Starting Your Spring Off Right

As we celebrate the vernal equinox tomorrow, let’s enjoy some new talents on HIP starting with the poetry of Mr. John Flynn.

Rare Pure Listening

 Happiness cannot be taken away

because it isn’t given.

It’s earned, it’s lost, it’s rediscovered,

never to abide as permanent.


When I smile at misery I’m glared at

as if I’m a lunatic.

Perhaps I’m an angel in this dream.

Perhaps you are, too.

Nana Celia’s Recipe For The Miraculous

 Springtime rose petals bloom into dens of ritual.

Dare them to dissolve.

Stir the pachyderm inside that remembers so much.

Gravity is no drag. It’s your anchor.


Sling bird-song into caverns

where at night you see past darkness

into ravines where you once lay buried

beneath dwelled-on consequences of dysfunction.


As morning rises to cart away choices

watch your butterflies through abandoned sugar hills,

let them cube by cube race across new creams

into tree-lined horizons softer than soufflés.


Hear well how chefs sing as they ladle echoes.

They’ve heard a tale or two about gravity.

Forbid all talk of belts, cures, protean fads disdained.

No more dismay in the neon fog,

no adolescent spontaneous escapades.


Dash of austerity blended with three shots of sublime.

Rhymes with lime. Amen.

Take no for an answer. Garnish with lassitude,

by all means don’t reject the carnival.

Walk it like you’re in a stovepipe chapeau

the last remaining Abe Lincoln impersonator.

Not sour, not deadened, not squishy.


Mind eager, your limbs at the ready,

hear the sacred, seek it out.

It’s as decent and green as you’ve always been.

Breathe Until Your Light Be Hysterical


enchant my arboreal inclinations,

merge your darkness with whimsy

I’m no match for your quiver-quaver

tremolos of just reason,

your comical ruckus

as it knocks over each of my fences.


Come to me re-born

to expand into nuanced commiseration

our languidly unfolding storms

the sheets and tangles of those Victorian afternoons

when we dreamt of rigging new freedoms,

pride, constancy

and passage out.

Karma Avenue Central

 Somebody’s God told me not to care too much

about the sight of those with plenty, those lacking enough.

What do the well-dressed cogs do all day long

in their glass cylinders that spin them up to heaven?

I suppose they labor to get there, try not to sweat.

We’re all actors who crave more stage,

manage our ploys and spoils in the milk-light.


Hard to believe such a necklace exists.

Such a castle. Such a cop. Such a show.

The value of liberty is that it allows you to fail

to be glib and sexy in the sun.

Tension mounts in silent summer streets.

A downtown breeze asks where’s all the people?

Hey, it’s prototype city, where the weather’s always fine.

Dragonflies In Sunbeam

 We take each night as event

hum away from noisy pastures

seek cool forested dark edges.

As night passes and we return,

bluer, hardened in our loneliness

we realize we have these wings

to power us back to each other

no matter the stings and poisons.


We make each sunrise an anniversary

scribe cuneiforms against light

that paints our meadows.

We veer and shunt and swerve,

meet each other inside a swirl.

You’ll never leave. Nor will I.

We’re still climbing.

It’s what we do.

John Michael Flynn (, who also writes as Basil Rosa, has published five poetry chapbooks, a story collection, Something Grand, a book of poems, Moments Between Cities, and a collection of translations from the Romanian poetry of Nicolae Dabija, Blackbird Once Wild Now Tame.

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