As if the battle’s won
They saw him down and gathered round
To savage, steal, and plunder
Bust just enough new faith he found
That he’s not going under
He thinks this battles won
God will lift this broken man
From ashes though he rise
From embers mighty flames are fanned
His failures made him wise
As if his battle’s won
He’s trusting still to find God’s will
And trusting more he can
It helps him patient wait until
He can clearly see God’s plan
To get the battle won
All things can be for the man that he
Hopes to soon become
Who trusts a god he cannot see
As if his battles won
michael c. jones
lord you know that I've been slow
responding to your voice
my god so great... the time is late
and I must make a choice
I recall the rise and fall
of you within my life
and still I know, you love me so
and it cuts me like a knife!
I've walked away, where today I stay
afraid that I will fail
I hide my face... for shame, disgrace
and I hang my head and wail
I've let you down, I drove the nails
that hung you from the cross
the good in me, it ever pales
to the sin that made me lost
my God, my God, my life is flawed
no one to blame but me
my saviour Lord whom I've ignored
just hear this lonesome plea
this backslid bum is on the run
but needs to run to you
just give me faith that I can change
I know your word is true
It seems so long, it's dead and gone
the joy that I once knew
restore to me a faith so strong
that what you say I do!
michael c. jones
Burned and beaten
Burned and beaten, and tried by fire
and Stretched into a thickened wire.
This shapeless lump of metal will
find destiny it must fullfill
It's beaten flat and folded back
Then taken where there's water's at
Immersed and then the tempered steel
becomes a metal flesh will feel
It's melted, molded, stretched then folded
And beaten once again...
Once more smashed flat then folded back
This sword must never bend!
It's heated, beaten, and cooled again
A thousand times and more...
It's almost ready for the flesh of men
And badly needed for the war.
But one thing more, that now is done
This final step whose time has come.
It now is sharpened, and finely honed
To an edge no sword before has known.
From master's hand this blade of steel
Was made for vile flesh to feel.
And good from evil it shall divide
It shall pierce deep and be swung wide!
This sword of truth will conquer all!
The stubborn, wicked at last shall fall!
What once was beaten, and pounded flat
gleams now bright where victories at!
From ore of earth twas given birth
For the master saw it's hidden worth
And like the impure metal his hand made great
When burned and beaten, just trust and wait!
carl d. and
michael c. jones
Call me teacher, call me preacher
A little farther reacher
Call me fixer, call me quicker
Be the candle, I’m the wicker
I am the faster, longer laster
I’m the servent, not the master
Don’t call me stranger, I’m no danger
Just a problem re-arranger
Don’t want your money, ain't that funny
Just want more days just bright and sunny
So keep it real, dare to feel
Being greatful for each meal
Call me when you need a friend
Don’t let a good thing end
So call me soon, midnight or noon
To share a thought, a joke or tune
Or call my number if you just wonder
If I’m still up... or going under
I’ll screen others, take yours forever
Let not the lines be severed ever!
So just call if for no reason,
for even just a change of season
'cause be hot or be it freez'n...
every call from you is PLEAS'N
michael c. jones
You’re deleted, just not gone…
Ain’t no way to write the wrong…
the files fade but the tears go on…
I deleted your account today…
But you just won’t
Quite go away…
But I can’t fix my heart that way…
I press delete but the tears still stay…
I boot again…
It just won’t end…
And you just wouldn’t
And again those tears that just won’t end…
It asked me even…
Should I keep your files…
And as I recalled our many miles…
I pressed delete on all your smiles…
But not regretful tears for trials.
I boot up now
And your account is gone…
but not the tears for what went wrong…
and now I sing a sadder song…
‘cause you’re deleted…
Just not gone!
michael c. jones
A casualty of war another man goes down
convinced by pride and blind inside
you'll never give up ground
and your advisors all agree
my share of blame is more
Iv'e been made the enemy
in your casualty of war
I surrender, I still cry
for the you that I love still
the casualty who wonders why
this love you had to kill
you knocked me flat, you cut it clean
and did it deadly fast
a casualty in just one round
was knocked into your past
You did not even shed a tear
yet I cry still today
and I never knew the real you
or dreamed it'd be this way
still loving you is killing me
but hate hurts even more
and you stay away so you don't see
your casualties of war
(wrote that when I was going through divorce)
michael c. jones
Day dreams at night, nostalgia too-
And I’m becoming something new-
What I am is what I do
From discontent to this it grew
The nagging knowing
What I believed was barely showing-
I need to live like someone knowing.
I’m a river to the ocean going
What will be someday I’ll see
Just pull the anchors, cut me free
One last second chance for me
I’m wiser now with eyes that see.
I said one thing and did another
Drove anther nail into my brother.
And though she’s dead but I love my mother
If one road’s easy take the other
So now it seems it’s only me
And an old fat dog beneath the tree
So I’m cutting loose and getting free
Cause if I’s to be it’s up to me…
I’m southward bound for solid ground
To find whatever might be found.
I’ll take my time and look around.
I’ll listen to the oceans timeless sound.
Till less and less of what has been
Has made me strong enough again.
