Crave A Revolution

If patience is desired, persistence is the game
A long forgotten memory, is a face without a name
We’ve dismantled all the bridges, to that city on a hill
Transforming all our shovels into weapons that can kill

Your whine, is less displeasing as you age
If you crave a revolution, lift a finger, turn the page

Our songs of celebration, mask our feelings of regret
We stupefy the masses, with every chance we get
Singing lyrics not yet written, with our hands raised in the air
Sharing sermons of concern, just to let them think we care

Your whine, is not as bitter as your rage
If you crave a revolution, lift a finger, turn the page

There could be a great revival, if the dead would loose their grip
We might witness that progression, deep within the fellowship
A twisted sense of reason, leads a charge toward no return
Waiting for a sign, to let us know, that we have just been burned

Your whine, is getting sweeter as we age
If you crave a revolution, lift a finger, turn the page

James F. Ross

The Life Examined

Beautiful precious souls
Rest now, ’till morning rise
Dream-abouts make known
That what might be

And what might be
Is spring in summer
Hand in hand along
Furrowed fields planted

Faith nurturing hope
Patience’s virtue vetted
A voluntary pause in motion
Begins anew the life examined

James F. Ross 

2015

Paint The Moon

Away away seafaring brood
Away to ships and sailing
Traverse again to distant shores
Remember those awaiting

Away away ye kindred kind
Away to gathering be
We’ll paint the moon ’til starry night
Whenever you come home to me

Away away to hinterland
Forever dreaming you’ll be
Arrest your fear to once again
Lay hold the joy you’re seeking

