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Poems From the Porch 39

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

White Shark: Image by Xandra_Iryna from Pixabay

White Shark: Image by Xandra_Iryna from Pixabay

Is It Safe to Go Back in the Water?

Well, just when we thought the worst of the virus was over here and it appeared that it was almost "safe to go back in the water," there is a second wave of outbreaks in Victoria (mainly due to people ignoring directives like social distancing.) People congregating at hotels, restaurants and parties, and even going to work after they showed signs of illness or had even tested positive to the virus and been told to self-isolate at home.

This disregard for the welfare of others and the community as a whole has led to the virus again spreading to New South Wales and new outbreaks there. It's like going back into the sea after a swimmer was attacked and killed by a shark the previous day in the same area.

Although my state of Queensland has been quick to close its borders, three irresponsible girls (two 19 year-olds and a 21 year-old) lied to airport officials that they had been to Melbourne, gave false names and IDs, and returned home to a South Brisbane suburb. Despite showing signs of illness one of these women went back to work, attended church and went shopping over an eight day period before being tested and found positive to the virus. Extensive tracking and testing is being done in an attempt to contain the virus before it spreads further in this state.

Due to second waves of outbreaks in many countries it appears that we cannot become complacent and have to endure and support tough measures for the long haul. That's if we ever want to defeat this and return to some form of normality.

Anyway, enough of my griping, let's get on to reading some poetry from the porch.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Kyler J Falk

"I have a request that may pose a real challenge for you here:

Life is so diverse and full of different perspectives that clash, collide, and combine into this beautiful picture we call life; as such, I've likened its many layers to an onion and its infinite possibilities to the tesseract.

I would absolutely love for you to devise an epic tale of the relationship between the many-layered onion, and the many-faced tesseract!"

Kyler, you weren't wrong when you said this may pose a challenge. I mulled over this for ages and how I could incorporate this into a poem. It would be epic, as you say and probably need a whole article on its own. Instead of procrastinating any longer I sat down and wrote a poem. I doubt it is what you had in mind but it is about the relationship between an onion and a tesseract, and the best I could do.

In geometry, a tesseract means the fifth dimension. In the world of A Wrinkle in Time, a tesseract is that as well, but also an exciting and dangerous way to travel through space and time

— Mrs Whatsit - A Wrinkle in Time

Image by Istvan Pocsai from Pixabay

Image by Istvan Pocsai from Pixabay

The Onion and the Tesseract

“Greetings Dear Miss Tesseract.

Tell me, how goes your day?

I hope you’ve spent it fruitfully,

Not wasting it away.”

Scroll to Continue

”Hello Mr Onion,

Thank you for you concern.

Each day has complications

But life is lived to learn.”

”I must say you confuse me,

You have so many sides.

I often am left wondering

What purpose you provide.”

”I think that’s rather rude of you.

To be useful, we all try.

It seems whenever you’re around

I’m always made to cry.”

“My intention isn’t to insult,

But to try to understand,

Are you a cube within a cube

Or something far more grand?”

“You really shouldn’t judge me

For you aren’t without your sin.

You have many hidden layers

Beneath your thin brown skin.”

“I did try to apologise,

But you’re just a hyper cube.

You’ve turned your prejudice on me,

I’m offended and that’s rude.”

“Well, I find you quite a bully,

You should practice what you preach.

You say you don’t mean to offend,

But it’s tears you seem to seek.”

A 3D projection of an 8-cell Tesseract performing a simple rotation about a plane which bisects the figure from front-left to back-right and top to bottom

A 3D projection of an 8-cell Tesseract performing a simple rotation about a plane which bisects the figure from front-left to back-right and top to bottom

“I guess we are too different

To find a common ground.

Conversing was a waste of time.

I may see you around.”

”Goodbye to you, good riddance,

Go back to your true fans.

You should stay in the kitchen

Among the pots and pans.”

”You’re really a conundrum,

And, in fact, a total sham.

I hear your one and only friend’s

A parallelogram.”

“You started all the insults,

So please don’t even speak.

