feels like pickers were working in the cotton fields since the beginning of time.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

Mules stop at the fork of the road as the cotton pickers walked into the dark of the night the Old man’s heart filled with appreciation, because he is just an old Chickasaw farmer trying to survive inside a “White Nation”.

Rickety Old Wagon

Rickety Old Man

©2015.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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#9391…A 100 Word Story

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#9391

It was July 1915 and Annabelle stared out the window.  Beyond the bars lay the tombstones covered with dead leaves and vine, each inscribes with nothing but a number; the records might have given the names of those beneath the red southern soil.

She knew that there were no tomorrows.  A marriage of happiness ended with a disobedient act against her husband.  It was his right to put her in an asylum for the insane and the disobedient.  Yesterday’s promises were over; the “Consumption” as they called it would soon take her life.  The small 12X12 stone would read “#9391”.

 

©2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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Willa – A 100 Word Story

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Willa

Morning, sunbeams seeping through the windowpane like frost from winters frozen ground.    The breeze bathes Willa Sandusky with the scent of lilacs that are growing lavishly; a plum dusk sky lingers in the west.    Combing her snow-white hair, she takes the well-worn path down the hillside toward the sea.   Again, at dusk, Willa washed the dried sand from her feet, climbed in bed beneath old quilts and closed her eyes.  She knew the time had come, her soul left its earthly body and floated over silver sands and emerald seas; one-hundred year old Willa knew that she was going home.

 

 

©2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

 

 

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A Sheepherder’s Life – A 100 Word Short Stor

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A Sheepherder’s Life

On a dusky hillside, the sheepherders and dogs are tired.   No bleating comes from the sheep all is at rest.  The sheepherder’s whisper of the day and what will come tomorrow.  They talk of keeping the wolves away on this warm summer night.  They watch the sparks from their fire ascend into the purple night.  Tomorrow they will have to move to a new meadow or hillside, the grass where they lay is only roots.  They smoke their pipes and talk of gypsy-lore, the sheep, the dogs and herding, a gift from God.  This was their father’s life, their life.

 

 

©2016.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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