Whitman’s Whisperings

The cars on the expressway a mile away

The squirrels rustling in the leaves nearby

The water moving in the pool beneath my feet

The airplane making its way across the sky

The gentle breeze whispering through the trees

The birds sing singing—I hear them all.


The wind chimes chiming

Human voices walking down the street

The breeze again, the cleansing breeze again

Sitting here feeling while reading Whitman that

That breeze is blowing over me

Blowing through me.


Blowing away the cares and worries of the day

Soul cleansing, Hearing awakened, Emotions summoned

Cicada twittering its song of taps

As the sun begins to set behind me

Throwing the shadow of my pen

On the paper journal I’m writing this in.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, 04/19/2016

Blue Red Yellow

Having awakened with the sun’s rays on Sunday morning,

The ocean waves white noise app having done its job,

And no longer able to quiet the thoughts energized by

The potential brought on by a new day.


Songs of potential sung by the song birds singing

Ushering in the day with their own brand of wake up music,

Faintly remembering my last dream-

Trying to explain Bandini to a pair of luthiers who had never read Fante.


And then remembering the events of last night that kept us awake after SNL,

The sounds of sirens of first responders arriving at the next street over,

The text from my daughter’s best friend and 21st birthday celebrant

Arriving simultaneously alerting us to something grim.


“Lots of cops on next street over. Ambulance. Fire trucks.”

Flashing blue lights filling the cool night air.

We walked outside as Mama pulled up the active crime scenes on her phone.

“111.295 Battery. Shooting.” Shots fired. Person down.


A tragic scene reduced to 2 words and 6 numbers.

Neighbors. Anonymous.

Never knew them.

Never saw them in their front yard.


Walked outside and around the corner and watched

What seemed to still be an active scene,

Holding my daughter’s hand in my heart,

So thankful she was home safely from the night’s reveries.


Walked back inside. Disturbed. Sad.

Now quiet outside.  Blue lights dimmed. Investigators busy.

Ambulance leaving scene with intermittent sirens, red lights flashing.

Yellow tape wrapped around trees and power poles.


Yellow tape so reminiscent of the yellow ribbons

Placed in hope of soldiers’ safe return home to family,

Dear neighbor we never knew,

Prayers go up for you today in hope of safe returns.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, 04/17/2016


Life as A Cat

I used to think I’d come back as a dog,

But now I’m sure I’ll come back as a cat,

Not that I’m one to believe in the reincarnate

And all that.


I’ll keep my claws superbly sharp

and so superciliously clean,

As a warning to all of humanity:

“Don’t get too close to me.”


I’ll keep my nap rituals sacred and on the down low,

Enjoying my siestas without work ethic guilt,

Casting feline spells with purr purring,

Melting any Soul daring to step ’round my quilt.


Though frequently flirting and wooing

With the silent swoosh and swing of my tail,

In that swoosh shall remain this whispered warning:

I can always steal away in an instant, without fail.


My motto for this cat’s life will be:

“Always live in the now and the presence of right here,”

I’ll spend time with humans on my own terms, only when I’m ready,

Knowing loyal Sister Solitude shall always hold me steady.


And when I pass on to another life,

Still believing in nine lives and all that,

I’ll be most happy to accept another life as a cat.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, 04/15/2016


Solicitous Solitary Saturday

12:30 on a Saturday afternoon and feeling

As if the lack of solitude might crush him,

Like 4 walls of an illusory shrinking carnival fun house elevator vault closing in on him.


Sounds of footsteps above and around in the not-so-empty Colonial-style, 2-level house

Foreboding yet further interruptions of thoughts read,

Of thoughts thought and better left unsaid.

Awakening the morning with the sun and a 3-mile walk around the lake,

Noticing the kitty noticing him in the window between the panes of glass

And pulled down Venetian shades.

Wondering why the sleepy little wanna-be city

Was so slow to awaken,

On this solicitous Saturday morn.

Walls of lack of solitude closing in,

Longing for the interruptions-

Such excuses for not picking up the pen:

To write, to write, to write.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, 04/09/2016