Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Thursday, December 9, 2021
Saturday, November 27, 2021
This morning, predawn; a hobbled greybeard walks the dew path toward the fox hollow road; oakwood smoke in the air below the last half moon of winter; the slightest hint of stars swirling beyond the eastern tree tops, above the winding valley branch. Wrens and redbirds staccato in the maples before the crows take flight. All the players are in their proper place for the shooting star, brighter than the moon, from zenith to the valley in a second; a moment only, but in that flash, a greybeard becomes a boy once again, a child of wonder once again, wishing on a star.
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Saturday, November 13, 2021
Thursday, November 11, 2021
Life is heavy loaded on my shoulder in the long shadows of late November; my cottage is cold, and quiet in candlelight, but out beyond the gate, our ancient mother calls me to the dance of dayend. Just before the sun sets behind the line of tall pines, I, in my winter wool, walk out into the silence, to stand still on my step, as the wood wind begins.
Curled, crisp oak leaves, like field mice, skitter and click across the cobblestones, beneath leafless locust branches that sway in hypnotic joy, as the senior silver maple joins the whispering rhythm. A kettle of vultures’ allemande left, above the east valley branch, seems like silhouettes of graceful angels in the air. Beyond their flight, clouds circle from the north in silence surrounding, miming the sun’s last rhyme. The waxing moon, the soloist on this stage, rises slowly, softly, higher into the vault of heaven.
Beneath the woodwind’s whisper, I join the dance as the circle's still center, while the unseen symphony, the ancient mother, whirls around me. I am the still, steady beat of breathing in, breathing out. The still dancing.
A flutter of dark-eyed juncos trill, and scratch at the pine needle floor, searching, in this day's leaving light, for the last sunflower seeds of the season; the dance slowing into winter rest, listening close, attuned to the still breathing in, and breathing out. Still.
Monday, September 13, 2021
Art is a story; that’s the way I’ve always worked at it. Telling your personal story is a path cut out of the wilderness, if your art is to be your truth.
My L'assemblage Artwork is a metaphor of the books we carry inside ourselves. Unlike the baggage we carry, these books are positive memories and values; the books we’ve read, the stories and poems we’ve written out on the fragile parchment of our hearts, in the margins, in the ink of tears and elation, the lessons and loves that we hold forever dear, deeply in that breast pocket of our soul coat.
These are our ancient pages, tied together with twine, held together by heart and hope. This book contains every hand you ever held, every heart you ever touched; these are the written receipts for paid attention.
Michael Douglas Jones ©2021
Sunday, July 11, 2021
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
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.
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
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.
Saturday, May 8, 2021
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,
Sunday, March 14, 2021
Saturday, March 6, 2021