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Poems From the Porch 43

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

A beautiful Autumn pic: Image by Vinson Tan ( 楊 祖 武 ) from Pixabay

A beautiful Autumn pic: Image by Vinson Tan ( 楊 祖 武 ) from Pixabay

The Younger Generation

"What's this younger generation come to?" Maybe you've heard these words said before or possibly some of you have even said them. It seems we always think our generation did things better than the current one.

The fact is though, twenty, thirty, forty, or maybe even 50 years ago we were also referred to as "the younger generation," and had those very words said about us.

Each generation changes and adapts to the social and technological advances of the time, and so who are we to really say that ours was better. I am sure certain aspects were indeed better, but others we tend to forget, probably not so.

With that said, I hope you can relate to one or both of these poems from the porch.

Yes, this week there are only two so I am aiming for quality, not quantity. At least that's my excuse. Enjoy!

Today's younger generation is no worse than my own. We were just as ignorant and repulsive as they are, but nobody listened to us.

— Al Capp

Lora Hollings

"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."

When life gives you lemons, you don't make lemonade. You use the seeds to plant a whole orchard - an entire franchise! Or you could just stay on the Destiny Bus and drink lemonade someone else has made, from a can.

— Anthon St. Maarten

The Lemonade Stall

“How many lemons,” my kid sister asked,

“do we need to make lemonade?

How long’s a ladder that reaches the moon?

How far can you throw a grenade?”


She always asks questions with answers not clear,

“How deep is the blue of the sea?

What is the language least spoken on Earth?

How far can an octopus see?”


“Just keep squeezing lemons until I say STOP!

Or your arms ache, whichever comes first.

There’s no way of knowing how much we will sell,

Or how many people stop by with a thirst.”


We set up a stall in front of our house,

A hanging sign said “LEMONADE.”

We had a tin box, half full of change,

To hold any money we made.


Fifty cents a glass, or two for a buck,

For the best lemonade in the world.

Impatiently waiting to sell our first glass,

Would it be to a boy or a girl?


We’d sat for an hour, maybe even more

When a car stopped in front of our stall.

A man and a woman walked up and frowned,

To small, seated kids they looked very tall.


“Do you have a permit to sell lemonade?”

The man asked with a threatening tone,

“Do you have a permit for that fat, ugly head?”

I replied with a face set in stone.


“Go fetch your parents!” the woman chimed in,

“What you’re doing is against the law.”

“Our parents aren’t home,” my kid sister said,

As we sat, preparing for war.


“Would you like lemonade, just two dollars a glass?”

I asked with a mischievous grin.

They seemed to be thinking of what action to take

As he looked at her, and her, him.


“You can’t charge two dollars if it says fifty cents,”

The man said indicating the sign.

“False advertising can land you in jail.

I’d only pay that much for wine.”


“50 cents a cup is what we charge kids,

Adults can afford to pay more.

By the look of your old and shrivelled up faces

I’d say you’ve sucked lemons before.”


“How dare you speak to adults like that.

Why don’t kids these days show some respect?

Now take that sign down or you’ll be in strife.

Lemonade can’t be sold in the street.”


I said, “We’ll obey,” and they walked away,

Satisfied when we took down the sign.

But when they were gone I put the sign back.

I’d changed it to read, “LEMON WINE.”

Doris James MizBejabbers

"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."

Take care of all your memories because you cannot relive them.

— Bob Dylan

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Kids Couldn't Care Less

We treasure our history,

All that came to pass -

Photos and antiques,

Memorabilia and art.


Moments were captured

As frozen in time.

In black and white or sepia,

Silent film and mime.


We try to preserve

Our name’s heritage,

Relive trials of our forebears,

Study our ancestorage.


But all this is changing,

Kids couldn’t care less.

Old photos bore them,

Antiques make a mess.


Attention spans shortened,

They’re always online.

Everything else, it seems

Just takes too much time.


I fear when I die

All my things will be sold.

Everything that I treasured

Just tossed as “too old.”


All the past I’ve protected

Through things that passed down,

From parents and grandparents,

From back then until now.


How do we instil

A love of the past.

And make our kids realize

Life speeds by too fast?


