Skip to main content

Poems From the Porch 36

John is a freelance writer, ghost-writer, storyteller, and poet. He always tries to include a message or social commentary in his writing

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Interesting Topic Suggestions

Hello friends and fellow authors. Welcome to the porch on this cool winter’s morning here in Australia. While the tea and coffee brews, pull up a chair and let’s share some of the poems requested by a few of you.


Firstly, I would really like to thank everyone who has suggested topics they’d like me to write poems about. I must say, the prompts are getting more interesting each week, especially if this collection is any indication. At least, as the poet who is writing them, it seems that way to me.

I hope You enjoy these poems:

  • The Seven Deadly Sins
  • How Can I Get Everything I Want - In as Little as Two Weeks.
  • The Album in the Attic
  • A Bat Out of Hell

Tiyasha Maitra

"A suggestion, how about a humorous take on the Seven Deadly Sins concentrating on its volatile nature, treated with comedy."

Thanks for this prompt, Tiyasha. It is an interesting topic and I managed to write a poem about the seven deadly sins. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it a comedy at this time. I have my muse working on it however and I'll see what I can come up with in the future. The attached video has a comedy element about it, and engaging animation.

The Seven Deadly Sins

Here are the Seven Deadly Sins

That you may know or not:

Pride, greed, wrath, and envy,

Lust, gluttony, and sloth.


Pride can make one arrogant,

self-centred and a bore.

Greed is a selfish desire

for wealth, or power, or more.

Envy wants what others have,

a jealous discontent.

Scroll to Continue

Lust a strong sexual desire

that can be quite intense.

Wrath is unbridled anger

that really makes no sense.

Gluttony’s a form of greed,

an excessive love of food.

Sloth is a lack of effort

when laziness ensues.

Promote Good With Energy, Love, Generosity, and Sensitivity.

Seven Alternative Deadly Sins

1.Wealth without work

2.Pleasure without conscience

3.Science without humanity

4.Knowledge without character

5.Politics without principle

6.Commerce without morality

7.Worship without sacrifice

— Mahatma Ghandi

Rosina S Khan

"Recently I have noticed I am good at manifesting short-term goals but my long-term goals are stalling. So I would request you to write a poem with the title, "How I Can Get Everything I Want in as Little as Two Weeks". I hope you enjoy writing it."

This request certainly got me thinking, Rosina. I'd love get everything I want in just two weeks as well. So, here is your poem. I hope you like it.

Horn of Plenty: Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Horn of Plenty: Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

How Can I Get Everything I Want.. In as Little as Two Weeks?

Write a list of all you want,

and another of your needs.

Whatever is on both those lists

should get priority.

I want a million dollars,

but I only need ten grand.

I want someone to paint my house

but I only need a hand.


I want a mansion by the sea,

but I just need a stable roof

that keeps me dry in pouring rain

so I’m not too aloof.


I want the world to live in peace,

and put an end to poverty.

I need those things to happen too,

But will that ever be?

I want good health and love in life,

I need both these as well.

But, will these happen in two weeks?

In a fortnight’s time I’ll tell.


Maybe buy a lottery ticket

and pray to God you win.

Then you can have all you want,

and tithe ten percent to him.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Lorna Lamon

"Hi John, I have another suggestion for a poem if you are stuck. 'Looking at an old photo album as seen through the eyes of a child'. I know you love a challenge."


Yes, Lorna, I do love a challenge and this was a pleasant one. It is the type of topic I enjoy writing about. I hope the poem appeals to you.

Garages, barns and attics are always older than the buildings to which they are attached.

— Leonard Cohen

Photo by ArtHouse Studio from Pexels

Photo by ArtHouse Studio from Pexels

The Album in the Attic

I climbed the narrow stairway

As quietly as a mouse,

To investigate the attic

At my paternal grandpa’s house.


Cobwebs hung from the rafters,

Everything was clothed in dust.

I opened an old metal chest,

Its hinges creaked through rust.


Inside a photo album,

Leather cover cracked from age,

Piles of letters tied with string,

And a diary’s missing page.


I sat down in a rocking chair

With the album on my lap.

I’d climbed up here in secret

While my grandpa took a nap.


Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Then, opening up the cover

I took a look inside,

Intent to see the photos

My grandpa tried to hide.


The photos were in black and white,

Mostly good, a couple torn.

Some had dates inked on the back,

All long ‘fore I was born.


Of men in suits and uniforms,

Stylish ladies with big hair,

City streets with old-time cars,

The 1948 State Fair.


All these photos told a story

That I’d have to research more,

But my curiosity had to wait -

For I heard the attic door.

Image by Mario Aranda from Pixabay

Image by Mario Aranda from Pixabay

Bill Holland

"When you get a chance, can you do one about "a bat out of hell?" Thanks!"


Well, Bill, your requests never disappoint, and who doesn't like Meatloaf? This one actually took me in directions I could never have envisaged. Just finding a word to rhyme with "chance" (and "dance" being a logical one) put "St. Vitus Dance" in my head and I couldn't get rid of it. It's a little weird I know but I am actually quite pleased with how the poem turned out.

