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Poems From the Porch 47

John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.

Image by Finn Jørgensen from Pixabay

Image by Finn Jørgensen from Pixabay

Storm Season

I started to write these poems as I sat on the porch, as usual, watching the sky get darker and darker. Finally, the heavens opened and down came the rain, forcing me inside. Not just rain, but thunder and lightning too. We have had a storm or two on each of the last three days and each one seems heavier and more violent than those preceding it. The weather bureau forecasts more of the same over the rest of the week. I'm not complaining because all rain is welcome here (we can never have too much), and so far we have been fortunate not to lose power.

We have a dog, Omo, who is terrified of storms (and fireworks) and she is currently hiding under the bed. I love the rain, but we don't want hail or severe wind damage. Yesterday there was flash flooding in Brisbane and areas in the south of the state. At first, it seems like a welcome relief from the recent rising daytime temperatures, but after the rain is gone it is even more uncomfortable due to the increase in humidity.

I would normally say, "It's perfect weather for ducks," but because of the subject of the first poem, let's say, "It's great weather for manatees."

Manatee: Image by PublicDomainImages from Pixabay

Manatee: Image by PublicDomainImages from Pixabay

The Manatee

Have you seen the Manatee,

the Sea Cow or Dugong?

Mistaken once for mermaids

by those at sea too long.


A manatee's tail's paddle-shaped,

a dugong's like a whales.

Were these the sirens of Greek myth,

and ill-fated sailor's tales?


A gentle giant that grazes

on mangrove and seaweed,

some species now endangered,

so man's help they will need.


They're related to the elephant

and once walked on the Earth,

evolving to live in the seas.

For what that theory's worth.


Like dolphins in intelligence,

they can be taught to interact.

As mammals, they are quite long-lived,

up to 70 years in fact.


Propellered boats, their greatest threat,

and mangrove habitat destruction.

Dugongs are the most vulnerable

taking five years for reproduction.


Let's help these docile creatures

continue to survive.

Protect them and their habitat

in the hope, the species thrives.


Sunflowers: Image by Hans Linde from Pixabay

Sunflowers: Image by Hans Linde from Pixabay

The Sunflowers

We are the faithful sun-worshippers,

and this is our claim to fame.

We always shall tower

both the flower

and the power,

turning heads every day the same.


We were here from the very beginning,

and before the coming of man.

And we are still here

through the years

full of tears,

despite the wheat, barley, and bran.


We never would bow to invaders,

but raise our proud heads to the sky.

When introduced grain

a piece of fame

tried to claim,

we scoffed at their meagre reply.


We laughed when the farmer attacked us,

his ploughing braced us for a fight.

Whenever he sowed

rainwater flowed

sometimes it snowed,

we turned to face west come the night.


The Sun’s always there to defend us,

we embrace the warmth of his rays.

When other flowers droop

bow their heads

In a group,

We welcome the hot summer days.


We are the plants known as “sunflowers,”

a name we are proud to relate.

So please sing our song

summer long

ever strong,

as we worship the sun with our faith.

I believe in evolution. But I also believe, when I hike the Grand Canyon and see it at sunset, that the hand of God is there also.

— John McCain

Arizona Sunset: Image by Gene Taylor from Pixabay

Arizona Sunset: Image by Gene Taylor from Pixabay

Sunsets

The red and purple brush-strokes

slashed across the western sky,

as the sun starts it’s descent

behind the mountains high.


As twilight slow approaches

The sunset paints the sky

across the wide horizon,

a pleasure to the eye.


Gaze upward in wonder,

in amazement and in awe

at God’s amazing work of art.

There’s so much more in store.


No two sunsets are the same,

each one a unique view,

Bringing each day to an end,

for sunrise to start the new.

I feel you are a romantic at heart John and perhaps a poem about 'All roads lead to you' would be nice.

— Lorna Lamon

All Roads Lead Back to You

I’ve travelled all around the world

from New York to Kathmandu,

but no matter which way I turn

all roads lead back to you.


From Singapore to Paris, France,

and to Lima in Peru,

wherever I am travelling from

all roads lead back to you.


By foot or car or camel train,

over mountains cloaked in snow,

across Sahara’s burning sands,

or down the Nile’s swift flow.


Past pirates on the Ivory Coast,

and pick-pockets in Cebu,

kidnappers in Colombia,

all roads lead back to you.


Now, finally, I’m heading home,

back to family and friends.

I’ve been away from you too long,

and adventures have to end.


Though far-off places call my name,

and I’m restless, that is true,

from north or south, east or west,

all roads lead back to you.

Choose Your Favourite Poem

© 2020 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on November 07, 2020:

My pleasure Brenda. Stay warm.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 07, 2020:

John,.

