ON THE TRAIL TO SOMEWHERE

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

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
Longing

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
Sunshine

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

FACING EAST TOWARDS THE RISING SUN

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

Full Moon Frenzy

Chasing the orange-timbres of a full moon
Setting over the City skyline
Down the expressway on the way to work
Glimpse of lunacy caught like a faded memory
Retrieved for a fleeting moment:
A déjà vu ? A trompe l’oeil ?
GASP

As the acetylcholine stutters across the synapses
Guardrail barricades avoided
Steering left around the curve
Under construction
For now and
Always

The dark black clouds hanging over the eastern sky hiding the sunrise
Like an old worn tattered black trench coat wrapped around the skinny shoulders of a homeless man

Ripped paper bag wrapped around an empty bottle
Sitting in a puddle of piss on the sidewalk Under the bridge
Alone
Hopeless as another day on the Trail begins

A modern day trail of tears to
Nowhere
In the boundaries of the City
Beautiful
Division Street.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, November 4, 2017, Orlando, FL

Solstice on the Avenue

Walking down Park Avenue on the
Second day of winter
Florida Summer’s humidity
For a moment succumbing to the Songs of Winter Solstice
Answering the verdant grass’s breezy invitation
To pause, to sit
To hear the sounds around me

Sounds of city fountains flowing
And children’s voices playing
Filled with the anticipation of Advent’s End
Train’s whistle signaling a departure
Bells signaling a new arrival
Of an almost lost mode of moving humans Low roar of diesel pushing out the sounds around me
As a yellow Labrador on a stroll his collar softly shakes

Walking on I hear the conversations around al fresco meals
Wine glasses clinking toasts of health and happiness
Knives and forks on plates making the musical happy sounds of friendships gathered
“Care for a sample taste to go, Sir?”
As lively carols play on the sidewalk through a speaker system
Accompanied by a man on a flute

And then the evening Solstice sun begins to cast
Her shadows across the spacious city green
The red bricks by Indians once laid releasing the absorbed whispers of the day
With little effect on the sounds around me
Closing out another shortest day
And reminding me how good it is to pause
To push refresh on all
The sounds around me.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, December 24, 2016
Merry Christmas ya’ll and to all a good night!

How Hibernia Left Her Mark

Met a ruddy cheeked white-haired, white-coated gentleman

with a favourite professor’s physiognomy who sang for us,

First in English, then in Gaelic,

Accompanied by guitar,

Having stumbled upon Sweny’s chemist

During Bloomsday week: “Oh, there IT is!”

___

Two painters outside whitening the doors

For two days hence, not sure if we should interrupt

And I think this is where Hibernia began to leave her mark,

That seductress of seduction seducing a solicitous soul

Left me knowing I’d be coming back

Or maybe I was returning to a place I’d left long ago.

___

Taking the manner in which she started shaping my soul back home with me,

Where is home now? Where is home?

Mysteriously having started her shaping in the pages read before this visit:

Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist and Ulysses,

Molloy, Malone Dies,

Unnamable

___

Soul finding more of itself

In the halls of Dublin Writers Museum

18 Parnell Square

Yeats, Stoker, Beckett beckoning sweetly,

Quick roll through Joyce Center

Rejoicing all the way down Eccles Street:

“I’m here, we’re here, splendiferous!”

___

On top of Martello Tower outside Dalkey,

Beach of Sandycove, Forty Foot pool,

Gentlemens Bathing Place,

Train from Dublin and walking there,

And off to Dan Laoghaire,

Literature coming to life with naked feet dipped in

Joyce’s “snotgreen” Irish Sea, Bay of Dublin

___

Lingering smells of body odour a century old

Trapped in the walls of the makeshift bedroom where

Joyce and friends once slept, James appropriately named

Guiding us on this tour

6 nights in Martello, One moment in time for us

Black panther lurking seductively by the fireplace

Like the Irish spirits in the air.

