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Poems From the Porch 53

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


Quality vs Quantity

Firstly, welcome to the Porch, a place where we share some poetry inspired by prompts you and your colleagues have supplied, or requested I write. I greatly appreciate you visiting and keeping this series going strong.

I am a little late with this as it has been two weeks since the last edition but better late than never, and they say that quality is preferable to quantity. Speaking of which, you have probably seen, either mentioned in the forums or in actual articles, the fact that there has been an influx of “very” low-quality writing on the site, seemingly inspired by a YouTube video or videos advising that HubPages is the ideal place to make quick money by posting spun, copied, or short blog-type posts. A substantial number are written by people with an extremely poor grasp of English and obviously originally published elsewhere in another language, copied, and badly translated.

It doesn’t seem long ago that this site introduced something called “hub pro” which was designed to improve the grammar, spelling, and presentation of articles posted here, then the niche sites to encourage people to strive to improve the quality of their writing so they would be accepted for one of those elite niches.

by Steve Jobs

by Steve Jobs

Then we had the Maven take-over, and whether that is good or bad is a real conjecture. The ability to comment on niche sites is gone, advertising on our articles has gone crazy, unattractive videos on the top of articles on the niche sites, the introduction of Discover, and various other problems. In my opinion, if it counts for anything, the cons far outweigh the pros.

On top of everything, we have all this “rubbish” being posted here, and it seems up to us to spend time reporting it for low-quality to have it removed, Even so, some is still slipping through, and even making it to Letterpile. I read that all the niche site have their own moderators and that Letterpile has much more lenient standards than the others due to its “creative” content. Well, it’s standards are too high for any of these Poems From the Porch articles to make it there, but a post of just a single haiku can. Go figure.

Anyway, enough ranting by me, let’s read this week's poems.


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.

— Chitrangada Sharan

Giving Thanks and Gratitude

Each time our eyes open

to the sun's blessed rays,

be grateful, say, "thank you,"

for one more brand new day.

We need to appreciate

everything in our lives,

be grateful and humble,

don't unsheath the knives.

Scroll to Continue

There is no need to wait

for a special occasion,

because every day's worthy

to be shown real elation.

Struggles may happen,

they're just part of our lives

that we have to deal with

as husbands and wives.

As a mother or father,

or a child or a friend.

But hardships aren't permanent,

They come to an end.

So, let's show our gratitude

for each blessing we get.

If it's sunny we're warm,

if it rains we get wet.

But, welcome it all,

what will be will be.

Whatever transpires

Say, "I'm happy, I'm me."

By Courtney Hedger

By Courtney Hedger

I'll toss a request into the winds: humpback whales!

— Bill Holland

Humpback Whales

The Humpback is a baleen whale,

to fifty foot long, and 30 odd tons.

Each season a complex song is composed,

and every male whale sings the same song.

In seas and oceans around the world

it is easily recognised,

For the humpback whale is aptly named.

Its hump can't be disguised.

Popular with whale watchers

the humpbacks love to breach,

Diving out of the water

and performing complex feats.

They feed in polar waters,

and migrate to breed and birth,

Over 16,000 miles each year

while they live off fat reserves.

By Michael Blumm

By Michael Blumm

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

— Peggy Woods

The Three "R"s

Reading, 'writing, and 'rithmetic,

remember the three "R"s?

They defined our education,

all of them we had to pass.

Other subjects had their places

but they didn't wield such weight.

Maths and English were the ones

determining our fate.

The origin's contentious,

a few the credit claim,

but if who coined it isn't sure

why mention any names?

Some really do not like the fact

the three "R"s really aren't.

Writing and arithmetic

were ring-ins from the start.

Educationalist Louis Benezet

in the year 1935,

suggested the three "R"s should be:

read, reason, and recite.

And even in these present times

there's a new 3 "R"s it seems-

The 3 "R"s of Early Learning:

Relationships, repetition, and routine.

Reading, 'Riting, and 'Rithmetic

are no more the popular sell,

but to my generation and before

they equipped us very well.

It seems out 3 "R"s were replaced

by spell-check and predictive text,

while calculators do the maths.

I wonder what comes next?

by Lewis Keegan

by Lewis Keegan

More Prompts Welcome

That is all for this week, but the in next edition of Poems From the Porch should be poems requested by: Pamela Oglesby, Ruby Richert, and Ann Car.

My list of prompts is getting low so hopefully some of you can think of new titles or subjects for poetry. If you do, please let me know in comments or email me your requests.

I hope you enjoyed these poems, and look forward to seeing you all next week. Here is an appropriate song by Gilbert O’Sullivan to finish up.

© 2021 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 19, 2021:

Hello Mary, thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, I agree about our reliance on the Internet. I remember when I used to revert to a physical encyclopaedia, dictionary, or manual to find out how to do things, or information, or just try to work it out for I just “Google it.” Yes, I will write a poem about “appreciating our new reality.” Thanks.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on January 19, 2021:

I love these poems, but the one on the 3Rs brought to my attention what I am noticing now - our dependency on the Internet to think and remember. I find that I don't have to exercise my memory much nor my thinking faculties. Am I whining? Please do a poem on appreciating our new reality. Thank you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 19, 2021:

Lora, your comment adds value to the article, especially in regard to humpback whales and their ability to learn a common song. Thank you, as always, for reading this.