Till there’s only now, no longer then
On the road is where I’ll finally mend.
michael c. jones
Look into the crystal mirror
Reflections of your mind
Perfect knowledge ever clear
Was always there to find
I looked and saw an image there
Of what I could become
I saw the love that God could share
That I could be his son
And Christ to me the crystal mirror
Reflects his perfect love
And turns my heart away from fear
As I gaze up above
So draw me near the crystal mirror
And make the image new
Right now, right here, the image clear
And reflect me back to you
michael c. jones
DADDY DADDY DADDY
daddy daddy daddy, I don’t wanna go to bed
daddy daddy daddy, give me more
daddy daddy daddy, tell me why you hang your head
daddy can you take me to the store
daddy daddy daddy, where did mommy go
daddy can you tell me why she’s gone
daddy daddy daddy, tell me what you know
is she angry because I did something wrong
daddy daddy daddy, tell me why you cry
daddy just let Jesus make you smile
daddy daddy daddy, lets play you and I
you can play the mommy for a while
michael c. jones
Endearing how you fear to hold
Not quite right for you I’m told
I treasure you like precious gold
You make me young, although I’m old
You are endearing
Endearing is my word for you
Your smile makes this world new
It started small but slowly grew
Like no relationship I knew
ever more endearing
Endearing how you are so shy
So happy yet so close to cry
So strong yet somehow like a child
So cautious yet sometimes so wild
and always so endearing
Endearing in everything you do
You still believe in dreams come true
Lost people finding God in you
I’ve seen the ways he made you new
It is indeed endearing
I’d gladly wait a life for you
Than settle for a love less true
There’s nothing you need say or do
You are endearing through and through
You know, and I know, you know it too
Enduring is my love for you
because you are endearing
michael c. jones
It’s time to get away
The time is late, I cannot wait
I need to leave today
Win or loose
or make the news
I cannot say I had no clues
I know it’s time for me
The price of signs I’ve long ignored
Is a price that I can’t afford
It costs what life could be
If you’re my friend
It’s time to mend
The unforgiveness now must end
It’s time that we get real
It’s time I do the things I ought
To just forget whatever I once thought
It’s faith not how I feel
Like a slave set free amazed to see
How new that life could be for me
That a seed of faith becomes a tree
And dreams come true at last
What I won’t give, God takes away
And I slowly die when I don’t pray
I choose no more to live that way
Let the journey start today
michael c. jones
Don't know what to say, it seems we both are sad today...
I ache to run away, though still compelled to stay.
Are you a reason why?
I hadn't head from you, knew not what you'd been through...
Don't know now what to about the pain I feel in you ...
But think of you and sigh.
Are we both meant to be, what would scare us now to see...
Is God's mercy blinding you and me?
I just don't know right now.
Is there reason for it all? Just raised again to only fall?
Is that still, small voice God's call?
We have to trust somehow!
It's happening too fast... the life we thought would last
Just started then slipped to the past...
And finally here we are!
I won't pretend I know, yet hope that I can show...
That just a seed of faith can grow..
To be a mighty tree...
Thank God you still are there ,just know I fight the same
We've both been through too much to bear
It can’t be long till we are free.
I pray these words touch you, and give a hope anew
As yours for me so often do...
Much more than you could know.
We may die before we see just why this is and had to be...
But a mighty God loves you and me
And what must be will someday be
michael c. jones
note by note the song he wrote
and day by day it came
it verse by verse destroyed the curse
replacing years of pain
understanding slowly formed
and peace each time he sang
cold hard hearts the music warmed
he'd sing and lives would change
all would listen, just some would hear
and thier song it became
thier voices joined with others near
it grew with each refrain
the song he wrote went coast to coast
then world wide it grew
what started with a single note
gave millions hope anew
just a simple song he wrote
yet it changed the world somehow
those who sang it found each note
gave peace and joy somehow
he's still amazed the song he wrote
is growing yet today
could a song that starts with just one note
change even you today?
michael c. jones
fish or cut bait
It's time to fish or cut the bait
it's been too long for a man to wait
and the worm no longer wiggles now
and it's nibbles only anyhow
seems you haven't had much luck to now
and you've lacked the vision this decision
It's no longer open to revision
so it's time to make a frank admission
do you cut the bait or keep on fish'n?
it's time to fish or cut the bait
and you've fished so long it's gotten late
no longer now you hesitate
because it's time to fish or cut the bait
So you cut the bait and evacuate
This fishing hole was never great
And again it seems to be your fate
such a waste of all that time to wait
But as you leave, you don't percieve
the fish that few would dare believe
He, hungry, swims in as you leave
but unaware you will not grieve
as he eats the bait you cut
michael c. jones
On the Walla Walla waters… a catfish type of night
Like another life away
This quiet time is now
Dog lay sighing
Mornings birth… the night is dying
And still no bite have I
The epic scene for fishly battle
Then life explodes and silence shattered
A gentle breeze and insects scattered
Birds are breeding, plants a-seeding
And I am still just one bite needing
The sky becomes God’s perfect painting
The sun comes soon, all life is waiting
Then one moment as if in concert…
A pause that nature’s song creates …
but still no fish is biting bait
And I can only hope and wait
And dream and watch, anticipate
Dog lay sleeping now, the fire burns
Cell phone complains it finds no signal… and is silenced
Alone this fishing man just writes and dreams about the ending
Then instant with rudeness a v-shaped v-8 roars
And mighty waves attack the calm
Fish forgotten till nature takes back over once again
No sun still…but the sky now bright
Now gone the final trace of night
The morning breeze resumes
as does the fishing man’s attention to his rod
focused now he fishes on
the fishing curse he’d joked he’d had is far too real now
as the morning’s jumping of the fish subside
the fishing pole is still
then a sudden breath of life…
a breeze again that stirs the earth as if telling all life to now
know soon is coming sunshine’s birth
the breeze becomes now stronger still and knows at dies at dawn
new sounds now of creatures needing something before this moment’s
not dark, not day, and not a name for this moment in between
not even yet a nibble
resignation overwhelms and fishing man is tired
if fishing were his job he’d now be fired
still he waits… and checks his bait with new resolve
the breeze makes casting carry bait and dreams much further than
in the deeper water now…
and now is time to wait once more… but this is good
sunlight brightens clouds though still not risen
he is awed
this day is made by god… this moment special
birds now fill the sky and dog still sleeps and no fish bites
fishing man lays down and plans the fishing stories he will tell
excuses why he failed and ponders… is now the time to quit?