They need to embrace

Those who came before,

Preserving their history

For centuries more.

Image by 3888952 from Pixabay

Image by 3888952 from Pixabay

Same Place Next Week

I hope you enjoyed your visit to the porch this week. I look forward to seeing you again next time when there should be poems requested by Bill Holland, Rosina S Khan, and Ann Carr. Until then take care and stay safe. Don't forget and requests, suggestions or prompts are welcome in comments.

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

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 28, 2020:

I am glad you saw the lesson in the lemonade poem, Rinita. Even though the children were disrespectful..respect does go both ways.

You make good points regarding the second poem too. I know all my kids, now, respect the old stuff that we have, though that may not have been the case when they were younger.

Rinita Sen on September 28, 2020:

Had a good laugh reading the first poem. It was classic you - giving an important message through a fun story. Adults often forget that children deserve respect, too. There's a lesson in that. The second one was well-woven, although I feel that kids do care. You just have to give them some time. When they are not kids any more, they will value whatever has been left behind. You just have to have faith in their upbringing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 25, 2020:

Thank you Rasma. Much appreciated.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on September 25, 2020:

Enjoyed them all. Terrific.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 24, 2020:

Dale, I was like that myself for many years and would only share my poetry with my family. The best thing I ever did was join HubPages and take the chance at sharing it with a wider community. I hope you can encourage your friend to do the same.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 24, 2020:

Thanks for sharing. I like finding poems that I can share with a very dear friend of mine. She has been a poem writer herself for a long time but is too shy to share her work with anyone but me. Hopefully one day I can change her mind and you can all enjoy her works.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 24, 2020:

Farah, thank you for sharing your own method of recalling fond memories, as well as your mother’s. I appreciate your encouragement and kind words.

Farah N Huq from Dhaka, Bangladesh on September 24, 2020:

"Lemon Wine"! Hahahaha nice move!

Yes memories do mean a lot. My mother stored almost everything that were related to our childhood. I, on the other hand, store photos and look at them whenever I feel like going down the memory lane. I think, to an extent, the method of holding on to your memories has also changed over the generations.

Loved reading both. You are a gifted poet.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 23, 2020:

Thank you for reading Devika. Much appreciated.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 23, 2020:

Jodah A beautiful poem and your expressions are perfect.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 22, 2020:

Hi Mary, I did write a poem about Sunflowers in Poems From the Porch 33, if you care to check that. I will, however, certainly write one for you about ‘the Sunrise.’

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 22, 2020:

John, I wondered if you have already done a poem on sunflowers. Or the sunset. I always enjoy what you write here.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 22, 2020:

Thank you Chitrangada. I appreciate your continued support for my writing and this series. I am glad you agree with the opinion expressed in the opening paragraph.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 22, 2020:

Excellent and insightful poems. I liked your first paragraph and agree with you.

This is a regular talk about the young generation, with which I don’t agree. With times, many things change. We should give space to the younger generation, and in fact learn so many wonderful things from them.

Thank you for sharing another wonderful set of poems, in this series.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 21, 2020:

Thank you for always taking the time to visit, Shauna. Yes, the kid sister in the Lemonade Stall did ask some rather ‘off the wall’ questions. My idea was to have her ask the adults something but I just couldn’t come up with one. The elder brother was a little rider to them than I intended but..oh well.. what will be will be. They were being too strict and stuffy anyway.

Yes, the second one was a little sad to think our heritage may not be kept alive by our further generations. Glad your son appreciates old things.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 21, 2020:

John, your imagination really went to town on "Lemonade". I never would have thought of the off the wall questions kid sister asked of her big brother. I had to chuckle. Although the kids were disrespectful to the couple who challenged their right to sell, I think the ole fuddy duddies had it coming to a certain extent.

"Kids Couldn't Care Less" was sad, really. I know my son loves old things, especially when they represent generations past and part of his heritage. Perhaps he gets that from me. Our personal pasts should be kept close to our hearts and safe so we can share with upcoming generations. I think everyone should have an avenue to their family tree. What better way than memorabilia?