Our first signs if snow a few days back and now we have afternoon temperatures in the 70's...thanks for sending me a few more warm days.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on November 07, 2020:

Thank you so much, Nithya. Always great to receive your comments.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on November 07, 2020:

A wonderful collection of poems, I enjoyed reading them all. I loved the poems about The Sunflowers and Sunsets, so beautifully expressed.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on November 05, 2020:

Thanks for reading these poems, Jason. Yes, manatees are cute creatures. I’d love to have one as a pet but I don’t have a swimming pool and I don’t think my bathtub is big enough to accommodate one. Cheers.

Jason Nicolosi from AZ on November 05, 2020:

Excellent set of poems John. I enjoyed them all. The poem about Manatee may have been my favorite (just because I'm partial to Manatees). I've always loved Manatees ever since I can remember. They are amazing and unusual animals. Plus they are adorable.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on November 05, 2020:

Thanks Tim. Much appreciated.

Timothy Whitt from New Jersey on November 05, 2020:

I read them when I can. I also enjoyed The Owl and The Pussycat Go to the Seaside.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on November 05, 2020:

Good to see you visit the porch, Tim. Thank you for the generous comment. I enjoy what you write too.

Timothy Whitt from New Jersey on November 05, 2020:

John, as always I love reading your poems. You are so very talented

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on November 02, 2020:

Hi Brenda. Thanks for sharing which poems were your favourites here. The rain seems to have gone now and days are fine and warm, but with a pleasant breeze. I don’t envy you with the cold starting and first signs of snow, though I would like to experience it one day.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 02, 2020:

John,

These are all good, but my favorite is the one on sunsets and the one for Lorna...back to you.

We had our first snow flurries here...with bitter cold wind blowing all day yesterday....so I kinda yearn for the warmer temperatures and rain you all are having now.

Have a great day.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 31, 2020:

Yes, John, I saw both your and Marisa's comments. I'm following that forum very closely.

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on October 31, 2020:

Thank you for the manatee poem, John. I've never had the opportunity to see one in person or pet one. I guess the petting has been discouraged because when manatees get too familiar with humans, the contact with motor blades become too much of a hazard.

In my grade school and high school years, the family dog Boots always needed to come into the garage during thunderstorms. She was an outdoor dog by nature.

Your poetic lines flow well enough, but the "All Roads Lead Back to You" was your best.

I think poetry is the foundation of creative writing. Blessings!

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on October 31, 2020:

Yes instead of molding ridiculous presumptions. We appreciate your prayers:-)

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 31, 2020:

Chrish, thank you for taking the time to read these poems in the wake of an impending typhoon. I pray you are safe.

Chrish Canosa from Manila Philippines on October 31, 2020:

My favorite is sunsets! Those lines are just ahhh

The five poems is worth to read ;-)

And oh super typhoon will land in the philippines anytime soon :'(

I love rain but I'm scared of wind

May God help us. Happy weekend a bunge of love from the philippines

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 30, 2020:

Shauna, I don’t like either option either. I have a suspicion this series will stay on HubPages because they rate it so lowly...most of the hub scores are in the low 60s. The only way they would be moved I think is if I removed all reference to Poems From the Porch and had each as a stand-alone anthology.

They still haven’t said that comments will not be reactivated on the niche sites, though they keep finding things more important to implement like discover.hubpages.

Did you see in the forum, Marisa said how it was sad to return here and see that people were now using comments for their social discussion instead of forums? I replied it was already that way before she left and has been since I started here...she just wouldn’t have realised because she wasn’t in the circle of comment exchange.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 30, 2020:

John, one of two things will happen: 1) this series will be moved to discover, which means no comments/fuel for the series, for now; or 2) it will remain on HP where the series will stay alive, but you'll receive no income.

I don't like either option.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 30, 2020:

Hi Rinita, yes it is fortunate that Letterpile doesn’t allow series so people can still comment on Poems From the Porch. It is a little worrying what will happen with the next change and the introduction of the new tier between HubPages and the niche sites called: discover.hubpages. We just have to wait and see. Thank you for following the series and appreciating my poetry.

Rinita Sen on October 30, 2020:

Thankfully this series doesn't go to letter pile. So even if I'm delayed I can still comment. Loved the series, especially the road leads back to you, and it was interesting to read about the manatee.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 30, 2020:

Hello Centfie, thank you for visiting. It is always good to see a new face and your generous comment is mush appreciated. I agree, nature provides endless material for writers and artists.

Centfie from Kenya on October 30, 2020:

Nature provides endless opportunities for poetic expression. These are beautifully crafted.

manatita44 from london on October 29, 2020:

I meant 'far.' in that last line.

