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Poems From the Porch 49

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


Approaching the Half Century

Would you believe this is the 49th anthology in this series and that I have written almost 160 poems that you, the readers, requested? Poems From the Porch just started out as an experiment to see if I could gain enough interest from my readers to actually make suggestions for poems they would like to see written, as well as a test to see if I could actually write those poems to order.

The fact that we are approaching the 50th article in the series is testimony that it has been a success, despite many of them having a very low hub score and not deemed worthy of the niche sites. At least they are making Discover, so they will earn something. You just need to be quick to comment.

I'd just like to thank everyone who has been following the series and giving me prompts to write about to keep it going. Oh, and for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving - have a great one despite any restrictions you may be under this year.

Have you written a poem about where your Muse hides? A few days ago I told Audrey that mine is an old hag lurking in the back of the pantry with the jam and jelly jars.

— Linda Lum (Carb Diva)

Where My Muse Hides

My muse can be elusive,

she keeps the oddest hours,

avoids me when I seek her,

and prods me in the shower.

She'll find me when I'm working

in the garden or the yard,

or sometimes strikes at midnight

making sleeping just too hard.

Sometimes she's in my study

lurking behind books.

But if I try to rouse her

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she gives me dirty looks.

I often find her in the lounge,

reclining on a chair,

but when I try to relax

she ruffles up my hair.

I cannot tell her what to do,

Her mind is hers alone.

I try to show her I am boss,

but she sits upon the throne.

My muse tries to appease me

when I'm feeling all forlorn.

She's like a queen in a game of chess

and I'm her faithful pawn.

Whenever my muse won't oblige,

or stubbornly tries to hide,

I concentrate on other things

until she deems the time is right.

But, I would never trade my muse,

she's my perfect writing guide.

She knows my passions and my style.

I just surf the rising tide.

Sometimes she’s in my study lurking behind books

Sometimes she’s in my study lurking behind books

Here's a suggestion for you: please write a poem about the first time you laid eyes on your firstborn child. As adults, our "firsts" are few and far between. But when we meet our firstborn, that "first" stays with us for a lifetime.

— Shauna L Bowling

Laying Eyes on My First-born Child

At first sight, she took me captive,

I couldn’t tear my eyes away.

Nine months I’d waited anxiously

And this was finally the day.

My daughter was small but perfect,

She had such tiny hands and feet.

My feelings are hard to describe,

But those emotions can’t be beat.

I know I had tears in my eyes

Because she was my first-born child.

I kissed my wife with tenderness,

And we exchanged “job well-done” smiles.

Image by Regina Petkovic from Pixabay

Image by Regina Petkovic from Pixabay

If you have not already written a poem about that, collecting postage stamps might make a good subject. I still collect them. My dad started doing that when I was a child. Some countries like Monaco make gorgeous ones!

— Peggy Woods

Stamp Collecting

Most people


it's addictive.

There's something

they cannot resist.

You may collect


teddy bears,

or toys.

It could be shoes,


or guns.

You may collect


or banknotes,

famous paintings,

or prints

that are signed.

Maybe memorabilia

or photos,

but there's nothing

that's better

than STAMPS.

Every country

on Earth

needs postage

and unique

and diverse

are stamps.

Some stamps

are rare

and priceless,

to collectors

a wonderful


How about a poem on camping and all the potential things that can go wrong? The heated discussions my parents used to have whilst setting up camp were a source of great embarrassment to me as a child. I once witnessed someone paddling a canoe through their tent after a summer deluge.

— Liz Westwood

The Joys and Pitfalls of Camping

Camping is fun,

nothing quite compares.

Fresh air,


under the stars.

Fishing for trout

to cook in the pan.


what a wonderful


Erecting the tent-

oh, what a challenge!

Those poles,

and the ropes,

and tent pegs.

Rain is a pain,

It floods out the tent.

Soaked bed,

and wet wood,

and no fire.

We must relocate,

to a drier locale,


and set up

camp again.

At least we have gas

to still cook our food,

but now

we have mosquitoes


Image by maria lorenz from Pixabay

Image by maria lorenz from Pixabay

© 2020 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 30, 2020:

Hello Mary, it sounds like our nurses must have gone to the same school of mischief. Thank you for reading.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 30, 2020:

I really enjoyed reading about your muse. It amused me as I can relate to it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 26, 2020:

Hi Rinita, that was just a small sample of stamps. I have a lot more, but stopped collecting them probably 40 years ago, and moved on to world coins and banknotes. Yes, I think most writers could relate to the muse poem. It is annoying when you want to sleep. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 26, 2020:

Thank you as always Devika. Glad you are still enjoying the series. As long as people are reading and making requests it will keep going.