To wake the dog and pack it up?
But not quite yet…
He waits, and drinks another beer as fishing men will do when no
No bite all night and even now none jump and dawn is near
As nature fills his senses he just enjoys
the beginning of this day is near supreme… though no fish bite
he fishes on alone with sleeping dog who lives for this as does his
he checks the pole
it is unchanged, an un-moving statement of his defeat it has become
then a big fish jumps!
But only one… then nothing but the breeze and smoke of dying fire
he ever brighter clouds now hurt his eyes
And fishing man still tries
One moment more… or maybe two
He now is weary, his hope is nearly gone
Then day begins with sunlight’s flood of light at crack of dawn
It’s time to go… he gives it up, this time the fish will win once
For they have won the battle but not the war… he will return
The dog awakes somehow knowing it now is done
Fishing man packs up, but leaves his pole for just one minute more
But it will only fail once again to twitch with bite of fish
The world now is flooded with the brightness of the sun
This trip is done… this special time is gone
Failure is embraced with one more sigh
And dog and man depart
But will return
michael c. jones
FLESH OF MY FLESH
flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone
when I was with you, I most was alone
Now that your gone I’m waiting for dawn
too hurt to stay here, too numb to move on
love of my life, my woman, my wife
having you gone still cuts like a knife
I hate that I love you, how much I still care
the minute I dream, your image is there
flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone
Our children are proof of love that we’ve known
you love me in spite of the things that you say
down deep you’re still weeping and wanting to stay
you’re hating yourself but say that its me
blinded by pride, unable to see
tell yourself we were just a mistake
it never was real, the feelings were fake
But I know and you know and God up above
something was real and we were in love
So lie to yourself and live with your lies
while part of me hardens and part of you dies
michael c. jones
He said bag it, he said stash it
He said put it in perspective
This aint no rocket science
And you aint no detective
But I didn’t listen then
He said leave her don’t believe her
She’s not worth in the end
He said there’s no exception
to the rules that do not bend
then he said it once again
he said screw it, just don’t do it
it’s prime time for moving on
when she’s out of sight and out of mind
you’ll be glad that she’s gone
and it’ll take some time to mend
and it’s been rough, been through so much
since the day she came your way
it wont get better, just forget her
and you’ll be damn glad someday
this nightmare had to end
I know you never dreamed you’d ever
Let yourself become so blind
So just cut and run, she aint the one
And there’s better ones to find
Just take it from a friend
Reverse the curse, before it’s worse
She’s was only using you
She’d never bend and in the end
There’s was nothing you could do
She’d just break your heart again
I now know he's right… he's seen my plight
My friend can see it clear
He's been there too, and we both knew
it's just loneliness we fear
but some things have to end
michael c. jones
like solid rock on shifting sand
like chasing whispy clouds
to find the one who understands
from out of endless crowds
a changing world, harsh and cold
made skeptics of us all
love when found is hard to hold
and you rise again to fall
you survived the shattered dreams
held fast to what was real
but you’ve become so numb it seems
There’s nothing left to feel
yet somehow you can still believe
the foundation’s built to last
someone, somewhere, must share your dream
and will understand your past
But maybe YOU were made to be
the foundation they've not found
And astounded might be those that see
what rises from your ground
michael c. jones
Go South old man your bones are brittle…
You’re not still young, your kids aren’t little.
Tell me why you’re not yet gone…
When God has said you don’t have long.
It’s harvest time, you see the signs…
And he that seeks not, never finds!
The window’s open, the time is now…
So pack the bags, don’t wonder how.
Go South old man while you still can…
There truly is a promised land.
Don’t wait it’s late, don’t hesitate…
Just trust in God, don’t trust in fate.
Just pack up light, and leave at night…
Enroute you’ll find the road that’s right.
Go south old man, again be young…
And to your right will be the sun.
Go south old man, it’s time right now…
Don’t ask God why, just ask him how… then go
michael c. jones
Satan is alive and well
And addiction fuels his fire
Alive or dead it’s hard to tell
Just unfulfilled desire.
Demons lurk in every hit
And each one needs one more
Coke or crank or dope or shit
The addict lives to score
Nothing matters, and no one cares
Or even wonders why
And every thing the addict shares
just spreads what makes them die
And the end of days is here and now
Mayberry’s gone for good
It can’t be fixed, no one nows how
And wouldn’t if they could
The cops harass and dealers deal
Bicycle people rule
The poor must scrounge for every meal
and the honest man’s a fool
The rich get richer, the poor can’t drive
and the middle class is gone
It’s hard as hell to just survive
and there’s something badly wrong
Yes, Satan rules the old home town
It’s his, not yours or mine
I’ll take one final look around
then leave this time for good
My hometown’s hell or something worse
victim of a small town curse
Still there comes the sun some days
and answers to the voice that prays
Still there’s something here to save
well worth the blood the saviour gave
Still somehow I know it's true
that God will win before it’s through
There might be time, there’s still today
this town one time was not this way
Is this battle worth the fight?
And what one man can make things right?
One more time God tells me no
It's not yet time for me to go
It's my hometown, and it's yours too
and our old hometown we must make new
michael c. jones
Husband of the bitter wife
Husband of the bitter wife...
so close to hell this kind of life!
He knows for sure there’s nothing worse
Alone it weren’t this bad a curse.
the husband of the discontent
who wonders where the tender went
the man who wonders what it meant
who saw the straight and narrow bent.
He must reflect on what is best
and still must focus... pass the test!
No-one but self to change today...
So how to find the words to say?
It’s something he can never share...
how words just come from deep somewhere.
the need somehow to just express
that there’s a reason for this mess!
Connect the dots the picture’s there
The answer’s got to be somewhere!
He can’t accept that this is best
And he sure could use a day of rest!
michael c. jones
You can’t get water from a rock
And peter won’t pay Paul
And I can’t do what I can’t do
And I’m giving it my all.
