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Poems From the Porch 52

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

My Study, where I write most things other then “Poems From the Porch.”

My Study, where I write most things other then “Poems From the Porch.”

And a New Year Begins

This is the first anthology written from the porch this year. If you are a new visitor, "Welcome. Pull up a chair, and get comfortable. It is a lovely day here, sun shining, warm but not hot. The coffee's and tea are brewing. A perfect day to sit and enjoy sharing some poetry. Oh, and just one rule: we are not going to make a single mention about anything that happened in the last year. Is that a deal?

For those new readers, I write these poems while sitting on my back porch. All are composed from topics suggested by my readers. If you have an idea for something you'd like made into a poem feel free to request it in the comments.

Ok, let's read some poetry requested by Rosina Khan, Renita Sen, and Linda Lum. I'd just like to add what wonderful suggestions they were.


Virgo: Image by DarkmoonArt_de from Pixabay

Virgo: Image by DarkmoonArt_de from Pixabay

By the way, I am a Virgo in my forties born on 5th September. I would like to request a poem: "What's So Special About Virgos?"

— Rosina S Khan

What Makes Virgos Special?

What makes Virgos special?

The other star signs ask.

They’re practical, sensible, and loyal,

And capture people’s hearts.


Virgos are hard-working,

They do whatever it takes

To complete a job successfully,

Even forgo sleep for its sake.


Creativity’s their passion,

Such as writing, dance, or art.

They’ll give it everything they’ve got

With their body and their heart.


Virgos are reliable,

They’ll never let you down.

They pride themselves on promptness,

When you need them they’re around.

When you hear of a Virgo woman who has outraged the laws of society, be sure you read between the lines.

— Linda Goodman


They’re more patient than others,

See the best in people too.

They give the benefit of the doubt

Without putting blame on you.


Virgos are kind and humble,

Helping out because they care.

They never look for accolades

And what they’ve got they’ll always share.


On intellectual debate

Virgos tend to thrive.

They’re loyal to their partners

And show interest in their lives.


They’re naturally shy and reserved

And take time to make real friends.

But once with someone, they connect

That friendship seldom ends.

Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay

Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay

.. I feel it's time for you to write about something dark again. You do real justice to negative feelings, they do touch every string of the heart. So how about a poem on lack of inclusivity in every strata of the society? I'll leave details to you, but something about how the excluded person feels might be good.

— Rinita Sen (Senorita)

Why Am I Not Included?

I feel like an outsider,

Acceptance is just a myth.

Society’s the light that tempts,

I’m the moth that can’t get in.


I yearn to feel included,

To contribute to the cause.

But the barriers that block my way

Just make me stop and pause.


They say, “We’re all one people,

Our values are the same.”

Hypocrites will say these things,

But their actions are to blame.


Diversity’s the common goal,

But inclusion is the key.

It’s all just smoke and mirrors,

Don’t believe what you can’t see.

Image by succo from Pixabay

Image by succo from Pixabay


This club, you see, is quite diverse

And anyone can join,

But I am treated like a freak.

There are two sides to a coin.


Rules are broken, words are cheap,

Laws bent by privileged few.

I just want equal treatment

For the likes of me and you.


I have the drive, knowledge, and skill

To be anything I choose.

Being treated like a leper

Is the worst form of abuse.


Don’t break the laws, just bend them,

Stand up for equal rights.

Keep breaking down the barriers,

In the end, we’ll win the fight.

Inclusion Within Diversity

Inclusion occurs when a diversity of people (e.g. of different ages, cultural backgrounds, or genders) feel valued and respected, have access to opportunities and resources, and can contribute their perspectives and talents to improve society.

— Diversity Council Australia

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

  • Diversity means the presence of a difference in any given situation. There can be diversity in ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation etc.
  • Inclusion is about people with different identities being made to feel welcome.

A good example of diversity and inclusion:

  • Diversity is being asked to the party.
  • Inclusion is being asked to dance.

Another term that should be included in any discussion about ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ is ‘equity.’

  • Equity ensures that everyone is given equal opportunities to grow and showcase their skills and talents. Equity acknowledges that barriers and advantages exist in each person’s life and as a result, not everyone starts from the same place. Equity aims to correct this imbalance.
Image by Sandro Bolognesi from Pixabay

Image by Sandro Bolognesi from Pixabay

Another one perhaps - I have a mischievous kitty, a stealth cat, who sneaks up on the kitchen counter and steals the dinner I'm cooking. He waits until I'm busy on the phone, and there goes the fish fillet.

— Linda Lum (Carb Diva)

Stealth-Cat

My kitty is quite mischievous,

I call him a “stealth-cat.”

Wily and sly like a fox

He has no taste for rats.


My cat thinks he’s a human,

Entitled to fine-dine.