Rinita Sen on November 26, 2020:

That's quite a collection you have of stamps. Good poem, too. The Muse was of course the favourite here. I'm sure all writers can relate. Mine prods me the most when I want to sleep. Oh well!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 26, 2020:

Hi Jodah Porch 49 has offered another perfect write. Great expressions from a great writer sharing what you have in mind.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Yes, Lora, my muse found me. I am glad you enjoyed these poems. I admit to still camping but in the comfort of a converted bus rather than a tent. Stay safe.

Lora Hollings on November 25, 2020:

It looks like you found your muse, John, or she found you! I loved your poem about her. A beautiful poem about your first-born child too. Such a nice tribute to fatherhood. The camping poem was very amusing. My camping days are long gone. I prefer to travel in comfort and stay in an Airbnb. Thank you for such a delightful time in reading your wonderful collection of poems!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Thank you for visiting the Porch, Holley. I probably should have continued collecting stamps as there are some beautiful ones around in the present times. thank you for the compliments about these poems and the series. I do my best to fill the requests.

Heidi Hendricks from Upstate New York on November 25, 2020:

That's quite an impressive stamp collection. Franklin Roosevelt collected them too. You are clearly proficient at your craft - it takes me ages to get just one or two lines down. I can see why this series has taken off. Congratulations on your upcoming 50th in the series!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Thank you for continuing to support this series, Alicia. Yes, I think most muses have a few things in common.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 25, 2020:

Thanks for continuing this series. It's always interesting. My favourite poem this time was the one about your muse. She sounds very similar to mine!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Hey Denise, thanks for reading. Glad you liked the “muse” poem and it gave you a laugh. She is very mischievous. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Shauna, thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed this collection. I am happy you liked your requested poem especially. Yes, my muse is a tricky one too. Glad you were able to comment.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Hello Pamela, I am happy that you enjoyed these poems and especially that you were able to comment on them. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Thank you for the kind words, Tiyasha. I am glad you enjoyed the muse poem, and were able to catch this on the feed before it was gone. Stay safe my friend.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Manatita, thanks, it’s good to get dad’s approval. Thanks for reading and enjoying. Glad you found the camp chair video humorous. Peace.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Peg, that was a collection I still have from childhood. My mother collected them and passed some down and Started me collecting. I haven’t been actively collecting for many years. I moved onto coins and banknotes.

It looks like this series will continue until I have no requests left....and I still have a substantial number. Thank you for the “three Rs” suggestion.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Hi Charlie. I am happy that you enjoyed the “first born” poem. Yes, children and grandchildren are a blessing. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Hey Bill. Yes, my followers are a loyal bunch and don’t want this series to end. I guess that proves poetry isn’t as dead as many profess. Thank you for being one of the supporters, and humpback whales will be added to the list. Have a good day.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Thanks Eric, it was nice to give you an enjoyable read with this somewhat varied collection. Yes, a camping trip can certainly be entertaining. 50 is the new 40....or is that 60, anyway onward and upward. Cheers, my friend.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on November 25, 2020:

My favorite has to be about the elusive muse. When you said she gives you dirty looks I broke out laughing. That is the best. Happy Thanksgiving.



Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on November 25, 2020:

Hi, John! Thank you for the wonderful job on my poem suggestion. It put a smile on my face, for sure.

I really like your response to Linda's challenge. I enjoyed following your muse who seems to like to play hide and seek. That must be a specialty for muses.

Just thought I'd pop in on my lunch break. I'm glad you left the back door open for me!

See you again soon, my friend!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 25, 2020:

This was a wonderful set of poems and you did justice to each one. I really loved the muse and when you first saw your daughter. I'm glad I could at least comment on the feed.

Tiyasha Maitra from Gurgaon on November 25, 2020:

A great set John. I especially enjoyed the personified concept of the muse. And also its perfect rhyme. Loved them. And good I caught it on the feed. Otherwise wouldn't have been able to comment if it had hit discovery. Stay safe and healthy dear friend.

manatita44 from london on November 25, 2020:

The humour in the camp chair got me. Awesome!

Immaculate themes in this one and you done well, my son, as dad would say. Excellent work!

Can't really remember what my son or daughter looked her. A long time ago! Peace.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 25, 2020:

I see that you also collect stamps! The muse poem was so much fun to read, and that camping trip had me smiling. I hope that you continue this series long into the future! You have a knack for turning just about any subject into prose worth reading.

