Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Written Receipts for Paid Attention
Carolina Wren 12/12/12 by Michael Douglas Jones

    At 12:12:12pm on 12/12/12, I sat on the small wood wall behind my cottage, near the line of tall pines, beneath the winter roost of the Cooper’s Hawk. A wisp of whitest clouds carried the sound of distant dogs, and the laughter of school children on the recess playground across the valley. The sun, to the south, settled low on this short December day, but warmed my cheek, like wool wrapped around me. Beneath the redbud, on the split-rail post, a Carolina Wren rattled a warning about the Cooper’s Hawk above. I breathed in the crisp cooling air that warms our ancient hearts, and knew that this was indeed an extraordinary moment, never to be repeated. A moment not unlike this moment; or this moment. Or this.

Monday, December 3, 2012

All the Day

All the Day
a composite photograph by Michael Douglas Jones

All the day, at every hour, the travelers wish, and worry; each with equal effect. Here, near the seven mile marker on a hundred mile rail, built on bridges above the rivers, I work one task at a time to quiet my mind, and watch the wonder of this world, all the day, at every hour.

#reverb12 Day 3: What do you really wish for?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Winter Rest

Waiting by Michael Douglas Jones

stands the empty vase in winter,
waiting for the summer blossom.

I am spent; you will not see me in my winter rest, thirty steps down the bank, off the burnt hill road, beyond the long line of scrub pines, where the split-rail remnants trail off; there I am, blending back into the breath of soft soil. My last companion is a wake of vultures, the black angels of carrion come. I am the ribcage in the cornfield.

I know I had more to give, but I would not walk with you, held back by my doubts, not in you, but in me. On every road, I turned off before reaching the ridge. This day, my will is too weak to return to the road, so I rest here until spring.

Try as I might, when I return, I won’t remember this; the days will grow longer; I will walk these roads with you again, and one day, we will reach the ridge.

Posted in response to Reverb12 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Perhaps Tonight

 How are you starting this last month of 2012?
That Last Day
composite photograph

 Death’s ice hand, scratching at my door front, cracking, tapping, like sleet, on my window glass; that reaper with the raspy whisper, that skeptic with a swindler’s smile, sending missives, and missionaries, to bring me over, to pull me under, to turn me into soil and water. Until dawn, I hear the tapping, of imagination, or memory, hammering my heart in the pitch of winter night. This year of disappointment and death waits for me until the dawn of the last day of this final year. I start this month not knowing.

 Wrapped in oakwood smoke and overwhelm, I rise, in ache, slowly from my pinewood cot; I rise in awe that I am still here as light arrives. I wish for little else.

 December sun is late to rise; just moments into dawning, the turkey vulture takes to his day, seeking the warmer sunlight that reaches the tallest dead oak in view, passing eight hand spans above my head, with wet wings sounding like distant dogs on the ridge. Giving me a knowing nod as he lifts higher, up and away; he waits to clean my bones, but I am not yet ready. Oh, Pensée; they have such patience; perhaps tonight, but not today.