A Bat Out of Hell

The Devil sent his messenger

To stalk the city streets

In search of lost and lonely souls

For whom life wasn’t sweet.


It hid within the shadows

Waiting for the chance

To seize an unsuspecting prey,

And inflict St.Vitus Dance.

They’d blame the dancing mania

On many different things,

But there was ne’er a mention

Of a fanged demon with wings.


She wandered past the alley,

Rejected and forlorn,

Wishing more than ever

She never had been born.


The demon gave no warning,

Swift, sharp fangs pierced her neck.

Her screams were heard by no one,

Or they didn’t give a heck.


Then she danced the tarantella

Out onto the street.

The contagion spread like wildfire,

‘The disease of dancing feet.’


Once thought a curse sent by a saint,

Or from a tarantula‘s bite as well,

But never was the blame placed on

‘A bat right out of hell.’


Dancing Mania

Dancing mania (also known as dancing plague, choreomania, St. John's Dance and St. Vitus's Dance) was a social phenomenon that occurred primarily in mainland Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries. It involved groups of people dancing erratically, sometimes thousands at a time. The mania affected men, women, and children who danced until they collapsed from exhaustion.

In Italy, a similar phenomenon was tarantism, in which the victims were said to have been poisoned by a tarantula or scorpion. Its earliest known outbreak was in the 13th century, and the only antidote known was to dance to particular music to separate the venom from the blood. Dancers would perform a tarantella, accompanied by music which would eventually "cure" the victim, at least temporarily.

Dancing mania on a pilgrimage to the church at Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, a 1642 engraving by Hendrick Hondius after a 1564 drawing by Pieter Brueghel the Elder.

Dancing mania on a pilgrimage to the church at Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, a 1642 engraving by Hendrick Hondius after a 1564 drawing by Pieter Brueghel the Elder.

A Call Out For More Poetry Suggestions

Well, that's it for another week. But, if you'd like to see 'Poems From the Porch' keep on keeping on then I need your suggestions/requests/prompts or whatever you'd like to call them. So, don't be shy. If you have an idea let me know and I'll see what I can do. Thanks for joining me once again, and until next week - take care.

© 2020 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 30, 2020:

Thanks Lawrence. It is always great to learn something new. Glad I brought St Vitus’ Dance to your attention.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on July 30, 2020:

John

I never knew that about St Vitus' dance!

I really liked both of the last two poems, well done.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 09, 2020:

Thank you for reading these poems, Nell. Glad you enjoyed and I like you dad’s sense of humour. Mine used to say crazy stuff like that too.

Nell Rose from England on July 09, 2020:

Love your bat out of hell! And the attic one the best, but they are all wonderful! My dad always used to say if I was rushing around, you have st Vitus dance, sit the hell down! LOL!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 08, 2020:

You are too kind, Sean, but I am grateful for your kind words. I look forward to each of these requests/suggestions even though some are quite a challenge. Take care of your family and be safe.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on July 08, 2020:

You know, my dear brother, John, every time I read new work from you I am more amazed by your talent! I could never imagine that someone can take these requests and make them living art! Thank you for putting more colours in the rainbow! :)

Stay in the safety of Love!

Sean

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 07, 2020:

MizB, I am sorry to hear that your grandchildren show no interest in your history or memorabilia. Thank you for reading and I will write a poem about “the kids couldn’t care less.”

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 07, 2020:

Hi Lora, thank you for reading. I am glad this brought back memories and you enjoyed reading the poems. Yes, I will write one about “lemonade,” so stay tuned.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 07, 2020:

John, I really liked your Album in the Attic. It kind of hit a nerve with me because our young here in the U.S. really couldn't care less about grandma and grandpa's history or memorabilia. I took most of these things like my parents' WWII letters to each other and a few old items that should be kept because nobody else in the family wanted them. Now I worry about them being tossed out after I'm gone. So maybe in that vein, how about a poem about "the kids couldn't care less"? Maybe it'll cure my hopelessness.

BTW, I appreciate your explanation of St. Vitus's Dance. It was educational to me.

Lora Hollings on July 06, 2020:

Splendid poems, John. My favorite, like many here, is the "Album in the Attic." It is a wonderful description of an attic and a child who is fascinated by an album of old photos taken of his ancestors. I always savored the times as a child when I could go through old photo albums of my family and see what my grandparents and parents looked like when they were young. "Bat out of Hell," was very imaginative. Great Job! I really enjoyed reading them all.

