Stalagmites stalactites
Tactile memories burned off cut out frozen in time with the music-

Barnacles growing on pylon
Piled on thoughts
Of survival
Of living
A captured moment between space and time

Looking out over another sunrise
Rapt in the flocculent
Purple haze of the Orange Blossom’s
Trail of tears

The fires of Helios challenged to burn off the fog
Of another brumal night of

That tan man over there
In the shadows of the stay-weekly motel
Breathing in breathing out
Deep belly breaths
A swami
Arms raised to a sky in midwinter mourning

Whispering prayers
Whispering whispering hushed breaths
Whispering for a youthful hopefulness
Long since crushed and squeezed into the juice of a daily-breader

Now lit in orange and green
Across a hallway in O-Town’s
Last chance for

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, Winter in Florida, 2018


Facing east towards the rising sun
Struggling through the fog in the face of the flocculent clouds
The self-named Poet Laureate of 32805

Sang an anthem of remembrance in honour of a breathless crescent moon shaking like a scythe in the hands of a tall tan man with a Samuel Beckett face

Wise weathered worn like leather
withering in his bones
Tremble tremble tumble tremble
Like the memories of the autumn leaves on the trail of Rufus Morgan

A waterfall whispering hopefulness
Such that he is once again able
To shake off the youthful longing of his yesterdays for the haggard vision of a wee small moment of today.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines

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

Feed Up the Poor

We gave four pieces of Savannah’s finest pizza

To a hungry, homeless man tonight

For which people wait in line

Vinnie, Vinnie Van Go Go’s-

What a gourmand’s name delight!

Then we

Watched the hungry, homeless man shuffle away from East Bay Street

Just minutes later

After abandoning the pizza into the road

And tossing it with such nonchalance,

A drunken discus hurling,

Looking at us with a twinge of embarrassment (maybe?)

I asked him was it good?

A mumbled answer oh yeah, yeah,

Well God bless you and good night.


Pizza having tasted so good to us

Washing it down with a cold local brew IPA

After half a day of driving up 95

Slowly warming up to each other’s company

In the more relaxed cadences not afforded in everyday home life

And the drive, the drive of always getting there.


Symbolisms, stories, streets to be explored

Bull Street down to Forsyth Park tomorrow

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

And Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home

Sauntering square to square,

Sharing ideas for new tattoos

He, an endless circle undivided around his bicep

Poetry divided

Father and son joined over literary devices

Me, a chimera’s bold lion head arching over my shoulder

Its snake tail down the middle of my lower back

Inspired by a Baudelaire prose poem-

We all have our own.


The  hungry, homeless man gave us so much more than

We gave him tonight-

More than we could have imagined,

For we laughed and laughed with the biggest belly laughs we had shared

In a long, long while

For several hours posthaste,

Him tossing that half eaten beloved pizza into East Bay Street for the pigeons

To enjoy upon awakening next morn

Us going back later to snap a picture of its lonesome, under appreciated remains

Lying forlornly in the street with an improper buriel.


O’, how had we sold the hungry, homeless man so hard

On that half-eaten NY style pizza,

Hand tossed and hand carried to its final resting place-

Sausage, Ham, Onions, Mushrooms and Peppers,

(It’s not too spicy hot is it? Oh, no, no)

On a delicious true as truly genuine NY-style crust,

Having carried it with us to LIVE MUSIC at Molly McPherson’s Scottish Pub

Down Congress Street to Bull

To East Bay looking for someone in need with whom to share its glorious deliciousness.


All he asked for was a sandwich.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, July, 2016

Just days after this episode with our youngest son, I rather coincidentally read Baudelaire’s prose poem “Beat Up the Poor” in Paris Spleen.  I’ll be a long time chewing on that one as well as our shared experience in Savannah and our reactions to it.  The title for this poem is thus derived.  Hope you enjoyed.  Thank you for reading.