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Poems From the Porch 44

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 Please Don't sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

Image by Please Don't sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

Election Time

Well, over the coming weeks I see my friends in the USA and us here in sunny Queensland, Australia, have something in common. We are both lucky enough (or not) to have elections coming up.

  • The 2020 United States presidential election is scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020. It will be the 59th quadrennial presidential election.
  • The 2020 Queensland state election is scheduled to be held on Saturday 31 October 2020 to elect the 57th Parliament of Queensland.

I will not even try to predict the results, and I am not silly enough to get into a debate over who should win or lose either. I just hope the outcome of both results in what is the best outcome for the people, country, or state. America's vote will probably have a lot more impact than ours in Queensland, at least on the world stage, so we will all be watching on with interest, even on this side of the world.

Our election will probably be decided on how the majority sees the present Government's handling of the Covid-19 situation, border closures, and the effects on the economy. I personally think they have done a good job compared to some other Australian states, and most of the world. But of course, opinions differ.

Okay, enough of politics. Let's get down to sharing this weeks collection of Poems from the Porch.

Image by Marc Hatot from Pixabay

Image by Marc Hatot from Pixabay


Now and then I enjoy trying my hand at different forms of poetry. I have written sonnets, haiku, acrostic, abecedarian etc. but I had never tried rictameters before. This message from Rinita Sen (Senorita) acted as a prompt or challenge for me to make an attempt. "It's Time" and "I Heard," that follow, are written in that style.

"Thank you, John. Somehow of all the forms, I feel the most connected with rictameters. Please do give it a shot. I'm sure you will churn out something beautiful. Maybe I should drop it as a suggestion for your Poems from the Porch series, that'll get you to try it a bit quicker. Haha. Just kidding." `~ Rinita Sen

A rictameter is a nine-line syllabic structure typically used in poetry. The lines start at two syllables, incrementing upward by two to ten in the fifth line and ending with the same two-syllable word as the first line. ~ Wikipedia

I don't remember if I made a request recently. If not, here it is: renovation!

— Bill Holland

It's Time

It’s time

to renovate

It becomes addictive

Taking over my waking thoughts

I display pride in my accomplishment

As I survey the finished work

Then sit back and enjoy

Scroll to Continue

My labour’s fruits

It’s time.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Since laughter is the best medicine and has other benefits, I would like a poem about a clean joke that makes anyone laugh. The title would be "A Poem for a Laugh". I hope you like composing it.

— Rosina S Khan

I Heard

I heard

A funny joke

I don’t remember it

But it did make me laugh out loud

So it must have been quite hilarious

All I know is that it was clean

Though crude jokes are enjoyed

By teenage boys

I heard.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

John, I've had the privilege to go on the Indian Pacific twice and also on the Ghan with my sister. How wonderful they are. I believe there is also the Overlander and another that I can't remember the name of. They are big, beautiful shiny silver beasts!

How about some poems from your porch about those lovely trains?

— Ann Carr

Trains of Australia

When you board a locomotive

you begin to feel sublime,

you’re stepping back into the past

to a more exotic time.

Feel the engine rumble

as it thunders down the track.

Wave goodbye to your loved ones,

there is no turning back.

Australia’s an expansive land,

trains run from coast to coast,

north to south and east to west,

diverse landscape to boast.

The Indian Pacific: Bahnfrend / CC BY-SA (

The Indian Pacific: Bahnfrend / CC BY-SA (

The mighty ‘Indian Pacific’

one of the world’s great trains,

moves from Sydney through to Perth

across the arid Nullabor Plain.

Unmatched, the luxury of ‘The Ghan’

as it heads to the “Top End.”

From Adelaide, through Alice Springs,

to Darwin, and back again.

The great ‘Spirit of Queensland’

spans the Great Barrier Reef coast,

from Brisbane to tropical Cairns.

The track I’ve travelled most.

From Rockhampton, in Capricornia

to Longreach in the west,

The ‘Spirit of the Outback’ trip

is a delight for every guest.

Then there’s the famous ‘tilt train’

that leans into each turn.

As it scorches up the track

the sleepers almost burn.

There are famous trains around the world

like The Orient Express,

but Australian railway journeys

are up there with the best.

Tilt Train: by QRtrains - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Tilt Train: by QRtrains - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

I do have another suggestion (don't cringe). Gazing at the stars on a dark winter's evening.

— Lorna Lamon

Star Gazing on a Winter's Night

I sit here gazing at the stars

On this dark cold winter’s night.

A new moon hovering in the sky

Offers just the faintest light.

The one known as the Evening Star

And the first to catch the eye,

Is the leading lady Venus,

She’s a planet in disguise.