I can’t promise that next week
That you’ll be paid a cent,
Or promise you that I’ll come through
Or say where my cash went.
So bill collectors stand in line,
I’ll pay you gladly in a good time
Just keep what is yours, and I’ll keep mine-
I’ll pay in full, in God’s good time.
And don’t call me cause I’ll call you-
When this tough time is finally through
Don’t tell me use my credit card,
It’s gone for good, and times are hard.
Don’t threaten damage to my credit.
It’s nothing new, and others said it.
Don’t make me laugh,It doesn’t matter
Just say goodbye, don’t make me madder.
I’m glad for you that You’re not me-
I’m glad you called, now let me be.
Just tell you’re boss I told you no,
To write me off nd let it go…
Jut tell him I could use a break.
I tried like hell for heavens sake.
Just tell him I won’t take your call
That my caller id spots you all!
And I’d prefer that you just pray
I didn’t ask that it be this way
So bill collector God bless you
Cause I’d hate to do the job you do.
just hang up now, You’ve done done your job,
You’re a bill collector, you are not God!
michael c. jones
Millions seek to see us die
we ARE the infidel
They pray to see “Great Satan” fry
In an apocolyptic hell
with fanatic faith that God does say
That we must soon be gone
For virgins in paradise they pray
as they detonate each bomb
And they believe that they perceive
And deeply they despise
Blind though each believes he sees
convinced he alone is wise
Car bombs, suicide attacks
have only killed a few
but a suitcase nuke just one man packs
he dreams what it could do
convinced it is his God’s command
he gladly dies to kill
the white, the Jew, or Christian man
their death is Allah’s will
MICHAEL C. JONES
very soon he’ll realize
how much his faith was worth
with drastic shock and opened eyes
at armagedden’s birth.
With end of time being now so near
we'll see what matters most
the plans of man give way to fear
When “home” is turned to toast
Are we “infidel”, just time will tell
And it's very near that time
It's too late when Earth is turned to hell
the real God to find
There is no doubt they’ll use the bomb
but the Lord says I am here
the God who will right every wrong
My truth will conquer fear
Who is the infidel we'll see
and the true God shall remain
and if the virgins are not there for thee
then Satan's your God's name!
michael c. jones
you like me still ache to be
in love like love was meant to be
though disillusioned in the past,
you sense this time shall be your last.
so I prayed today you'd read and see
... that the man you've waited for is me
God seeks to make our dreams come true
, and he told write these words to you
you like me, have waited long
, and your trust of love is nearly gone
yet one more time we'll give it all
, it's do or die now, fly or fall.
alone we've grown, we've been prepared
, and we both know life is better shared
for you tonight these words I write
. deep down you know that this is right!
be brave, be bold... we're getting old
... and alone the nights have been so cold
I know you know that I'm the one
, that the man you waited for is come
somehow I almost feel you there
... we are each other's answered prayer.
respond right now, and know it's true that I have been prepared for you!
and woman I just know tonight...
that you are why these words I write.
and all mistakes we made before
... have somehow made us ready for
the love that makes us more than we...
had ever dared to dream we'd be.
we shall be proof that dreams come true
... it's the love we sought but never knew
with the photo and the words you send, entice in ways I can't defend.
it's ok to need your soul mate's touch, so promise things that make you blush.
intense now is the need to feel... when you press send, you make it real!
say la vee
good bye so long and say la vee...
I guess you weren't my cup of tea.
seems leaving you is best for me...
so goodbye so long, and "say la vee".
you live the life I'm finally leaving,
my heart is heavy, hurt, and grieving...
you can not stop the self decieving.
your never giving, just recieving...
I've had enough, I'm "say la vee'n!".
you love yourself too much for me...
with open eyes you cannot see,
and who you are, you'll always be!
with you and I no longer "We"...
it's goodby, so long, and "say la vee!".
good bye, so long, and say la vee...
adios, don't wait for me.
aloha means good bye to thee,
so good bye, so long.... say la vee!
michael c. jones
Sure! For sure we got your cure
just pay one ninety eight!
and yes the best is what you get
and just a six week wait!
Compared to God what we got’s flawed
But doesn’t it look good!
So just give in it’s a little sin
and it’s what most men would.
So who are you to think this through
and have no change of heart
And who am I to just not try
again a brand new start.
It starts to seem we can’t redeem
ourselves let lone or friends
Too numb to feel the next good deal
or see quite where it ends!
Sure for sure we got you’re cure
at ease you bad disease.
is something missing, are we list’ning
Or living life of ease?
If you do know find ways to show
the secret share with me
If we’re both blind, God help us find
the eyes with which to see.
Sure for sure they’ve got the cure
They’d like for you to think
The easy answer’s strong allure
Can make the good ship sink!
Still the thrill defeats the will
the anger stronger grows.
Still we say we will someday
And still it never shows.
Sure for sure you are the cure...
for what I could not say.
yes it’s you pretend you knew...
and we’ll fake another day!
michael c. jones
“Is he dead?” Mona screamed. “Somebody call 911!” shouted Roy with an urgency that hid
well his near certainty that the legendary Michael C. Jones was indeed dead. “No, I’m
not dead,” I thought as I lay upon the cold wet ground, strapped to 20 tons of what only
seconds before had been a majestic Douglas Fir tree standing over a hundred feet tall. I
was in no condition to reassure Roy and Mona that life did indeed still cling to my
motionless body. Though alive for the time being, I could not move or speak or breathe.
As I lay there in agony, trying desperately to will my lungs to function, I was utterly
convinced that the “rest of my life” could best be measured in seconds or minutes at most.
Thinking this, I was overcome with the incredible sadness knowing my wife and six
children did not deserve to suffer the nightmare my death would cause. The youngest, only
a few months old, would grow up never knowing her daddy! One foolish mistake! Oh God….
