One of Those Days

One of those days Dad,
One of those days where
I reached in my pocket for my phone
To call you Dad
Just to chat and see what’s on your mind
Maybe share some things
On mine
Just to tell you how well I grilled the chicken
Share some love for each other
And for life or
Just talk about the weather
Between the pauses of silence
A knowing, the knowing
One of those days Dad
Of knowing
How much I missed you Dad
How much I miss you now, Dad
One of those days,
One of those days.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, A Sunday in August, 2016

Uninvited Guest

There he was again
Creeping in again
With the familiarity of an old friend
This uninvited guest
Come to the dark side
Come to the dark side
Dressed as usual in his moth eaten Victorian garb
Lounging in my living room with his lanky scabbed over legs hanging over the arms of one of her favourite fauteuils
A glass of rye whiskey freshly poured sauntering in his hand
Sun weathered skin mottled with brown age spots
Face’s pallor looking like death’s grey ghost
Lips still sticky with the remains of his last meal
Come to carry off remaining hope
Come to throw shade on any remaining light
His laboured physiognomy filling the entire room and sucking up all the oxygen before filling it up again with the smoke from his hash pipe
Throwing his full weight around to settle fully on my hunched shoulders whispering in my ear emphatically with his gravelly voice as if his throat had been rough sanded by a feral cat’s tongue
Come to the dark side
Come to the dark side

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, August, 2016


The machinelike drumming tymbals,
The sounds of Cicada
Ebbed and flowed,
Ebbed and flowed,
Haunting the dusk
Like armies of invading aliens
Coming to earth to absorb the remaining breaths of life from the planet
As the sun set one final time,
Closing out an era.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, August, 2016

Homeless Benediction

Thoughts sharp like the talons of the rare red-shouldered hawk
Having dropped the remains of lunch,
Bones and the little bit left of flesh of the small rodent crunched
On the hot pavement below
Like a frying pan receiving the crushed, brown shells of an egg
Mixed with white and yolk,
A messy mix,
Grey clouds opened like the curtains of a one act play
To the thunderous applause of cicada,
Rain drops absorbing the stored up energy of the day
and turning into the steam that will carry away her prayers and
her fading hopes
for a different tomorrow.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, August 23, 2016, Orlando, FL

Endless Summer

The smell of the vomitous, urine soaked alley mixed

With the hubris rising from the rain soaked asphalt which

Had spent all day cooking up its roadkill,


As the rising steam of the streets began to find its earthly pleasure

In punishing me with its deisely outbursts and honking

Horns of anger,


Taking me back to the vomitorium I left some time ago-

A dust mite filled, semen stained couch-

A memorial to a night of lustful drunken excess,

Hailing Bacchus like a cab on East 42nd street,


Which brought no relief from the humid heat

Filling my heart that morning

And squeezing my lungs of their remaining life sustaining breaths,

Feelings of bloodless guilt and calls to confession,


Almost falling to my knees in the intersection of a

Well marked crosswalk, yellow flashing lights warning

Cars to slow down lest they take a life,


Knees seeking to scrape their flagellation

Across the white lines of demarcation

Separating pedestrian from automobile,

Hoping to ease the guilty pain of pleasure,


A dead blue jay squashed into the pavement and

Rolled over many times by passing vehicles,

May he rest in peace,


Dead fish pushed up on the lakeshore

Baking in the sun,

Wafts of pescatarian displeasure finding their way to my olfactory bulb,

An egret calling out Caroo, Caroo

To a snake bird drying its wings on a lumbering cattail,


The sun now seeking to tattoo my bare shoulders in crimson ink

To mark me for danger shouting out to empty ears:

“Beware the soul that walketh these paths and don’t follow him…”,

Just another bad example of what a man should be.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, July, 2016


I Step Away

On the corner of S. Clinton and Iowa Avenue

I see a poor black beggar man,

I step away.


I see pigeons suddenly a flight

Shedding their morning meal in intestinal relief,

I step away.


I see a dozen or more young Muslim girls

Of multi-races in hijabs,

I step away.


On the university lawn that night

I watch two gay lovers affectionately embrace,

I step away.


On an alley outer stairway

I see a skinny teen cooking up his morning dose,

I step away.


Upon returning to my hotel room

I see myself more clearly in the mirror,

I step away.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, July 2016

I spent a weekend this summer in Iowa City at a University of Iowa Summer Writers Workshop, “Drift and Dream: The Writer as Urban Walker” with Kathleen Rooney.  I spent a lot of time in solo drifting through the city, writing down my reactions as they occurred and polishing some new practices.  This poem was one of the writing assignments we did in class.  Thank you for reading! 🙂



Middle Aged Wednesday

Cicada concert has begun in
Surround sound
The ancient call and response
Of these inveterate invertebrates
Sun closing down on another hump day
One of those middle-of-the-week middle aged Wednesdays
Cicada concert volume rising and falling
Along with the aspirations of the day
Why is it that all I want is another glass of red wine and
Slightly cooler temps
Refuge from the stifling humidity of this endless summer
A little more sunlight by which to read Ginsberg’s Reality Sandwiches in natural light
And a cigar
On the day I learned my total cholesterol and LDL numbers beg for pharmacotherapeutic intervention
Despite my lifelong efforts to stifle the genetic code so bequeathed to me?