Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Seeder


Four hundred years ago, we sailed west, and here, met our kin who had moved east long before that. Upon landing, there was great celebration, but the camaraderie was short-lived; the long separation had turned many hearts to flint and within fifteen years, the first of the twenty-seven wars began.


After all this time, there is still a divide that separates the blue tribes and the reds. Small skirmishes flare up often and the opposing tribes have gradually separated to camps and cities scattered through the land. After four centuries, it’s difficult to tell your red relatives from your blues and I would not choose between two wrongs. I’ve, also, never been accustomed to the babble and chatter of the cities and camps, so I lived off the land between the camps and became a seeder.  


There are other seeders like me; we ride between the camps, bringing books, sharing seeds and small deeds of compassion, giving credit to a neighboring camp. Our goal, perhaps impossible, is to bring the tribes back together. Mostly, we are seen as dreamers; naïve, harmless, like artists and poets. There are those that view us as gypsies, or perhaps spies of some vast conspiracy, so vigilance is always our watchword. When I meet other riders traveling between the camps, I have a cautious word with them, until I can be sure that they are seeders also. We never gather in groups; we pass short messages to one another about our progress, and where we have seen sparks of understanding.


We are not here to gain merit; most of us fell into this role when we were still quite young. We will ride until these tribes become one again. We don’t expect to be leaders of a new tribe; the seeders are a loose affiliation. My English ancestors sailed the tall ship, Mayflower; my Patawomeck ancestors paddled the poplarwood canoe on the river, Rappahannock. There are no enemies for me, only family, to share thanks giving.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Perigee Moon

Perigee Moon ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2021
Original artwork available at Gallery 322 

  Milk glass sky, its curtain of clouds, wispy white, twilight, moving stage right for the star of the evening; perigee moon.  Firefly ushers, with soft light, show us to our seats, while passerines pair up in birdsong, the opening act. Perigee, her dance of veils behind the locust tree; each veil drops; the black, the gold, the red, the silver, as the artist pours a pint of ale.  Oh, Pensée; he is waiting for epiphany; perigee moon.



Monday, October 19, 2020

One o’ them two dollar words...

Clarence Douglas Jones, U.S.Navy 1942

     After Pearl Harbor, my father enlisted in the Navy to fight Fascism. On December 11, 1942, his ship, USS SCOTT was torpedoed, and sunk off the coast of Africa during the Allied invasion of French North Africa. The torpedo hit the Starboard side; the ship burst into flames and foundered, but owing to the availability of landing craft for rescue, casualties were limited to 59 men. My father was a landing craft pilot. He was only 17 that day.

    Now, Fascism was too big a word for a 16 year old Virginia farm boy with a sixth grade education, but he knew it by its true names. He knew the bully harming weaker folks, too young or too old to stop them; the bigot hating the “coloreds” and the “come-heres”; the big man belittling women and treating them as chattel; the straw boss rewarding his buddies; the revivalist bathing in the baptismal font with a gifted jug of bootleg whiskey, before launching into an hour of fiery brimstone, and eternity in the sky. Yeah, fascism was one o’ them two dollar words, and where he was raised, and where I was raised, life, all life was precious and was not ours to rule or roll over.

     Here we are, nearly 80 years later, still fighting Fascism; we just have to VOTE.


Thursday, September 24, 2020

Telling the Bees

Telling the Bees ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2020
Original artwork SOLD / Gallery 322 

I am the beekeeper’s boy. I learned early on to weave the willow, to keep the skeps in good order, to keep us queenright during the years of colony collapse, after the beekeeper was conscripted into the war before this war. 

My mother is the mistress of the house; the keys on her chatelaine control the locks and secret doors. She keeps the inside; I keep the outside. The house is her hive, but she, in turn, must tell the bees her secrets, her sorrows; tell the news when the letters arrive. She was taught by our ancient mother to tap, three times, on the hive with her door key; to drape black crepe on dark days, when the carriage climbs the gated hill. She was taught to place white cake on wedding days, when the carriage winds its way past the Queen Anne’s Lace on the churchouse road. Just as we share the sunflower, the bees share the capped cell; we are family, we share joy; we share sorrow. We keep together. Home and skep, kept together.

From the bankbarn, I see her in the garden, on the path to the hives, through the cornflower and bramble blossom, past the honeysuckle waiting for the heather; the pollen peppers the black dress, the mourning dress her mother wore, in the war before this war. My mother walks the widow's walk, carrying the black crepe tied with a grey wool ribbon.

Three times, she taps on the hive with her door key,

three times, she taps on the terracotta top;

three times, asking them to spiral up and over,

three times higher than the vault of heaven;

Three times, she whispers,

telling the bees,

telling the bees,

telling the bees.

I was the beekeeper’s boy.

I am the beekeeper now.


Wednesday, September 23, 2020


EQUALITY 2020 ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2020
Original artwork SOLD / Gallery 322  

"Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you."

                                                ~ Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg


    In the middlenight, we plant by moonlight; when we falter at the ridge on the burnt hill road of equality, we will not fall, we remember your promise on that last day, and keep climbing.

