Open-Mic night at Urban Bar-B-Que

Open-Mic night at Urban Bar-B-Que


I feel my first open-mic night went well. It was at Urban Bar-B-Que in La Plata, MD., behind Panera Bread. I was sandwiched between four musical artist’s. With them present the turn out was standing room only.



June 20, 2017 at Urban Bar-B-Que in La Plata, MD


I was nervous and under the lights, I perspired more than normal, so that must have been a lot of sweat. Six friends came and three of them brought dates. It was nice to know, that my outing was a source for a date night. Pretty cool…


I opened with a couple of jokes, which relaxed me and made me feel a little more comfortable. Glad people laughed and the jokes weren’t duds. After that I introduced myself and my book of poetry, Twilight to Son Shine, then I read two poems from it, Mom and De’ja’ vu. With sweat dripping in my eyes, I read two more poems from my book, Life Changes, which is due out on September 1, 2017. Those poems were called Deadly Drugs and Blue Bench.


Sales were good, seven more happy customers and their pictures will follow soon. A couple of friends shot videos, when I get them I will post them too.


If you missed the opportunity to watch how nervous I can get, you will have the chance again shortly. Looks like this might be a venue, I want to continue.


Remember the beatniks, I’m bringing them back. Don’t forget to snap your fingers.



Poetry by Jim: happy father’s day

happy father’s day



From left to right; my youngest son Billy, my oldest son Jamie and my mom (Grace) at dad’s gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery. James Forrest McDonald Sr


in year seventy-five
you went away
you made me cry
was a very sad day


I was twenty one
such a young lad
had two babies
needed you dad


it’s called big C
you had no choice
you can’t be replaced
I lost your voice


in forty two years
four have stepped up
close to your age
they filled that cup


happy father’s day dad
I miss you so
you’re my blood
why did you go


Matt’s here now
really nice man
as we hang out
writing’s our plan


we talk about women
or stories and more
we laugh so easy
he’s never a bore


wish you were here
you’re in my heart
life can be short
enjoy it from the start



Matthew (Matt) Jones Jr

Random thoughts: Communication Matters

Communication Matters



One sign of respect


I’m not always right, some might say, hardly at all and of course they’re entitled to their opinions. However, when I’m talking, I think it’s very rude when someone cuts me off in mid sentence. Venting is one thing and that’s understandable as long as it’s in the right setting. This editorial is not about venting, it’s about disrespect, selfishness and the inability to remain teachable.


When I use the word, ‘you’ in this article, I am targeting those on the other end of some of my conversations, not you the reader.


First off; when you cut me off in mid sentence, you’re telling me, what I have to say is of no consequence or doesn’t matter. Who are you to imply that to me? You’re no better than me and it doesn’t matter if you’re blue collar, white collar, job statues or your experience. Your opinion is only your opinion and normally not much more than that.


Self-centered conversations typically means there is no communication, which also means the conversation is coming from one direction. It’s a very selfish and arrogant person who relies on their opinion and only theirs. A one sided conversation like that normally come to a quick and abrupt end. The results are more than likely not the desired one. Both parties will probably leave the conversation unfulfilled or with an unresolved issue.


I had a friend, Melvin Foster, and one of his more memorable quotes was, “Always remain teachable…” He passed away several years ago after living a nice long life. He was a very knowledgeable man in many areas, but since he remained teachable throughout his life, he continued to grow in his accomplishments till his death. That was made possible, because of his ability to listen. His grounded behavior was loved by many.


Most days I can handle these selfish interactions and just walk away. Sometimes it’s not so easy though, especially when I need a specific answer and the person doesn’t listen to the question. Maybe they’re having a bad day or maybe they think they can read minds.




Communication is the key for ‘human beings’ to progress nicely throughout the day and we as ‘human doings’ are not doing it well.




I have noticed that those who actually want help people, have the ability to listen and then formulate a plan based on most of the facts and issues at hand.


I need to admit, that sometimes I fail in this very same arena. When you listen to and exchange words with another person, you are showing them the respect they probably deserve, just like you do.