Great job on these requests, John!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 21, 2020:

Thank you Li-Jen, it is good to get some perspective from a member of the "younger generation" and you do make some very good points. Our genetics do play a big part in who we are and what we become so we can always hold our parents and grandparents responsible if we mess things up haha. Technological advances are beyond anything I could have imagined as a child. I appreciate you reading and commenting.

Li-Jen Hew on September 21, 2020:

Hi Jodah, interesting topic. Your point about calling the "younger generation" applied back then is cool. Your lemonade stall poem was humorous, with the kids and the grown ups sounding alike as they were not gentle with each other. You got your message across, that kids couldn't care less haha in the second poem. Although kids cannot relive those moments their grandparents experienced, it's nice to think how far technology has advanced and how genetics play a role in leading to who they are. Thanks for the tribute to parents and grandparents in general.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 20, 2020:

Mr Happy, sorry for the late reply. I appreciate your comment. My wife and I have also been trying to reduce the amount of possessions we have so that our children won’t have such a difficult time In future. But, yes, history is important and needs to be passed on.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 20, 2020:

John - that’s great! I did miss it and was wondering how to go about asking you if you had done it, my friend. Thanks so much! I’ll give it a look today. Be well and keep up the great work, John!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 20, 2020:

MsDora, I struggled a little with the disrespect the kids displayed in the first poem too. I tried to have them be less sarcastic but couldn’t find a solution that pleased me. “How Do We Instil a Love of the Past” is a good title too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 20, 2020:

Ankita, yes I also see antiques as true treasures that can tell us so much about the past. Thank you for your generous comment.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 20, 2020:

The disrespect of the kids in the first poem is less than charming, but I do love their creativity of lemon wine. Their irreverence for antiques makes us struggle to educate them. I see an article topic in "How do we instil / A love of the past." Exceptional work from you, as usual.

Ankita B on September 20, 2020:

Wonderful poems John. I enjoyed reading the second one especially. I love antiques and have always found them to be beautiful with so many stories to tell. Thank you for sharing these lovely poems.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 20, 2020:

Hi Jason, thank you for reading and sharing your insight in regard to the current generation and why they have little interest in ‘relics’ of the past.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 20, 2020:

Lora, so happy to read that you enjoyed this weeks poems, especially ‘the lemonade stall.’ Thank you for suggesting it.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 20, 2020:

Hi again Chrish, thank you for your comments (both of them.) I am not getting into the sexual orientation debate..but yes we have to respect everyone’s feelings, and it is love that is important. I like that quote you shared too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 20, 2020:

Thank you for visiting the porch, Greg. I agree with you the scenario in the second can be depressing. I think my children will value and appreciate most things we leave behind but I know that is not always the case. Hopefully they can see or feel a little bit of you In things you loved. Oh, by he way I did write that Vegemite poem for you a few issues back in no 38. I think you may have missed it.

Jason Nicolosi from AZ on September 19, 2020:

Hi John, I loved both poems. However, I enjoyed the second one a little more. This generation of children certainly spends a lot of time with their heads buried in the computer screen. Even our schools encourage our kids not to interact with the teachers, but more so with the pc. Books at schools have almost completely disappeared. So it's no wonder that kids today have little interest in things like antiques, heritage, or ancestry. It seems like if "it" doesn't have a screen or monitor then kids couldn't care less.

Lora Hollings on September 19, 2020:

It was really worth the wait. I loved "The Lemonade Stall." Such an amusing poem about kids selling lemonade and a pair of adults who are taking it all to seriously. Very clever ending too! You certainly did a great job with a challenging topic. The second poem was really outstanding. How do we make children appreciate their family history and past generations? If we don't appreciate the past then how can we truly appreciate the present? So much of who we are is predicated on the past. Wonderful writing! I really enjoyed my visit this week.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on September 19, 2020:

About the sexual orientation

I don't know but I respect everyone's feeling.

What does love really mean?

Good or bad it's really hard to say.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on September 19, 2020:

The now and the old generation are raised in a very different atmosphere.

Youths are so bombarded it isn't a choice anyway.

But still

" As the old birds sing, so does the young ones sweet."