Don’t talk to me about my friends,

You’re related to a leek!”

The Onion and the Tesseract

Were never meant to meet,

They had nothing in common

On which they could agree.

People can be like that too,

They scorn what they don’t know.

Ignorance just breeds contempt,

So let your knowledge grow.

Learn all you can of others

And don’t be quick to judge,

Unless you’ve walked wearing their shoes

Through miles of mud and sludge.

Lorna Lamon

”I do have another suggestion if you need one - "The smell of the earth after the rain".”

Lorna, thank you for your prompt and also for informing me the word to describe this is actually “petrichor.”

But the true lover of rain... has a deep inner enjoyment of the rain, as rain, and his sense of its beauty drinks it in as thirstily as does the drinking earth. It refreshes and cools his heart and brain; he longs to go forth into the fields, to feel its steady stream, to scent its fragrance; to stand under some heavy-foliaged chestnut-tree, and hear the rushing music on the crowded leaves.

— John Richard Vernon, "The Beauty of Rain," 1863

The Smell of Earth After Rain (Petrichor)

There are many scents that I recall

from years ago, when I was small,

engraved forever in my brain,

like the smell of wet earth after rain.

I can’t describe the distinct smell,

but I’m sure you know it very well.

from Petra, Greek for ’stone or rock’

and ichor, ‘fluid from the gods.’

Petrichor, oh petrichor!

The earthy scent that I adore,

when parched dry soil is touched by rain

I inhale deep the geosmin.

Bill Holland

”Next up, from The Beatles, "Can't Buy Me Love."”

That is a great song Bill. I hope my poem does it justice.

Don’t marry a rich man. Marry a good man. He will spend his life trying to make you happy. No rich man can buy that.

— Staness Jonekos

Can't Buy Me Love

The Beatles sang, “Can’t Buy Me Love,”

and I believe that too.

Though many seem to think they can,

but I doubt such love is true.

Companionship, it can be bought

in all its many forms,

but tender, caring, heartfelt love

doesn’t favour rich or poor.

Money acquires many things,

houses, companies, land, and cars.

It can even start or end a war,

and fund future tours of a Mars.

Some people lack a conscience,

it’s the dollar signs they crave,

but a billion dollars can’t buy love.

it just makes you a slave.

There’s no need to show off all your wealth,

that’s not what love’s about.

Just be thoughtful, kind, and good

and real love will seek you out.

Image by katermikesch from Pixabay

Image by katermikesch from Pixabay

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 September 22, 2020:

Thank you for at least reading these poems HaremCinema. I wish you could have appreciated them, but at least you try.

HaremCinema on September 22, 2020:

I was, sadly, not blessed with the ability to appreciate peoms. But I keep reading them in the thought that, maybe one day, I will wake up to them. Thanks for this hub.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 10, 2020:

I surprise myself sometimes too Nithya haha. I think some of the subjects are impossible but usually find the words. I appreciate your support and generous comment.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on August 10, 2020:

I enjoyed reading the poems but I was blown away by The Onion and the Tesseract. I am amazed by the way you can write on any topic.

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

Hi Denise, yes that poem of the onion and the tesseract was something a little different. I wasn’t sure what direction it would take until I started to write it. Thanks for reading.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on August 09, 2020:

These are fabulous. I was intrigued by the Onion and the Tesseract. I didn't see that direction coming. It sort of reminded me of a poem of arguing in Alice in Wonderland. I loved it.



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

It is always wonderful to receive your comments Rasma. Rain occurs so rarely here that it the smell of it on the earth is one of the most welcome scents to experience. Thank you for visiting the porch once again.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on August 08, 2020:

I enjoyed them all but especially the one about the smell of the earth after rain which I always love and Can't Buy Me Love with the song playing in my mind as I read.

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

Thank you Alicia. That one took me the most time and effort to figure out the approach I would take on a tricky subject. I appreciate your comment. Have a good weekend.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 07, 2020:

I love the first poem, John. It's witty and creative. I enjoyed reading the other poems, too, but my favourite was the first one.