The evening had started out like too many before. Roy, the foreman of Michael C. Jones
Tree Care, and myself, the owner, had been out drinking beers and playing pool at the
Moonraker pub. We always had our emergency pagers and mobile phones handy because of the
advertised 24 hour emergency service. Emergency jobs could pay incredible amounts of
money with only a few minutes of actual work. That night both pagers went off within
seconds of each other, and one quick glance showed it was not our wives upset that we were
out late, but that this could be the real thing. I never stopped for a minute to think
that my impaired condition could end or change my life forever. I was, after all, one of
the top climbers in the west coast of the United States. After 17 years, I was convinced
that there was no tree situation that I could not handle. The artificial confidence of
too many beers convinced me I was bulletproof and 10 feet tall. Perhaps sober, that
might have been the case. Perhaps sober, I would have turned this particular job down.
Mona, Roy’s wife was curious about this job and asked to come along. I was a little
curious myself. It wasn’t the first time a customer had gotten in over his head trying
to save money by doing himself what should have been left to professionals. Like others
before him, his best efforts had only served to turn a relatively simple tree removal job
into a hazardous nightmare. Then, and only then, did he at last decide that he needed
help. It was we knew, a little unusual to get this kind of call at eleven o’clock on a
peacefull weeknight devoid of the high winds that create most tree service emergencies.
As we hurried across the Kent valley to the Federal Way Washington address Mona asked Roy
and I if we were sure this would be safe to do after we had been drinking. We laughed and
told her not to worry. If only I’d listened!
When we arrived at the job site, the old man was nearly hysterical. The entire
neighborhood seemed to be gathered in his front yard as he explained that already three
other tree services and the local power company had refused to attempt to remedy the
situation he had created. In a rush, his words came tumbling out. As he explained, the
gravity of the situation became clear. “I rented some gear so I could do it myself!” he
sobbed. “I just tried to save some money, but it leaned the wrong way.” “It’s cut almost
all the way through.” By this time Roy had turned on the halogen lights mounted on my
service truck and the tree was lit with an eerie brilliance that made the night seem
almost surreal. Thick foliage on the stately tree hid the scar of the fresh cut on its
massive trunk. “How high up did you go I asked?” Even as I asked, I knew it wouldn’t be
high enough. Most home owners are very poor judges of a distance whenmeasured
verticallyfrom the ground. “I climbed up almost to the top.” he replied, and I could only
hope that this would prove to be true.
The tree was located a mere ten feet from the front corner of his house, and only about
twenty feet from the corner of his neighbor’s house. Not a tree he should ever have tried
to remove by himself I thought as I wondered about his incredible lack of judgment.
“Seven hundred and fifty dollars, down only. I can do it right now.” I told the anxious
old man, half hoping he would say no. “Do it!” he replied. Negotiation concluded.
The logistics of the situation were obvious. The tree was between his and his next door
neighbor's houses. Three phase high voltage lines ran the length of the street in front
of both homes. The tree was big enough to reach any or all of them, and there was no
direction the tree could safely fall in one piece. Maybe I should have said $1,750.00?
As I began to strap on the cold steel spikes I could not help but notice that the wind
seemed to have increased. The wind is a nearly constant factor in tree work and in
Western Washington it almost always blows in from the Puget Sound West to East. If the
old man had indeed cut nearly all the way through the tree, the cut section could snap off
at any given moment resulting in the destruction of either or both homes. The neighbor
seemed understandably agitated and had sent his wife and kids to the safety of a nearby
motel. I strapped on my harness, uncoiled my arborplex rope, took one deep breath, and
sank a spur into the thick brown bark.
I had long had a reputation for being a fearless climber. The one to call when no one
else was willing. The truth of the matter is that I have enough common sense to know when
to be afraid but too much pride to let it show. I wasn’t going to display fear this night
either, but the knot in my stomach was a very real indicator of my concern about the
safety of this endeavor. As I climbed the base of this massive Douglas Fir, the wind
rustled it’s limbs, making a noise that sounded like a sinister hiss. It almost seemed
the tree was angered that a human dared to come by night to end its life! The normally
aromatic smell of the foliage, tonight smelled like death. One by one, I began to remove
enormous limbs from the base of the tree. As I worked my way up I noticed that a
substantial crowd had gathered to watch. Sometimes the people that watch this kind of
work tend to remind me of fans at an automobile race. They would never say they came just
to see a disaster, but the possibility of what might possibly go wrong is what they really
came to see. This night they would see something they surely would never forget! As I
continued to strip the mighty trunk bare of it’s life-giving limbs, it almost seemed to me
that the trunk of this mighty fir swayed in the wind from side to side. It was hard to
tell though if it was the tree or perhaps that last shot of tequila that caused the
At last I reached the gaping wound inflicted upon the tree by the old man. My heart
sank! I was only about fifty feet up, and I still had over seventy feet of tree above me.
The section he had tried to cut would never have come down without damage in the space
available. He had misjudged the length of the section he was trying to cut! On one side
was the neighbor’s house, on the other side was the old man’s home, and only sixty feet
away across the open yard were the three phase lines. If it had gone the way he had
tried to make it go, Federal Way, Washington would have been in a blackout and the old man
would have electrocuted himself!
At this point I realized I would have no choice but to climb above his cut and remove a
smaller section of the tree to ensure that it would fit in the space available. Had I
been sober I might have thought to replace the face cut that had been removed perhaps
making the tree more stable. I might also have thought to brace it with a multitude of
wood or steels beams wrapped by cable or one inch nylon rope. I might even have opted to
wait for daylight and rented a crane. What I ended up doing, however, was to take the
most foolish chance of my life. The alcohol had robbed me of my good judgment. I
continued to climb past where the tree had been cut nearly all the way through and started
again to remove limbs. I was high enough up now that the cold night wind had become my
enemy. At every gust of the breeze the trunk would sway and I would tremble to think that
the tree could snap off below me. It would be bad enough to fall eighty feet, but
strapped to the trunk, my body would be crushed between it and the ground. “Times like
these,” I mused, “I should have been the writer I originally had intended to be!” At the
eighty foot up I decided to remove the top. It was time to get this done!
