Sunday, July 11, 2021

Wilderness № 64

Wilderness № 64~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2021
Original artwork at Gallery 322 



Journal Entry: Wilderness, Virginia; May 9, 1864

     We were never nomads; our land was patented to Thomas Jones in 1719, and here we are still, and here we will be in 100 years, unless the forces that pull and push this land intercede and leave this farm fallow; this soil unseeded.


     The latest and largest battle at the Wilderness has ended;  that bees’ nest of sabers and pistols; the buzz and whistle of savage stings all around our heads; arms flailing wildly with reins in one hand, a sword in the other; wild-eyed horses colliding in confused canter, and we now witness the aftermath. Wagons and walkers pass each day, all on their way to somewhere away from the Wilderness. Our once thick forests of pine have been burned again, leaving charred stumps and hordes of burning, shrieking skulls.


     But soon, they will be quiet, and soon, sprouts will lean against them for support, like seedlings in white ceramic pots, and once again, after this war to end wars is over, the pines will grow and the skulls shall house the field mouse and the cedar sapling; and still, we will be here. We will be here in 100 years, in 200 years, in the joy of small girls and boys running through the pines to the Wilderness Run. We were never nomads.                  
                                  



 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A Future Field

A Future Field~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2021
Original artwork SOLD at Gallery 322 




 Each morning is our springtide, and a future field stretches out before us, curving over the horizon, beyond all imagination. Full of possibilities, it is ours to tend. If we think this field fallow, it will be, and we need do nothing further. If we think it fertile, it will become a garden, and blossom beyond all we know.



A Future Field~ India Ink Drawing by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2021





 

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

East of Sugarloaf

East of Sugarloaf~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2021
Original artwork available at Gallery 322 




 
 The recent troubles have taken a toll on each and all of us.  I, who had never raised a fisted hand against another, now carry three revolvers; one holstered on my hip and two in pommel holsters on my saddle, in case you might measure me at a distance by my colors, as my old mare moves slowly up the corduroy road on the last day of May; a hot afternoon.  Her pace is just enough to lift a breeze above the dust, and her hooves on the wood, work a lullaby rhythm.  High to the west, is the sugarloaf mountain, but, closer, I catch sight of a young groundhog standing in the new corn, both only two hands high; both searching the sky for a taste of rain.  The old mare knows the high clouds have none; she waits for a drink from Bennett's creek.  Along the east side of the road, an oriole savors the honeysuckle blooms on the remnants of a split rail, its scent a brief kiss from a childhood sweetheart, and I dream in the afternoon of a brown-eyed Susan, while the old mare moves slowly up the corduroy road, away from the troubles, and every day, closer to home.
                     
                                                                  
                                                                  ~Michael Douglas Jones 




 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Embrace

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





  Dearest,


While most are abed, I am in the saddle patrolling the High Bridge Road. I have ridden for weeks, seeing nothing but destruction and the dying embers of this war. Like my campfire, where the flames die down and then unexpectedly spring up with fire again; the fight dies down and then springs up with fight again. Our army was cornered, cut off from all supplies and any escape, but today our troopers kept High Bridge from burning, so that shall be our route to safety, my path back to you.


I am coming home to you; if you will still have me. I must confess; I am more a hobbled greybeard than the shy swain that rode off to adventure. I have changed considerably; my eyes from the inside do not change, but when I happen upon my reflection it is so different. There is no nimbus around my head, no medals on my chest; war was not at all like anyone imagined.


It has been almost a year since our last evening together, though it stands clear in my memory. The whispers of the wood fire, its glimmer lit a halo in your hair; there were few words; I said nothing and you said only, “Hold me.”


We stopped time that evening; we stopped war. Words will not heal our wounds; words will not make us forget, but if we can just embrace each other long enough to stop time once more, perhaps there is a chance to start a new time; to craft a new life.


  I shall make it so.

  I remain yours,

  beyond time.



 


 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

February

February ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2021
Original artwork SOLD at Gallery 322 


    Cold and dreary February; ice and cold wind blow. Inside, warm, on frigid Frederick days, sets the mind to Valentines, and grade school parties, with shy young boys, giving their candy hearts to their one Valentine girl; the girl whose card was so hard to choose, the only one they signed with love.  And after school, alone at home, sitting, staring at the card that came from her.  It is handled so very carefully, for months and months, so not to smudge the name.  But finally, that most important card is lost with age, as are the loves, and dreams of youth.

    I lost a lot while growing up, and wondered if I might find it again, that total love, one feels at youth, but February reassures me when Valentines for you are so very hard to choose, and the only one I signed my name to, underneath  I Love You.


Court Street, Frederick in Spires


 


 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Leaving You at Sundown

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



Leaving; riding beside the split-rail toward the sundown road. In the crisp winter air, the smell of oakwood smoke fades; the warmth of your whisper still wrapped like wool around me.


 


Sunset on Sundown Road, Laytonsville, Maryland. January 15


 

Sunday, February 28, 2021

WINGS

 

WINGS ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2021
Original artwork SOLD at Gallery 322 


Butterfly emerges

when it can no longer hide its wings.




Monday, February 22, 2021

Ride the High Wheel

Ride the High Wheel ~ L'assemblage by Michael Douglas Jones  ©2021
Original artwork SOLD at Gallery 322 




    In the veiled light of predawn, I ride the high wheeler from Market Street, south toward the Monocacy river bridge, past the cornfield and Queen Anne’s lace, into the fog fa├žade, the grey above green, a watercolor wash atop the cover crops, as quiet as a cloud.