TREE

That tree those branches leafless boughs the whole year through
Balanced strong against the morning sky
Steady
Morning in morning out
As the Sun struggles to light up the Trail
Sending me a message

It’s a backdrop it’s a foreground to something else
Figure-ground concepts on a schoolyard lot
A picture without a frame
Of what I am not sure

But he’s there (yeah, he’s a male)
Mourning in mourning out
Will you be my father I asked him today,
And he said YES!

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, January 2018

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Well-Grilled Life

Don’t turn the steaks more than once-some of the only advice he ever gave me and why I always think of him when I fire up the grill

Watching a green leaf pushed by a dead brown one across the surface
Of the pool tonight

An early Autumnal sunset of pinkish orange pushed out by purple rains
Sweeps across the quickening sky
As cicadas’ machinistic trumpets announce the darkness cloaking another day

And him there, standing over there, by the grill
Sharing his sage advice:
Turn once, not twice to
Live a well-grilled life.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, September 23, 2017-September 26, 2017.

 

OLD FLA HOME

So maybe, just maybe, the Poets have taught me to embrace the me
That is me
With all its mud and dirt dirt durty

My native Floridian
With all its humidity
With its divorce, its absence of fathering
Subtracted roots and substance of
Family
Of roots sinking deep
Into the mud where mollusks breathe

And the gulf breeze blowing in across the Pine Island sands of tumidity
I accept the gifts of Gulf
So bequeathed to me.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, August 5, 2017, Florida, U.S.A.

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SMOKE SIGNALS

The torn seats, the rusted out bed,
I was on board for the ride
To the office with my Ben Ben
To be included in a talk with men,
Hushed stories, jokes, then laughter,
What was i in for?
Oh, I’m so ready to be one of them.

When upon our arrival, to my disappointment, Ben Ben said:
Wait in the truck son
And after i’m done,
We’ll make another run to the corner drug
For a c’cola float
(A consolation prize for a boy
Not yet ready to be one of the men).

Then curiosity got the best of me
And i left the safety of the torn front seat,
Springs popping out all sides
To enter the office and the gathering of men
As Yellow light snuck out of dusty shades and
Wood paneling whispered storied tales
And men gathered in a circle talking
Smoking puffing

While i listened in unnoticed tucked away in a dark corner of the room
Trying my best to understand the discussions
Of men
Until, and when, my burdened
Respiratory system succumbed to the weakness of my genes
And i pushed out the door hocking and tearing and coughing and choking,
A Red eyed snot nosed mess and learned
I wasn’t quite ready to be one of the men.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, May, 2017.

FATHER WORRY

Sad and worried,
Sitting by the pool with Irish verses twixt fingers of hand,
A solitude so longed for, thus obtained.

Sad and worried,
Cigar in hand while a Belgian ale laces her proper glass,
A wedding dress, a Bride unveiled,

Light bounces,
Hope sustains,
Surface bubbles saunter

Like a Prince’s love waiting; and a
Caged bird sings:
Sad and worried.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, May, 2017

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Kee-ahh Kee-ahh

There they were like stuffed cicada
Little artifacts of remembrance
Taxidermic witnesses of yesteryear
O’ Memory

Echoes of their summer songs in the distant horizon greeting
Sunset painted skies of glorious pinks purples oranges and reds
Colouring the lake with the paint brush strokes of the golden gods of light and lustre
Juices of tangelos sweet sour
Sour sweet
Tango across taste buds awake

Sticky fingers sticky hands pursed lips
Scents of fruit warming nostrils with joy
The buzzing bzzzssszzz of honey bees Dancing the orange blossom special
Filling ears with magical musical moments
O’ memory

Walks to the lake
Hands in the dirt
Ladders in the trees
Salty smells
Soil sweat humidity
Sowing seeds pushing out
Pains of broken family

Into
Another sunset

As the red-shouldered hawk cries
Kee-ahh kee-ahh kee-ahh
Without tears,
All day outside my window
While I’m writing this
With Snyder’s Turtle Island in my lap
And my kitten by my side
Purring Russian on the futon

O’ Memory
O’ Memory

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, February, 2017

Dad

On entering his writer’s study
As the gargoyles fell off the shadowy sinews of his mind
Like fish scales
One
by
One
by
One

He heard that voice again
From deep in the earth
Beneath the ancient oaks
Amidst the ghosts of the Confederacy

Surrounded by groves
Of freshly peeled tangerines
The juice so sweet
Effusing orange aromas
Like the memories of walking down to Hancock Lake
Smelling the dirt beneath our feet
Sharing sacred family histories

That voice again
Now lucid
Now as luminous as this morning’s monster moon
Echoes out of a makeshift wooden box
So long underneath the earth without a marker
Carry on,
Son,
Carry on

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, January, 2017
Happy Birthday Dad