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on September 19, 2020:

John - I really like the sour grapes, so to speak, in the lemonade poem. Those adults seemed like spoil sports!

You know, the other one kind of depressed me. I don’t want my kids to be burdened with too much of my stuff when I move on, but I do want them to appreciate family heirlooms and other memorabilia. I believe some of them will and some of them could give a hoot. I hope they smile when they pick up a piece and remember the old days.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on September 19, 2020:

Amen to that. It's so confusing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 19, 2020:

Cheryl, thank you for that interesting comment. Yes, the younger generation is without doubt much more complicated. There are now far too many sexual orientations to choose from. Excuse the pun, but “they wouldn’t know If they were Arthur or Martha.”

When I was growing up there were only two genders (as far as I was aware)..male or female. Life was so much simpler. I am glad you enjoyed these poems and images.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 19, 2020:

Flourish, it is sad that your child has no interest in the family history or memorabilia. “Dead people on the walls”..oh dear. Thank you for reading and commenting.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 19, 2020:

Peg, it makes me sad to think of all the physical memorabilia lost in the terrible fires in the US west. The stories and memories can still be passed down orally or rewritten thank goodness.

Glad you have one niece interested in the family history etc. Thanks for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 19, 2020:

I evoked both happy and sad emotions through these two poems it seems, Linda. It is sad that you don’t have grandchildren to pass your legacy onto or remember you. That Banksy saying really makes one contemplate a sad reality. Thank you for continuing to follow this series.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 19, 2020:

Kyler, I understand your situation in relation to your family and what they put you through and am sure there are others who feel the same, and not give a damn for their ancestry. You are also right that sometimes the old trivialise the current problems facing the younger generation also.

Yes, I can relate to the nightmares you describe and should be able to come up with something to fit.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 19, 2020:

Hi Rosina, is it your birthday? If so congratulations. One day I am sure you will have children and grandchildren to hopefully pass things down to. Thank you for reading, it is never too late. Yes, I am feeling a little better thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 19, 2020:

Hi Pamela. Fortunately there is usually one child or grandchild who appreciates the “old stuff” or memorabilia. If not it is scattered between op shops and garage sales or just thrown away.

I remember my sister and I once setting up a lemonade stand. I think our parents felt sorry for us and bought a couple of glasses, but we had to drink most of it ourselves.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on September 19, 2020:

I love your poetry and images. I do believe this current younger generation is much more complicated than generations past. They deal with being Asexual, bisexual, homosexual, and pansexual. Many believe that when you are born you should not be assigned a gender. I could go on, but again thanks for your writing which is always inspiring.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 19, 2020:

I enjoyed both of these, especially the second one. No one wants the antiques and old photos in my family so I have them. My only child doesn’t appreciate them and asks why we have dead people on the walls. They are actually my great great great grandmother and her sisters. Sigh.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 19, 2020:

Both of these poems resonated with me, but I particularly liked the last one. We do have one niece who seems to enjoy learning about family history and getting some family items from us. It is sad to think of those who have no one to pass on memories or treasured possessions. The memories and family stories are the most precious of all. They cannot be destroyed by tragedies such as the fires out west in the U.S.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on September 19, 2020:

John, you had me chuckling with your lemonade stand tale, but the second one made me sad. I too wonder what will become of my "stuff" when I'm gone? There are no grandchildren to even remember me. Banksy said "You die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time".

Kyler J Falk from Corona, CA on September 19, 2020:

"Kids Couldn't Care Less" is my favorite this time around on the porch. Truly, as it concerns my ancestry, I have a distaste for everyone I've immediately interacted with and they resent me for daring to question them, the same holds true for many strangers as well. When the older generations feel all that matters is their wisdom, they try to invalidate the new struggles, of course the kids couldn't care less!

Then again, age politics is just another tool in the bag of performative cruelty and I only ever touch on it for humor, or to match people's behavior. We all have to meet in the middle, for no one of us is more important than the other.

Looking forward to next time on the porch!

A request: Have you ever had one of those nightmares where the air feels like glue, or gravity just seems to hold you back? Whenever that happens to me, I fly away from whatever it is I'm scared of in a panic. I'd love to see what you can come up with around that sort of nightmare feeling and experience!

