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Poems From the Porch 28

John is a writer and poet who also has pets, six cats and a dog. Writing can be a challenge, especially with cats.

Clown with sunflower

Clown with sunflower

2020 ~ What a Year!

Well, what a year this is already proving to be. It doesn't seem long ago that the world was in a bit of a panic when the year 2000 or Y2K was approaching. It was feared that all the computers would shut down or malfunction and important infrastructure and utilities would shut down, the economy would crash etc. People were stocking up on food and essentials then as well, and they didn't even know why.

All that worry proved foundless as the New Year was celebrated without incident. But, we humans always fear the unkown and seem to prepare for the worst case scenario.

Twenty years later and the world is facing a much greater and real threat in this coronavirus (Covid-19.) At time of writing this, in April, we can only hope it is all over sooner rather than later, but unless someone has a crystal ball there is no way of knowing what the final toll will be and when the virus will be contained.

I guarantee life will be different when this horror story is over. Things will eventually return to some form of normal but not the same as before. People will have learnt to appreciate things that they have always taken for granted. Anyway, 2020 will certainly be a year that no one forgets.

So, thanks for visiting the porch, one place we can congregate to relax and read poetry together without having to worry about social distancing. I think you will find the poems this week are an interesting and varied selection.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I would like to request a poem with the title, "How to Stay in Love with the One for a Lifetime". The poem may include some tips about how to get along with each other, how to stay loyal, committed and dedicated and how to be there for each other all the time.

— Rosina S Khan

How to Stay in Love With the One For a Lifetime

We hope to meet that special one

Who’ll be our love for life,

To share a life of wedded bliss -

Become our husband or our wife.

Some fall in love as children,

When it’s just called “puppy love,”

Others search in fruitless vain

For the one sent from above.

Scroll to Continue

Love at first sight’s possible

When two like souls connect.

For most though there’s a lot of trial

Until your heart selects.

But once you’ve found that perfect match

Who shoots from Cupid’s bow,

You’ll feel an arrow pierce your heart,

True love you then will know.

The early times should be such fun,

Fueled by fun and desire.

Don’t let the passing years put out

That inner smoldering fire.

Find your commonalities

And focus most on those.

Discuss your differing points of view

And any problems that they pose.

Always try to understand

The others wants and needs,

And even if yours aren’t the same

Do your very best to please.

Though sometimes life gets busy,

And you just meet on the run,

Share in activities when you can

And make time to have fun.

A relationship always takes work,

And it’s not a one-way street.

Compromise comes into play,

“Tonight what will we eat?’

Think of new ways to connect

To keep your marriage fresh.

Never say, “You look fat in that,”

Just say, “I like that dress.”

A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be himself — to laugh with me, but never at me; to cry with me, but never because of me; to love life, to love himself, to love being loved. Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart.

— Leo F. Buscaglia

Think of new ways to connect

Think of new ways to connect

How about a poem about the gorgeous Australian echidna? I was so taken by this creature when I visited a year ago and felt privileged to see one. I also bought a poetry book and learnt that their young are called 'puggles'!

Maybe another about crosswords! No idea why, just came into my head, though I do like to do them.

— Ann Carr

My Friend the Echidna

Here’s to the dear Echidna,

my small and prickly friend.

He barely ever makes a sound,

though to him my ears I lend.

He’s called a spiny anteater,

on ants and termites does he dine.

Though he is not related

to the hedgehog or porcupine.

Echidnas, they are monotremes,

which are mammals that lay eggs.

Like dear cousin platypus,

males have spurs on their hind legs.

Echidnas have short though strong limbs,

and powerful digging claws,

slender snouts, both mouth and nose,

sticky tongues and toothless jaws.

Due to their low metabolism

and resistance to most stress,

echidnas live long for their size,

45 years more or less.

Echidnas are quite timid,

They’ll hide instead of fight,

bury themselves in the dirt,

or curl up very tight.

Young echidnas are called “puggles,”

they are helpless for some time.