Cat food is off the menu,

As food goes, he wants mine.


He waits until I’m busy

Elsewhere or on the phone,

Then sneaks up on the kitchen bench

And “poof!” - fish fillet’s gone.


Even though he’s naughty,

And as sneaky as can be,

I love my mischievous stealth-cat

And he returns that love to me.


I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"

Death thought about it.

CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.

— Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

My cat Nike (named because of the tick on his nose)

My cat Nike (named because of the tick on his nose)

One of My All-time Favourites

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.

© 2021 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 11, 2021:

Happy New Year to you also Li-Jen. I am glad you enjoyed these topics and also the poem about moving house which you requested. Thank you for visiting. Take care.

Li-Jen Hew on January 11, 2021:

Thank you!!

Li-Jen Hew on January 11, 2021:

Hi Jodah. Happy New Year to you and your family! Glad you that you're pursuing the porch series in 2021. Nice to know about the characteristics of a Virgo and the topic of diversity and inclusion. Also, I've read the poem that I've requested from the 50th instalment, about moving house. I can relate when you wrote "leave a part of you, in all your past locales". There's a feeling of nostalgia and freshness.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 05, 2021:

MizB, Tas is well trained...mice, not fish fillets. That is how it should be. Yes, I read about Virgo’s negative traits as well but I thought Rosina may prefer I left them out of her requested poem lol. I am sure your ex had a few of those. Thanks for visiting.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on January 05, 2021:

John, I enjoyed your poems written from your warm porch. I envy your January summers. It’s cold here. My favorite was, of course, the one about Linda’s Stealth Cat. My stealth cats love to catch mice, and Tas loves to eat them; too heck with the fish fillet. My ex was a Virgo. Did you know that all Zodiac signs have both positive and negative values. He is my ex, so which values do you think he exhibits more of? LOL

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 05, 2021:

Yes it is, Brenda. Glad you can see it :)

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on January 05, 2021:

I just now realized how Nike got his name.

It is indeed there...right in the picture.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 05, 2021:

Mary, I am glad you enjoy the humour sprinkled in my poems. Nike is a good boy and doesn’t normally steal any food, though he is the first to let you know when he is hungry. Have a great week.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 05, 2021:

I always enjoyed reading your poems because you always pepper them with humor. Wish you a nice day with Nike and I hope he leaves you some fillets.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 05, 2021:

Thank you, Osman. I am honoured that you enjoy reading them. Much appreciated.

Osman Ghazi on January 05, 2021:

love to read your hubs

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 04, 2021:

Rinita, I was hoping you had time to read this, and am grateful you enjoyed the poem you requested. I was pleasantly surprised how it rolled off the pen too, and learned some things as well. I hope the relocation goes smoothly. That can be stressful. Talk to you soon.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 04, 2021:

Thank you for always reading my work, Chitrangada. Diversity is a great concept but it needs to incorporate both exclusivity and equity to work the way it should. Glad you liked the Virgo poem too. Yes, let’s have a great year.

Rinita Sen on January 04, 2021:

Hi John. Thank you for incorporating my request. I'm amazed at how good the poem turned out. It had everything I was thinking, plus it ended on a positive note. And I also appreciate you attaching a few notes about diversity, inclusivity, and equity after the poem.

I'll come back to read your other writings another time. Right now super busy with all the relocation stuff. Take care.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 04, 2021:

A great start to the New year, by enjoying your creative thoughts in this edition of Poems from the porch.

The Virgo poem is special indeed.

Inclusion within diversity in society—I firmly believe in this concept and I liked going through your thoughts.

Thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful day and a great year ahead.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 04, 2021:

Hello Shreya, thank you for your generous comment. I am glad you liked that particular poem. I was happy with how it turned out.

Shreya Venkat on January 04, 2021:

Hi Jodah! Really loved this collection! Especially the poem about diversity and inclusion, a beautiful and thoughtful write indeed!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Hi Lora, yes, I think most cat lovers can relate to ‘Stealth-Cat.’ I don’ think many people consider the contrasts between diversity and inclusion and some problems intermixing the two. Harry Chapin was taken much too soon.

Lora Hollings on January 03, 2021:

All of these poems are splendid, John! My favorite was Stealth-Cat but I have a natural bias toward cats, anyway. The poem on Virgos was truly special and I enjoyed your wonderful insights on the poem about inclusivity. Thank you for underscoring the distinction between diversity and inclusion. Although people are allowed in one sense, they are rejected in another and that is in being treated as a real equal. The Harry Chapin song is one of my very favorites too!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Thank you for reading and commenting, Rajput. So glad to hear you loved these poems.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Thanks for visiting, Rasma. You have a great New Year too.