Away away ye kindred kind
Sojourn to gathering be
We’ll paint the moon ’til starry night
Whenever you come home to me

~~~

James F. Ross
2014

a repost

Screaming In Paradise

Angry
Desperate
Hurt
Frustrated
Humiliated
Pushed Aside
Forgotten

Ignite a blue-tip off my tension
And watch me burn
A hole
A wonder
A crying shame
A memory that should never be

My mind
Suspended by a nonexistent cushion
Is on the brink
No respite dreams to waken

The erupting opus in my rift
Knows discord not that chord
An effortless bowel movement
Forget about it
Trying to waltz to this piece of junk manuscript
Is useless
A squandered life

Disappointing to you
Shame
A barge headed to Twelve Point
Midnight runs for self-respect

A monochrome rainbow of downward glances
Piercing even the best armor of hope
Every black and white waiting
To call in a disturbance of their harmony

From sea to shinning sea
There are cries of hunger and pain
Walking among you
God’s Grace has been shed

Screaming In Paradise
No one can see me

Screaming In Paradise
No one can bear me

Screaming In Paradise
Are you listening?

I AM

Screaming In Paradise

James F. Ross

2010

Paint The Moon

Away away seafaring brood
Away to ships and sailing
Traverse again to distant shores
Remember those awaiting

Away away ye kindred kind
Away to gathering be
We’ll paint the moon ’til starry night
Whenever you come home to me

Away away to hinterland
Forever dreaming you’ll be
Arrest your fear to once again
Lay hold the joy you’re seeking

Away away ye kindred kind
Sojourn to gathering be
We’ll paint the moon ’til starry night
Whenever you come home to me

 

James F. Ross
2014

The Far Wood

My Way
Well established and embraced,
An attentive examination of the village cobble
Would reveal a worn uneventful path, characterized as
Predictability, seasoned with an occasional diversion

The Orchard Café
Midday breakfast tea with shortbread delights
On the long-wall, wildflower and wooded landscapes
Frame the portrait of a well-tended and thriving orchard
That gently persuades my daily moment of introspection

My Walk
Takes me past the village main to Prospect and Hope
An eternal optimist, the florist shares an observation with prediction
An uncommon northerly wind … Change is coming, sooner than never
A fresh yellow rose then, cradled with a blanket of baby’s breath

The Round
A gift from one to benefit all who care to stroll and linger
The rose garden is Mother’s signature gesture of love,
Where an assemblage of Poets gather to hear the latest muse
Today’s reading, augmented by a somber melancholic cello

At the Stone Library
Children long for the patience that is so fervently demanded —
Joy suppressed to convenience those who’ve misidentified bliss
Wandering minds escape their plight with every flyleaf bowed
A clandestine journey, known only to those who remain unbound

The Half Acre
All roads lead to slumber — common ground for the resilient and weary
A cold wind escorts me through the shadow of Iron Gate
On Shepherd Hill, sheltered by a magnificent maple, lies a mighty rock
Who introduced and nourished many to faith, wisdom, and character …

My Mother
Her love and devotion admired, amid reverence for inspired compassion and joy
Sweet William pedestals column a vase of vintage wine-colored corolla
My golden-haired Rose, cradled in a blanket of baby’s breath, forever laid to rest
Silence comes to those who kneel and pray … I long for Mother’s cherished consent

At Prior’s Cottage
Over tea and sweet bread, I barter a tap of harmless prattle and wag with Esther P.
Our village weaver, her gnarled hand tremors aside, my aged willow punnet now mended
A shared barren condition, I have nothing to fill the void; however … Change is coming
Her insistent premonition dictates that today’s hike will take me deep into the Far Wood

Blackthorn Lane
Paved with the barbican old stone, past the clock tower onto the Grand Gate arch,
Following along Narrow Brook, the lane marshals west, down into Old Town and beyond
My ritual is to take the Near Wood trail, gather wild flowers while I may, and then return home
However, Esther’s leaf reading foretold joy. Enough is enough; today, I choose the new path

On this day
I’ve taken a step of hope … Content, the way is pleasant and my thoughts are free to wonder
Were I a gifted painter, how might I capture these meadows composed of variations on a theme
Passable, the path begins to taper, my long-shadow tags behind and the familiar becomes less so
Fallen leaves and pine cones crowd my basket; a sweet tart apple aroma calls to remembrance …

An Orchard
Before me stands a once sanguine hardy stock, congregated with purpose, now tired and bent
My gentle persuasion, my everyday embrace of hope, forgotten, left to wither by neglect of want
In the near-corner, a lone mackintosh defiantly bears fruit, in stark contrast to its lack of splendor
Love — a grand delusion, dancing in a moonlit orchard, alone again, perhaps forever … Where is joy?

A Northerly Wind
Whines its way across the meadow to Far Wood’s edge, causing the elder trees to groan and sway
Coaxed by a notion, I enter into the wood, guided more by intuition and perception than trail
Leaf and needle quietly descend from the woodland canopy, scattering throughout the forest floor
The resonance of my track startles the unsuspecting; a small herd of deer spring and run for cover

Deep in the wood
An old rock wall, under duress, stands its ground; in either direction, its run cannot be determined
Reclaimed by the forest, a farmer’s cherished vision no longer yields a harvest; I grasp the potential
Imagination and passion allow us to close our eyes and dream, to awaken in another place and time
Fortunate are those who are able to linger and dance, brushing aside the mundane with broad strokes

Preparing for Joy
After clearing my mind of expectations, the corner gate is easily discovered along the outer wall
Beyond the wood, a rise overlooks a familiar setting — meadow and brook gently merging into a pond