___

Back on the cobblestone streets of Dublin

Guinness porter soaked into our taste buds forever

360-degree view, Wicklow mountain water

Wandering for miles with Protestant-like work-ethic purposefulness

Soul knowing, listening to whispers of Soul whispering through the greyness,

“Mind the GPS on your iPhone”

___

O’ let me swim eternally in the energy of these streets

The smell of manure, of horse shit,

Sprinkled at flowers roots,

Of drunkard’s piss in alley ways,

St. Stephen’s Green in the heart of Dublin City,

Joyce’s bust front and center in the dribbling rain,

Thank you Sir Arthur Guinness, 1st Baron Ardilaun!

It’s raining, Onward Christian soldier.

___

The bust of James Joyce

Part of the purpose being getting lost

In streams of consciousness, okay to wander and saunter

Permission granted,

And in lostfulness somewhere around some quay on the Liffey

Finding a little bit of self again

Streams of life rushing in.

___

As we conversed with the chemist I was mournfully awakened

From an old dream,

To how little we know of our own heritage

Some of those stories that would’ve been shared by a father

Around a dinner table over desserts,

Just desserts:

___

We came here barefoot with some cows and horses,

Planted orange trees, watched them grow

Orange blossoms’ scents wafting over a freshly dug grave

Hands worked the soil of soul,

Chasing away the frozenness of life destroying winter

Squeeze the life out of the juice, Squeeze the juice out of life.

___

Soul stuck at times, not moving, like that

Frozen orange waiting to fall off the branch and die

Growing green-grey moldy in

Decomposition surrounded by flies

Orange and green his favourite colours

How sure the chemist was: “You are Irish! There’s a Hynes in Joyce.”

___

Returning to Orlando

6 hour, 30-minute flight to Philly

City of Brotherly love,

Catch a connection,

Pushing back a salty tear duct filling sea at times,

Rainbows

Smelling the salt of the Irish Sea, Bay of Dublin,

Firmly fixed in memory,

Hearing someone whispering:

“Hibernia’s in your soul now.”

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, June/July 2016

I wrote this on my iPhone on the way back from a first trip to Dublin with our oldest son.  Immediately upon awakening over the last week those whispers have met me each morning.  It’s one of the longest “poems” I’ve written and is largely unedited, but I had to obey those whispers and post it to this blog.  I hope you enjoyed!  Thank you for reading.

 

Isles of Antipodes

Guttural voice inflected,

Confessions of Sinful thought,

Be Damned!

 

Resurrection,

Genuflection,

Or purely Insurrection?

 

Is this merely just one more intersection?

Intersection of Introspection,

Stealing through the dusk of night.

 

Dusk of night labouring

Labours upon labours giving birth to

Nothing more than Captain Obvious.

 

Upon closer inspection,

It’s an outright and outwardly unrighteous loss,

What’s going on inside of us.

 

A purely neuronal dissection,

Total and complete,

Call it what it is.

 

Now bringing a synaptic infusion of

Tranquility,

Yet thoughts still divided as on Isles of Antipodes.

 

Soul brought low,

And now subdivided,

Into the Triunal three of threes.

Gute Nacht, Gute Nacht!

Handcrafted poetry by John Hines, 12/12/2015 

Liner Notes:

The inspiration for this poem came on a walk last Sunday, December 6 as the sun was setting over O-Town.  I wrote the beginnings of this poem in my phone while flaneuring my way around various neighborhoods south of the city.  I edited it this week between stints of teaching psychology and planning for, meeting for and having my annual formal observation.

This urban walk took me to some of these places in my mind and the places in my mind took me through my walk.  This week I’ve been voraciously reading between bouts of work, sleep and family time and working on more poetry:

The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann

The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri

Bluebeard, Kurt Vonnegut

While Mortals Sleep (Unpublished Short Fiction), Kurt Vonnegut

Thank you for visiting and staying long enough to read these thoughts.

Have a most blessed day!