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

MY OWN SELLANRA (After Hamsun & O’Hara)

Des salutations et des adieux
Lunch Poems in my pocket
Dare I sneak Meditations in my laptop bag on the way to work?
Can I dial a 911 to rescue a self cut in two by preoccupations on the side of some minute form of sanity?

Whistling in the wind like Isak’s scythe
Cutting through some form of literary truth-seeking lyricism offering hope
Just another mardi matin or a something-else?

A little meditation in an emergency
An every day chameleon
A false yellow label folded into the pavement
Mashed by not-so-lonesome boots in a painting by Van Gogh

Like the fresh cut grasses on Isak’s land
My own Sellanra
Waiting to be raked
The promise of a machine in the days to come
Hiding secrets like Inger
Inside my little faux leather bag
Is it really so il faut savoir?

No heart on the sleeve on the way to another day of grinding
Fresh cut timbre
In the water-powered sawmill of Sellanra
For these new dialogues je sais par coeur
They’re buried so much deeper than that still-born
In that shallow grave by the river-stream

Running down through the property I may never fully own.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, February 2018

 

Dimanche (Des médias sociaux)

As I searched for some fine quote
A word of wisdom
A someone’s doing
Or a pretty picture painting hanging in the Louvre
A tronie’s earring hanging in the Hague
It was all right there in my hand

The way the morning light was streaming through the trees
Settling on the quiet ripples of the pool
Casting shadows across a life
Framed in a French door
Tiny birds all atwitter on the power lines
Bees abuzz between the thorns of winter blooms
Chameleons guarding the motes of our little castle
In the city

Et moi, settling into the first lines of a poem
Keyboard driven by right thumb presses
Against the letters in my hand
Until they formed a peristalith of hoary memory typed across the sinking sand.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, January, 2018

 

A BARBERSHOP QUARTET

(Confessions of John Joe Hayes)

As I sit on my bed in the dark of a Saturday night of a three day weekend
I think how close we were to death today in a barber’s chair
Surrounded by straight blade razors that could cut through the carotid truth of any moment
How the barber of another man said his grandfather was honoured today as the oldest living soul in his neighborhood at 91 and so ready to die 10 years ago

And I, though I thought, I didn’t speak of how I, at over halfway there might be ready too:

Only in the late evening, after coming or not, lying in bed and thinking what is there left to do, death of ambition, what left, but to love, to live each moment in the moment, the challenge at hand, the things I said that day, the things I didn’t do come weighing in on judgment of a life, sorry soul sitting in the courtroom of Kilmainham Gaol, life so lived, what say you?

As I float away drifting into rebound of REM:

Floating around the Isles of Hypnagogia
Hibernic needles in my veins
With thoughts not right, not said, with words of readiness for death
The only thing left
To love
To let.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, September, 2017

Well-Grilled Life

Don’t turn the steaks more than once-some of the only advice he ever gave me and why I always think of him when I fire up the grill

Watching a green leaf pushed by a dead brown one across the surface
Of the pool tonight

An early Autumnal sunset of pinkish orange pushed out by purple rains
Sweeps across the quickening sky
As cicadas’ machinistic trumpets announce the darkness cloaking another day

And him there, standing over there, by the grill
Sharing his sage advice:
Turn once, not twice to
Live a well-grilled life.

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, September 23, 2017-September 26, 2017.

 

Note to Self

What happened to choice,
Did you give it up with the bottle
You threw with that note into the sea?

Washed away in the frothy waves
As you walked away, grey water drying on your hands
With the sticky, titian sand stuck between your silly toes,

Following the cursory labours of life
Ignoring possibilities of seasons of change
Like the loggerhead sea turtle labouring her way back to the water dredging her path upon the beach,

Leaving her eggs buried beneath the sand
Near the dunes of waffling sea oats waving in the wind,
Her hopes for progeny’s future left
To the wings of fate:

A chance human child’s touch
While building castles in the sand,
Or a hungry sea gull making a meal
Of the day,
Or a raccoon smelling fresh spilt yolk mixed with mollusk shells drying in the Sun:

Is this the way you’ll dream and drift your little life away?

Handcrafted poetry by John M. Hines, June, 2017 in the air, in a plane on the way to the University of Iowa Summer Writing Festival.

 

A Stirring (On Reading Mary Oliver)

I can only read her in small doses of light
Because when i do she stirs up, she stirs,
Her words penetrate the muscles between my chest,
My pectorals squeeze, my solar plexus caves
Into my diaphragm, landing somewhere, Leaving me gasping for air, like a soft punch in the gut one feels days after the knuckles have left, leaving a bruise on the soul, or uncovering one already there?

Penetrating with a surgeon’s precision
Cutting, opening, revealing
The deep of soul where feelings feel,
Where pain persists, where joy resides,
Where secret rivers seek to roll through ducts of tearless eyes, so dry,
A turbulence of wind through the windows of inebriation sans alcool,
A stirring to write,
A stirring moved.

Handcrafted poetry reflection while reading American Primitive by Mary Oliver, April, 2017