How about a poem about lemonade, since this is a series about poems from the porch. I always remember drinking fresh lemonade on the veranda in the summers as we would invite our neighbors over and pass the time talking about world events, people that we knew, (a little friendly gossip), and about life in general. It sure brings back some great memories for me.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 06, 2020:

I loved the poems from the porch especially "The Album in the Attic" and "A Bat Out of Hell". I hope you write one about: Looking back on life - a flashback. Thanks, John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 06, 2020:

Thank you so much Audrey. I appreciate your generous comment and will certainly write a poem about being short.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on July 06, 2020:

Your poems are remarkable! I love this series. And I want to see it continue so here's one to nibble on: I'm short (5 ft. 1in.). Would you mind writing a poem about the advantages or disadvantages of being short? This could be humorous...altho there's nothing funny about not being able to reach those high cupboards. :)

Thanks, John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 06, 2020:

Thank you Niks, I really appreciate that comment, and I promise I won’t stop.

Niks from India on July 05, 2020:

Yet another amazing collection of poems. Keep coming up with poems like this. Being a poet and literature lover, I enjoy reading your hubs.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 04, 2020:

Haha Mr. Happy. Okay, point taken, thank you for your suggestion. I agree that we should be able to “request” things from our politicians who are “supposed To represent us” but I think a lot of them seeing themselves as “Puppet Masters,” unfortunately. You have a great weekend also.

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on July 04, 2020:

"I will write a poem about a puppet master as you request." - Thank You but it was not a "request". It was simply a "suggestion": "So, here's a topic to write a poem about". You do as You wish, haha!!

I hardly "request" things from people. I do but usually it's from politicians because they are supposed to "represent us". From the general public my main "request" is for people to simply be respectful to one another.

Have a joyful week-end and thanks again!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 03, 2020:

Peg, it makes me angry to hear of people disregarding the seriousness of this virus and gathering in large groups and partying. The same thing has happened in Melbourne, and that city is suffering from a spike while most of our other states have now been almost free of the virus. Many people there in the hotspot have also refused to be tested. Yes, I will write a poem about “Better to be safe than sorry.” Stay safe.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 03, 2020:

Each of these was good. I especially liked the one about the photo album in the attic. It reminded me of looking in an old chest in my grandmother's attic with her when I was a child. The information about dancing mania after the one you did for Bill was most interesting.

Our hospitals in Houston are at capacity again, and administrators are looking at alternative solutions to handle the usual types of patients and those who have COVID-19. Elective surgeries are now canceled once again. Wearing of masks is now mandated by the Texas governor. Yet some people still think the pandemic is nothing but politics. How can people not listen to statistics and doctors? People from the U.S. cannot currently travel to the EU. Even that does not keep them from partying in groups! How about a poem about rather being safe than sorry.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 03, 2020:

Thank you, Nithya. Glad you enjoyed those poems. Stay well.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on July 02, 2020:

Great poems, I enjoyed reading all of them. I loved The Album in the Attic and A Bat out of Hell.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 02, 2020:

Thank you Jason. Glad you had fun reading Bat Out of Hell, and enjoyed The Album in the Attic. I am glad my writing meets the “great content” label..lol.

Jason Nicolosi from AZ on July 02, 2020:

Haha, I loved Bill's suggestion about the "Bat Out of Hell". You did a fantastic job on it. I had fun reading it. I was smiling the whole read.

You also did a great job on Lorna's challenge. I enjoyed that one very well too.

"I want" great content, and you always deliver. It always a pleasure to read your work. Thanks, John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 02, 2020:

Thank you for reading Foxynag.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 02, 2020:

Thank you, Mr Happy, for your in depth and insightful comment. I will write a poem about a puppet master as you request. Mr Manatita is a very wise man.

foxynag on July 02, 2020:

Nice

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on July 02, 2020:

"I have always felt that deep down we already know our struggles. So I have been saying for 10 years what we already know." - Just came across these two gems of sentences, from Mr. Manatita. Haha!! I so very much agree. I wrote a piece some years ago titled: "This Wolf is Running in Circles". It's basically what Mr. Manatita said.

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on July 02, 2020:

"7.Worship without sacrifice" - It's not a "sacrifice", or we do not need to "sacrifice" anything, if we wish to do it. If someone is forcing us to worship then, I guess that could be regarded as a "sacrifice".

Your "Seven Deadly Sins" made me think of the "Five Deadly Venoms", which was a hip-hop album in the 90s. On that album there's a track called: "Puppet Master". So, here's a topic to write a poem about: "Puppet Master".

I love the historical perspective to your poems. Well, I'm a history geek so, it hit home, haha!!

"When you get a chance, can you do one about "a bat out of hell?" Thanks!" - That made me laugh! It made me laugh because it came out of Mr. Bill but it also made me laugh because: humans.

We make-up all these weird things like: "hell" and "bats out of hell". Haha!! We have such wild imagination (well, some of us). "Bats out of hell" ... lol It's not the bats, in my opinion. It's the humans.

"You are the puppet, I pull your string, I'm makin' moves

I'm the master, causing you to do what you do Puppet masters" - Dr. Dre & B Real - Puppet Master

Until again: all the very best!

Ann Carr from SW England on July 02, 2020:

Great! Can't wait!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 02, 2020:

Ann, I appreciate your generous comment and glad you liked this weeks poems. I have three hens myself so I can certainly write a poem about them, and plants that take over...yes, that too. I am adding them to my list.