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.