I wonder at the constellations,

How they form the zodiac signs,

And the one we call The Southern Cross

Gracing ‘Down Under’ skies.

Tonight I see a shooting star

Speed across the universe,

So, I close my eyes and make a wish,

And pen this little verse.

Image by Rúben Gál from Pixabay

Image by Rúben Gál from Pixabay

Y'all Come Back Now! Hear?

Thank you for taking the time to visit the porch again this week. If you have any suggestions for more poems, don't be shy, just ask in comments, and I'll add them to my list. But if you are shy, you are welcome to email me haha.

With that said, I wish you all well and hope to see you again next week.

© 2020 John Hansen


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

Yes, Denise, trains have a special appeal. I am glad I captured the feeling in the poem.

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

Thank you Rasma. I hope you get to visit Australia one day.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on October 07, 2020:

Beautifully done. I do love the train poem. I haven't been to Queensland (more's the pity) but I have been on a train and you captured it so well. That feeling of traveling into the past is just how I felt.



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

Loved them all particularly the poetic train journey in Australia, I would love to see the country.

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

Hello Neha. It is nice to see a new face in my comments. I appreciate your kind words.

Neha J from Delhi on October 07, 2020:

Very interesting poems. Thanks for the explanation about the Rrictameter. I enjoyed your poems. Thank you.

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

Thank you MsDora. I too love the stars.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 06, 2020:

You taught us so many things in this session on the porch. All excellent pieces of excellence, but my favorite poem is the one about stars. Thank you.

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

Chitrangada, thank you for reading and I am glad you enjoyed the variety of poetry here, also the video. I hope the elections go well and bring some sense of renewed peace and cooperation.

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

Thanks Linda. I am glad you found the Australian Trains poem to be informative.

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

Nithya, I am happy that you enjoyed these poems. Thank you for reading.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on October 05, 2020:

You have provided a lot of variety in this edition of the poems from the porch, and I enjoyed reading all of them.

Good of you to explain, what is Rictameters form of poetry.

I enjoy the train journeys and thanks for sharing this wonderful video.

Like others, we are also watching the news of the upcoming elections. Whoever wins, should do good for their country, it’s people and the World.

Thank you for sharing this. Have a great week.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 04, 2020:

I enjoyed reading your poems, especially the one about the trains. It was interesting to learn some things about Australia by reading the poem.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 04, 2020:

A lovely collection of poems, I enjoyed reading them. Star Gazing on a Winter's Night and Trains of Australia are my favorite. The rictameter poems are well penned.

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

Hi Brenda. A lot of railway lines that used to run from town to town were ripped up apart from the main tourist and coal routes and the capital city suburban routes. I used to work for the railways and travelled on most of the long distance trains on my holidays.

I enjoy writing poems from other’s suggestions. The results often surprise me

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on October 03, 2020:


I like the one about the train the best.

Maybe because you are so familiar with riding them or maybe because we do not have them here.

Once n while there will be an old train just for a day trip to another city to make money for some cause but I have not had the privilege to take part on the days it is scheduled. (Only once a year)

Thanks for sharing your poetry with us.

You are quick to come up with everyone's suggestions.

A sign of a great writer.

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

Hey Farah. I do love a challenge I must say. I just do my best and see what happens. Thank you for your encouragement, but your poetry indicates you are also very creative. Glad you enjoyed Star Gazing.

Farah N Huq from Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 03, 2020:

You do know how to take on challanges! Loved them all, as always! Specially loved the one about star gazing. I wish I had your creative porch!

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

What a wonderful comment Li-Jen. I try to keep the poems different and fresh, so yes like watering the plants I guess.

I do have a passion for trains because I worked in the railways for 17 years. Rictameter was fun to attempt too. Thank you again.

Li-Jen Hew on October 03, 2020:

Hi Jodah, thank you for watering the plants in your porch! By that, I mean there is always something new to look forward from your Poems from the Porch series and it's refreshing. Good to see you try out rictameter. You manage to write the poems in a special way and finish it off gracefully when the poem gradually shortens at the end. Your passion for trains is evident in the poem and it's nice to see someone write enthusiastically. I look forward to see you attempt more challenges too.

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

It is great to see you visiting the porch today Rinita. I appreciate your generous comment about these poems, and I am especially pleased that my Rictameters turned out ok. Hope you have a great weekend.

Rinita Sen on October 03, 2020:

Outstanding verses today. That poem about star gazing is so unique. And thank you for taking us through an amazing train ride around Australia. Your love for your country is evident in both poems.

