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Poems From the Porch 42

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books. Basically he just loves to write.


Spring Has Sprung

I know for most of you it is the start of Autumn (Fall) but here in Australia, it is the first days of Spring. It amazes me how the weather just seems to warm up overnight. Nights have been quite cool, then come September 1st, and voila..no more heaters or warm clothes required.

The porch is a beautiful place to be right at the moment, so pull up a chair, while coffee and tea are brewing, and let's read this week's poems. There are only three poems requested by Peggy Woods, Audrey Hunt, and Rajan Singh Jolly. They are all different and I hope you enjoy them.

If you are a regular visitor you know that people give me subjects or ideas for titles of poems and I write them while sitting on my porch (often surrounded by cats.) If anyone has more ideas for prompts, please let me know in the comments. Even if you want a certain style of poetry written, let me know.


Peggy Woods

"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."

When you're safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you're having an adventure you wish you were safe at home

— Thornton Wilder

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Better Safe Than Sorry

“It’s better safe than sorry,”

Are wise words often said,

But many people shun these words

And risk their lives instead.

They do not like to be constrained

From things they like to do,

Or lectured by authorities

Whose threats, they say, aren’t true.

They believe that global warming’s false,

It’s just a natural change,

That the increased temperatures, fires and floods

Are still in the normal range.

Now there’s this pandemic

That has changed the world we know.

They say it’s a conspiracy,

And really just the flu.

So, they refuse to social distance,

And will not wear a mask.

They claim the right to risk their health

When the law takes them to task.

But even it these threats aren’t real

Or as serious as thought,

Isn’t “better safe than sorry”

The approach that should be taught?

Prevention is much simpler

Then a cure, when things go wrong,

But “the economy’s at too much risk”

Is the boring battle song.

Audrey Hunt

" 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. :)"

Ode to Shorties

Let’s hear it for the shorties

That are barely five foot tall.

They are not lesser beings

Even though they may be small.

For shorties life’s a struggle,

High cupboards are a test,

But at doing things close to the ground

Shorties are by far the best.

No need to duck in doorways

Or avoid a low-hung branch.

The lowest supermarket shelf,

For shorties, is a cinch.

Shorties are competitive

Even though their legs are small.

They learn to move at lightning speed,

And don’t have far to fall.

Tall people act superior,

They look down from on high,

But shorties can stand on a box

And meet them eye to eye.

So don’t dismiss the shorties

Because they’re lower down.

They’re really just like tallies

Whose legs just haven’t grown.

This Song is Very Anti-Short People

Rajan Singh Jolly

"I hope you write one about: Looking back on life - a flashback. "

It's better to look back on life and say: "I can't believe I did that," than to look back and say, "I wish I did that."

— Informativequotes,com

Image by Bella H. from Pixabay

Image by Bella H. from Pixabay

Looking Back on Life ~ a Flashback

It’s good to sit and reminisce,

To look back on our life,

On all our happy memories,’

Also those times of strife.

Sometimes we ask, “what would we do

If we went back in time?”

If we knew then what we know now

Would we do things the same?

Remember times that make you proud,

Try forgetting things that hurt,

But if those just can’t be ignored

Look for the lesson learned.

Be proud of your achievements,

Melancholy of past loves,

Thankful for your blessings,

And what your history proves.

When we’re young, just children

Life seems an endless trip.

We’re excited by what lies ahead,

It’s like cruising on a ship.

As life moves on and time goes by

This excitement sometimes wanes.

Responsibility takes hold

And our dreams must be contained.

We may not achieve the lofty heights,

Or realize all goals we had,

But when we look back on our life

We see it wasn’t bad.

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 05, 2020:

Thank you for reading these poems, Prithviraj. Much appreciated.

Prithviraj Shirole from India on October 05, 2020:

All three poems were lovely and charming to read.

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

Chitrangada, thank you for that wonderful comment. I am glad you enjoyed reading this collection of poems.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 16, 2020:

Great suggestions and superb compositions by you. There is a variety in this edition of the Porch poems, and this makes it engaging and interesting.

Thank you for sharing another wonderful and creative piece in this series.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 13, 2020:

Hello Li-Jen, thank you for contemplating these poems and offering your insights. I am glad the last poem got you thinking as well. I appreciate you reading.

Li-Jen Hew on September 12, 2020:

Hi Jodah, I see that you have relayed the message that Peggy wants to share. Poetry is a good way to do so as it's black and white and catchy. I agree - the Ode to Shorties was humorous. My favourite lines are "not lesser beings", "don’t have far to fall" and "And meet them eye to eye". The last poem has also got me thinking. I think whatever happened, happened for a good reason and like you wrote "Look for the lesson learned". I'm sure there were things to be benefited from like meeting people along the way. The "excitement wanes"- hmm...I guess that is a good sign too. You become wiser and more innovative. :) Thanks for sharing!

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

Rinita, I can’t believe the series has reached the 42nd edition and is still going either, but I am glad it is because I enjoy the surprise of what suggestions I receive and the challenge of writing the poems.

It is wonderful to have you back at HubPages and thank you for taking the time to read this week’s collection of poems. I am glad those particular lines resonated with you too.

Rinita Sen on September 11, 2020:

Gosh! It's the 42nd edition! I have so much to catch up on. But let me first congratulate you on keeping the series going. I loved the shorties one. Media and society have somehow always considered being tall to be something you are proud of, as if it's in your hands. Really thoughtful ode you wrote there. Not much to say about the better safe than sorry one. Wish more people would understand this. The looking back poem steals the show. I especially loved the lines Remember times that make you proud,

Try forgetting things that hurt,

But if those just can’t be ignored

Look for the lesson learned.

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

Thank you so much Umesh.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 10, 2020:

Excellent composition. Nice poetry.

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

Rajan, thank you for your insightful comments regarding each poem. I am particularly pleased you liked Looking Back on Life.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 09, 2020:

All the poems are wonderful. Being safe is certainly the wisest thing to do at the moment not knowing whether it's a pandemic or plandemic, as some say. Short people do have certain advantages for sure. You bring out my feelings very well, and I hope of many others too, in "Looking back on life".

We all have had good times and bad times in the past and wished to have done some things differently if we knew things then that we know now. Taking positivity from our life experiences is possibly the wisest thing to do for moving happily forward in life.

Many thanks for these wonderful poems, John. The porch is the best place to read such exquisite stuff.

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

Thank you for visiting the porch, Devika. It is good that you liked the first poem.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 09, 2020:

I like the first poem. All poems have a message and you have a way with words in each.

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

Nice of you to visit the porch, Lora. I am glad you enjoyed these poems and I value your generous comment.

Lora Hollings on September 08, 2020:

These are wonderful poems, John. I especially like, "Better Safe Than Sorry." This is a poem that a lot of people need to read. "Ode to Shorties," certainly brought a laugh. Very funny and well written! And there was a lot of wisdom in your poem, "Looking Back on Life." I love the quote by Thorton Wilder too.

Perhaps you could write a poem about changes. I think that's something that we all have to cope with in our lives- the positive ones as well as the negative ones. As a society, we certainly are having to face many changes now. Hopefully, we will learn some valuable lessons through such a challenging time.

Enjoyed my time on the porch with you, John.

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

I am so happy that “Looking Back on Life” gave you some sense of contentment Gypsy. You need to embrace the memories.

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

What can I say MsDora? I am just glad you enjoy and appreciate what I write. Thanks again for your encouragement.

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

Thank you Anupam. Glad you especially liked a better Safe Than Sorry.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on September 07, 2020:

I enjoyed all of them particularly Looking Back On Life with many great memories and it helps a lot and makes me content to be where I am now in my life

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 07, 2020:

Voted for the first poem which I wish everyone would read, but I can relate to each of them. Short lines, rhythm and rhyme are among my favorite things; then when you add meaningful content like you do, it's enjoyable beyond words! Thanks.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on September 07, 2020:

Great collection John.