Lora Hollings on January 19, 2021:

I love your collection of poems this week, John, especially the poem on Humpback Whales. A song can start with just one whale and then the other whales will just pick it up and a new song sung by whales in one part of the ocean will soon be learned by whales in another part. Scientists say that their brains learn songs and remember them much like we do. Your poem on gratitude was awesome. We need to be grateful for the love that we can still show to our family, friends and our pets. Because when they’re gone, we will never have that time again to reach out for them, to do something special for them and tell them how much we love them. Do it now and be thankful that there is still time left! A wonderful read, thank you.


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 18, 2021:

Thank you for reading and commenting, Denise. I take pride in my penmanship also, and I am always given the job of writing out cards etc. I also enjoy calligraphy when I have time. Handwriting sadly seems to be a dying art however.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on January 18, 2021:

I'm a "3-R" kid as well. My mother was a stickler for penmanship as well. That's another one that has been lost. I'll forever be grateful she spent summers forcing me to practice proper penmanship. My handwriting is not only legible but fluid and pleasant to read. Who bothers with that anymore?



John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 18, 2021:

It is never too late. Linda. Yes, I feel the same way about today’s education system. Thank you for the suggestion about the complexities of the English language. I will do my best.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on January 18, 2021:

Here I am, better late than never, I guess.

I'm of the original "3 R's" generation. Don't even get me started on the "new math." I'm glad my children completed their education before that was introduced--it's beyond my comprehension and makes absolutely no sense. So much reliance on calculators and spell-checker it seems our children are no longer taught to think, but to react.

Humpback whales visit our part of the world in the summer months, and I'm glad Bill gave you the prompt.

I have a suggestion for a future poem--the complexity of the English language. For example, consider how each of these words is pronounced--enough, dough, trough, furlough, through.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 18, 2021:

Chitrangada, I am glad you managed to eventually find this in your feed so you were able to comment. Yes, how some of these recent posts pass QAP I will never know. I have flagged a few as being of poor standard but who knows if that comes to anything. Thanks for following.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 18, 2021:

Hi Greg, I haven’t been able to get these published on a certain day or even every week lately, but I am still managing to keep the series going. I have never encountered snow but it does occur in the southern Australian states so I will compile something for you in that regard. Thank you.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 18, 2021:

Thank you John, for another set of wonderful poems from the porch. And, many thanks for including my request once again. I remember, you had included it in your new year post as well. Please accept my appreciation and gratitude for composing such a beautiful poem, on this topic.

I loved all the other poems as well.

This time, I had to struggle a lot to find your post on my feed. But, thankfully I have found it.

Your concerns about the recent surge of sub standard posts on HubPages, is my concern too. Surprisingly, they pass the QAP also. I have complained to HubPages, but it hasn’t helped.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful series. Please keep it up.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on January 18, 2021:

John - yes, the spate of money-makers inspired me this past week to put together a piece discouraging them, as well. You have, by virtue of your continued, regular presence, earned the right to vent a little. In any case, your observations are accurate, too.

Loved all the poems this week, too, John, with perhaps the admonition piece being my favorite this go 'round. We do have a choice what we can do with our days...

Sad to say I don't get to comment every week because I'm not always able to check in on Mondays these days...that said, I want to add my own request to your list, and hope you can get to it in the next couple weeks or so. I'd very much like it if you wrote a piece about snow in Australia. I think that'd be grand.

Good week, John. Thanks

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

Thank you manatita. You never know what to expect with the requests I get. Some are easy to create a poem about, others are quite a challenge. Peace.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

Hi Pamela, yes on the top of all articles on niche sites is an intrusive video..on Letterpile it is about writers block. After awhile you just ignore it I guess. Thank you for reading as always. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

Tidal waves..great subject Bill, thanks. That is the whole problem, HubPages doesn’t care about the opinions of the writers that keep it afloat. Oh well, what will be will be.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

Thank you for reading, Mel, and for the interesting comment. I hope the current sate of HubPages, and indeed the world, is only temporary.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

Hello Peg. I have come to accept none of this series will make Letterpile unless I change the title and stop referring to prompts people give me. If I just posted the poems they would..I guess that’s the choice I make. But I can keep complaining about it lol.

Thank you for those unique suggestions. I have written about oak trees but not acorns as such, and the others will be totally new. Thanks.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

Great comment, Ann. It used to be a bug bear (what’s that even mean?) of mine that the 3Rs didn’t even begin with R, so I was pleased to see there were alternatives that did.

Thank you for the suggestions. I will certainly do them, but probably not all at once. They will help this series keep going longer.

manatita44 from london on January 17, 2021:

Thanks John. I love the first, I think the topics were a bit different in the other two, but at least I learnt about whales. Much Peace.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 17, 2021:

I fully agree with your rant, and this is not a good place to make money unless you have a wonderful following and write almost every day. The quality of articles have suffered. I didn't know about that video.