Rajput from London, United Kingdom. on January 03, 2021:

OMG I love them

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on January 03, 2021:

I enjoyed these very much a nice visit on the porch. Happy New Year!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Linda, what a coincidence that you have two Virgo nieces and two friends who are Virgos. Glad I got their traits right. I forgot your cat’s name was Pumpkin, maybe I could have included that. Going by the name, is he Ginger? Great idea...write that children’s book this year. I am sure it will be a better one.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Thank you for your generous comment, Peg. Haha what makes poets special people. I’ll have to ask someone else, but I will write a poem about it.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Thank you Brenda. Yes, I think we have given 2020 enough publicity and complained enough, let’s all just move on and concentrate on the one ahead. So glad you enjoyed these poems. Take care.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on January 03, 2021:

What a great way to begin the new year. I enjoyed all of these--I have two nieces and two very good friends who are Virgos and you have certainly described them perfectly.

Thank you for the "ode" to my kitty. Occasionally I receive a reminder from Facebook of things I have posted in past years--so many of them are Pumpkin's antics. My daughter says he's given me enough fodder to create a series of children's books. Perhaps I'll work on that in 2021.

Thank you for continuing this series. May this be a better year for all of us.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 03, 2021:

This is a great start to the new year. I loved each of these poems for different reasons. You are a master at writing these!

Here is a suggestion: What is it about poets that makes them special people?

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on January 03, 2021:

John,

I love your rule in the beginning.

I must say you are starting out the new year the right way.

Sitting out on the porch creating these wonderful poems.

I love the one for Rosina & I am certain she will enjoy it too.

The last one about the kitty cat is sweet too. I used to have a kityy cat that would steal chicken right from the skillet.

Take care and have a nice day.

Let's all continue to have a great year with no mention of the last.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Happy New Year, Jason. I am glad your reading for the year has started off with this particular set of poems. Thank you for your kind comment.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

I appreciate your comment, Bill. Yes, I suppose other poets could use the prompts that make this series to write poetry of their own. Now that is a challenge..writing a poem about Maggie, but I guess you have shared quite a bit, I can draw on, about her in your articles.

Jason Nicolosi from AZ on January 03, 2021:

Simple awesome. My new year of adventures in reading has begun with your amazing set of poems. Bravo. Great job. Happy New Year John!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

That my poetry is “real” is a fine compliment, Ruby. Yes, we are going to have a great year. Thank you for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Eric, I certainly do have a fine audience and one we have largely in common. I appreciate you reading these poems.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 03, 2021:

I love the one about inclusion, especially the first stanza. This series is like a writing prompt for poets, a great writing exercise, and you demonstrate it perfectly. Well done as always, my friend.

I've got one to tackle at your leisure.....my dog Maggie!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on January 03, 2021:

Your poetry is so real, the feelings and loves of many, and BTW, We are going to have a wonderful new year. Welcome 2021!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 03, 2021:

Thank you friend. Virgos, Inclusion and Linda's cat, what could be better? What a fine audience/friends that you have. It is a reflection on your good heart as illustrated by this poetry.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Thank you for your kind words, Pamela. Interesting that your husband is a Virgo. You didn’t say if he matched the profile :) Okay, I will add “gold and silver” to the list. Take care.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 03, 2021:

This is a great way to start the new year, John. Your unique poems are wonderful, as always. My husband is a Virgo, so that poem was very interesting to me.

We see a lot on TV about gold and silver, and the cost is high so that may be a good topic if you haven't done that in the past. A great deal of evil has happened in the pursuit of gold and silver.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Blessings manatita. Yes, Rosina has already indicated how the "Virgo" poem made her day so that gave me a happy feeling. I am glad you enjoyed these poems and found the information of interest.

manatita44 from london on January 03, 2021:

Sweet start to the New Year! Some decent info and charming poetry. I love them all but the Virgo one has something more personal to lift the Heart of the one who requested the poem. Ride on!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Thank you for the kind comment, Ankita. Much appreciated.

Ankita B on January 03, 2021:

Excellent poems with unique topics. I loved them all. Brilliant work.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

What can I say, Ann? Your comment touches me and is greatly appreciated. Ok, sure, why not a poem about the porch? That's on the list.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on January 03, 2021:

Rosina, reading that the Virgo poem made your day, makes my day. I am so happy that you liked it and the others as well. Keep on doing what Virgos do :)

Ann Carr from SW England on January 03, 2021:

Just what we need to start the year, John. Fabulous poetry and excellent values, all wrapped up in a present from a wordsmith.

How about a poem about your porch?!

Ann

Rosina S Khan on January 03, 2021:

Thank you so much, John, for the fabulous poem on my requested topic "Virgos". I loved all of it and the last verse is the best of all:

They’re naturally shy and reserved

And take time to make real friends.

But once with someone, they connect

That friendship seldom ends.

I loved the other poems as well, which makes this collection unique. Thank you again. You really made my day.