I loved all the three but the first one stood first

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

Thank you, Linda. I used to try to group poems with a similar theme together but now I think to have them all a little different makes it more interesting.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 06, 2020:

You've created another interesting sequence of poems, John. The first one is important, the second one is amusing, and the third one is thought-provoking.

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

Hi Peg, firstly sorry to hear about your niece’s son in law. What a terrible thing for him to go through, and more symptoms of the virus I hadn’t heard about. Another good case for “better safe than sorry.”

What a coincidence your mom’s nickname was “Shorty” too, so you could definitely relate to that poem. Thanks for reading and for the prompt.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 06, 2020:

All three of these poems were excellent. My mother-in-law's nickname was "Shorty." She stood 4' 10 1/2" and was a powerhouse of energy. She became a pharmacist back in the day when it was mostly a job for men. Now, of course, that has changed.

I would much rather be safe than sorry, and at my age, I have a lot of memories to savor.

They are still learning things about COVID. My niece's son-in-law was hospitalized. In addition to testing positive, they thought he had an intestinal obstruction just by his symptoms, although testing did not verify that. They did exploratory surgery only to find out that his intestines were so inflamed that they swelled shut, which effectively acted as an obstruction.

He is now home but still cannot taste or smell anything. He also has some numbness in his face. The neurologist has ruled out any other cause, so is attributing it to COVID. That is the problem with new diseases. It takes a while to pin down all of the various symptoms and results.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 06, 2020:

Headed towards Autumn which leads to the colder weather of winter.

Not looking forward to it. I sure hope the warm weather bounces back.

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

Haha, thank you Bill. I am sure Bev must have had a few other reasons as well but reaching the top cupboards is a biggy.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 06, 2020:

Ode to Shorties was a hoot. I'm convinced the only reason Bev married me is so she would have someone who could reach the top cupboards. lol

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

I always love your comments, Lorna. I am glad you get the feeling of relaxing on the porch and shame on your brother lifting your cup of tea. Thank you for continuing to follow this series of poems.

Lorna Lamon on September 06, 2020:

I always feel that your porch is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a cuppa with friends. Each poem had its own special message and I enjoyed them all. My favourite would have to be 'Looking Back on Life' as reflecting on what could have been done better is very relevant today, and Peggy's poem is a good example of this.

I would have enjoyed this trio over a cup of tea, however, my brother has just lifted my cup of tea and is happily enjoying it. Words fail me. Another wonderful collection John and a joy to read.

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

Flourish, thank you for sharing about your mother, that shouldn’t have been funny but it did bring a smile. I am glad you could relate to that poem.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 05, 2020:

I’m tall but have a short mother so I enjoyed that poem and related to it. Apparently her legs are impossibly short (according the dry cleaning lady who does alterations). My mom had marked some new slacks she needed cut off and altered so they would fit her and the lady taking the order refused to accept it unless my mother signed a special paper. She said no one has legs that short. My mom told her unfortunately yes, I do.

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

Hello Chrish, thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I am glad you are a fan of my work. No, there is certainly nothing wrong with being short.

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

I saw that Chris, and replied.

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

Hi Brenda, good to see you and such a nice comment. I am glad you can picture what each of these poems describes. Yes, at the front of photos could be a good or bad think haha. If your weather is like ours, September can have it's ups and downs of hot and cold before Autumn or Spring really establishes itself.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on September 05, 2020:

I'm a huge fan of yours sir John! The poem better safe than sorry is damn so true! I have that short friend who has a huge heart and super supportive, there's nothing wrong with them the person who think there is is the problem. Looking back in life is the sweetest!

Thanks for sharing happy weekend!!!

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on September 05, 2020:

Thank you, John. Check your email.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on September 05, 2020:


You out did yourself on these 3 poems.