Susceptible to snake attack

until they grow their spines.



There seem to be two main types of people in the world, crosswords and sudokus.

— Rebecca McKinsey, Sydney West

The Crossword Puzzle

I love to complete crosswords,

They’re fun to pass the time.

Though cryptic ones sure test me out,

I wish the clues would rhyme.

In newspapers, magazines, and books

There are crosswords of many types.

The New York Times was famous,

It’s crossword had much hype.

I like geographic puzzles

To learn about the world,

And with scientific clues as well,

New knowledge is unfurled.

But when I cannot solve a clue

It really gets me down,

So I bought a crossword dictionary.

Now I smile more oft’ than frown.

September 1957 Crossword: Popular Electronics

September 1957 Crossword: Popular Electronics

In the weeks to come what about a poem about a mischievous cat. I have a kitty who is adorable (lucky for him) but is as naughty as can be. For Christmas last year I gave him a lifetime achievement award. He has created more mayhem in his 6 short years than most cats twice his age.

— Linda Lum

Wilbur Whiskers the Mischievous Cat

Wilbur Whiskers was a mischievous cat,

He loved to chase mice but was wary of rats.

He'd raid the trash bins in the hope of a treat,

When he wasn't sleeping he needed to eat.

Wilbur would tom cat around at midnight,

Just the scent of a female would often cause fights.

He'd come home with bite marks and missing some hair,

Leaving blood on the carpet and my favourite chair.

But the very next night he'd be back on the prowl

Wooing the she-cats with his God awful howl.

If Wilbur's left in the house when I have to leave

He'll cause so much mischief you wouldn't believe.

He'll climb up the curtains and rip them to shreds,

He'll spray on the walls and mess up the beds.

I love Wilbur Whiskers and his soft fluffy fur,

And contentment he shows with appreciative purrs.

Although he is mischievous he's my precious pet,

But tomorrow he's taking a trip to the vet.

Wilbur would tom cat around at midnight: Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Wilbur would tom cat around at midnight: Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most inconvenience.

— Pam Brown

Y’all Come Back Now! Ya Hear?

Well, that’s it from the porch for this week. Thanks for visiting, and please come back again next time. The next collection of poems should include requests from: Bill Holland, Pamela Oglesby, Shauna Bowling, and Ruby Jean Richert.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 15, 2020:

Another hub score dropped to 60. Yeah right lol. What a joke.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on May 11, 2020:

Bubble sounds like a lot of fun Lawrence. They certainly all have unique personalities. Thanks for reading.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on May 11, 2020:


Wilbur sounds likea challenge, but I doubt he's as mischevious as our Bubble!

She's a short haired tabby, 13 years old and since we got heron medication for high bloodpressure its like having a kitten who knows all the rules, and flaunts them.

Her favourite is sitting by a wide open ranch slider knowing full well that the dog wants to go out but she's not moving!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 23, 2020:

Genna, we would need a crystal ball to foresee the true outcome from this pandemic. When the dust settles and everyone tries to resume their lives things will have changed forever, at what cost we have to wait and see.

Thank you for your generous comment about the poems and glad you liked how “Wilbur Whiskers” ended.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on April 23, 2020:

Hi John...

Covid-19 will definitely change the social and economic dynamics of humanity...but I fear at a tremendous cost. You've quoted one of my favorite authors, Leo Buscaglia. That is a beautiful quotation and typical of who this man was. And I love how our responded to the request of fellow readers and authors.

One of my favorites:

"Although he is mischievous he's my precious pet,

But tomorrow he's taking a trip to the vet"


Nicely done. :-)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 22, 2020:

Yeah, it has seemed like that Mel. One disaster after the other. After a tough 2019 we were looking forward to a much better 2020. Sadly, 2020 will be a year we never forget, but not in a good way. Yes, that is a good title for a poem. I will see what I can do.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on April 22, 2020:

You guys down there have really been hit hard these last few months. First the fires, now this. From the fire into the frying pan, I guess you could say. Hey, there's a title of a poem!

