Of A Morning

Of a morning
Did she write
Word to verse
Upon reflection

Of a friend
A forest trail
Hand in hand
Sincere affection

Of a breeze
A sandy dune
Sloop and sail
Silently drifting

Of a night
Starry blue
Meadow moon
Fireflies dancing

Of a morning
She did write
Awash in love
Upon reflection

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 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

To Save A Life

Today is Monday.

“Is it?”

It is to me.

“Then today is Monday.”

Is it?

“It is for you.”

Then it is … Monday. You are certain?

“Agreed; and yes, I am certain.”

I need your help with something.

“That’s why we’re here. How can I help you today?”

I want … I mean, I need …

“Need?”

To travel back … in time.

“For?”

To save a life.

“I see. Quite the journey … and task. Are you sure you’re ready to take this on? Are you prepared?”

I’ve been prepared my entire life. I’m more than ready. Will you help me?

“Do you believe that I can?”

Yes. Yes. I really do.

“Then I will.”

When?

“Today is Monday.”

Yes. Of that much, I am certain.

“Then today. We’ll begin … today.”

Today?

“Yes. Let’s take the first steps today.”

Today. I would like that. Yes. Let’s begin today.

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 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

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

A Gracious Review…

A Review of I Am Flying

Rebecca Tsaros Dickson

I picked up “I’m Flying” on a whim and decided to take a peek last night. Two hours later, as I finished the last sentence, the words began bouncing off long-forgotten memories, stirring things inside. I like books that make me think. I like authors who take me from A to B with subtle signs and gentle jibes. I adore storytellers with a gift for allowing the reader to fill in the big blanks by giving just enough small details surrounding an event.

James Ross delivers. He delivers big.

His central character, Dr. Martin Connor, bloomed in my chest last night. In truth, I think he’s inside all of us. I hope you’ll let him in, too.

,…james