A Wonderful Review

I Am FlyingThe latest review for my short-story, I Am Flying, was graciously posted on Amazon yesterday, November 13th, by Ms. Molly Gapp. For your convenience, I Am Flying is available as a free download throughout the weekend. You don’t need to own a Kindle to read this story; a free Kindle app is available for most major smartphones, tablets and computers.

Molly’s Review

“This is a short but lovely, tender story of a kindly retired professor who still very much misses his deceased wife, Marie. I’m glad I discovered this little gem—so much so that when I reached the end I immediately reread it, and enjoyed it even more the second time. I have a feeling I will be thinking about this story for a long time to come.”

                                     My gift to you,

                                    James

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

My Life … My Sea

My Life…My Sea

How long…will this continue?
When will I have peace of mind?
My Mind
Statues have better odds and get more attention

I can remember buttoning my own shirt
Combing my hair by myself
Saying Grace
Giving Thanks

I still give thanks
No one can hear me
My hands brought together in prayer

Life
My Life
Now a spectator sport of monotony

By the way,
I perceive sound…hear everyone plainly
Every word…Every syllable
Sounded out e∙v∙e∙r    s∙o    s∙l∙o∙w∙l∙y
Like a jackass trying to get my vote

Shouting at me…doesn’t help

I am responding to you morons
Can you not see how happy I am?
I am drooling, just so that you’ll take the time to touch me again
And, for the love of God,
Would someone please throw away the sandpaper wash cloths!?

The window to my soul
Is no longer open…alive
Shuttered now

A blank stare is all I can offer

When I am pleased…When I feel good
I give you my Sunday Go to Meeting stare
And in return, you gift me with your worn out
Buckner impersonation, letting it go right through you

Blue has always been my favorite color
To your irritation, I choose it everyday
It is brings me joy

Every thought echoes in my memory
I know Mary had a little lamb
But, I can’t remember why

My mind wanders
Adrift in bewilderment
No longer staying by my side

I am not parched
I am trying to get your attention
I can’t drink thirty glasses of imaginary water
I am trying to get your attention
I am wearing my blue shirt
And…I am thirsty for life

My Life…My Sea

All those photos
I never finished sorting them
No one will know where they go

Or the names of relatives
Who know and enjoy the rest I seek

Friends
Parade by me as if I were already dead
I can hear, and no, you are not in my will

I miss the ocean breeze
Always cool to me
Comforting
Casting my line was an art
Artistically believing I might actually catch something
I know now….that when wearing my lucky shade-hat
I caught a boat-load of memories

Closing my eyes to this cruel twisted existence
A mind-movie loops
The sea, My Sea…calling to me…calling My Life
In each and every frame
I can walk…and cast
You can hear me
Singing songs

My Life…My Sea
Embracing me again

james


Copyright 2010, James F. Ross
Written permission required to reproduce in any medium