Tuesday, October 11, 2016


 Hanging Gardens of Babylon

An exquisite October night. Autumn has penetrated my soul with unrelenting melancholy that is both soothing and sobering.

Despite numerous obstacles and an acute absence of motivation, I've made progress on my latest writing endeavors. I've finished my book for children - eighteen poems inspired by the night. Traditional poetry that rhymes. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this and completed it in less than two weeks - - still compiling illustrations and deciding on a title.

I'm working on my memoir, which is not exactly a labor of love but rather a painful excavation of unhallowed graves.

I'm also working on another poetry book, In the Shadow of Babylonian Kings,  which I'm certain will be my last: a compilation of my final poems, arguably more mature than those in Love Letters to Ghosts.

As for blogging, it often becomes a thankless burden. But, then, writing - in any public forum - takes authors down frustrating paths to perilous places. Over the years I've spent far too much time blogging which, in essence, is an exercise in absolute futility.

I'll end with a curious (and probably unwanted) offering: a random sample of poems from In the Shadow of Babylonian Kings.


from the lofty realms of righteousness
they tumble beyond
a cradle of clouds
in swift descent
to the open arms of mortal desire
and the sweet embrace of Sodom.

In time
the giddy pleasures of their pursuit
like the plans of intended kingdoms,
and the sacrifice becomes a burden
thicker than sun-sparked desert sands.
Unholy desires assume the futile proportions
of desperate seasons
in search of an impossible rain.

The great warehouse of their intentions
begins to fade and tarnish
like too many bracelets on the arms
of a king's forgotten concubine.

***** ***** *****


There is a gnawing desire for atonement
towards the end
that unleashes previously unknown reserves
of inner courage or strength,
neither heroic nor admirable
but inspired by absolute necessity.
The journey, of course, has been
an unrelenting burden,
the weight of which remains unnoticed
until the enormous final battle
when all is lost and little is forgiven.
It will be quick,
this ultimate stroke of merciful justice -
this undeniable act of self-preservation.
I will not be missed. 

Jon V.
from In the Shadow of Babylonian Kings

My other blog is dying, which seems extremely appropriate for me. I'll probably abandon it soon because I'm losing interest.

Here's a link, just for the heck of it.
Cabinet of Curious Treasures  


  1. I use blogging to escape finishing the sequel to my published book. I also use ironing, cooking, tending to Beau....but at least blogging isn't done daily like ironing, cooking, tending to Beau. lol

    Today I must change the ink in my printer before it goes belly up to dryness, and then the sponges won't absorb the ink. I don't buy ink in the cassettes. I have bottles and syringes that work out to be around $70 a year.

    I read your poetry. There is a distinct difference between people who love poetry, and those who don't. I guess being a barbarian is the difference. Or low brow. Or low country. Or lack of imagination. And then there are the ones who say they love it - as well as dry wine - when maybe they don't. I also dislike dry wine. But then again, I'm an honest hillbilly.

  2. Congratulations on the children's book!

    I'm curiously drawn to The Fallen, Jon. Perhaps I identify too closely with "desperate seasons in search of an impossible rain." Your second, frankly, has me concerned......

  3. Since reading your blog, and after your comment on my latest post....im you read me your poetry, you'll have me swooning.....the children's book shocked me!

  4. Jon,
    Blogging is never a waste. Just think of all the friends you have made through blogging. You have not blogged din vain.

  5. Jon, your poetry is well-composed into excellence. I have always thought so. However, despite Mevely's and my opposite political opinions, I share her concern over "End". Yes, admittedly I've been trying to read "Ariel" yet again this evening and am a bit jumpy about it. Don't you go Plath on me, ok? Blogging, as Ron implies, is not waste but the freedom of interactive human expression. That makes us pioneers.

  6. Jon,

    I have always fallen back on traditional poetry, especially forms, as something that is actually challenging and tends to refresh my poetry spirit. I've never been against rhyme, either. I love your banner photo of the woods looking very autumn. I have written for decades, putting up with the efforts to publish and the bias of editors. Now in my late years I find blogging a joy, no pressure, and if some read it, fine. It amazes me how far and wide my little jottings travel and who sometimes comments and where sometimes my pieces get reprinted around the world. Our blogs carry more influence than we really realize.


  7. How can you waste too much time blogging? If you want to and people like to read it, do it!

  8. I'm thrilled to hear about all of your writing projects, and most intrigued about the children's book of poetry. I had a much-loved book of poetry as a child, and it "disappeared" when I took it to school in the second grade. I'm not sure whose heart it broke more... mine or my mother's.

    Just like the poems in your other book, the samples you gave do a good job of ripping the heart out. But you're wrong about one thing. You WILL be missed.


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