Saturday, February 28, 2015


Soon after I posted this, I decided to revert it to a draft. There's something about it that I don't like.

 Perhaps it's because I have two entirely unrelated subjects in juxtaposition. Perhaps it's because I'm getting extremely tired of writing about the snow. Perhaps because the old poem that I resurrected is lousy and was rendered even worse with revision - -  and the ancient family history is nobody's business.

At any rate, I'm posting it again against my better judgement. And then I'll move on.

"When I move to Tennessee my adventures will be over. I won't have anything to blog about."

That statement, which I made last October, has come back to bite me in the ass. I've only been here a couple of months and the adventures never end. Eventually they will kill me. 
Texas put the nails in my coffin. 
Tennessee has a burial plot waiting with my name on it.

Actually, things are improving. It got all the way up to 15 degrees last night. Even more exciting - - dramatic drum roll here - - the temperature soared to 35 degrees today and the sun appeared! I broke out into a cold sweat. Had to pinch myself. Thought I died and went to heaven.
Me? In heaven?? No way......

The photo above is not my burial plot. It's a statement of triumph that I made today - in honor of having survived this latest blizzard.

Of course, I'm still in a helluva lot of pain from falling on the ice and I'm still snowed in and I'm still without water due to a broken pipe. But - hey! It could be worse. 

All right - enough of this Pollyanna crap. Since "Pessimism" is my middle name, I'll let you know how I really feel. I shoulda moved to the Sahara!!

Jon, control yourself! There are respectable people out there.

I keep hearing that this brutal Tennessee weather is extremely unusual. "Worst winter we had in 200 years."
Yea, right.

Native Californians tell the newcomers:
"Wow, this 9.3 earthquake is so rare! We've never had one like it before."

The Ozark hillbillies told me:
"Wow, this F-6 tornado is so rare! We've never had one like it before."

And so it goes.....

This afternoon
blue skies

The title of this post, Spring Thaw, has a duel purpose. 

I am yearning for a spring thaw, of course. But last night, while in the process of editing a new version of my poetry book, I found this poem entitled Spring Thaw that I wrote when I was in my early 20's. It was published in a literary magazine and then quickly forgotten.

I had never explained why I wrote it, and never wanted it published again. After finding it last night, I've decided to include it in my new book along with a dedication. It's certainly not a good poem but it's interesting for a personal reason.

Spring Thaw
(In memory of my Great Grandmother Sophia Horvath)

In April 
they dragged the river
for her body
waiting patiently under the ice
for months.

She yielded reluctantly,
still obstinate
after all these years.

On the muddy banks
of the Raritan
yellow wildflowers
nodded rumors,
raising their heads to see.

I never knew her.
I only know the stories
told in sporadic whispers:
that she was beautiful
had several husbands
many lovers
and never smiled.

The lonely turbulence
of her shadowed existence
finally unraveled
like a carelessly abandoned
mourning shroud.

When she finally emerged
from the tomb of thinning ice
some say
her lips bore traces
of an intended smile.

She was my maternal great-grandmother, my grandfather's mother. I never saw her. There are no existing photos of her.

When my mother was a little girl she saw her once. Only once. My Mom remembered her as being quiet and cold - -  tall, slender, very well dressed, and extremely beautiful.
It is said that she resembled my mother. 

Everything about my great-grandmother was mysterious. She was possibly murdered but most likely committed suicide. My grandfather's surname was Knoll. Horvath was probably the surname of one of her husbands - or perhaps her maiden name.

I had never thought about her much, but now the great mystery of her haunts me.


  1. Haunting poem. The raw emotions to describe one lost to such a tragedy. An enigma. It is sad your family did not know her better.

  2. Jon, I can think of little in the way of historical pursuits that would compare with the mystery surrounding Sophia Horvath. Certainly, while enduring a sweltering 35 degree sunshine, the clues will come from within. 30 years ago I dug into correspondence and receipts (yes, we know people used to save receipts) to find out answers about my own family in the 1850s. It was before I had a computer. My only caution: be sure the truth is what you're after because it will not leave you alone.

  3. Sophia sounds fascinating. Already, I'm itching to know what series of events conspired to leave her (presumably) cold and aloof. Or, was it overwhelming sadness. Too many questions, too few answers.
    I once tried unraveling the mystery of my paternal grandfather -- in vain. I suppose some things are better left alone.

  4. What a beautiful poem, Jon. It's going to be much more easier in the future to look up family history and I sometimes wonder will be made of me by my great-greats...ect.

    ps........I don't know if I should be asking you to keep warm or keep cool! That really is mad weather!

  5. March 1st, spring has to be getting closer.
    Great poem, it would be wonderful to include a paragraph explaining the meaning behind it in the book.

  6. Jon,
    I knew that when you moved to Tennessee that your adventures would continue anew, just in a different direction. There is no way, you being the person that you are Jon, that you could ever settle down into a dull, routine life. I am quite sure you have many many more "adventures" in store for you. Just wait until you get your water back and the spring thaw comes and the beauty around you explodes. And, I suspect, you will probably eventually have to change the title of your blog from "Lone Wolf Concerto" to "Wuff Wuff Concerto." Just saying. (smile)

  7. Tennessee Grauman's Chinese Theatre
    with your name & hand/foot imprints


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