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, October 19, 2018

The Innkeeper's Journal

Innkeeper's Journal ©Michael Douglas Jones
Original artwork SOLD at Gifts Inn BoonsBoro

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
Original artwork SOLD at Gallery 322 

   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.


Sunday, September 23, 2018

The Sharp Knife

Mother and Children ©Michael Douglas Jones

Do not listen to the dividers, the sharp knife cutters. We are all children of the same ancient mother. All of us. We laugh out loud, we live out loud, we love, and we are timeless; we are legend.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Toward Cool Water

Toward Cool Water ~   L'assemblage ©Michael Douglas Jones

Original artwork SOLD / Gallery 322 

Toward cool water, we walked north and west in the first days; Magdaléna, Pensée, and me. We fashioned canoes from strips of alder and ash, and moved toward cool water, away from the tribal fires on the ridge, away from the war before this war, away from the past, toward cool water, and toward the quiet of candlelight and concord.

Just south of the Patuxent River headwaters, we walked a furlong east of the buffalo road, at the midpoint where the slope between ridge and valley branch calms to a level large enough for a small cottage; there we made a home, facing east, to welcome each morning in the neverending season of forevernow.  

Now; now, we are older, we are timeless, yet vernal equinox moves in from the valley early, across the eastern horizon of old oaks, with promises from passerines heard above the first forecast of crows. Morning wakes, taking me up to the ridge to watch winter, with her worry, fade in the dawn brightening day. Behind me at the cottage, the melancholy cooing of mourning doves atop the terracotta chimney pot, predawn’s last song, softening to silence as I climb the hill beyond the tall pines. Silhouettes of robins in the redbud offer a new song, another chance to start, and a spring season to plant life anew; the past washed away in the floods of freshet, the cool, cool water of freshet.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Thank You Again

Michael Douglas Jones 2018. photograph ©Natoma Vargason

Thanks to everyone that came out last night for the First Saturday opening at Gallery322. I haven't had a Frederick based gallery in a while, even though I moved to Frederick proper five years ago. That is a story for another day; today I am so grateful for all of the support you have given me. Thank you again and again. 


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Tallying The Miracles

Tallying The Miracles ~ l'assemblage ~ ©MichaelDouglasJones

I am as you are,
we are of the ancients.
We are of the now,
and the forevernow.
These are the books we carry;
this is who we are.

We are the waking; taking our first full breath.
We are the words we whisper, when we turn the page.

Breathing in, we are the blending of all books,
the scribbling pencil points,
the overwhelmed annalists listening for the silence
between crow caws and motorcars.

Breathing out, we are this that is not named.

Breathing in, we are the gathering of grace;
the last scribes in the retinue, tallying the miracles,
illuminating manuscripts of unseen symphonies from
early morning mockingbirds.

Breathing out, we are this that is not named.

Breathing in, we are all that ever was.

Breathing out, we are all that ever will be.

Breathing in, we are.

Breathing out, we.

Breathing in.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Gallery 322

Poet Heart ~ assemblage ©Michael Douglas Jones

The TEXTURES exhibition will open in Frederick, Maryland at Gallery 322 on April 7, 2018, and continue throughout the month.

I am so pleased to share this gallery space with Ann Schaefer, Anne Gibson-Snyder, Homer Yost, Jackie Jouvenal, Jan Kaufman, Linda Kirvan, Roberta Staat, and Russ Schofield.


    Saturday, February 10, 2018

    Thank you

    What are thoughts and prayers? That, my friend, is only your mind thinking and asking. There is no need to think or ask, for all of that is already known. There is only one prayer, and that is, "Thank you; thank you; thank you."

    Friday, January 12, 2018

    Battle Fatigue

    Black Butterflies
    Composite photograph by Michael Douglas Jones ©2018

    We are, each and all, working on this life; a step and a stumble. The steps are small; the stumbles seem to fall forever, and when I see another friend has fallen to the insidious enemy of addiction, after fighting such a long, weary war, my soldier’s heart is broken. We are all in this fight; we might have battle fatigue; we might have our own deeper demons, our own empty chambers, but still, we must pick up our brothers in arms, hoist them over a shoulder, and move to higher ground, without judgment. This is a hundred year war, that we can win, even though the enemy is everywhere, omnipotent, invading our sleep, and our dreams. This enemy is walking through our neighborhood, where old friends become traitors, and the battle worn veterans feel exhausted, wounded, scarred; we see our comrades fall; we see the warriors in recovery fighting each day, hiding from the harsh lights of humiliation. So walk with me; take satisfaction in your scars; take satisfaction that you are a battle worn veteran, that you have taken one more step; pick up your brothers, your sisters, for you are them and they need your compassion and lovingkindness.