Jones’ debut book of poetry offers 65 free-verse poems that are intimate, philosophical, and replete with existential wisdom.
This compilation, featuring poems collected over a period of more than 30 years, intriguingly includes enlightening back stories to complement the verses. These stories explain the circumstances that inspired particular poems, the writer’s state of mind at the time of creation, or other details. They give readers a deeper understanding of the verses and offer them, as the author eloquently states, “an additional avenue to illuminate context without diverting a poem’s structure.” Interestingly, one of the few poems without a back story, “Self Portrait,” serves as the thematic centerpiece of this collection. It chronicles moments in the author’s life when he was essentially reborn after painful experiences—including the tragic death of his grandmother, the premature passing of his father, and a serious car accident—and illustrates the idea that life should be about embracing such wisdom and finding fulfillment through self-awareness: “I no longer worry about my destination, as I am here, and that is where I wish to stay.” Another powerhouse poem that furthers this theme is “Educated Sweat,” which explores the importance of priorities and perception: “I don’t put on my best clothes anymore, / having learned / the highest mountain peak / is merely the bottom of the sky, / and / success can be the ultimate disappointment.” The impermanence of human existence is summed up in the poems “Worm’s Eye View” and “Composted,” in which the poet brilliantly compares the life cycle of humans to worms’. Overall, although the verses’ back stories may initially seem a bit self-absorbed, their ultimate effect is one of increased clarity and enlightenment.
A loosely themed collection that examines life, love, and mortality with wit and wisdom.