As for the Rictameters, I really didn't think you'd take my suggestion seriously. The fact that you did just shows what a generous human being you are. Of course, I already knew you'd churn out top-quality Rictameters on your first try, and I wasn't wrong. Have a good day, John.

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

Glad you got to vote early, Flourish. What a relief to have that out of the way. It is good to try a few different forms of poetry now and then. Thanks for reading.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 02, 2020:

We have already early voted. The lines were long but being disabled I was permitted to drive up and have them bring my ballot right out to my car. It’s a good feeling knowing I have that taken care of. January 20 cannot come fast enough.

I really liked that different poetic form and what you did with it. My favorite poems of yours are the funny or clever ones.

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

Hi MizB. Yes that old English poetry was certainly a turn off for most kids. There is so many different types of poetry to explore now, and I am learning new ones to experiment with all the time. Poetry doesn’t have to be boring.

Yes, I just heard about your dear president Being taken to hospital and undergoing experimental treatment..let’s see what happens. What goes around comes around, they say. We have applied for a postal vote this year so we don’t have to risk attending a polling booth. You stay safe too.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on October 02, 2020:

Very enjoyable poems from the porch today, John. I'd never heard of rictameters before, at least I don't recall the term. I didn't like poetry when I studied it in school because it was all Victorian or old English (lower case "o" is intended), so I studied it as little as possible. My loss, I guess. I like today's modern writers like Maya Angelou and the poets like you whom I meet on HP.

You noted that our elections (Australia's and the U.S.) would be interesting this year. Ours may be getting verrrry much so, since the president has just been taken to Walter Reed Hospital with COVID. This is one case of a man facing repercussions from practicing what he preaches. So keep that mask on in public and stay safe, my Australian friend.

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

Hello Pamela. Thanks for reading and enjoying the poems. What kid doesn’t love trains? I have written a poem awhile back about the first snowfall..fir billybuc I think, but I can do another. Even though I have never experienced it.

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

Hi Kalpana, I had heard of Rictameters before but had never attempted to write one. My efforts may not be the best, but I will keep practicing. Yes, we learn new things every day.

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

Yes, I liked that pinup caption, Anupam. Glad you did too, as well as the poems. The trains are pretty incredible. Thanks for reading.

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

Cheers Milicent. We await with baited breath.

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

Thanks for your kind words, Ankita. Glad you enjoyed “Star Gazing..”

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

Thank you Peg. The election outcome will, I am sure, be interesting to say the least. Some will be happy, some won’t, either way.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 02, 2020:

This aritcle has a nice variety of poem topics and enjoyed them all. I took a train by myself when I was 12 to go see my uncle. It was from Cleveland, Ohio to Cincinnati, Ohio. I really loved in then and still like trains.

I always loved the first snowfall when I lived up north. If you haven't done a poem such as that it would be nice to read one. Thanks, John.

Kalpana Iyer from India on October 02, 2020:

Hearing about rictameters for the first time. The concept is really interesting. The things you learn every day by just browsing through Hubpages. Had a good time reading your poems.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on October 02, 2020:

Wow John! The Caption is awesome.

Great collection of Rictameter. Loved all your poems in though I vote for

"the labours fruit" and the trains.

My husband has visited Australia in 2012. When he came back he told me about the trains of Australia. It was like a fairy tale.

Millicent Okello from Nairobi, Kenya on October 02, 2020:

The Orient Express,

How i love the onset of the elections getting closer. Wow

Ankita B on October 02, 2020:

Wonderful poems. I especially liked "Star Gazing on a Winter's Night". Its always so good to read your beautifully penned poems.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 02, 2020:

Your poems were so much fun to read. Wishing both of our countries luck in choosing the best leaders going forward.

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

Thank you, Rajan. Yes, I thought Bill’s request was due to his recent porch extension. I have written a few COVID related poems, but can always write another.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 02, 2020:

Very enjoyable poems from your porch, John. Reading the one asked for by Bill reminds me of the porch expansion he just did. He must truly be enjoying the fruits of his hard labour sitting there.

I hope you write a poem on the current crisis affecting the world - "COVID". Thanks in advance.

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

Linda, I am sure your daughter would absolutely love these train journeys. Some take three days from start to finish. Thank you for reading. Writing the rictameter poems was interesting.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 02, 2020:

Rictameter—that's a new one for me, and you handled it well. Again, all of these were enjoyable. My favorite was "Trains of Australia." My older daughter is an adult but lives with us (she is disabled). She LOVES trains. Many times we've ridden the train from our town to Centralia and back (a day trip) because it gives her so much pleasure. I can imagine riding across Australia with her enjoying the beautiful scenery. Thank you for the journey.