    We do not grieve for you; we will miss you more than all we’ve lost, but grief is for the suffering and you did not accept suffering. Your reach is wider now; we did not think that possible. No longer from anywhere, you are not of any age; you have always been, and will always be the voice, the plan of the planter; sowing the slow growth of equality.

    They that seed are everything; they are the breath, the whisper, the promise of all that came before. Your lantern shines through the chiaroscuro, from every starlit flicker to the blueblack wings of night, and we will hold that ageless flame before us, and go, as you would go, to the ridge where the hardwood seeds will grow. 

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Court Street

Court Street ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2020
Original artwork SOLD / Gallery 322 

    The rumble of the railcars on East Street, the rattle of the wagons on Market, the banter and chatter inside the city keeps a man from thinking beyond the busyness of the morning, so by dayend, I search for solace down the moss tinged cobblestone of Court Street toward the Carroll creek once more, to hear the calming rush and roll of water, to sit upon a cedar bench.

My old friend, the cedar bench; the two of us, grayed with age, waiting for the moon to rise.  We sit silent, as audience to the sunset songs of cricket, frog, and creek; I collect my thoughts, which are always of you.

Here, by the water, under the black walnut, with the scent of sassafras, I buy brief passage to another time, a long ago September, when you would simply seduce every sense I possess.


                                                ~ Michael Douglas Jones

Frederick in Spires


Saturday, May 16, 2020

Poet Heart

Poet Heart ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2020
Original artwork SOLD / Gallery 322 

    My poet heart is writing on a pass of paper clouds moving left to write across the frozen northern fields; a crystal breath, billowing, filling the late afternoon with wonder and words that appear, and disappear, in moments of vivid crescent light and violescent shade.

    Crows flock in as punctuation; a caw here, a comma there, returning to roost in the fine handwritten script of bare maple branches. Turkey vultures sail in too, crossing the T's of hickory trees, and underlining the rhyme in blueblack. From my cottage, to the south behind, a faint scent of bitternut smoke colors this poem in bittersweet.

    And here I stand in the still, below the westwrit wind; my pencil in my pocket, my poet heart tucked up my sleeve. I raise my hand to write this down, to carry it in leatherbound, but the pencil pulls the poem apart, and all of this begins again.

    My poet heart is writing on a fade of falling dark.

                                                                                ~ Michael Douglas Jones

Friday, May 8, 2020

Moving Through the Meadow

Moving Through the Meadow ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2020
Original artwork SOLD / Gallery 322 

The beekeeper’s boy sits in the meadow,
in the murmur of the moment;
watching the movement of rising and falling;
the bees, their being, and non-being.

Watching, waiting, listening for the bees.
Was that their whisper,
was that the wind, 
or just the whir of white noise.

Colony collapse has finally hit the hive.

The beekeeper’s boy, who raised this rabble,
must now give them up.

The queen is quietly mercurial;
the swarm is more like mayhem.

Still, he had seen the miracle
moving through the meadow.

The beekeeper’s boy sits in the meadow,
 in the measured hours of this moment,
where future will not arrive, and past no longer matters.

The useful Arts and Mysteries, the apicultural history,
the architecture of Aristaeus, all have crumbled,
and lay like wax cappings near recently robbed hives,
like shell casings near recently robbed lives.

Still, he had seen the miracle
moving through the meadow.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Social Democracy

Angels in the Air © 2020 Michael Douglas Jones
Prints available:

I have friends and family on every spectrum of belief and knowledge; I love each and all of them, and will not sacrifice one for another during this pestilence. We are a community and my signature is on a social contract that I pledge to uphold every day that I live.

So, here we are; shouting about freedom, about liberty, and that is all well and good. If we are here to voice our wishes, our choices, as to who we are, where we came from as we made this our world, and in 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, then, we are here to make humankind the best kindness for our children, and their children, and their children's’ children.  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 of belief; 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, May 1, 2020

Muse Descending

Muse Descending ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2020
Original artwork SOLD at Gallery 322

In the midst of this malaise,
the muse descended,
as quiet as a baby’s breath.

Listen; are those falling leaves
or tiny wings.

The muse comes,
not in grand gown,
but at odd hour,
with shoulder wrapped
and whispering.

She touches down lightly,
sprinkling gold dust,
stardust, rust,
and we are waiting here,
with arms open,
or eyes closed,
and still she comes,
as she is.

This always was;
always will be.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

To Leave the War House Locked

To Leave the War House Locked ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2020
Original artwork SOLD at Gallery 322

In my past, there was a warehouse where I stored my weapons of war.  My anger and hurt were in there, with my drawn out plans of vengeance against those that had wronged me.  I locked it deep inside me as I went about my days, and now the lock has rusted shut; I cannot get back in, and I've forgotten what I was fighting about.

Perhaps it is time to forgive those that have wronged me and to leave the war house locked.

To Leave the War House Locked
Carte de Visite from an oil painting by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2020

Friday, January 17, 2020


Everlasting ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2020
Original artwork SOLD / Gallery 322 

The body fails,
and finally falls away,
but how it lived
is everlasting.


Prints available: