Marshall would like
all his fans and dear readers to know that he is healthy, happy, and
well. He lives mostly in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina
and enjoys the town, its kind and caring people, and the beautiful
views of the Smokey and Blue Ridge mountains.
Marshall's days are full of activities such as visiting various places in
the town and spending time with his immediate and extended family that
live in the area. Marshall keeps up with his mail, he listens
to a variety of music, and to literature readings by
friends and family and also spoken-word audio
recordings. Although he has developed a wide range
of interest in music, his primary love still remains the music of
Johann Sebastian Bach.
An exciting event brought Marshall’s poetry and loving
message to new audiences in July 2006. Marshall’s
poetry was the basis of a new multimedia stage work called
“Slightly Uncomfortable” that was premiered in the July
2006 Capitol Fringe Festival, Washington DC. This work
featured Marshall’s work recited and acted on stage by an EMI
award winner actress, and by projecting his powerful poetry on screen
accompanied by original film, music, and dance segments.
Marshall attended 2 out of the 3 night performances and was cheered and
honored on stage with flowers and standing ovations in sold out
performances. "This is only the beginning for
Marshall’s work" was the comments of his collaborators in
Slightly Uncomfortable. More and more people read and are
by the honesty and the powerful message of Marshall’s poetic
works as Marshall continues to communicate and write new works.
He intends to collaborate with more artists in the future.
Other projects in the works are a new website, and perhaps a new
published work. And of course promises to keep the fans up to
date more often!
Here is a short excerpt from a conversation with Marshall from last
November: “Marshall is interested in feelings about Good
God… we need good thoughts now… that is the
Also, there are many wonderful activities and innovations in the field
of understanding and helping children with Autism at the Thoughtful
House Center for Children. This is the organization founded
by Marshall’s parents and inspired by Marshall Ball.
To find out more please visit
or you can contact
Thoughtful House Center for Children
3001 Bee Caves Road
Austin, TX 78746
Telephone : 512-732-8400
Marshall who, despite his own physical challenges,
brings joy and messages of hope to the world through his poetry has
been the inspiration for another wonderful effort in bringing healing
to our world.
In the honor of Marshall Ball and a legacy to his immense love for
humanity, Marshall’s parents Troy and Charlie Ball recently
founded the Thoughtful House Center for Children. This new initiative
in Austin, Texas, provides specialized clinical and education services
for children affected by childhood developmental disorders, in
combination with a dedicated research program. The mission of the
Thoughtful House is championing the recovery of children with
developmental disorders through the unique combination of medical care,
education, and research.
The original "Thoughtful House" was a small stone
cottage built by Marshall’s parents in Austin as a special
place of reflection and learning within the grounds of their family
home and served for a number of years as a schoolhouse for Marshall. A
small pathway accommodating Marshall’s wheelchair lead the
main house to this beautiful small cottage which was named by Marshall
“The Thoughtful House” describing its function and
blessings in Marshall’s life growing up. Marshall used to
spend much time there listening to music and learning from his early
teachers and parents. Just outside the doorway to the cottage was a
chiseled stone plaque naming the Thoughtful House by Marshall including
the year 1994. When the family recently sold their property and moved
to Asheville, North Carolina, the plaque was removed and will be placed
on the new building that will be built to accommodate the Thoughtful
House Foundation activities. The site for this building was donated by
In the same spirit of Marshall’s early
educational years, the goal of the Thoughtful House Center for Children
is to utilize the benefits of past and current research and combine the
talents of leading clinicians, researchers and educators in one
dedicated facility. Thoughtful House is a data-driven, results-focused
environment for generating "best practice" educational models and
setting new standards of medical care for children affected by
childhood developmental disorders. In addition, Thoughtful House plans
to address the physical, recreational and creative needs of children in
areas of occupational therapy, speech therapy and hippotherapy. Its
clinical services began in December of 2004 with pediatric and
pediatric gastroenterology clinic for children with autism and related
To find out more please visit
or you can contact
Thoughtful House Center for Children
3001 Bee Caves Road
Austin, TX 78746
Telephone : 512-732-8400
Marshall’s Mother as transcribed by Tony Bernardi
Late this past summer
Marshall and his family moved out of Austin, Texas where they had lived
for many years. It
was not easy leaving Marshall’s childhood residence,
Listener’s Hill. Many
dear friends and precious memories were left behind, however the
prospect of an “On Ward” life in quieter Canadian
surroundings and the prospect of meeting new neighbors and friends
eased and greatly encouraged their move.
Marshall did his part by offering beautiful
poetry and words of wisdom to everyone involved in the move.
Arriving in Saint
Andrews, Canada, the entire Ball Family was warmly welcomed by new and
old friends. Saint Andrews is not very far from Lubec, Maine where
Marshall’s dear friend Lovely resides.
Lovely is the name Marshall calls Mrs. Lois
Johnson who is an unbelievably creative lady that considers Marshall
her great-grand son and has much affection for him.
Coincidentally, Marshall received a beautiful
painting by Brooks Anderson of the Lubec lighthouse from his parents
this past Christmas. Marshall
has many fond memories of the times he spent in Lubec with Lovely and
her dear late husband Mr. Ryerson Johnson. Surely one of the incentives
for the move to Canada must have been the prospect of frequent visits
with Lovely again.
Late summer in Saint
Andrews offered Marshall and his family many blessings. Marshall took
strolls on lanes along the clear waters at the shore, and often met the
kind people of the town that had read his books and were happy to see
him. Taking naps at Katy’s cove while listening to the music
of children’s voices playing in the distance also served as
an enjoyable meditative time for Marshall this past summer.
As the days grew shorter
and Saint Andrews became wetter and colder, the family and Marshall set
out to winter southward. An
old southern house in Asheville North Carolina has given a wonderful
abode and all the blessings of the easier southern living to the Ball
parents now have more time to spend at home since they do not have to
endure long daily commutes any longer.
They treasure their time together especially
when taking lazy walks in the smoky hills of their neighborhood.
One of the blessings that
has graced Marshall’s family for as many years as they can
remember is the helping angels that come to their lives to aid with all
the chores and responsibilities of their household.
Asheville is no exception.
A lovely young lady recently joined these
helping angels at Marshall’s home.
She comes to the family having read
Marshall’s book at the time when she needed it most. She tells us how she use
to take care of a very special young boy called Luke and shortly after
his untimely passing she discovered one of Marshall’s books.
Not unlike many that have been comforted by Marshall’s
miraculous works, she says Marshall’s poetry was instrumental
in helping her recover from her grief.
Arriving at the Ball household, carrying with
her a picture of her dear late Luke, her joy was restored meeting
another Luke, the energetic and kind Luke Ball, Marshall’s
youngest brother. It
does not cease to amaze us learning how many lives Marshall’s
inspirational and comforting poetry touches everyday.
Her arrival was also quite joyous to Marshall
who continues to be cheerful, energetic and full of smiles these days.
Marshall had great fun
touring the wonderful Biltmore Estate with his family over the holidays. Marshall seems to have
taken to Asheville well. It
seems to be his kind of town. He
also frequently visits downtown Asheville patronizing street musicians,
and enjoying the company of his brothers and cousins taking strolls in
the downtown streets. We
have to confess that Marshall is starting to be a regular at the
Woolworth’s soda fountain since he has taken a liking to
their special milkshakes. Asheville,
in many accounts is a beautiful town that affords its visitors all
around easy access and has many conveniences for young poets and alike. Marshall is looking
forward to making many new friends in Asheville and he plans to share
his loving kindness with all of his old and new fans or “good
News as reported by Tony Bernardi
June 15, 2004
It has been a while since we have reported on the wonders at
Listener’s Hill (where Marshall and his family live) and the
gentle life of the precious Marshall Ball. Many projects are in the
works and I am excited to report to you on a few fronts. I had the
privilege to spend some time with Marshall and his gracious family and
I am happy to bring news to all his fans and friends.
Marshall is enjoying a good Spring with frequent gatherings of family
and friends at Listener’s Hill. His dear Grandma’s
weekly visits bring him his fan letters and hearing from all the
wonderful people that write to Marshall gives him a joyful diversion
from his sometimes-busy days. Marshall is always creating and helping
others in many ways. He has been writing a few lovely poems and has
been a great source of inspiration and wisdom to many family members,
friends, and fans as usual.
A major project well underway is Marshall’s Poetry Recording
CD that is scheduled to be release early next year (2005). Marshall has
been instrumental in this project guiding its creation and creators. We
might be able to preview some samples of this CD on the website soon.
The CD is going to have music from Marshall’s favorite
composer J.S. Bach as accompaniment to some of Marshall’s
best-loved works as well as new and unpublished poems. The Title of
this album is “Kissing You”. The
release of this CD will coincide with the release of
Marshall’s new Website. We hope that this website can become
an additional avenue for Marshall to share his beautiful poetry with
the world in a format and presentation that complement his genius.
On my May visit I had the privilege to spend some time with
Marshall’s brothers Coulton and Luke. I was tremendously
touched by Coulton’s gentility and grace. It did not take
long for Coulton to accept me with open arms and hugs and allowing me
to become his friend. I am blessed to have witnessed his new
advancements in walking and communication. Marshall’s
youngest brother, Luke, is a brilliant young man whom I had fun sharing
a few exuberant conversations with as I learned how responsibly he aids
in caring for his brothers. Luke safely and competently drives an
electric car around the grounds of Listener’s Hill helping
out and having fun.
It is not difficult to see how much Marshall cares about all his dear
family and friends in his published poetry books, the Kiss of God and
the Good Kiss. I was able to put faces to many of the names we read in
his poems and it was truly a privilege to meet the people that have
inspired Marshall’s lovely works. The miracle of love is a
daily occurrence around Marshall and an inevitable result of his
“quietly kissing gorgeous marvelous thoughts.”
“Poetry is the Kindness of the Heart”, Marshall
teaches. I am glad to report that this source of
kindness continues to radiate strongly and constantly from Marshall as
it is clearly reflected in his poetic genius.
On other practical fronts the major commotion visible at
Listener’s Hill is the activities associated with the move to
Saint Andrew’s, Canada. The Onward House, a wonderful new
residence awaiting the family, was lovingly named by
Marshall’s brother Luke. Naming of this house is in keeping
with the long standing tradition started by Marshall many years
ago. On a number of occasions Marshall related to me how much
he looks forward to his stay in Canada. Rumors have it that
Marshall’s work has attracted much interest in the Canadian
fans and they eagerly await his arrival. Marshall is forecasting much
productivity and creativity in the Canadian air. In one occasion,
overhearing an uncomplimentary conversation about Canadian Januaries,
Marshall offered an inspiring new perspective on the topic in the
Feel a Fine Beginning
January brings a New Earth;
Feeling angels give Marshall Peace;
Bad feelings answer questions about
feelings Good God does not know;
Begin feeling a good January;
January brings beauty.
That settles that. “January
brings beauty” is the correct perspective and sets
the tone for an Onward approach to life! It all makes sense now. I have
to admit; I have learned so much by being around Marshall and his
family. I understand and acknowledge Marshall Stewart Ball as a true
teacher and I marvel at his gentle and graceful voice for Truth.
The move to Canada is scheduled sometime early this summer barring all
logistical maneuvers involved. The fans and friends in Austin, Texas
are promised to be kept informed by the new website with up-to-date
reports and pictures. I promise to do my best.
I would like to close this newsletter with a beautiful and poignant
poem and message Marshall shared with us on May 21st, 2004. Here he
seem to be addressing all of us in the shadows of the current world
events. I am
signing-off with blessings and gratitude for the privilege to be of
service through relaying Marshall’s Loving
Messages to you.
feels thoughts you give;
Going to feelings give answers;
Will you go to feelings now?
Will you feel Good God
in feeling about bad people?
We need to heal the world;
My Angels give Marshall Answers.
News as reported by Tony Bernardi
January 15, 2004
I am happy to report that miracles continue on Listener’s
Hill. That is where Marshall Ball and his beautiful family live. The
Angel of Christmas brought peace, joy and good health to the Ball Home
and made Christmas Eve even more special and joyful this year. Coulton,
Marshall’s dear brother that was on a special
school-and-board for a while, has happily returned permanently home
now. Michael joined the team of helping angels in the household. And
Troy, Marshall’s mom reports that Marshall was especially
happy this Christmas as he reveled in being surrounded by his family,
aunt, uncle, grandmother, and cousins. For all these blessings and more
we all gave thanks.
Marshall is feeling well and healthy now and has fully recovered from a
few minor ear infections he had earlier. He is getting stronger and
stronger everyday. On a conversation with his mom he said,
“Marshall feels good about living”. We all feel joy
and peace to see Marshall in good health and hear that he feels well. I
have had the great privilege of being directly addressed by Marshall in
a few occasions last year as I know many others also did who had sent
him notes through his website. Many thanks go to Marshall’s
dear grandmother Louise (a.k.a GM) for facilitating most of this
Marshall began this New Year by receiving a very special guest. Mr. Ben
Rhodd, a Lakota Sun Dancer and holy man, came to extend his blessings
to Marshall and pay him a holiday visit. It was a wonderful experience
as Ben spoke about Marshall’s sensitivity to him and
Marshall’s ability to feel many things around the world. He
told Marshall that perhaps because of all the turmoil in the world at
this time Marshall may feel greatly burdened. He went on to say that he
also knows of a hand full of other people with such sensitivities. Ben
then sang a prayer song and presented Marshall with a gift of Sage in a
beautiful conch shell for burning and smudging. This sacred gift was
placed near Marshall’s bed where it hangs now. A beautiful
sacred eagle feather, Ben’s gift from a few years ago, also
hangs in Marshall's bedroom on his window. Mr. Ben Rhodd and his wife
Juanita are beloved friends to Marshall and his family. Juanita teaches
special education on their reservation.
Marshall receives many blessings and prayers among other gifts every
Holiday Season. Among the special gifts he received this year was a
beautiful hand painted tablecloth decorated with quotes from
Marshall’s work written around it’s edges from his
adopted great grandmother Lovely. Lovely is the name Marshall has given
to Ms. Lois Johnson, a most dear friend and unbelievably creative lady.
Marshall and Lovely have talked about creating a tearoom called the
“Friendship Garden” where people can meet and share
ideas with one another. This tablecloth is a proto type presented to
Marshall for this endeavor. Plans are to begin holding such meetings
once a week in Saint Andrew's, New Brunswick, Canada this summer. We
hope many will join Marshall and Lovely there to share moments of
stillness and beauty with them.
It is a long-standing tradition for the Ball family to have Marshall
christen and name special people and places in their lives. This
tradition continues now also with Luke, Marshall's youngest brother
that has named the recently purchased family home in Saint Andrews
“The Onward House”. Marshall says he loves this
name, as now "We are listening onward." And so we all begin this new
and blessed year with “Listening Onward” as our
On a quick footnote I would like to add that since my exposure to the
Ball family, and especially Marshall’s Grandmother Louise,
mom, dad, brothers, and his other relatives, friends, and helpers, I
have been honored to witness grace. Marshall is surrounded by
loveliness and beauty that invite miracles everyday. I am truly
privileged to get permission to maintain and upkeep
Marshall’s Web site. Ever since reading Kiss of God and The
Good Kiss and especially my visit with Marshall this past fall I have
bonded with this special young angel, and my life has been changed. As
his dear grandmother Louise has told me, I must have been touched! Now
I dedicate all my best efforts to help bring Marshall’s
Divine Message and Joy to the world. I am truly grateful for the
privilege to be of service as I feel that through serving Marshall I am
serving the world.
I now leave you with Marshall’s New Year blessing that
circles around the theme of “Kindness”. May
everyone feel Marshall’s Joy, Peace, and Love in 2004.
begins when we love
Regal rewards find a good fine love
Love knows only feelings of kindness
occasion give Love
Often give Love
Kindness is Love
News from Marshall's Aunt Cindy
November 5th, 2003
It's November and I've finally returned home for a brief visit. Seeing
family has been wonderful, especially my sweet Marshall. Upon arriving
at Listener's Hill (where Marshall and his family live), I quickly
worked my way into Marshall's warm and inviting room to shower him with
hugs and kisses. When we were finally able to sit and chat, Marshall
said to me, "Marshall has had a very good year."
Marshall and his parents went up to St. Andrews for a late birthday
trip in September where they have recently acquired a summer home.
Marshall’s birthday was on July 26th and this trip also
coincided with Charlie’s (Marshall’s dad) birthday
in September. Shortly after they arrived at St. Andrews, Marshall and
his family enjoyed a warm welcome from many residents. It was at
Charlie’s birthday dinner party however where many new
friends and town’s people thanked Marshall for encouraging
his parents to come to St. Andrews. They expressed to him how much he
was loved and appreciated by many there. Marshall and everyone present
were deeply touched by this openly public heartwarming expression of
appreciation. As a result, Troy sent a case of Marshall’s
book, "Kiss of God," to the proprietors, Jay and
Greg, at The Windsor House (a guest house at St. Andrews) and asked
them to offer a copy to anyone they thought would enjoy
Marshall’s work. Later Troy realized that Jay and Greg had
decided to put a book in every room at their guesthouse as a response
to a popular demand. Apparently the first copy they had received from
Marshall was repeatedly passed along and read by many guests. The
Windsor House, by the way, was beautifully featured on the cover of the
July issue of Victorian House magazine.
This trip was especially a wonderful trip for the family and Marshall
because Ms. Lois Johnson, a dear friend whom Marshall has named "Lovely",
could also join them for the celebrations!
I hear that most everywhere in St. Andrew’s is accessible to
pedestrians and wheelchairs. Out on the peer, along the shops on Water
Street, through nature trails, to Katy’s Cove, and even at
the beautiful Kingsbrae Gardens. Marshall’s Family plans to
spend the summer next year at St. Andrews. Apparently there are many
wonderful meditative places in St. Andrews. Marshall especially loves
the cove by the sea. It is not difficult to imagine Marshall sitting
there, "Listening", pondering life, and sharing his love with the
This past summer I received an e-mail from a gentleman named Tony
Bernardi. He wanted to send flowers to Marshall for his birthday as a
show of appreciation and to tell how much his poetry had changed his
life. Since I wasn't at home, I decided to forward the e-mail to GM
(Marshall’s grandmother) and let her decide the best way to
handle this. I responded to Tony and told him that he should be hearing
from GM and that we are always happy to know people appreciate our
sweet Marshall. Well, GM wrote to Tony and Tony started communicating
directly with Marshall. He ended up flying to Austin from Washington
D.C. to visit Marshall for an entire week. They had a wonderful week
together and Tony has offered to start helping Troy with Marshall's
Website. So, we all have our fingers crossed that it will just get
better and better! Tony promises to maintain the Website and I promise
to write more newsletters.
Well, I'm headed to Florida for the Winter and would love to see
friends down there. Let me know if I'm in your neighborhood!
Marshall inspires music and writers!
April 17th, 2003
On December 28th, Marshall received an e-mail from a musician who
"I am a singer, songwriter, and music producer from LA. I have been
signed with major Record Labels and received a Grammy for "Best New Pop
Artist" in "96." I currently reside in Utah and have my own child abuse
foundation. I love helping others and have a close connection to
children. I have truly been inspired by Marshall and wrote a song
called "A Kiss From God" that has become a favorite with the music
industry and is being released this year (2003) with my new album. I
would love to send Marshall a CD of course, along with some photos etc.
Thank you. We love you Marshall XO, Camielle
Of course, Marshall and his family were delighted to have received this
e-mail and look forward to communicating with Camielle in the future.
Over the years, Marshall has been contacted many times by individuals
with musical talent wishing to record music that Marshall has written
lyrics to. Several people have sent self-published CDs to Marshall that
have been inspired by his writing. Always, Marshall's family plays
music that has been sent because they know this music has been sent
with heartfelt love.
One of Marshall's favorite activities is listening to beautiful music.
Amazingly, around the same time of the e-mail, Marshall received a
letter and a CD from Margret Avery whose CD is titled "A Place That's
Make Believe." She wrote that on this new CD, the last song entitled,
"A Seed Planted," was written as she felt "channeled" to Marshall. She
was represented in Cannes, France last month at the International Music
Festival. Marshall's mother has enjoyed playing this soothing and
powerful CD for him recently as he rests on a bed nearby.
Also, one of my dear friends, Christopher Howell, was so inspired by
"Kiss of God" that he put together a collection of music from various
performers that he felt best expressed selected writings of Marshall's.
It is a wonderful CD, and even includes Marshall's favorite Bach piece.
Marshall is delighted that he inspires such talented and creative
people as musicians. He hopes that this inspiration is carried on to
each listener over the years.
The Austin International Poetry Festival held its annual event recently
and Marshall was a featured Poet in their evening of Spiritual Poetry.
Poems selected from both "Kiss of God" and "A Good Kiss" were
beautifully read by Ms. Kimmika Williams from Darby, PA. She is an
Assistant Professor in Theatre at Temple University, has been honored
with numerous awards and is the author of eight poetry books. Her
readings brought Marshall's words to life! It was absolutely wonderful.
After hearing Ms. Williams, Troy and Charlie were so inspired that they
have asked her to possibly make a CD of Marshall's writings. Troy also
gave a short talk about Marshall that evening and discussed how his
poetry has developed since he was five years old. As usual, she was
eloquent, gracious and quite beautiful!
When GM (Grandmother) asked Marshall if he wanted to include anything
else in this newsletter, he wrote "A good idea to mention that Aunt
Cindy and Uncle Don are going to travel for a while and rest a while.
Going is resting for Cindy and Don." (Does he know me or what?!) We
have purchased a large trailer and will be traveling all over America
working at Festivals and various events making novelty signs of all
kinds. Both Don and I love to travel and meet new people. If you would
like to communicate with us, we'll keep everyone posted as to our
whereabouts on our website - www.signsonthego.homestead.com.
We'd love to hear from you. Marshall also wanted me to let you know
that I will be donating his books to libraries across the country as we
travel. I'll try to write something in the front of each one, so if you
find one in your library, you'll know I've been there!
And a final note from Marshall: "God is loving great people now."
Have a beautiful Easter and a wonderful Summer!