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

My pleasure, Bill. Good luck with your election. I hope it unfolds the way you want. Ours could go either way but fires crossed.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 02, 2020:

Great fun for sure, John, and I appreciate your ode to rennovation. Thank you, sir! You did not disappoint. "It's time" for sure!!!

Good luck with your elections. I'm feeling pretty confident about ours.

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

Thank you for reading he’s Mary. I hope you do get to come back to Australia and travel on those trains to see more of the country.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 02, 2020:

I enjoyed reading these poems. Reminds me of our start gazing in the cottage. I wish to be on the Indian Pacific and The Ghan. I had been to Sydney for a conference but not beyond that in Australia. Hopefully, after COVID lockdown.

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

Sorry about the political commentary bringing you a dose of unfortunate reality, Shauna. I never ave much to say regarding politics but with elections coming closer I thought I would. Wow, thanks for sharing about Trump and his wife having COVID. I am sure that will have some affect on the election...quite ironic though. Thank you for visiting the porch once again...the stars are bright from here.

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

Hi Eric, I guess I cheated with writing one about trains just to get likes . Glad you like the styles I used with these poems too. Yes, we are liable to be fined if we don’t vote so most of us turn up. Our voting system is pretty simple and I think effective too.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 02, 2020:

John, although the title is "Poems From the Porch", I was jolted into reality after getting through your political intro. I must need another cup of coffee!

My favorite of these is "Star Gazing on Winter's Night". I love looking at the stars. Sadly, it seems our Florida skies have become so hazy over the past decade or so, that they seem intermittent rather than dazzling sparkles filling every inch of the dark skies as they once were.

On a political note, Trump and his wife have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in lockdown. Quite the statement for his response to the pandemic, don't you think? And just before elections. Something that will be forefront in voters' minds, me thinks.

Have a wonderful weekend, my friend. I wish you a starry, starry night.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 02, 2020:

I am a sap for trains - so that one could have stunk and I would still like it. Of course it surpassed the bar. What cool styles you have here. I like them. I like the clean joke. My boy at ten is full of them. By thirteen I shall have to teach him about "mixed company" rules.

I find your system of compulsory voting quite interesting. And I wish we had 3 parties. I may be a strange duck but I have full confidence in both our systems.

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

Thank you as always, Lorna. It is a wonderful feeling to know your poetry as appreciated, especially by fellow poets.

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

Thank you for visiting the porch and reading these poems, Charlie. I am glad you enjoyed them.

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

Hi Ann. Thank you for requesting the poem on Australian Trains through your own article about your love of trains. The “tilt trains” run from Brisbane to Rockhampton in Queensland and travel at a speed of 160 kph (100 mph.) I am glad you found this a thrilling ride.

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

Devika, I greatly appreciate your generous words. I admit my writing has improved aa lot over the years here at HubPages.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 02, 2020:

What a great set of poems, John! It was a thrill from start to finish and I really enjoyed the ride on the trains. I'd totally forgotten that I'd asked for that!

All have such good rhythm and expression. I didn't know there was a tilt train; must investigate that further.

Thanks for the entertainment.

Keep well!


Charlie Halliday from Scotland on October 02, 2020:

Another great visit to the porch John.

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

Rosina, thank you for always reading my work. I am lad you liked these poems, especially “Trains of Australia.”

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on October 02, 2020:

Thanks John. We also enjoyed the people who were so friendly and accommodating. Your border control was very thorough and the people there, very cordial but approachable. At the main gateway at Perth.

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

Hi Diana, yes, Australia is certainly a land of contrasts. Thank you for your supportive comment.

Lorna Lamon on October 02, 2020:

I never fail to be delighted by your poetry John and this collection is no exception. Loved the poem written in the 'Rictameter' style, and you certainly brought the spirit of the outback alive in this wonderful poem about trains of Australia.

The poem I requested has an ethereal feel to it and I particularly enjoyed the first verse, which was so peaceful. Another lovely collection written from the heart.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 02, 2020:

Hi John your poems are so well-expressed and with such great meaning.At first when I noticed your work I wasn't sure of your next step in writing will be. I see that you have compiled many poems and share interesting and hubs that send positive messages across to s. Well done on another great piece of work.

Rosina S Khan on October 02, 2020:

A lovely collection of poems again although I am new to rictameters. Ann's requested poem, "Trains of Australia" is my fave this week and I enjoyed it the most. Looking forward to the next episode of "Poems from the Porch", John.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on October 02, 2020:

Thanks John for sharing your poems. Loved the train one, through Australia. We visited it twice and it is a country with many contrasts.

Your poetry is also very entertaining. We need a laugh or three :)

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