I'm glad your poet's pen is not social distancing. Keep cranking them out, we need them more than ever.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 21, 2020:

Thank you very much Nithya. Your support of this series is appreciated.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 21, 2020:

A great collection of poems on varied topics. I enjoyed reading all your poems in this series. My favorite poem is - How to Stay in Love With the One For a Lifetime.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 21, 2020:

Hey, thanks Kyler. Wow, you are really going to make me dig deep for that one and expose emotions usually kept in check. A good challenge.

Kyler J Falk from California on April 21, 2020:

There isn't enough rabid, burning passion in this world. The type of passion that breeds fair and impartial love, and roaring acceptance. You encapsulate the spirit of this passion for me, John, but I want a poem that really hammers the point home. I want it bittersweet, I want my heart to hurt but also to feel your hands around it, nursing it back to health.

Give me a poem titled, "Extinguish Sadness With Flames of Passion!"

I want to see a constructive example of fighting fire with fire! Let's set the world alight!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 18, 2020:

Thanks, MsDora. Yes, I agree that poetry is a great way to learn facts without being boring. I am glad you enjoyed this collection.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 18, 2020:

Great advice at the end of the love poem. Description in poetry is so much more interesting (as it is in the Echidna poem) than if taught any other way. The Crossword Puzzle is relatable and the last one is so playful. All very good!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 18, 2020:

Thank you Jo, I really appreciate that comment. This is bringing us all together if nothing else

Jo Miller from Tennessee on April 18, 2020:

I admire the ease, or seeming ease, with which you can take such a variable set of circumstances and come up with a poem. Great activity for a pandemic. And I agree with you that this pandemic will change our world as we know it. Good to stay in touch with the other side of this world and see so much we all have in common.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 17, 2020:

Thank you Mitara. I greatly respect your comment. Good health to you also.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 16, 2020:

Yes, Brenda our country is beginning to plan to gradually lift sanctions beginning in around 3 weeks if the current improved trend continues. One crazy thing I saw was the manager of Drake Supermarket saying a customer arrive with 150 packs of 32 roll toilet paper and wanted a refund because his eBay site was shut down and he could no longer sell them. Then manager just gave him the finger. Apparently he hired a team of 150 shoppers to buy one pack each (that is all that was allowed per customer) and then was trying to sell them at a huge mark up on eBay. Thanks for reading these poems. Glad you enjoyed them.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on April 16, 2020:

I remember the Y2K but people didnt panic the way they are this time.

It's still a mad house around here with limited supplies but then today the governor announces a plan to play Russian Roulette with our lives.

Ohio is going to start people back to work and slowly phase in other things.

He trusts people to wear masks and gloves, using common sense.

If only he took a stroll around here he would see that not many even care.

I went for takeout the other day to find no workers dawning the apparel.

I fear this won't work, but it's gonna be here for awhile so I guess maybe we will find a healthy way to cope.

Love your poems. The one for Rosina was nice..loved the ending.

I adore kittys so that one is special too.

Stay safe. Enjoy each day.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 16, 2020:

Thank you so much Peggy. I greatly appreciate you following this series.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 16, 2020:

I love reading these. They give us a respite from the coronavirus news. You are correct when you wrote that 2020 would be a memorable year in history. Keep writing your fantastic poetry!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 16, 2020:

One hell of a year! Thank you Devika.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 16, 2020:

Hi Jodah I like your poems 2020 what a year?'

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 16, 2020:

John it is so cool. I want more! How about one on how you raised your children. Foibles and triumphs, though those impostors are much the same.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 16, 2020:

Thank you for visiting the porch, Mitara. It is pleasing that you enjoyed these poems. Blessings.

Mitara N from South Africa on April 16, 2020:

Wonderful selection to the porch, as always the words are instrumental to the flow of each piece.

Thoroughly enjoyed the read

Take care, keep well and be safe

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 16, 2020:

Hi Lora, I am glad you found the echidna poem educational and loved Wilbur Whiskers. Thank you for reading and commenting. Wishing you good health.

