Saturday, August 6, 2022

Riding Home

Riding Home
Trompe-l'œil L’Assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2022
Original artwork available at Gallery 322

    Riding north to Frederick City; my old mare moves slowly across the trestle bridge. Her pace is just enough to lift a breeze above the dust, and her hooves, on the wood planks, lilt a lullaby rhythm.

    An hour past dawn, on independence day; a fog façade rises from the calm Monocacy river waters. A fog like five hundred campfires; morning meals of ghost soldiers from the war before this war. And I, alone, am riding home.

~ Michael Douglas Jones
 Parcel №12


Wednesday, July 6, 2022


Trompe-l'œil L’Assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2022
Original artwork available at Gallery 322

   After the blue flame and thunder of the eastward storms, in the valley branch, the water rolls, drip-rippling over stones, white foam rising; its rhythm repeats, repeats, repeats, as an ostinato of spring peepers, toads, and tree frogs rises, reaching redwings nesting in the cattails, and they too join that unseen symphony.

 This refrain repeats, as this  romance repeats, and becomes our song. This is our dance, again and again. 

Friday, June 17, 2022

Fathers Day


1963 was the seminal summer of my life, as I became aware of what Love and Family meant, when my floor of family fell beneath me. To your house, I came scarred and bruised, yet every aunt and uncle patiently collected the remnants of my life in a broken bone bag, and sewed me back together. As strong as my mother was, you, each and all, lifted us with grace and charity, that we could rise again. I will never forget.

I am the child of every father that ever was; I am the guardian of every child to come.

Father’s Day is the warmest day in June for many people, and I appreciate that you are, or were, loved by a father, or stepfather, or uncle. There are folks that struggle on this day; hopefully, most had mothers, stepmothers, and aunts that took up the task and did double duty. Love them on this day as well.

One day, I will write it all out; the father that was mine, the father that was my hero, the father that dreamed, the father that asked big questions in an age when only faith was accepted as fact.

I remember vividly, at our Wilderness farm on the back porch, with the revivalist; the revivalist that bathed in the baptismal tank at the Wilderness Baptist Church. My Father was asking the big questions about religion and God, and the meaning, the remembrance of everyone that came before, but the revivalist had NO answers, and just wanted to drink my father's moonshine. THAT was the point when my father, my hero died inside. I was a child; I watched it, and remembered.

My father chose a long goodbye, a slow suicide, perhaps a lingering hope that answers would come, but there was no saving grace. Eighteen years later, he died on a Pennsylvania Avenue street corner, close to the White House, poisoned by a toluene moonshine. I didn’t see him the last ten years of his life, when he lived, homeless, on the streets of DC, and I never forgave him, until I became him, until I walked the dreamer's road. Life is a hard road; it is only by the grace of my wife and my girls that I am still here. They are the saving grace.

After all these battles,

all these victories and losses,

there is a saving grace, a love;

a canteen offered to a friend or a foe;

a sharing of the cool water of compassion,

a caring at the open door;

opening beyond words,

beyond our own world,

where we are the open door;

where we are the cool water;

where we are the saving grace.

Where we are.

You and I.

We are that.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Brief Passage

Brief Passage
Trompe-l'œil L’Assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2022
Original artwork SOLD at Gallery 322

The rumble of the railcars on East Street, the rattle of the wagons on Market, the banter and chatter inside the city keep a man from thinking beyond the busyness of the morning, so by dayend, I search for solace down the moss tinged cobblestone of Court Street, south toward the Carroll creek once more, to hear the calming rush and roll of water, to sit upon the cedar bench.

My old friend, the cedar bench; the two of us, grayed with age, waiting for the moon to rise.  We sit silent, as small  audience to the sunset songs of cricket, frog, and creek; I collect my thoughts, which are always of you.

Here, by the water, under the black walnut, with the scent of sassafras, I buy brief passage to another time, a long ago September, when you would simply seduce every sense I possess.

                                                   ~ Michael Douglas Jones

                                                                 Parcel №9

Frederick in Spires


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Changing Light

Changing Light
Trompe-l'œil L’Assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2022
Original artwork SOLD at Gallery 322

    In nature, the storm is swift, while growth is gradual. Let not the new day take you by storm; be gradual and gentle in your resolve.

    Be as the dawn’s changing light, behind the fog façade, moving west across the Chesapeake.
                                                                       ~ Michael Douglas Jones
                                                                                   Parcel №11



Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Morning's Doves

Morning's Doves
Trompe-l'œil L’Assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2022
Original artwork SOLD at Gallery 322

   This war, waged in wilderness, in city streets, and in all directions therefrom, leaves a lawless landscape of  raiders, deserters, and ne’er-do-wells. At sunrise, we follow the smoke, over a ridge, to find burning homes where soldiers and looters are leaving with as much as they can muster. I have seen so many mothers starving, left with only the clothes they carry, holding hungry babies on their hips. Mornings find them foraging along the roads, like mourning doves, sorrowful in their song, scratching in the soil for bits of seed and sustenance. We give what small rations we have in our haversacks, but cannot give them the peace they seek. They do not cry or complain; their eyes hold no tears for themselves. If they hold hope at all, it is for the future of the children.

    I tell them that soon life will be better, but my eyes betray me, having seen the life leaving from too many children of other mothers.

    It will be better, morning dove, it will be.

                                                  ~Michael Douglas Jones
                                                           Parcel №10


Friday, February 25, 2022

The Late Supper


The Late Supper 
Trompe-l'œil L’Assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2022
Original artwork at Gallery 322

This art & essay is somewhat different from my usual fare, as it is more tongue in cheek, written in the tradition of the dark Mother Goose nursery rhymes, which are laced with murder and mayhem.—

Coarsely chopped scorn
and wild white venom
in the black beast stew;
she baked a loathe
of whole pain bread
and hate it by herself.

Her husband came home
in his cups;
much too late for supper.
She met him
with the cake knife
to serve him just deserts.