Rosina S Khan on September 19, 2020:

John, I am sorry I am late because my brother is paying us a visit with birthday gifts and cake. I have been busy.

About lemonade, I don't think I ever sold them as a kid. But I always enjoyed having it. Until this day, whenever orange juice would run out, I will make lemonade out of lemons on a hot summer's day.

About my grandparents, either maternal or paternal are not living. Nor do I have grandchildren or even children. As a matter of fact, I am still single, never married. But I have heard stories of my grandparents and what they treasured, from my parents.

Thank you, John, for the beautiful poems. I hope you are feeling better than yesterday and enjoying the weekend.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on September 19, 2020:

These are great poems, as usual, John. The lemonaide poem was so cute and I remember selling lemaonaide one time. I think we charged fifteen cents or a quarter. That says something about my age! LOL

I relate to the seond poem. My husband and I did our wills a few years ago and for the most part no one wanted anything, except for one granddaughter. She really likes things I have that were my mothers. I think the bulk will be sold. Hope you are enjoying your weekend, John.

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on September 19, 2020:

“Would you like lemonade, just two dollars a glass?” - Haha! That was pretty funny and I would have done the same.

"I fear when I die

All my things will be sold." - They surely will. I was just thinking last week of how many things I will have to get rid of when my father passes. He just has so much stuff. I on the other hand am closer to the monk attitude: a few cloths and strict necessities are good enough for me. That way, I do not have things weighing me down, or tying me down.

"Preserving their history

For centuries more." - Yes, this is important and this is what history books are for. As a former history major, I do very much appreciate listening to those who are much older than I am. For me they are what we call in the history faculty: "primary sources" and they are critical for us in understanding the past.

I appreciate the writing and thoughts here. All the best - cheers!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 19, 2020:

It means a lot to get acknowledgement from a great writer like yourself, Bill. I appreciate you always making the time to visit the porch and your encouragement.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 19, 2020:

Lorna, being one of my favourite poets here I always value your comments On my work. I a glad these brought back relatable memories for you. Yes, lemonade is a reminder of life’s simple pleasures, and it is true we now, sadly, live In a throw away society. Have a great day.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 19, 2020:

This is one of my favorite series, and you are the reason for it, John!

I was a bit jealous that Lora had a veranda growing up. lol There were no verandas in our neighborhood, but we had plenty of lemonade. :)

Lorna Lamon on September 19, 2020:

A couple of gems here John and Lora's poem reminded me of a summer job I once had in Italy as a student picking lemons. In the evening we sat around and drank homemade lemonade - simple pleasures.

I also enjoyed the poem Doris requested and maybe it's because we live in a throwaway society that articles from the past just don't mean very much. I grew up looking at old photo albums and hearing my parents and grandparents telling the stories these photos related to. I feel that they are part of my history and looking at them is so reassuring. Another enjoyable visit to the porch John, and your wonderful rhyming skills always bring the poem's to life - until next time.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 19, 2020:

What a coincidence you just made some lemonade. Eric. It also shows that your stories are interesting if your kids can remember them word for word...or they do hear it a lot.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 19, 2020:

John I just got up and made some Lemonade. I really liked that poem.

My children just love it when they can say "You have already told us that story 100 times". then they tell it back to me. Shock of shocks every time -- they actually listen to my stories?

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on September 19, 2020:

Hi Ann. Yes, I agree that if the grandparents are encouraged to tell their stories to the young ones they can certainly get their attention and interest. I know I loved to hear stories from my own grandparents. It is good that your grandchildren are interested in family history and photos etc. Thanks for the great comment.

Ann Carr from SW England on September 19, 2020:

I love both these poems, John. The lemonade one made me laugh and made me thirsty! The second one is close to my heart. Strangely, both my sister and I have grandchildren who are really interested in family history and willing to take on all our photos, family trees etc - and we have a lot! I'm thrillrd because I know it won't be forgotten. I think when you weave stories about their lives, then the young ones can connect more. I wrote a hub ages ago about asking grandparents questions before it's too late.

Lovely poetry - a good blend of humour and the importance of family.

Ann