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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FALLing

Terrazzo and terre cuite:
the feelings so similar they provoke,
Synesthesia dismissed and folded into the feelings of being a deciduous leaf

Folded into the cement-lined polished glass
Magnificent colours of autumn
Scenes from wintering greys and ocherous browns on the way

Lost on the nature paths of a park northeast of the Hague
Imagining Van Gogh and Sien in the dunes of Scheveningen

Painting symbols of death or death Retreating:
Retreating
In seasons of change
Of
Sand blown into the paint
Impasto

Those challenged descriptions
Make the poet want to spend the day
Folded into the tiny fragments of memory
Lost and found staring at the floor.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, October 25, 2017

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LIZARD LOVE

It’s afternoon, last day of school,
I’m cooling off in my pool, rough life,
Living in a lizard habitat:

We come face to face, eye level,
Him green as the table he’s perched on,
Me, curious, having taken pause in the little oasis that is our backyard,

Home to lizards of many species to me unknown, snakes mostly friendly, ‘possums, squirrels, feral cats and cardinals, jays, kestrels and a hawk or two,

Me left wondering as he wandered off
with more of a plan than i had in that moment or for the rest of that day:
His orange throatiness a threat, or perhaps he’d found love?

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, May 31, 2017

April’s Charm

I know it won’t be long before the relentless humidity stretches from July to eternity
Smothering me in my outdoor oasis,

But, today, in late April at the end of another day of work, the weather’s fine,
the humidity’s at a humble thirty-six percent,

The wind is whispering through the oaks, rain trees and freshly trimmed camphor meditatively,
while i read Billy Collins, and allow my soul to rest a bit from its wrestling with work.

The sun is glistening off the top of the fresh-swept pool,
The pump is faithfully humming along
doing its part collaboratively

With the cross peninsular breezes,
moving the water on the surface of the modest kidney shaped concrete pond,

As just a few leaves sit by themselves on the pool’s bottom,
Me, taken in by little swirls of reflected sunlight, tiny bouncing circles of zen,

A priest of light facing West on a snow white Adirondack,
Reading and writing and breathing out,

Pausing again, and
then breathing in,
The scents of the patterns of a biodome
On a simple April afternoon.

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

Sunset: Haarlem

The sun melted behind the silhouettes of leafless trees
Colouring the canal a marmalade orange,
Sweet close to a day in Haarlem

Leaving me wondering:
What if the bridges in this little town rolled up or not each evening as presaged by the colours in the sky?

Original handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, March, 2017, Haarlem, Netherlands

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Community of Poets

Our Kitty in the upstairs windowsill
Dry winds of low humidity
Blowing through the limbs of younger oaks
Sweeping away anxieties

And feelings of grievous heavy loss
Weighty grey feelings of winter
Of endless summers of breathless heavy air
Of sweat of toil of tonnage

Squirrels jumping freely limb to limb
Playtime recess, school’s out for squirrels
All their homework done and
Nap time in
Racing through the trees and along electric lines

Cardinals flirting and lovingly labouring
About their nest building
Gathering twigs and plastics and grass
An assemblage of protection
As the cats prowl gauging

And something so calming about
The steady unrelenting
hum hum hum
Of the pool pump gently moving
The blue waters of our artificial
Lake

Inviting cats, possums, snakes, & squirrels
For a drink and sometimes an accidental swim
A daily sweeping of the leaves before they sink effortlessly to the bottom
After a carefree float around our little lake
This little urban ecosystem
This community of Poets
And howlers at the Moon.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, February, 2017

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