On this broad brook pond, my skipping stone ripples a wave across the way toward a small cabin
Smoke bellows from its chimney; the seasoned hackberry aroma, grabs my attention and interest

A tranquil peaceful moment, interrupted by a young collie chasing my notion out of the Far Wood
Joy, greets me with lively spirit

James F. Ross

2012

The Orchard

 

Black as night …
Coals from the slow-burning hackberry remain intact
Wistful this morning, I’ve chosen the worn mackinaw
In an age of silent gratitude and preference,
Old habits wane, but almost never pass

First Light …
The slight rap of my walking stick against the sidewall
Brings the younger collie, greeting me with lively spirit
Our singular path, passably sufficient,
Leads into the wood and adjacent valley

Taking the lead …
My scout scurries ahead, surveying for signs of wander
Cleverly marking future routes with a personal declaration
I never weary of her occasional vanishing act … and reappearance
Good Friends always find a way to walk a common path

Change …
Although my pace hasn’t slowed at all over the years,
Somehow, I arrive later and later to my desired intentions
An uneasy paradox, soothed in part by a poetic observation
That the journey is my destination, reframes this solitary outing

The Wood …
No house of worship is its equal, in simplicity or splendor
A habitat of curve and camber, there’s not a straight line to be found
Your admiration was always sincere, as my appreciation is genuine
Eagles live among the elder trees, nestling their young with brushwood and twig

Meadow and Pass …
Fairies work throughout the night to weave a mantle of petal and bloom
Long ago, the morning sun brushed a hue across this meadow, proclaiming your arrival
My scout darts out at full speed to the far end, stopping abruptly to wag her location
Whenever there’s a need to seek comfort or reassurance, I always come back here … to the beginning

The Orchard …
Once a labor of love, any inclination to cultivate this graveyard vanished long ago
Save the lone near-corner mackintosh … a monument to your care and passion
I refused to let go in the hope that, somehow, I will sense your presence
A shambles now, never assume someone else will tend to your dream in a similar fashion

On this day …
We continue on to the nearby village main; a northerly wind hastens our march
At The Orchard Café, a hodgepodge of like-minded souls gather,
Determined to make their mark by not leaving one
The collie shakes the cold, then curls on her rug beside the coal-fed Gurney

An empty chair …
Rests beside mine at our table; my quiet moment … coffee, apple pie, butter pecan ice-cream
Two friends share concern for my well-being; a third, attempts to engage in conversation
I am standing with you in the meadow … in the beginning, and near the end
My silent memory, disrupted by the collie snuggling at my feet

Enough is enough …
Death brings a sorrow that withers the strongest of souls, creating a void not easily filled
In the midst of struggle, most are blind to their condition and to any balm that might heal
My friends encircled me, placing my old brushes, tools, and pigments on the table
Hands lay on my shoulder. “It’s time,” I’m told. No argument. No discussion. Enough is enough

A promise made …
The way home was without color or shape; I don’t recall anything worth preserving
Though for a long while, my scout never left my side, until a notion coaxed her into the wood
A push of the bellow ignites the kindling; a fire is burning again … and, it feels good
I open the door to your room, pause, select an empty canvas and then bring it into the light …

 

James F. Ross
© 2012

The Arrival

Oh to have leisure charmed in such a way
That your disposition is envied by the freckled calico grimalkin
Vacillating between trepidation and cunning, a gentle push precedes my entrance
My presence, betrayed once again by my own handiwork

Your lack of acknowledgement strengthens my hope
That feigned resistance truly is an invocation for attention
Improbable as it may be, this moment’s splendor surpasses my expectation
The long bluestem and Junegrass now have competition for my hand.

Soon, late season petal and bloom will mantle meadow and pass
An enchanting fragrance awaits those prepared to dance and linger
Majestic pines cathedral their praise and worship toward heavens gate
Innately, beneficiaries of nature’s gift, aspire to learn their harmony

A weary gadabout seeking refuge, I’ve missed sharing our expressions
Free and open discourse however, is not wise in an unsecured epistle
The content of which might become prattle and wag for even the closest of friends
We share not long-winded rumor but instead meaningful respite from loneliness

Own this gaze forever; allow the seasons to mark our time
I am waiting for this moment to unfold
To capture your awakening, in the manner of dreams
A gentle initial touch; pressed from tender, passionate, unfurled affection

 

 

James F. Ross

2011

The Reception

Your elusive matter not withstanding
The moan of the worn spring-gate declares your arrival
Confidence warranted without confirmation, until…
The creak of the porch stoop matches your pace

A shoeless absconder from normalcy
My eyes resist the sun’s midday intrusion
Color, as well as shades of gray, ineptly incurs detection
Unfinished reflections of sincerity rest at my side

In a language commonly reticent for adoration, I eavesdrop as you
Decipher the signs and wonders of the pending solstice
Nature’s essentials distilled to realize their purest form
A gift so potent, cries for frugality resonate with their use

As usual, your intentions are absent of pretense
Treated am I, to a well-rehearsed impromptu recitation
A dialog this time, between a couple so clever and coy that…
I hardly recognize myself… Nor you

Although you would have others deem you capable,
Never could I imagine your lips purse an astringent word
Patiently waiting for courage to arrive, I open my eyes to silence
A tender affectionate kiss captures my blush with perfection

James F. Ross

2011