TMW Book Reviews

Review – Beyond Now


Jonah Fontenot

“Beyond Now” by Jonah Fontenot is a profound and moving collection that delves into the complexities of human emotions, relationships, and the quest for understanding and connection. Fontenot’s work is a tapestry of life’s moments, both grand and subtle, woven with the threads of love, loss, sacrifice, and resilience.

At its core, “Beyond Now” explores the essence of what it means to give and to love unconditionally. Through a series of poignant poems, Fontenot captures the sacrifices made in the name of love, as seen in “Take Mine,” where the narrator offers everything from a simple meal to a vital organ, embodying the ultimate act of giving. This piece sets the tone for the collection, highlighting the depth of the human capacity to care for others.

The book is rich with themes of self-reflection, redemption, and the search for meaning. Poems like “These Hands” and “I Wore That Uniform Too” speak to the dignity of labor, the scars of service, and the pride that comes from overcoming adversity. Fontenot’s voice is both introspective and universal, inviting readers to find pieces of their own stories within his words.

Fontenot’s exploration of love’s complexity is perhaps most evident in poems like “Love Me” and “Just Love Me,” where the longing for acceptance and understanding is palpable. These works, alongside “The Day I Die” and “One Last Time,” touch on the bittersweet nature of love—its power to heal and hurt, to bind and to set free.

“Beyond Now” also addresses the broader themes of life’s impermanence and the human desire to make a lasting impact. In “My Last Request” and “Our Golden Rose,” Fontenot reflects on the legacy of love and the marks we leave on the world and on each other. These pieces, rich in imagery and emotion, invite contemplation on the values that guide us and the memories we cherish.

Fontenot’s collection stands out for its emotional depth, lyrical beauty, and the raw honesty of its narrative voice. Each poem serves as a window into the soul, offering glimpses of truth, pain, joy, and the infinite ways in which love manifests in our lives. “Beyond Now” is not just a collection of poems; it is an invitation to journey through the heart’s landscape, to confront our shadows, and to embrace the light that love, in all its forms, brings into our lives.

In essence, “Beyond Now” is a testament to the enduring power of love and the strength of the human spirit. Fontenot’s work is both a mirror and a beacon, reflecting our own experiences back to us while guiding us toward a deeper understanding of the most profound elements of our existence. It is a book that resonates long after the last page is turned, a reminder that beyond now, there is always hope, always love, and always the possibility of transformation.

– The Moving Words Review

Official Entry: The Most Moving Book Award, Jan. 3, 2025

Purchase the book from the publisher.