They are all so cute and I can picture each one.

Being short is a common problem but hey you sit in front in all the photos.

The one on better safe than sorry...a great write. It certainly descibes the way alot of people are doing.

The last one is so true...when it comes down to it our life doesn't look that bad.

So glad you are getting nice weather to sit outdoors while the air here seems a bit chilled.

I hope it bounces back for I am not ready to bid farewell to summer just yet.

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

Chris, I am glad the third poem helped rekindle those much needed memories. Sure, I will write a poem about fishing and catching nothing. Let’s see where my muse leads.

I hope the newest job placement is going well.

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on September 05, 2020:

All three poems are thought provoking and well written. I can relate to the third one best. I've had moments of pride, disappointment, fear, joy, sadness, exhileration, boredom, and anger. Your poem helps me remember it all which is a very important thing to do.

I've been at my new location for my next contract job for about four weeks. In my free time, I've been doing a lot of fishing. The problem is, I am not catching any fish. You can use this as a metaphor or you can use it literally. Of course you always have the option of emailing to tell me you are stumped. But I know you won't. Please feel free to take as many liberties with this as you need. I realize it is rather vague. By the way, I have caught a nineteen inch catfish, a three inch bluegill (brim), and a two foot Asian carp (invasive species....they know how to fly). I am in southern Illinois.

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

Thanks for reading this collection Shauna. One of my best friends is a footstool also. I call him my ”step farther” get it? I appreciate your comment on each of the poems. Enjoy your weekend.

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

Yes, Linda, for all the shorties out there, and there are plenty. Too many people have a ”die hard” attitude and don’t give a thought for others.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 05, 2020:

John, I enjoyed all three poems. I love your message in "Better Safe Than Sorry". It's better to be cautious than regret the consequences of not considering others' when we act.

At 5'2", I definitely related to "Ode to Shorties". In fact, you used a line I often say in defense of being short: we don't have far to fall! I think every short woman has a step stool nearby in order to reach those cabinets that loom far beyond reach. Ha ha.

"Looking Back on Life" is something each of us should do from time to time. It allows us to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done and hurdles we've overcome. It also is a tool for bettering ourselves moving forward. Being our own worst critic can and should result in changing bad or disruptive habits in favor of positive forward motion.

Great job, John. I always look forward to what your muse comes up with while relaxing on the porch.

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

A poem for me! I'm 5 ft tall--I can feel Pamela towering over me. Better Safe Than Sorry was enjoyable too. I can't understand how so many people still just don't GET it.

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

Pamela, I am glad all three poems we're relevant to you in some way. Thanks for reading, as always.

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

Liz, I appreciate your kind comment. Some of these poems do take quite a bit of thought and that is what makes writing them enjoyable. I will certainly write one on ”the demise of the letter.” Thanks, good subject.

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

Ann, thank you for your interesting comments related to each of these poems. Yes, chickens certainly do have their own personalities and characteristics. I will write a poem on the subject.

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

That is so true Diana. It doesn’t really take much effort.

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

Thank you Nithya, glad you could relate to that poem. I’m not overly tall either.

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

Hi Karen, I tend to think Randy Newman was in undated with angry comments from a lot of short people so probably had no choice but say the song was a metaphor. Thank you for the ”happy Spring” wishes.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 05, 2020:

Each of these poems is unique, and I really liked each one. Peggy's certainly reflects the state of the world today. So, I am 5'3", still rather short and I am at an age where I have a lot of history to reflect upon. I would say all three poems are relevant for me.

Liz Westwood from UK on September 05, 2020:

In the UK we have the reverse of your seasons. It is getting colder and the nights are drawing in. I am quite envious of your warm weather. This year it is especially noticeable as we are told it is safer to meet friends outdoors.

We could do with your COVID poem in the UK, as spikes are caused by people ignoring the guidelines.

I really admire your ability to think around a subject. You came up with so many positives for short people.

