Third Week of January

Finding himself walking his way down Pine behind much younger people and still hearing the silly laughter of a young date in an Escalade parking on the third level twenty feet away, he carried himself with a “Don’t ‘F’ with me” old guy chip on the shoulder attitude while feeling younger days lost.  Something about that spot in downtown put him into a defensive, yet reflective posture these past two weekends out of three.

Finally, alone with his customary double shot of espresso and cool, effervescent Pellegrino in the green translucent bottle with just the right bit of bubbly feel in the corner of his mouth in a new corner of the hotel coffee shop having paid his $5.13 rent for this corner space, reaching into the corner of his brain where he kept such things, he began to write the poem of the week reflecting on his notes and getting a handle on his thoughts.

Sitting across from his former end table spot taking over a table for four near the door of the place which today of all days was the sunniest and unlike Florida coldest seat in the house, the door opening more often than usual letting people enter to find warm atmosphere and drink revealing the unseasonably seasonal cold snap of wintry winds, he began to write, on this, the third week of January:


Whether reading the lacustrine writings of our friend Thoreau

Or of the travails of travels of Bukowski’s Chinaski

Across the plains of alcoholic presenteeism.

After nights given to drink

And mornings to drink’s failure

To erase the pain or elucidate

Aeonian truths yet to be found in the writings of these

They call the literary greats.


His ludic approach to these sessions of playful reading

Might never open the doors of Truth

To an enlightened state of Beingness.

But he was willing to roll the dice, to play the horses

To spend more solitary time of the kind he craved

Reading and writing as the stuffs of his reading left

Their sitzmarks on his thoughts

And sometimes left their imprints on what some might call soul.


“Awe, Kerflooey!”

An expression that seems so much like nonsense

As if struggling out of an aposiopesis of wordlessness.

In the third week of January

A kerflooey of mixed thoughts of joy suppressed

Blended with a cornucopia of sorrow’s mixed remains leaving

Him speechless and at times

Longing for ______.

Handcrafted poetry by John Hines, 01/26/2016

This is the third in what might become a series of poems written using the 7 most previous, consecutive words of the day ( and  This week’s words were: lacustrine, ludic, aeonian, kerflooey, aposipesis, presenteeism, and sitzmark.  I am looking forward to next week’s challenge!  Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed :).

Ailurophile’s Muse

Awakened this time by thunderous scepters

Slicing and flashing their way,

Through the bedroom air

Of morning’s first breaths.


Feeling her fully stretched across

The length of his weary torso,

Her chest rising and falling

Serenely with the breeze of day’s first blush.


She and He, Together, Partners in Crime

Awake Now,

And ready to stalk the bewitching hours

For elements of Truth.

Handcrafted poetry by John Hines, 01/17/2016

I recently read On Cats by Charles Bukowski and Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot-both outstandingly enjoyable collections of poetry. The choice of these readings was inspired by the presence in our lives of a rescue kitten we adopted a little over a year ago, a Russian Blue mix who was born in an automotive garage and who lost part of her tail in a little accident while living there.  Always dog people having watched two Labrador Retrievers grow up with our children, we had never had a cat.  Each day with her we are ever ever more amazed by her impact on our family and her mysterious ways.  I tried to capture part of that amazement in this short poem.

Our girl also makes an appearance in a poem I wrote and posted at the end of last week (  The predawn hours can be special moments for writers and cats alike!  Thank you for reading :).





Sirens of Predawn

Having once again been inveigled

By the sirens of the predawn hours

He was awake now listening

To the peripatetic wanderings of the ghosts

They said frequented this house.


The stair steps creaking, the walls seemingly speaking,

Or was it just his cat?


Quietude, solemnity, A sphinxlike soliloquy

Of solicitous voices of solitude called out

To his soul to create a reifying remix

Of the events of past lives lived

In words scripted on soft papyrus.


Is it an epic poem, a sweet short story, a thespian’s delight

Or powerful prose that is in the offing?


Having shaken off the hebetude of days

Worked in unvocationed labor

Hazy days soaked in Bacchanalian feats of wonder

His mind now sat in the Director’s Chair

Like a well practiced cineaste.