Manatees are new to me.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on October 29, 2020:

Thank you manatita. Take care bro.

manatita44 from london on October 29, 2020:

I love the manatees the best, although I voted for the last. They are both good. Sunflowers are so beautiful! The poem deserves some more power, sublimity and light, like the energy of the sun.

The first stanza, last line of Manatees, remove 'at sea.' The second line is 6 syllables and so give the last line six also. It balances the cadence. Peace.

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

Thank you, Linda and Lynne. Yes, I agree manatees and dugongs are very interesting creatures. I am glad you both enjoyed that poem.

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

MizB, thank you for bringing my attention to those songs that already have that title. It seems as though there must be no copyright on song names..maybe they need to be so many years apart. it is the lyrics and music you have to be most careful not to copy. I may have to listen to those other songs and make sure my words are totally unique.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 28, 2020:

I love reading poems about nature. I think that manatees and dugongs are very interesting animals. Thank you for writing about them, John.

Lynne Samuel from Malaysia on October 28, 2020:

I love the Manatee poem, so fun and entertaining!!

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on October 28, 2020:

John, I just can't pick a favorite. The sunflower is a sweet poem about a beautiful flower with tasty seeds. The birds and I love the seeds. Make mine toasted. As soon as I saw the title "All Roads Lead Back to You," it rang a bell. So I googled it and found about five versions of a song by that title, including one by Ronnie Millsap, which I probably played when I was a country DeeJay. I guess there's always room for one more.

Anyway, as usual, I enjoyed your very talented work.

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

That is great Greg, wow you sure are multi-talented. I look forward to it.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on October 28, 2020:

John - that is awesome! Listen, and no kidding...I have an idea for a melody for this, so if your friend is interested, I'd be willing to share. In fact, I'll share regardless if I can sort it out on a keyboard and send it with you. Look for an e-mail with an almost incoherent melody on a piano. It's coming your way soon.

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

Thanks Shauna, will do.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 28, 2020:

Keep us posted, John. This really needs to be played on the radio.

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

Hello, Shauna, I hope all is well with you. Thank you for seconding Greg’s suggestion about “All Roads Lead Back to You.” I do know a singer, as I told him, who has been working on converting my other other poems Into a song for sometime. It was supposed to have been released this year, but Covid interrupted that. I could run it by her and see what she thinks. Thanks for reading once again.

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

Hey Greg, it’s too easy just letting you read haha. I am glad you feel you could close your eyes and imagine the Suset as someone read that poem to you. Thanks also suggesting that “All Roads Lead Back to You,” could make it as a song. I actually do have contacts with a singer in the UK but not sure if this would suit her or not. As Shauna suggested, maybe a country singer.

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

Thank you for reading, Tiyasha. Take care.

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

Thank you Kalpana. I love nature. Your visit and comment is greatly appreciated.

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

Hello Linda. Sunflowers seem to evoke memories of different places in my readers which is wonderful, and I am pleased that those who have travelled can also relate to the last poem. Thank you for always reading my work. Have a great night.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 28, 2020:

I agree with Box, John. "All Roads Lead Back to You" should be put to music. You could have the next country hit attributed to you as the songwriter.

I'd seek out some musicians and see if anyone will take the bait. It's that good.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on October 28, 2020:

John - no fair making us pick! I enjoyed each poem successively, though I ended up landing on the last one. You hit the long ball with all of these, but you knocked that one out of the park, as it were. It is poetry, but I think I can hear a tune with it, too, making it lyrical for me. I believe it could be a wonderful, solemn, haunting, love song. Really great work all across the board, brother John.

BTW, I do believe also that you far surpassed my sunrise effort with your sunset effort. If I could have closed my eyes and had someone read it to me, I could have seen the sunset. Your poetry was so descriptive and graphic it conjured the ebbing sun in all its glory.

Tiyasha Maitra from Gurgaon on October 28, 2020:

Lovely collection John.

Kalpana Iyer from India on October 28, 2020:

All are wonderful, but I particularly enjoyed all roads lead back to you! Your poems bring me joy, because they capture all the elements of nature.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 28, 2020:

John, how can I pick just one? Each of these is unique and entertaining. I've never seen a manatee and probably never will. Sunflowers remind Ann of France; for me it's Italy. I remember being on a train bound for Tuscany. All roads lead back to you is sweet and romantic. Thank you for brightening my day.

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

It is always a pleasure to receive your comments Ann. I enjoy writing this series and hope we never run out of topics.

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

Thank you Eric, you are always welcome to visit my humble porch.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 28, 2020:

I couldn't choose a favourite, John. They're all so entertaining.

I saw a dugong at Sydney's aquarium; fascinating creature, feeding on a seaweed substitute that I can't remember the name of.

Sunflowers remind me of France, especially the south, and our local sunsets over the sea rank among the best I've seen.

Your last poem is romantic and it's always good to come home, wherever we've been.

