Pale blue eyes

She forgets
cigarettes and
loses the money

Father demands
their whereabouts,
smiling with anger

Trembling in
pale blue eyes,
she doesn’t know

Father beats her
in drunken stupor,
raging against all

Mother is nowhere
to be found,
mind long gone

In school,
they see welts
and bruises

Always they see
constant sadness in
pale blue eyes

She is shuffled off
to foster home
after foster home

Often she is seen
staring out windows
pale blue eyes

Her role model is a
wayward roommate seeking
love on street corners

Overworked social workers
never truly see her
pale blue eyes

Often she walks
around town seeking
what cannot be had

For there is no love
to be found absent
father and mother

And a foster home
with more abuse and
tortured souls

Will she ever find it,
so her beautiful heart
can sing once again?

Pale blue eyes,
always walking around
looking for love.

Convergent smile

(From a dream…)

I jumped back in time
to when I was little,
just starting school.

There in the hallways,
I saw Little Me
about to enter class.

Quickly, I darted
to try and catch him
so that I could tell him

That the lifelong
tidings he has to bear
wouldn’t be so bad.

That hearing aids draped
over his tiny chest would shrink
over years into his ears.

That even though some
kids would be cruel,
he’d bounce back.

That when some said
he wouldn’t amount to much,
he’d prove them all wrong.

That the mountains he
had to overcome would
make life far more rewarding.

And finally I wanted
to tell Little Me
that he was my true hero.

Sadly I was too late,
the door slammed and
I was yanked back to now.

Later that night,
after my weary soul
had fallen asleep

Little Me came to me
in a dream as real can be
and climbed into my lap.

Looking up at me with
a gentle smile, he said:
“Everything will be okay”

The past fell away,
future blurred, and the
now became a forever smile.


Be careful what you ask for She said.

I asked anyway.

Fortresses collapsed.

Worlds imploded and peeled away.

Long moons of hell, scarring, and healing.

Was it worth it? Hmm… Yes.

It’s not for everyone.

Like natural birth, it’s messy and painful.

Yet something new emerges with wisdom of old soul.

Beloved, I miss you.

I know you’re everywhere.

But it’s out there…

in vast oceans lapping your shores

in soaring mountains laden with your sharp breath

in dry deserts teaming with your wordless life

in secret coves and hidden lakes where your beauty abounds

in rain forests enveloping your musky sweat

in seaside cliffs where your seals and whales play below

in forests of tall trees where your bears chase me

in silent sunsets that slowly explode of your essence

in quiet stars and solitary moon that sing of you

…where I feel you the most.

Moon over the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, Canada

How do you stop loving?

I can’t.

All my life and all these loves I’ve had, I can’t stop loving them.

Maybe I just don’t have an “off” switch when it comes to love.

I used to think I couldn’t let go.

But for me love is forever.

It doesn’t always work out. Change is constant, especially in people and relationships.

But love? The flavor of it may change yet it remains.

Flowers of a different color.

My high school loves? I love them even as memories fade; smiles and warmth still come.

My once wife? I love her even as we are unfortunately estranged. I’m forever grateful for wonderful memories and miraculous creation of a loving daughter.

My old flames? One tore my heart wide open, others widened it further, bringing forth more love of all different flowers.

The more I’ve loved, the more I’ve found there is to give.

Once I tried to stop loving to move on.

Instead I dried up, veins empty and heart barren.

Like blood, love gives life.

I can’t ever stop loving and I made peace with that.

Sunflowers. Roses. Daisies. Orchids. Chrysanthemums. Weeds.

I love ‘em all.

Field of love

Sometimes I think of us

I think of us
walking down a trail
holding hands

You in your
light summer dress,
breeze flowing
through your hair.

I in my element
feeling barefoot earth,
green all around
making me glow.

Warm smiles
serene peace
joyous eyes
hearts afire

Sun’s rays behind us
We turn to each other
Look deeply into eyes
Our tender lips meet
and we melt together.

A Solitary Kiss

A long time friend and I
Would take occasional quiet walks
Through the woods yonder

One day in the midst of it all
A warm summer rain fell on us
Through tall trees and green leaves

Nowhere to go but wet
Shirts soaked, we look at each other
And laugh with the breeze

Our eyes lock together
Suddenly she asks
“Will you kiss me?”

We embrace and we kiss
Feeling the heat through our shirts
Longingly and deeply we kiss

Our universes line up
The trees, rain, summer, us
All as one

Then the rain stops
Seeing galaxies in our eyes
We separate yet entwine our hands

We walk on out
To the edge of the woods
And part ways into separate lives

Now and then we’d see each other
Her eyes would sparkle
And a wry smile play on her lips

Years later after I found out
She’d met an untimely death
I’d still walk the woods

And hear the breeze
Softly whispering…
“Will you kiss me?”

The wind whispers

I’m reading outside beneath tall trees.
The wind kicks in and turns a page of my book.
I look up and say:
I love you too.


Stars of dandelions

This evening
on a nature trail
I saw dandelions on the side,
one beckoning.
I bent over,
slid my fingers under it and lifted,
cradling tender bloom in my palm.

Rather than make a wish,
I gave it a kiss and blew it into the world,
an act of gratitude.

As I turned to watch each seed
sail off in an orange sunset breeze,
I saw stars shooting across
the universe’s starry sky.

Solitary dandelion on trail at Fanning Springs state park, Florida © Raymond Hines
Solitary dandelion on trail at Fanning Springs state park, Florida © Raymond Hines

Last dance of bliss

The world began ending tonight.

I pushed my kayak onto my beloved river for one last dance of bliss together.

The sky was already brilliantly aflame in dark, swirling, seething orange-red conflagrations spiraling through the horizon.

It was a haunting contrast: the sky awash in fire while surrounded by edges of dark night and stoic moon reflecting off river’s heaving surface. All punctuated by birds falling in streaks as embers of fireworks.

As I glided forth into nature’s armageddon hath wrought by humanity who knew less, I still gave gratitude for being able to experience the most beautiful and last thing I’d ever see.