You captured so much too in your poem looking back on life.

I always enjoy your poems from the porch. Now we have all gone increasingly digital, what about a poem about the demise of the old-fashioned letter?

Ann Carr from SW England on September 05, 2020:

I can relate to all of these and I like the gentle humour of the last two.

If people don't want to believe the pandemic's real, that's fine (though rather short-sighted) but what about those whom they infect? Don't they care? You highlighted the logistics well.

I'm just 5ft 3in so not too short but there are disadvantages; generally it's fine and I don't bump my head nearly so often as my 6ft 2in partner!

Looking back on life, if you stick to the good memories, is fine; we can be proud and smile. Trying to dismiss the bad bits can be difficult but there's no point in regrets we can do nothing about.

I like the variety this week and you've done us proud as always.

How about one on the characteristics of chickens? I never realised how entertaining they can be until we acquired our 3 in May!


Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on September 05, 2020:

Thanks John for your poems. To be safe than sorry does not take too much effort. Just an adjustment in attitude and choice.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on September 05, 2020:

I loved all the poems; my favorite one is - Ode to Shorties. Being short myself, I relate to this poem.

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

Yep, Eric, your wife is a shorty. I had not heard that Elvis song before so had to include it. Thanks for continuing to follow this series.

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

I am happy you enjoyed these three poems Anika. Thank you for the kind comment.

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

Hey, Rosina. I always enjoy your comments on my articles. ”Mesmerizing”..I like that. I don’t recall my poetry ever being called that before, so thank you. I am glad to know you are 5’2” so you can’t relate to ”Ode to Shorties.”

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

Thanks for being the first to visit the porch, Kyler. I should almost add a disclaimer to this series saying that ”opinions expressed in these poems is not necessarily the view of the author” because I write these according to other people’s suggestions. In regard to ”Better Safe Than Sorry” I do generally believe that to be the best move. There haven’t been any cases of Covid-19 in my town yet so life has been pretty much normal here for two or three months. No masks really needed but we have them with us just in case. I guess your views are based on your own experience and observations and that is really everyone’s best guide on how to deal with stuff. It is hard to be completely neutral with topics like this none the less.

Karen A Szklany from New England on September 05, 2020:

Great poems, John, and happy Spring! ~:0) Heard once that the Randy Newman song was more metaphor than literal, but maybe that was made up.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 05, 2020:

Although my wife is 4'11" and although I am almost never safe rather than sorry, my favorite was about looking back with that great Elvis song to go with it.

Thank you for another great one in this wonderful series.

Ankita B on September 05, 2020:

I loved reading all the three poems equally. Wonderful compositions.

Rosina S Khan on September 05, 2020:

What mesmerizing poems, John! I loved "Better Safe Than Sorry" because it is relatable to our region where people want to be free from masks and hand gloves. I found "Ode to Shorties" funny, and it gave me a smile although it is not relatable to me because I am 5 ft 2 in. I could relate to "Looking Back on Life..." and it's true and the included quote says it all. Thanks for the splendid contribution. Loved them all!

Kyler J Falk from California on September 05, 2020:

"Better Safe Than Sorry" was my favorite, for obvious reasons. The many reasons people politicize this virus make me laugh, and even further those who are stuck at home scared of those who are out make me laugh even harder. Our beaches, hiking trails, restaurants, and so much else are packed full, and they're even sending some children back to school now.

Under such circumstances where even the self-proclaimed public health experts are clearing the way for kids to return to school, for things to open back up, and I've been breaking the rules since the beginning without infection (tested three times now); one can only assume things are being blown out of proportion. I bet many hospitals reach capacity due to strenuous quarantine rules, limiting the amount of rooms they can fill regardless of infections or not.

Then again, I'm out here traveling and dealing with protests as well, so being in the most dangerous scenarios and coming out healthy is making my view a bit biased, if not fairly leveled. A funny poem, nonetheless!

Another great time on the porch!

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