Thursday, February 28, 2019

To Measure The Moon


To Measure the Moon ~ L'assemblage ©MichaelDouglasJones 2019





Breaking day sun slips through the thornapple branches in jagged cuts of light and night. I rise with its pain, and listen, but Courage does not call out commands, or curse from atop the porch step to the chattel below; she will not wait for reinforcements. Courage whispers, and walks toward the plank road where the work will be done. She does not ask to be Courage, as I do; she takes the task at hand and handles it now, so I walk behind her fo a time, in the early morning, as the fog lifts beyond the tree line. We are tasked this day to measure the moon, at the ridgetop, a full day’s journey, and the many that stay behind say it cannot be measured, it is beyond our scope, and the demons on the ridge are many. Courage wears the scars and creases of those demons, so I will walk behind her awhile, and ask to be Courage for this one day.

I wear my father’s butternut overcoat, and deep inside the left pocket is the Colt pistol that he turned on himself, in the war before this war. I carry the weight of that Colt, the weight of that coat, the wet wool heavy on my scars and shoulders, and every morning, I reach into its worn pocket, moving my fingers across the blood and oil polished pistol grip, knowing that I am on his path; knowing that his way was thick with thorns and tangled honeysuckle vines, with deep mud, and deeper madness, and I ask to be Courage for this one day.

Courage is quiet, and walks with a steady step through the tall grass, even as the grade steepens near the slip rail, a full furlong before the plank road, where the work will be done. I fall behind in the high noon sun, my heavy boots caked with the drying mud of years lost, trudging the circling path of thorn and vine. By late afternoon, Courage is a shrinking silhouette on the west ridge, and I am remembering the cool shade of the hawthorn and the thick sweet scent of honeysuckle, its taste on my lips, so I sit for awhile to consider my direction for tomorrow, and move the pistol to my right pocket.

 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Lace of Life

Lace of Life ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2019




This lace of life
forever hides
as much as it reveals.






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.