Visions of Autumn ((Trapped))

Shade of a palm tree’s sun-shadowed reflections trapped in a frame on white-washed particle board opposite a French door,

Brown shrouded priestly vestments lipping over a sinewy, sun-leathered wrist guarding wrinkled fingers wrapped around a chalice,
No, a coffee mug:

Snowy cold memorials of seasons
On a mountain village garden path

A brown leaf rests atop a tiny river-stone:
Surviving remnant of
Autumnal verity from yesteryear

A weasel’s fur stuck in road-side thistle stands out amongst the crowd

Butterflies swoon, yellow blossoms lift Golden halos drop
Smoke smells whisper
Waiting, waiting, waiting for

Blueberries plump
Ready to be culled

As frozen memories take a beating
while reading colossal Plath on a Sunday mourning’s after noon.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, November, 2017


Summer Eclipse

Summer eclipse of the soul
Breaking across the waters of time
Ticking clocks melting over a bough in Limerick
Ash leaf veins protruding
Floating like a thought loss
Downy swan feathers wafting on a Sea of Hope

On the River Shannon
Rusty browns greasy grays
Of dreams of yesterdays
Architecture sweeping arms lifted in the Rain
Soft stepped, dimpled footprints on the Lawn
Timeless memories shrouded by a
Glorious Moon
Waiting for love to break open
Across an eternal ecliptic sky.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, Summer Eclipse, 2017



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.


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

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,
Carry on

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

Of Concrete and Memories

The silence of serenity

Found in a few moments after work

On the round, old concrete table

Cracked down its mid-section

Covered in the stains of mildew

Evidence of generations of Florida summers

Wobbly, so wonky on its single pedestal

Like a drunken dancer dancing

Solo too late, too long on cracked and yellowed beams of oaken floor

So simple in her engineering and componentry:

Water, aggregate, and Portland cement

Binding, bound, boundless in time’s memory

Inset tiles of faded corn-maize yellow

Brooding black coal, Sky bruised blue,

Verdant green of Spring, Claret red of Rose


faded now


far off memories]

This little concrete table

So perfect in all its imperfections

This mythic altar of expression

Once again

Welcoming the silence of serenity.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, December, 2016. Started in the beginnings of fall, finished in the whispers of winter.

And the table you are writing on shall be your subject.

Lost Memories

The scene was dark and dusty,

Full of thought gone rusty,

As disease set in.


Neurons fired, Synapses tired,

Thoughts unwired,

Lost, never to be thought again.

Handcrafted poetry by John Hines, 01/04/2016

These verses slipped into the series of Ulysses poems ( and I’ve been writing.  It seemed to stand on its own so here it stands.  It represents the feelings I experienced at my father’s hospital bed during the final months he suffered from terminal dementia before his passing at the end of last year.

The loss felt was multifold.  I watched my dad lose himself while we tried to capture shared memories both made and never made for father and son due to choices of separation made after a youthful divorce. There is something about multiple divorces by parents in one’s youth that creates a sense of loss as one lives.  Losing dad to losing memory to loss of life is the feeling spoken here.