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

Thank you so much for continuing to read my work Devika. Yes, what a wonderful smell that is.

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

Thank you Liz. I have never met a topic I couldn’t conquer haha. Well I do my best. As a writer I feel it important that we use our art to convey a message or commentary on society or life in general. Take care.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on August 06, 2020:

Hi Jodah I enjoyed reading all the poems. I liked the smell of rain and the earth.

Liz Westwood from UK on August 06, 2020:

This is a great collection of verse. It seems that no subject is beyond your reach. I appreciate the way that you inject your poetry with humour and inciteful commentary on life.

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

Kyler, I appreciate you finding the time to read this despite everything else that is going on around. I knew it wouldn’t be exactly what you had in mind but I guess that is the beauty of us all having different takes on a subject. It always offers that element of surprise. The word petrichor was actually coined by a couple of Australians in the 80s I think if I remember. Glad you liked that poem. Until next time, take care and stay safe.

Kyler J Falk from California on August 06, 2020:

During this time of protesting/riots keeping me busy and away from writing, I'd say you did an excellent job with my suggested topic! I was hoping for something more along the lines of the onion never changing no matter how many layers you went deeper and the tesseract never ceasing to be unreliable and shifty, but the direction you took it was excellent and hard-hitting nonetheless! In the end it hearkens to this time in history of great division, and such a timely piece doesn't disappoint on any level.

"The Smell of Earth After Rain" was my favorite this time around on the porch. For me, there is always something so visceral about the rain; it strikes me deeply and I can't help but wish for it to come back every time it leaves. I didn't know the smell of earth after rain was called petrichor, but that smell is something I crave often and savor when it finally comes around.

Your poetry has given me a much-needed respite from the veritable civil war occurring here in America, and as I steamroll all the other onions and tesseracts I'll be looking forward to your next porch!

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

Thank you for reading these poems, Sannyasi. Your comment is greatly appreciated.

Sannyasi Raja from Durgapur, West Bengal, India on August 06, 2020:

Your poems tell us many of your experiences in life. I enjoyed them.

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

Haha, Eric. Yes, when I have any to spare I usually buy something my wife wants or needs, or that she tells me I need.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 06, 2020:

Well buying love is my favorite -- or was that "can't". Hmm, if I had more money I would at least try to use it on my wife.

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

Laura thank you for the detailed and insightful comment. Yes, the wet earth usually signifies flower will be blooming in the next few days. Always a welcome sight. Take care and stay healthy.

Lora Hollings on August 06, 2020:

Wonderful poems, John. My favorite was “The Onion and the Tesseract.” It was a very challenging assignment that you pulled off with wit, flair, and much insight. I especially liked the last three stanzas where you drew some sharp parallels between these two and people who can’t find common ground.I also loved Petrichor. It certainly would be nice to get some rain here as we’ve been having triple digit temps all summer and hardly any rain. How I would love to smell the wet earth and see the flowers emerge once more!

And your poem certainly did justice to one of my favorite Beatles' songs! Take care and many thanks for sharing your talent and diligence.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 05, 2020:

Peggy, I like it when something I write proves educational as well as entertaining. I hope you can put those new words to good use. Thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 05, 2020:

Hi Manuela. Thank you for reading and enjoying these poems.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 05, 2020:

I enjoyed all of your poems and learned some new words along the way. Tesseract, petrichor, and geosmin were the words added to my knowledge today. Thanks!

Manuela from Portugal on August 05, 2020:

It was so difficult to choose, I voted option D. Great work!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on August 05, 2020:

John, that happens to me too. I try to not get discouraged, especially if I've put 4 to 6 hours into research. Just thinking/hoping that other people are gaining from the article as well.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 05, 2020:

Hi Linda. I was pretty proud I could even come up with a poem about the relationship between an onion and a tesseract. I hope Kyler likes it too. You are right though, you won’t see them together again.

It is funny though, often the people I write a poem for don’t check the article where it appears. I usually wait a week or so and give them some hint that they have missed it haha. Take care.