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


Ghost Sounds

Spending the day slowly reading Baudelaire
Sauntering over each turn of phrase
Soul agape at each choice of word
A literary splenectomy
No need for anesthesia
Having awakened earlier in the utter darkness
Of a North Carolinian misty mountain predawn
Mind looped in the phantasmagoric smokiness of wild dream-filled sleep
Feeling not a bit lonesome in my bed of solitude
Hearing metallic sounds of symbols inexplicably sounding in the blackness of my shortened slumber
Was it the sweet nectar contained in the Lazy Hiker growler we had so thirstily consumed
Or the little red barn’s ghosts relishing in welcoming me back for another visit?

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, July 2016

I wrote this on the first day of a serious slowdown of pace after visiting Dublin, IR, NYC, Seattle, Iowa City and Savannah, GA in the span of a month, unsure of whether or not I’d become comfortably immured in the cadence of the walls of our little red barn mountain retreat.


Songs of Summer Solstice

As aeromancy of alpenglows from

Smoky Mountains’ sweet splendor

offered the antithesis of empty promises,

A cryophilic heart was finally awakened

by the splendor found in summer solstice.


Songs of summer solstice flowed

through the current of his veins,

Magically doing their work,

Opening up electric symphonies

Of unchained possibility.


No longer willing to accept

or give nugatory compensation

In payment for soul’s offerings,

Crying out: “All in”,

Living life to its fullest.


This meant accepting that love

could no longer be given on loan

In hope of future payments

like some form of usury.


A sudden flash of insight,

Crying out

in acutely accelerated awareness:

“All in, for the nonce!”


All in and off the island

of isolated vanquishment,

A soul like an isthmus forever connected to its source,

Never again to be separated

by moving masses of tectonic plates.


The desiderata of soul that leads to new found bliss

In mountain music

Played on an electric violin

On the streets of Asheville

and now danced to in a little club in Gainesville.


No payment worthy of

the spirit that played

Through music on those nights

Offering a ticket to ride to

new places of unchained possibility.

Handcrafted poetry by John Hines, 02/11/2016

This poem was written in a spirit of gratitude for the music created and shared by a two-man band-To All My Dear Friends (  I first heard them on the streets of Asheville this past summer and was fortunate enough to discover their live music again this past weekend in Gainesville with my wife, our oldest son and his fiancée.  Their music literally stopped me in my tracks physically, emotionally and soulfully when I first heard them play in a little street-side, acoustically mesmerizing alcove.  The music now plays in my truck more days than not on the way to and from work; and has become my life’s soundtrack over the past 6 months.  I am sure its soulful touch will carry me until we are back in the Carolina mountains again in the spring.

Note: I used the same seven words of the day in another poem of a totally different feel last week:  Thank you for reading!  I hope you enjoyed :).


What Would Happen IF?

It was Independence Day,

And our protagonist asked himself:

“What would happen, IF, every day, for the next 10 years,

I played an instrument,

I read something I enjoy,

I wrote down my thoughts,

I pursued creative, spiritual, soulful expression.

What would happen if…?

Is “pursued” even the right word and tense?

Change “pursued” to “lived out”, to “living out”?

And by living out I mean allowing it to pursue me,

Or giving in to the pursuit of me by the soul of me,

To answer to the whole of me,

By expressing what could never be the sum of me,

but maybe just some some of me.”

My name is John Hines.  I’ve started posting handcrafted poetry and musings on my blog.  Thank you for reading.

Most of this was written on Independence Day, 2015 from a verandah in Asheville, NC overlooking this beautiful city and her mountains.