I removed the face cut that would insure that the top would fall away from the two houses
and into the yard. I then rotated to the back side of the trunk and prepared to make the
final cut. Briefly, I wondered how I could be so foolish and then prayed that God protect
me. As I look back now, it is clear that he did or I would not be alive to tell the
story. I began the back cut and pushed with all my strength to force the top away from
the houses below. Gratefully, I felt the tree top begin to fall in the proper direction.
Gratitude turned immediately to terror as I realized that the force of the top leaving the
tree had broken the weakened section below. I was falling, and thousands of pounds of
tree was falling with me. “I’m too young too die!” I insisted to God as I fell through
It is rumored that your life flashes before you when death becomes certain. In my case,
however, only regret and an incredibly sad feeling that I had let my wife and children
down filled my heart and soul and mind. They also say that it can seem like a long time
before you hit the ground. With me, though, the fall seemed only to last for an instant.
The one thing I instinctively thought to do though, which I am certain saved my life, was
to shift my body to one side in relation to the tree so as to insure that when the tree
and I hit, it would be side by side with the tree landing only on one of my legs instead
of across my entire body. I vividly recall the moment of impact and my amazement that
death was not instant. I was also suprised that I remained aware of my surroundings and
did not pass out. I knew without doubt though, that I was hurt and hurt bad.
I can still recall the smell of the Huskavarna exhaust as Roy cut the log into sections to
roll them off my body. I remember the tone of his voice that said “you are dead” even as
his words insisted everything would be all right. At this point he had no way of knowing
if he was indeed talking to a man already dead. I still could not move or speak. The
shrill wail of the sirens drew close and people seemed to come from everywhere. At last I
was able to draw a breath into my oxygen starved lungs and, as painful as it was, it gave
me hope that perhaps I might just live. The pain was incredible! There was literally no
part of my body that did not hurt. I tried to move and immediately realized that I was
paralyzed. I could not move my legs. Suddenly, death seemed a little less formidable.
Other possibilities started to seem even worse. What use is a tree climber without legs I
thought. I don’t want to be a burden to my friends, to my family, to the entire world.
At last the ambulance arrived and with it came the fear that I might physically survive
but not every again really live.
I still chuckle when I recall the look on the faces of the paramedics as I begged them not
to cut my new Westco Highclimbers. Here they had an accident victim who could die and was
more concerned about his boots! Somehow I managed not to lose my sense of humor in spite
of the gravity of the situation. I lost all sense of anything but pain, however, when
the paramedics started to move me. I have never before or since felt agony to that
degree. I now know why. My pelvis was broken on both sides. My sacrum was fractured.
My tibia and fibula were crushed so badly that the bones could not be re-set. The
internal bleeding was life threatening in magnitude. My back was broken, and I was
I knew it must be pretty bad when the hospital in Federal Way said that they did not have
the resources to deal with my situation and that I needed to be transported to the trauma
center at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. I am still amazed at how well my wife
handled it all. Her fear had to be intense but she showed only support and encouragement.
Initially we were told that I would never walk again, but I refused to accept that
prognosis. A few months later, when it appeared I would indeed be able to walk again, I
was told I would never climb trees. Obviously, they were wrong about that as well.
The right leg came back fairly quickly and I had almost full use of it within a couple of
months. The left, however, never will be quite the same. To this day, I have no
perception of sensation in the top part of the left foot. Ironically, I had always walked
with a peculiar gait as the left leg had been a little longer than the right until the
night of the accident. As a result of the reconstruction of my pelvis and left leg, my
legs are now the same length. My wife gives me hard time about that, saying that now I
walk like a “normal” man.
The recovery process was one of the most frustrating things I have ever had to deal with.
Each little bit of progress was a monumental event to me. I vividly recall the first
steps without crutches. I tried to walk too soon, and apparently shifted my pelvis before
it had become solid enough to support weight. I remember still the snapping sound, the
pain, and the fear as I put my full weight on the left leg for the first time. The doctor
later told me that the damage was only minor and that another operation would not be
necessary, but at the time I thought I had done some very serious damage.
Pain was my constant companion those first few months. I started out on intravenous
injections of some morphine based drug, then had a perpetual supply of demoral. Even
these were never quite enough. Eventually, the doctors became concerned that I was in
danger of addiction to the narcotics, and cut me off. It was probably a good thing they
did, as I was to the point of eating Demorals like they were candy. As recovery
progressed, I continued to push my body to do more than it was ready to do. Imagine the
looks I got when I took my wife out dancing at a rock and roll club while still on
In the first month of my recovery, I bet Roy and another employee named Brian a hundred
dollars each that I would climb and remove, piece by piece, a hundred foot tree within
three months. When that day arrived I was still on crutches, but was determined not to
lose for the first time ever a wager concerning anything to do with trees. We had to
arrange a job where the home owner would be gone at the time, but the neighbors sure had a
show. Never will I forget hobbling up to that old dead Hemlock on crutches and needing
help just to strap on the gear. My left leg was still unable to support my full weight,
and I could not help but think how foolish I was to be so stubborn. It was a hot, sultry
August afternoon, and I was drenched in sweat before I had made it the first ten feet!