The three Rs...reading, writing, and arithmetic might make for a cute one.

Charlie Halliday from Scotland on November 25, 2020:

Another fine collection John. My favourite is the first born child. Your feelings when you see that new born baby are so intense. I have been blessed to have felt them on 3 occasions with my own kids and 5 times with my grandkids.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 25, 2020:

I love how invested all of your followers are in this series, and the popularity of it is a testimony to your ability as a poet. Another fine collection, my friend. May this series live for another fifty and beyond. I'll toss a request into the winds: humpback whales!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 25, 2020:

Well I am satiated. Muse, stamps and camping. Just a wonderful read this morning John. 50 is cool. Congratulations. Stamps are cool too. So sad about the camping trip. I would like to have camped next to them for the entertainment.

Take care friend,


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Ok Ann, thank you. I will see what I can do.

Ann Carr from SW England on November 25, 2020:

How about an upbeat, optimistic poem about lockdown Christmas? Now there's a challenge!


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Thank you for continuing to support this series and read my poetry, Chitrangada. I loved your comment as always. Yes, it would have been good to write a Thanksgiving poem in this edition, however we should be expressing our thanks and gratitude all year round, so I can still write it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Rosina, you have been one of the greatest supporters of this series and I always appreciate your following and comments. I am happy that this edition helped to cheer you up. I don't really collect stamps anymore either. Though I still have one album of stamps I collected in my childhood (hence the photos.) Ok, I won't think of discontinuing the series.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Shafqat, thank you for reading and for your wonderful comment. I am glad that poem helped to answer your question, and yes, Keats was right, It will come "as leaves to a tree."

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 25, 2020:

Congratulations on reaching that wonderful milestone. I have always enjoyed this series, and I am glad that after so many changes, it is still going strong. Wish you all the best for the upcoming sessions.

I liked all the poems—First born is special no doubt, and I can relate to the emotions.

My younger son has great interest in collecting stamps, and I loved your stamp pictures.

I should have suggested the topic of, ‘Thanksgiving/ Gratitude’ earlier, so that you could have included a poem in this episode. Anyway, consider this as a suggestion for one of your future episodes. We can always be thankful for many reasons.

Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful day.

Rosina S Khan on November 25, 2020:

My mood was running low but when I found Poems from the Porch in my mail, I cheered up.

Congratulations on writing almost 160 poems in the series.

In today's episode, I have no faves because I love them all.

It is nice to reflect on which places one's muse can be found. About firstborn, I don't have children and so I don't have the experience. But I remember my youngest brother getting born when I was fifteen years and my mother going through the experience of nine months.

I collected stamps when I was a little girl and my Dad helped all the way. But I didn't continue the hobby. So when my mom came to know my youngest brother-in-law was still collecting stamps, she suggested gifting him my antique stamp album and I agreed.

Camping isn't my cup of tea either but I do love to watch other people's adventures via camping in movies and films.

That is all, John. Thank you for continuing the series. I know so many others like me count on the series so much. So never think of discontinuing it!

Shafqat M from UK on November 25, 2020:

Where My Muse Hides ... This is just wonderful! Some time back, we had this question popping up, whether poetry is conscious or unconscious expression of our thoughts, emotions, or feelings.

This poem answers ... The harder you try to get at it, the more it eludes you!

It will come "as leaves to a tree", so says Keats.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

My pleasure, Liz, and thank you for the request. I am happy that you enjoyed these.

Liz Westwood from UK on November 25, 2020:

This is, as ever, a great collection of poems. I admire your versatility in varying the style so much with each poem. Every poem captures the subject so well. Thanks especially for the camping one.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Thank you, Flourish. I really appreciate your comment.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 25, 2020:

I especially enjoyed the poems on the muse and the first-born child. This is a wonderful series and getting better!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 25, 2020:

Thank you for being the first to read, Ann. My camping these days is done in a mobile home/ converted bus....I hate erecting tents etc. glad I captured the muses well enough too, and thanks for the congratulations. There are still more poems to come.

Ann Carr from SW England on November 25, 2020:

This is a great collection on varied subjects, John! I particularly like the one about the muse - you've got it exactly.

Camping, mmm - not my favourite pastime. In fact, I've refused to be in a tent since my early 40s. A caravan or static, fine - you can enjoy the outdoors without getting a bad back!

Congratulations on publishing almost 50 and that's a lot of poems, every one a winner! Well done indeed!


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