Unable to sleep because of the promise of another weekend

Affording time to create, to live, to breathe again?


Feeling his chest rise with hope and possibility-

Spending his spare time with favorite pen and book in hand

Working to listen closely to the voices of the likenesses of

Woolf, Bukowski, Eliot and Hemingway

With his cat pressed cozily against his side.


Was this new soul seeking, spirit searching restlessness of expressiveness

A bellwether of things to come?

Handcrafted poetry by John Hines, 01/15/2016

I teach AP Psychology, the equivalent of Introduction to Psychology in the U.S., to high school students.  At the beginning of each day’s lesson I introduce the word of the day (I love the app!) to my students using it in a sentence and sometimes including some improvisation.  Last week, I challenged myself to write a poem using the 7 previous words of the day (  I answered that challenge again this week.  One key to this is that I “live” with these words all week. In fact, I wrote a poem earlier in the week titled The Offing ( Thank you for reading!  Have a most awesome weekend doing your own creating!

Single Leaf Survivor

This single leaf survived

The cold of winter

And water’s snowy melt of Spring.


To impress upon our lazy hiker,

The import of permutations on the way,

Amidst the continuity of life’s seasons of change.


Could he be this leaf? A Survivor,

A Creator and leaver of a legacy,

Not yet understood.


Leaving each day up to its own reveal,

In time’s good measure.

Handcrafted poetry by John Hines, 01/11/2016.

In March, 2014, I spotted a single, large autumnal colored leaf in the road amidst the shell rock on a western North Carolina mountain walk.  A spring snow had just melted. I was really beginning to feel the nature around me and starting to pause to notice and feel (with more than my senses) things like dewy spider webs, lonesome leaves, moss growing on a log, sun thrown shadows through the trees, and water moving over rock.

Reading today’s “Poem-a-Day” titled Thin Ice by Ellen Dore Watson brought the image of that leaf swiftly back to me.  I found the picture of that single leaf survivor that I had saved in my phone and kept it open while I started writing this short poem.  Thank you to Ellen Dore Watson for bringing back the image and feelings so readily.


The Offing

The offing of night’s twilight over sea

Oversaw and offered hope

Of a sweeter day tomorrow.


As today’s sun’s rays melted

Into the mystic, glassy waters

Carrying with them the day’s perplexities of sorrow.

Handcrafted poetry by John Hines, 01/10/2016

I have a “new year’s resolution” ( to slow down for 50 sunsets in 2016.  I’ve done it once thus far.   The feelings felt in a magnificent, shared sunset over the Gulf of Mexico in the last week of 2015 inspired this poem.

Words Please Him

This prepossessing young lad–

A bibliophage bubbling, a logophile longing,

For words for him were a splendiferous, sybaritic symphony.


His love for the word written or spoken

Found its delight

In terpsichorean splendor.


Soul dancing down the aisles of a bookstore,

The salubrious air of fresh pages turning,

Awakening the hope of another salutary journey.


Into an unputdownable collection of words,

The finishing of which,

The finishing of him of which,

Would give him something to kvell about.


His soul finally experiencing a fullness of redintegration,

Only to awaken the next morning ready to be satiated again.

Handcrafted poetry by John Hines, 01/08/2016

I wrote this poem this morning after accepting the challenge to write a poem using the 7 most previous words of the day (WOTD) from Saturday-Friday (01/02/2015-01/08/2015). It was fun!

The poem was handcrafted in my brand new MOLESKINE soft cover ruled notebook-my first piece of writing in this most thoughtful Christmas gift from my awesome wife :).


That’s What She Said

Ethereal and reality and ethereality,

Is Heaven real?

“Hell on earth”,

That’s what she said.


The life he lived

And shared with me

Was enough hell for eternity.

Etherealize? Hah!


The reality of it is this,

Thoughts of heaven provide escape

From the hell of living with you

That this life is.

Handcrafted poetry by John Hines, 8/23/2015

Written this summer while contemplating the marriage of Leopold Bloom and his wife Molly as I experienced a first reading of James Joyce’s Ulysses.