I enjoyed your wonderful poems, as usual. Thanksgiving is always a nice topic. I thought the whale poem and the three R's were so cute and fun to read. You even threw in a bit of history.

Have a good week, John.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 17, 2021:

Thanks for responding to my request. Love it, but then I always love this series. You asked for more prompts, so how about "tidal wave?"

I am with you in your comments about HP. They really need to right the ship soon. The quality, of late, is severely lacking. Some hubs are embarrassing, in my humble opinion. But hey, HP really doesn't care about my opinion, so I'm just letting you know I agree with you, which is where my opinion will die. :)

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 17, 2021:

Ha ha. I wonder what comes next too. A little ditty from my youth claims that Reading, Ritin' and Rithmatik, were taught to the tune of a hickory stick. Spare the rod and spoil the child. Nobody can read, write or do math in the current doldrums society finds itself in.

Sorry to see Hub Pages degenerate into a click-bait content mill. Bubblews did the same thing, and it's nothing but a fond memory now.

Great work. Keep your poem pen pouring.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 17, 2021:

I loved each of these poems. It is crazy that your poems do not make it to Letterpile when others that do not equal yours do make it. Thanks for featuring one of my suggestions about the 3 "R"s. I even learned something new about the educationalist Louis Benezet.

Have you written one about worms, candles, or acorns? How about random thoughts?

Please keep them coming! Your poems are a joy to read.

Ann Carr from SW England on January 17, 2021:

Love that song by Gilbert O'Sullivan! Ages since we saw anything of him.

I always found the 3 'r's annoying, because they weren't. But, like you say, they put us in good stead. My grandchildren can't understand why we called them that - but they think I'm mad anyway, so there we are!

Another good set from the porch, John.

I'd like to add another for your list, even though you say one of my suggestions is coming up soon. How about 'wild flowers' or 'songbirds'? I know you have different ones in Australia so that would be interesting. Also, perhaps one about the ships of the desert - camels. I won't be offended if you pass on one or all of those but I couldn't stand by when you said you're running out of suggestions! I don't expect to see anything on them all at once either!

Please keep this series coming; it's brilliant!


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

Patty, I am glad you enjoyed these poems. Thank you for also sharing about that study finding the whales singing Amazing Grace..remarkable!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

Thank you as always, Clive.

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 17, 2021:

I love these poems. In 1995 before my city had internet for residents, Paul Harvey on the radio and broadcasters on TV and radio announced a study that found that whale song in the Atlantic, when the static was filtered out, was often the tune to Amazing Grace, which originated from a native song sung by slaves in the belly of the slave ships crossing to the Americas. The whales heard hundreds of people singing and learned the tune. I have never found the research article itself, but believe this to be true. Thanks for the poems!

Clive Williams from Jamaica on January 17, 2021:

As usual John, Good set of poems

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

Hi Rosina. Not much is certain in life, but one thing I can rely on is for you to read and comment on my work. For that I am truly grateful, and to read you truly loved the poems, even better.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

Eric, I am humbled by your words of gratitude and encouragement. Your writing inspires me too, so let’s call it even. Take care my friend.

Rosina S Khan on January 17, 2021:

I truly loved this collection of poetry. I especially enjoyed "Giving Thanks and Gratitude" and "The Three "R"s". They were fun, full of life and humor which made them further enticing. Looking forward to your next edition.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

Ruby, I am the same. I try to find new hubbers whose work shows promise and I can give an encouraging comment to, but yes there are so many I just can’t say anything nice for. I am glad you are still here despite this and the difficulty in commenting. Thank you for your support of my poetry.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 17, 2021:

MsDora, I am glad you saw that comment. It is frustrating that we have to jump through hoops just to comment (something so easy before.) I appreciate all your kind words about my poetry and glad that it educates and entertains.

I have been told that anything in series form is not suited to the niche sites, so yes if I erased all reference to being requests and the name Poems From the Porch they would probably move. However, I am not willing to do that. It would defeat my purpose. The latest word on comments is that the may be reinstated to niche sites this year..possibly.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on January 17, 2021:

Oh the many blessing to me through your art. It is good to have your work in my life. You are an inspiration for me.

Wonderful poems this week. Please never stop.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on January 17, 2021:

If it not for you and other writers I would have been gone from this site long ago. I try to welcome new people, but the English is so poor, I can not. I hate it when we can no longer comment on articles that are sent to other sites. Your poetry is one of the reasons I still struggle with Hubpages.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 17, 2021:

Jodah, I found your comment on my article while searching for your article. Now we have to jump through hoops in order to comment and I'm happy that I made it to yours this time.

Your poetry is, has been, top of the line. I hope you never doubt that. We're not only entertained, we're also educated and persuaded by what you write. I hope that the comment option will soon be returned to what it used to be. Maybe your poems will make it to Letterpile if you didn't mention that they were responses to request, but that would just add other hoops to jump through. Still, I hope for the best in the interest of all our writers.

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