Thanks for the entertainment this afternoon, John.

Ann

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 28, 2020:

Every one just fantastic. What wonderful topics. Thank you friend. I think all of these are one of my favorite subjects to a degree.

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

Hi Rosina, it seems that poem is a popular choice. Thank you for your continued support. It is always greatly appreciated.

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

Thank you for the generous comment, Ankita. It humbles me that you enjoy my work.

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

Thank you for saying you liked all these poems, Peg. Because I write poetry for people as a freelance writer on all different topics, I thought why not do that from prompts my friends at HubPages give me as well.

Rosina S Khan on October 28, 2020:

John, I am amazed by this collection of poems! Like many, I had difficulty choosing a favorite but Lorna's requested poem, "All Roads Lead Back to You" is outstanding and naturally my favorite. You simply rock! Haha.

Ankita B on October 28, 2020:

I loved all the poems in this collection and it is really hard to choose one. Beautiful descriptions and creatively penned. Always enjoy reading your work.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 28, 2020:

You did a great job with each of these poems, and even though I requested the one on manatees, I could not choose just one as a favorite. Your poetry about the different subjects amazes me!

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

Thank you for visiting Mark. I am glad you can relate to “All Roads Lead Me Back to You.” I appreciate your comment.

Mark Lecuona from Austin, Texas on October 28, 2020:

Beautiful, soothing work. I agree with Lorna about All Roads... I feel the same way about someone over here...

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

Thank you Bill. Smiles are the best accolade of all.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 28, 2020:

They all made me smile. No favorite among them, just a basketful of smiles, and for that I thank you, friend! Well done!

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

Hi Chitrangada. Thank you for the lovely comment. Yes, I enjoyed writing “All Roads Lead Back to You” so glad you enjoyed reading it.

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

Hello Shauna. You are too kind but I always treasure your comments. It really makes it a joy to share one’s writing. I thought those two poems the best too. Take care.

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

Thank you Flourish. I moved a lot too, but always within Australia..never abroad. Glad you could relate.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on October 28, 2020:

Beautiful collection of poems.

I enjoyed each one of them. 'All roads lead back to you'-- is just so heartfelt.

Thanks for sharing another wonderful edition. Stay safe.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 28, 2020:

John, I can't choose which is my favorite. They're all so beautiful and touch on varying wonders of life. Two of them really stood out for me, tho: The Sunflowers, and All Roads Lead Back to You. I really felt your soul in the last one. I sense it came very easily to you; it just poured onto the page.

I look forward to your poetry each week, John. You bring brightness to the world!

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

Hello Pamela. I am glad you are pleasantly surprised by the subjects of the poems each week. Sometimes people suggest subjects I have written about before, but not often. Glad your storms have eased, it seems we are surrounded at the moment and when one goes another hits from a different direction.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 28, 2020:

As someone who has moved a lot, I really enjoyed the one about all roads leading back. Well done!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 28, 2020:

You have such unique topic today and it is difficult to pick a favorite, John. I liked them all, but 'All Roads Lead Back to You' is my favorite. I always look forward to seeing what topics you have covered when I know another array of poems on the porch is ready for us to read.

I hope the storms don't get too rough. We had a few days of storms and some rain every day a couple of weeks ago but it has calmed down here.

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

Hi Lorna. I try to make the poems all a little different from one another for some variety in style. I am glad you felt I captured the longing for home in 'All Roads Lead Back to You.' thank you for the comparison the Seamus Heaney. That is a huge compliment. Thank you for sharing with your friends.

Lorna Lamon on October 28, 2020:

Each poem showcases your very unique style John and I enjoyed them all. However, 'All Roads Lead Back to You' captured that longing I used to have when I travelled. Your poetry reminds me of Seamus Heaney's work, effortless with a natural flow. Enjoying this selection on my work tea-break and sharing them with friends, (your Irish fan base).

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

Thank you Diana. Glad I described the manatees ok. We have dugongs in this part of the world. Brisbane is a nice city to visit or vacation at. I lived and worked there in my younger days. I have a son there now.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on October 28, 2020:

Love your poems, John. The manatees are so gentle and you described them perfectly. Brisbane must be a great place to go for a vacation. My daughter and son-in-law went there years ago and loved the balmy holiday atmosphere.

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

Thank you Liz. Suset and sunrise are a photographer's dream. Have fun planting those seeds and grow lots of sunflowers.

Liz Westwood from UK on October 28, 2020:

This is a great selection, as ever. We were recently given sunflower seeds at a socially distanced wedding. The plan is for guests to plant them and take photos. Hopefully at a post-covid celebration, the photos can be displayed. Sunset and sunrise are my most photographed times of the day. I have learnt a lot about manatees and your travel poem was excellent.