The tree was so dead that the bark came off in long sheets that exposed the rot and
insects below. I had to inch my way up by sinking a spur with my right leg, then pulling
up the useless left leg along with my body using only the strength of my arms until I
could once again sink the right spur into the rotting old snag. The smell of gas, oil,
and Hemlock was mingled with the odor of nervous sweat. Neighbors had gathered below and
I was convinced they were whispering about the foolishness the were witnessing! At last I
reached the point at which the top of the tree could safely be removed. As the old, dead
snag that had been the top of the tree sailed towards the yard below, it released a shower
of dead limbs to rain down upon me as a final form of protest. No matter! I had done it!
I knew then it was only a matter of time before I would be a top climber again. Needless
to say, after I collected on that bet, I told Roy and Brian that it would be a few more
months before I would be ready to try climbing again. Even to this day I have yet to lose
a bet that concerned a tree job.
Of the last two abilities to return to me, one was the ability to run. I had gotten to
the point where I could walk, but every time I tried to break into a full run, the pain
would be too intense. One night I got so frustrated that I went to a local tavern and
prepared myself for one more attempt by the ingestion of massive quantities of tequila. I
then proceeded to walk across the fields and cow pastures towards home with a grim
determination that tonight I would run no matter what. In the bright moonlight, the cows
must have wondered about this limping human who dared venture through their fields. I
would break into what best could be called an awkward jog, only to be stopped by the pain
when I tried to change the gait to a full fledged run. Finally, I could bear it no
longer! I would run pain and all! The agony was so intense that I nearly passed out. As
the seconds passed, I yelled in triumph. I was running! I ran all the way home, and was
rewarded by the application of the residue of cows upon my feet. When I ran into the
house, my wife did not quite share in the glory of my accomplishment, but was somewhat
more concerned with what I had brought home upon my feet. No matter, I could run!
The final missing milestone of my recovery was the lack of ability to perform certain
functions of a rather personal nature. It had been a long time! The doctors said I
might never be able to perform sexually again, and that there was no way to predict if my
recovery would ever be what I considered complete. I had long conversations with my wife
concerning this subject, but no amount of reassurance by her could change the feeling that
I was still less than whole. I won’t go into detail on this subject, but one night it
happened! To say that I was happy would be the understatement of the century. I was
estatic! “Thanks be to my loving God!” I proclaimed. It may seem kind of petty to some,
but I had always rather enjoyed that part of my life.
It’s been a long road back from that fateful night. I like to think that as a result, I
have become a smarter man. Perhaps a smarter man would have quit such a potentially
lethal occupation. I like to think that any true climber with “splinters in his blood”
would have done the same. I have since become a certified arborist, and have tried my
hand at a number of other occupations. They invariably bore me in the due course of time.
Perhaps someday I will be a writer, but I’m not quite finished being a climber. I once
knew a retired judge named Herman VanWell in Western Oregon who at seventy three years of
age refused to quit climbing trees. Maybe I’ll be like him and find another occupation to
supplement the periodic desire for the challenge of a yet bigger tree. Hard to say. In
any event, I know this much beyond doubt, If you drink, don’t climb... if you climb, don’t
michael c. jones
I want your time your bud your beer,
some breakfast and some bucks.
but the kind of woman you have here
can never get enough.
how 'bout a loan to gamble on
and I need some cigarettes.
I'll share your bed till nearly dawn
what I need my man gets
I'll leave him wanting as I smile
don't think of me that way
I'll hang around a little whil
as long as he can pay
I want attention, dope and beer
I sure could use a bump
I'll tease enough to keep you near
I'll make your heart go thump
so why do you seen so frustrated
you knew the way I was
don't be acting agited
come on, let's catch a buzz
and when it gets a little old
and when you've had enough
I'll act surprised you're heart is cold
'cause I don't do sexual stuff
It's just that I'm not ready now
or maybe I'm too tired
and I won't do that anyhow
but maybe when I'm wired
let's just be friends I said before
and someday, maybe then
and I know that you've been wanting more
the same as other men
when you get wise and you've surmized
that it's time for moving on
no longer wanting what you'd prized
I'll say you did me wrong
I'll do it then with other men
I'm good at this old game
and I'll tease another man again
'cause all men are the same
and I'll act sorry how it came to be
you always knew my rules
and men like you will give to me
'cause men like you are fools
michael c. jones
Woman do you know
How much I really care?
I fear I didn’t let it show
Didn’t know that it was there
I found that I could hurt for you
And that you are part of me
I found that I’m in love with you
Much more than I could see
I was afraid to let you know
To just admit that I love you
Why was letting my love show
So hard for me to do?
I prayed for love as strong as steel
For forever and one day
A love that shines to all we know
And helps to light their way
Do you love me? I have cried…
That I did not let you know
love I hid so deep inside
I’m ready now to show.
Woman, you are my best friend,
will you become my wife?
I’ll love you till the very end
I’ll love you all my life.
I never knew, or dared dream of
Or even wondered how
That I could be so much in love
But I know I love you now
I pray it’s not too late for you
To trust enough in me
To feel the way we always knew
True love could really be
And be it right or wrong
You stole my heart away
I just hope I didn’t wait too long
To let you know I feel this way
We were made each other for
And I need you back again
No man could ever love you more
Don’t let this be the end
I want so bad to be with you
But I let you go instead
Woman I just never knew
I’d regret the words unsaid.
How did I ever let you go
Not knowing how I feel?
Why did I fear so much to show
What now I know is real.
I cannot sleep or eat today
But I did not let you know
I wanted badly you to stay
Yet I did not let it show.
