Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Once




On a February, cold and dreary, Wednesday afternoon, in the empty aisle of gift wraps and greeting cards, past the paper plates and party hats, a lace gray grandmother, with spectacles and a pocket magnifier, lingers alone, reading sentimental Valentines, just like the ones her children used to send her.



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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Settle into Silence

Settle into Silence ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2019




Be quiet now, and listen to the soil moving slowly into solstice. Come, with me, out before the new morning of the longest night to gather firewood from the deadfallen branches. Beneath a silent sentinel moon, the crows will keep the time; the red-tailed hawk atop the old oak will keep watch as we work. A new snow quilt covers the field of cut corn and the harvest is over; now is the time to rest and reset. All is still, predawn, along the buffalo road; the slight and silent movement, reflected in your lantern light, is the shooting stars of snow falling from the tall pines.

Watch for the black ice of yesterday’s storms; it will make your night mind restless and weary. Do not track that restlessness back inside the winter cottage. Put the room at rest, and settle into silence. There will be struggles ahead in the longer days, so now is the moment, in the quiet crackle of hardwood fires, for a sleep deep inside, where we may wake anew. Be not born again to make the same choices; let this be a new season within you.

Set your taper by the bedside, and move in close beneath the quilt; I will watch over you, soft in sleep beside me. Be quiet now, and listen, moving slowly into solstice.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Bill's Brushes

Bill's Brushes



Bill Van Doren was a Renaissance Man, if ever there was one; artist, writer, singer; he could do it all, and do it well. Just as impressive was his complete joy of life, and his generous heart. When my brother passed away, a Sunset painting of that day arrived soon after; Bill was always lifting my spirits like that, with kind words, or even his recorded version of a song we both loved. Just a couple months ago, he sent me a box of his used paint brushes, so I could use them as characters in my new l'assemblages. A simple act that I will always cherish, and he will be a part of my art for years to come.

We travel the side roads for a time, and touch as many as we can. He has touched us, and will again. Bill Van Doren is a part of us all now.




William Van Doren ~ JULY 14, 1948 – JANUARY 20, 2019



Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving Forevernow


Skyfull  © Michael Douglas Jones  2018



   On the Bethesda Church road, as the storm moves east, beneath the cushion of cloud veiled dawn, a heron angel glides west above the rain wet road that ribbons down the valley of cut corn, to lightly land at the edge of Bennett Creek where Madonna and Child, cow and calf, drink fresh rainwater, and I am in that quiet congregation of thanks giving.


Friday, November 2, 2018

Here We Are

Angels in the Air ©Michael Douglas Jones
Prints available: http://goo.gl/ue83F




Here we are. We are here to vote again, to voice our wishes, our choices, as to who we are, where we came from, as we made this our world, and in this voting, this voicing, we honor our ancestors that lived, that died, that came here to this land, to this life, to this day, to be the best that humankind, that human kindness could be. We are here to make humankind the best kindness for our children, and their children, and their children.  Our vote, our voice, in fact, our entire life, is based on one choice, and that is this; Love or Fear. At day’s end, what is it that you love; what is it that you fear? I do not fear inclusion; I do not fear diversity; I do not fear the other, because there is no other.


   I have read the volumes about angels in the air, seen my share of Sunday sermons, stood inside the stunning limestone cathedrals, and sat beneath the vault of heaven, but this is my experience of faith, as I find it in every moment of the everyday.


You breathe out
and I breathe in;
where you leave off
and I begin,
I cannot say.
Where you leave off
and God begins,
I cannot say.
This is my faith,
simply said.



Friday, October 19, 2018

The Innkeeper's Journal

Innkeeper's Journal ©Michael Douglas Jones





My unrequited love, she is the innkeeper, rising before sun to care for the ones she keeps, and not resting until midnight when all are abed. The inn is a respite for all travelers, but the keeper is alone with her memories of an unspoken sorrow; she is the attendant, the confidante to her guests, and her own sadness is kept, secluded, in her journal. My innkeeper, she is there, locked up inside herself; the only key tied to her chatelaine, and I sit here on the veranda outside the inn, on the cedar bench, watching her eyes, hoping to see behind the hurt, yet helpless in my own fetters of rust and worry.

My innkeeper, she walks the halls in the afternoon, with tea and biscuits, and parcels for the favored ones. She receives no parcels herself, except my pitiful postcards, professing my love. Those she puts aside; that poor farm boy, that sweet, but shy, swain from South Mountain.

I tell her, and in time, she may know; life is not what she has lost, it is the gifts we give, the miracles and mysteries we find at every turn, just outside the door. I see it from my seat on the veranda. There is mystery in a simple bundle of letters; an almost adolescent anticipation; where any day holds hope; where a dream might come true within the letter bundle. On his appointed morning rounds, the postman, that romantic carrier, shuffles the bundle small to large, and then ties it with a string. A gift wrapped with ribbon could not promise so completely.

What news this day comes; what joy, what sorrow. Pleasure, pain, each as it is, comes in a bundle with the mundane.

We are the lucky, the blessed, on this bench, on this veranda, outside the inn; the breeze blowing away the day.

Wish you were here.
J'ai souhaité que tu étais ici.
                                             

                                             ~ Michael Douglas Jones



Sunday, October 14, 2018

Long Night Moon

Long Night Moon  ~ L'assemblage ~ ©Michael Douglas Jones 2018





   Midnight of the long night moon, and like far away thunder, the battery wagons rumble across the train track, south of the railroad cut; you stir slightly in your pinewood cot, beneath a worn, but warm, wool blanket. Your redtick hound lifts her ears, but does not bark. The crick crackle of the fireplace settles you back to sleep, after a weary day of the world at war.

   I place my artillery at the crest of the distant ridge, and wait until the light of predawn. The first shell drifts left, hitting the well house; the second takes the cottage chimney, collapsing brick and mortar, sending oakwood smoke and flame through your room, until all that is left is ember and ash. Your redtick hound howls, but does not leave you. You keep your silence and stand, with no surrender, accepting the smoke and flame.

   I know this, because I am you, and the deeper demons at work here, beneath the long night moon. You and I, we are the battle worn veterans, we are the hunters; we are the hunted. Logic is my lantern, and yet, I lift the linstock and light the slow match.

   Tonight, I return home after this weary day of war, the road north of the railroad cut well lit by the waning moon at my back. My cot is cold and old pinewood; the fire is welcome and warm. My redtick hound sleeps at my side, and stirs only slightly at the sound of far away thunder.