Lora Hollings on April 15, 2020:

What fun and wonderful poems these are John! I just loved the poem about the echidna. Learned some very interesting facts about them too! What amazing little critters they are. But my favorite poem was Wilbur Whiskers. Great job on that. I had two stray kittens that I rescued from the streets that loved to slide down the curtains! Take care over there in Australia.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

Diana, good to see you. Thank you for the generous comment, I appreciate it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

I am happy you enjoyed these poems, Pamela. You stay well and keep writing too.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

Yeah Clive...he does need a female...well, make that did lol.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

Eric, that makes sense as they are all so different. If they were all on a common topic it would be easier to read them all at once I figure. That’s how the cards fall though. I try to do them in the order received rather than bundle like topics together. Glad you liked Wilbur Whiskers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

Hi Linda. It is the same here, my wife and I are spending more time doing things together, gardening, chatting etc. It is 38 years for us in September.

I am the same, if I do a crossword I print as neatly as possible and hate to make changes.

I’m glad you enjoyed Wilbur. He is actually a fictional compilation of all my cats (though they are all now fixed.)

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on April 15, 2020:

Thanks for your beautiful array of poems. You really have a way of expressing yourself so perfectly.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

I am glad that Wilbur gave you a laugh, Ruby. Thank you for continuing to follow the series and take your mind off other things.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

Thank you Rasma. Much appreciated.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

Shauna, I thank you for the great comment as always. Let me just say “yes” I did know that surprising fact about the echidna but thought it may not be appropriate to include in a poem here haha.

I am glad this series on the porch is a welcome respite. You stay safe too.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

I like how you can relate to those guidelines of how to stay in love, Chitrangada. You are spot on in what you said about 2000 and 2020 as well. Hope to see you next time.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

I love that you love this series Liz. With your love of travel I can understand how these difficult times are affecting you. You are most welcome to visit the porch every week.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

Thank you Bill, I enjoy this series too and would hate to see it end. Your 69 Camaro poem should be in next weeks collection.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 15, 2020:

You really had a nice variety of requested this week. The poems were all excellent. I like the relationship tips in the first poem. Wilbur Whiskers was so much fun to read.

Stay healthy and keep up the great writing, John.

Clive Williams from Jamaica on April 15, 2020:

Wilbur needs a female cat to nip.....wink wink. I love animal poems.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 15, 2020:

Finally I figured it out. Come back once for each poem. Running them together made a jumble.

Nothing to say here but thanks several times -Thanks, thanks, thanks and thanks. Cat was my fav. today.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on April 15, 2020:

John, each of these is different and delightful. My husband and I are spending much more time together because of the shelter in place, and we couldn't be happier. In July we will celebrate our 39th anniversary. Your "How to Stay in Love" is spot-on.

Echidna's are adorable. I once saw one at a store that sold exotic pets.

I'm a crossword puzzle-aholic. In pen, and carefully to not make any mistakes (I'm really bummed out when I have to make a change).

And, thank you for taking on the challenge of writing about a mischievous cat. Your Wilber sounds like even more of a handful than my Pumpkin.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 15, 2020:

I'm still smiling at the mischievous cat going to the vet, Ha. I loved them all but Wilbur Whiskers was my favorite. I guess I needed to laugh in these times of uncertainty. I am more thankful daily for HP, a place where we can gather and feel at home. Thank you my poet friend.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on April 15, 2020:

A wonderful and delightful collection. Enjoyed them all.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 15, 2020:

John, 2020 will be a year we'll never forget, that's for sure! Hopefully some good will come out of what we're currently experiencing.

I love the advice you offer in "How to Stay in Love....". It's apparent they're words you live by.

I enjoyed "My Friend the Echidna". I've never heard of this animal. I Googled it while reading. Did you know the males have a four-headed you-know-what?!

Crosswords are fun. I love word puzzles. My mom has been doing the New York Times crossword every Sunday for decades.

Wilbur Whiskers is a fun read. I think all of us who are cat people got a chuckle out of it. And yeah, if you're going to keep cats as pets - especially in the house - they definitely need that appointment with the vet!

These are all fun and/or relaxing poems, John. Your porch is a place of comfort and a much needed respite.

Stay safe my friend!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 15, 2020:

Excellent collection of poems from the porch. I liked all your creations.

How to stay in love---- This is relatable to me.

Your opening paragraph, brought memories of the new year eve of the 2000/ Y2k. That time could be best described, as the fear of the unknown. And you made some interesting points about 2020 as well. The fear is there, but the enemy is not visible.

Hope this is over sooner.

Thank you for sharing. Stay Safe and take care.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 15, 2020:

I will definitely be back next time. Each collection amazes me with your originality and creativity. It's a real tonic to the difficult times we are living through. I like the lively mix of perception and humour that you inject into your poetry.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 15, 2020:

I really love this series, and I am in awe of your talent. Keep this series alive, please, and be healthy and safe.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

Thank you for taking the time to visit my porch Jamie. Coffee is the perfect accompaniment. You are welcome anytime.

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on April 15, 2020:

Great content, awesome ideas! I am glad I joined you on your porch this morning I have some coffee brewing! Jamie

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

Hello Kamkar, thank you for the kind comment. I am glad you found the advice in that particular poem practical and deep.

Kamkar sanjukta on April 15, 2020:

Again a beautiful but diverse collection.

"How to Stay in Love with the One for a Lifetime" is so true, practical and deep.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

I am glad I could teach you a little about our wonderful animal the echidna. I used to do crosswords a lot, not for quite a while though. Yes, there is actually a special dictionary dedicated to solving crosswords. Thank you for reading, Rinita. Stay safe.

Rinita Sen on April 15, 2020:

Pretty diverse collection this time. Enjoyed them all. You have an easy way with the rhymes that gets the reader in the mood. I never knew about echidna. It was fun learning about them. I'm not a crossword person but I know people that are crazy about them. Crossword dictionary? Is that a real thing? Stay well and I look forward to the next one.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

Thank you Umesh. Echidnas are such wonderful animals. I am happy you enjoyed that poem and appreciate your comment.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on April 15, 2020:

It is beautifully crafted poetry John, all the compositions. That Echidna one takes the cake.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 15, 2020:

I am glad my poems from the porch are becoming a regular accompaniment for your morning cuppa, Lorna. So glad you liked Wilbur, and appreciate your kind comment on the others as well.

Lorna Lamon on April 15, 2020:

Beautiful poems John. I remember the little Echidna from my time in Australia - wonderful little creatures. Rosina's poem was full of great advice and charming. However, I fell in love with Wilbur the cat a typical Tom. Another diverse collection from the porch, and I'm enjoying them over a cuppa (as usual). Your poems are a welcome respite at the moment John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 14, 2020:

Rosina, thank you for your loyal following. I am glad there was a lesson in your requested poem and the quote I included. I wish you well.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 14, 2020:

Yes, Flourish, you know cats very well. Wilbur should be a little better behaved from now on.

Rosina S Khan on April 14, 2020:

Thank you, John, for a lovely collection of poems once again. I loved all of them but naturally my focus was on my requested poem: "How to Stay in Love with the One for a Lifetime". The quote on "Loving Relationship" by Leo F Buscaglia and the following verses 4 & 7 of the poem spoke to me a lot:

Verse 4

But once you’ve found that perfect match

Who shoots from Cupid’s bow,

You’ll feel an arrow pierce your heart,

True love you then will know.

Verse 7:

Always try to understand

The others wants and needs,

And even if yours aren’t the same

Do your very best to please.


Yes, from today's requested poem and quote I learned something concrete and it was worthwhile.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 14, 2020:

I was thinking dear old Wilbur needed neutering and perhaps some Feliway plug-ins in the house.

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