I didn’t know that I could grow
To miss you so damn much
But now it’s time to let love show
And now it’s time we touch…
michael c. jones
Attatched is something I wrote because of the afternoon playoff game on Sunday. God's
voice comes in a thousand ways. Sunday he spoke through the tragic accident that occurred
towards the end of game. What WAs the score?", one announcer asked the other in a way
that seemed to me a powerfull way of acknowledging the insignificance of the game compared
to the life may have just been forever changed. I was paralyzed in an accident 1992 and
recovered due to the grace of God. It changes how you think! Many players dropped to
their knees and began to pray and/or cry without shame. I have never seen such a
powerfull witness of God revealed in a sporting event. Tragedy is is not God's doing, in
my opinion, but it is a chance to reveal his compassion to people who might not see it in
a church. I decided to go a step further and include a couple of other tragic events that
have also resulted in transformed lives. I believe these things he allows only because
his love is so great that he is doing EVERYTHING he can to shake us out of our ordinary,
routine lives so that we will start to see he wants for us something much greater. No man
appreciates the view from the mountain top as much as he who has just journeyed there from
the dark depths of the valley. I will probably never have time in this life to type and
up and share the thousands of poems/songs I have written so I decided the next best thing
is to type and send a few of the better ones as they come... One at a time is not nearly
as overwhelming as the disorganized mess in those boxes! I Hope this speaks to you even
half as much as the actual events have to so many...
in his love, and for his glory,,,,
the man is unmoving and upon this great field
he's the enemy clutch player no more.
and now that his football fate has been sealed
every man has forgotten the score
and by this man's injury we now are reminded
how fortunate we truly have been
we see that now maybe how much we were blinded
till tragey happens and we're humbled again
as smoke was still rising from two towers down
inside of us a moment was froze
we watched as they fell and heard not a sound
shock of attack this nation now knows
tragedy happens and again we can see
how precious and short is our time
and every man knows it could have been me
and honest men say my life is not mine
and the time that the ocean invaded the land
unbeleivable how so many died
and being not there we can't understand
the tears that survivors have cried
for granted nobody dares take their life now
or that the sea will stay in it's place
it seems that these days God's doing all he knows how
for the tubborn souls still not seeking his face
If not by the fallen athlete on the field
if not by two towers in dust on the ground
or if not without the ocean's power revealed
perhaps no need of a saviour is found
and blind to the gift that truly life is
once again now God's giving us signs
the one road is the way to the mercy he gives
tragedy makes a man seek till he finds
is next a great stone come here from deep space
or perhaps the great blast of a nuclear bomb
is this moment the last for recieving his grace
is this day the end and tommorrows are gone?
MICHAEL C. JONES
There’s magic in your words,
but only if they’re spoken.
and only if they’re heard,
can hearts now closed be opened.
Just to think to say them,
can never make them real.
Inside your mind the words unspoken,
are words no one will feel.
Words you later wish you’d said,
You should have said today.
Unspoken words, stay ever dead,
Like prayers you did not pray!
You think you'll have tomorrow,
but can you really know?
Like a smile drowns in seas of sorrow,
Like seeds you did not sow.
Your coming unseen day of death,
will end your words forever,
and as you draw your final breath,
those words are spoken never!
So say today what you would say,
as if it ended now somehow.
Is it so hard to show you care,
and say I love you now?
MICHAEL C. JONES
A daring man is he, a piss ant on a bull as he mounts this mighty tree
Ascending heights of virgin wood, hands caloused, hard and worn...
his trusty saw he wields, a surgery to perform.
From lowly seed and womb of earth, this heritage was born...
For years and years this layered wood... has slowly taken form.
This marvel of creation, massive monster of a tree,
Oh urban city logger... God hast made this grow for thee!
For though he set a pattern... deep within it's humble seed...
for the skills of urban logger, there yet remains a need!
A man I know is truly blind…
And I could be his eyes.
Could his condition help me find…
The truth behind my lies?
He lays upon a bed alone…
And stares at who knows what.
For maybe something I have known…
But never known enough.
He makes me see how blind I am…
To still pretend I’m blind.
To not be doing what I can…
No vision in my mind.
No vision of how I’d be changed…
If only I’d admit.
I should do more because I see…
That something doesn’t fit.
To just be real, and not deny…
My talent goes unused.
To make no excuse, to truly try…
Defending God’s abused.
No vision in my mind tonight…
Can change the truth I know.
That I have not truly dared to fight…
And I’ve never quite let go.
Still I have a vision dim…
In which I am the man.
Who lives like I believe in him…
And finally makes a stand.
My friend in bed, so nearly dead…
Is more alive than I.
At least he knows he does not see…
Not pretending he knows why.
For me it’s time my vision clear…
Or I can not help him.
What he still needs, I have so near…
That to hide it is a sin.
For him I can’t pretend I’m blind…
I have to be his eyes…
For him as well as much for me…
Goodbye to all my lies…
And he may never know that he…
was why I finally changed.
But maybe others near may see…
That it all was God arranged!
MICHAEL C. JONES
do you wonder
did you blunder
are you under
do you feel
it's too real
a need to kneel
a deeper need to pray
too much, too fast
It just can't last
in times gone past
it just worked out somehow
too late for then
you just amend
not where you've been
but what you're doing now
nothing ventured nothing gained
you drift along with nothing changed
seems like it was pre-arranged
you're scared, you know it is
It's God you fear
you know he's near
again he whispers in your ear
reminds you you are his
Fear of God is when you know
what you beleive you shame to show
Your secret side you hide inside
The part of you you wish had died
Is the part of you that isn't you
Not the life that God made new
You can't ignore what life is for
His whisper now you can't ignore
I asked her at last if there still an "us"...
her silence was answer... that she'd had enough
with love like a cancer... just faking it's rough
so without a goodbye... she's packing her stuff.
At last now I know... she knew she would go
and my heart must now heal from love I can't show
and can't afford to feel
without goodbye, just after hello
just before laughing that I'm not letting go
not long and another, broken will know
without goodbye is how she will go!
She never will cry...a river like I
poured forth tonight from the sea of each eye
She never did try... nor ask herself why
she just left with no reason, and without goodbye!
MICHAEL C. JONES
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