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Poems From the Porch 55

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


Silver, Gold, Poets, and Dogs

To all my friends and readers, welcome to the porch once more. There are only three poems this week but the subjects are quite different from each other. The first one discusses the need for 'Gold and Silver,' the second is about 'Bill's Dog Maggie,' and the third tries to explain 'What Makes Poets Special People?'

Well, the first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Australia on Monday and was escorted to a secret refrigerated storage location. There was actually concerns with the authorities that organized crime may have tried to hijack the shipment or that the storage facility would be targeted by ant-vaxxers etc. These were concerns I would not have even considered.

So, soon they will begin to roll-out and administer it to front-line health workers, residents and staff of aged-care homes, the elderly, and those with at-risk medical conditions. The rest of us will be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine at a later date.

The good part about this is that we can watch and monitor the effectiveness or any side-effects experienced elsewhere in the world beforehand. Hopefully, the vaccines will be effective at slowing and controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus around the world. It is the new mutated strains that could be the main concern. So fingers crossed that life starts to return to "close" to normal soon.

Anyway, now for some poetry.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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.

— Pamela Oglesby


Give Me Gold and Silver

You ask for gold and silver

to signify your wealth.

Diamonds, pearls, and rubies too,

but none can give you health.

Kings and Queens and Pharaohs

valued precious gems and stones

to show their power and status,

in their statues, tombs, and thrones.

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Emperors, Tsars, and Rajahs,

in fact, anyone in power

exploits their wealth and privilege,

so over subjects tower.

Love of gold has led to murder,

to fill imagined need,

embezzlement, fraud, and theft,

all in the name of greed.


We all have basic jewellery

and like to show some bling,

but don’t need to exploit it

like all the ancient kings.

Invest in gold bullion,

or silver if you must.

Adorn your hands in diamonds,

indulge your gemstone lust.

But this is superficial,

‘your’ value doesn’t waiver.

The humble understand it,

but not those dripping favour.


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

— Bill Holland

My Dog Maggie

I love to walk with Maggie

She's my faithful canine friend.

Rain or shine she won’t complain,

And hates when our outing ends.

Routine’s important to her,

She looks forward to our walks.

Excited when she sees her lead,

There is no need to talk.

I observe my dog’s reactions

And the way she interacts

To people and surroundings,

And to other dogs in fact.

Maggie’s some judge of character,

And wary of a stranger.

She senses things I cannot see,

And is brave if she feels danger.

Bill's Dog Maggie

Bill's Dog Maggie

A dog teaches perspective,

Just live for every day.

Don’t stress about tomorrow,

Take whatever comes your way.

Each walk for me’s a lesson

On what’s valuable in life.

Maggie is my closest friend,

Well, next to Bev, my wife.

Her little brother’s Toby,

They’re alike as clay and sand.

Maggie judges everyone,

But Toby licks any hand.

When our walk is over

And we’re dry and warm indoors,

The dogs will stretch out on the couch,

And for me, it’s time for chores.

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

— Peggy Woods


What Makes Poets Special People?

What makes poets special?

Well, I’m not the one to ask.

Rhyming must be in my blood,

It is really no hard task.

All writers are observers,

Not a lot evades their gaze,

But poets describe what they see

In their very unique ways.

Some poets write in cryptic verse,

Analyzing takes some skill.

You need to read between the lines,

To understand the poet’s will.

Others write poems to uplift,

Their positive words inspire.

And some seek the darker side

To express their pain and ire.


From prose to abstract poetry,

And traditional rhyming styles.

Poets often don’t like rules,

From grammar they’re exiles.

Poetry does not receive

The accolades it should.

It’s seen as lesser writing,

Not easily understood.

Most poets make no money,

At least, not enough to live.

They write because they love it

And feel the need to give.

Poets are friendly people

And they have quite humble goals,

But take care with your critique,

For they may have troubled souls.


More Requests Always Welcome

I greatly appreciate everyone who has given me prompts and suggestions for poems to keep this series rolling along. I really enjoy the challenge of writing poetry that I wouldn't normally think of writing myself, so I welcome you to keep the requests coming and I will do my best to write a poem to suit each one.

Thanks for reading this anthology, and I wish you well until we meet on the porch again.

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


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on February 24, 2021:

Good to see you back, Rinita. I hope the move went well. I am glad you could relate to the poems on gold and silver and poets. Thank you for starting to catch up with this article.

Rinita Sen on February 24, 2021:

I missed a few instalments of the porch in between, but I am catching up. Hope all is well with you. Loved the poem on gold and silver. Really, what is it with the obsession over jewelry? I'll never get it. And the poem on poets, well, you just hit the bull's eye there. You had to, being such an excellent poet yourself. Take care.

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

Thank you Peg. No electricity or running water is not fun to deal with. I am glad it has returned. At least being so cold the food would not have thawed and spoiled. Yes, “the things we take for granted” is a good subject for a poem. I will add it to my list.

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

Hello Vidya. Always good to see you, and thanks for the kind words. Yes, Bill’s dogs are adorable.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 18, 2021:

I love reading your poems from the porch series. We have been without electricity and running water for a few days. It was due to extremely cold weather and icy conditions in Texas. It returned last night and is still operational. I am hoping that it is here to stay. The things we take for granted might be good subject matter to explore. Doing without makes us appreciate it more.

VIDYA D SAGAR on February 18, 2021:

Hi John, again a wonderful trio. I loved the ones about Bill's doggies and Your poems are a delight to read

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

Hi Toni, thanks for taking the time to read these poems. Give Sabbie a hug from me too..gotta love all dogs. You stay safe too.

Toni Newton from Barbados, W.I. on February 18, 2021:

John! I just read these. Of course you have handled each one well...took your advice and read them all. Speaking from the soul as usual you are. They're all three of them inspiring...and I have to say...My Dog Maggie gives me another excuse to hug my dog Sabbie. She's the absolute bomb. Also, thank you for your dedication to poets. It is very touching and good encouragement. You guys be safe

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

Thank you, Devika. Have a wonderful day.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 18, 2021:

I enjoy reading your poems. Great expressions, meanings are wonderful and what better way to start of my Thursday.

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

Thank you Chitrangada.

You just have to enjoy the poems, I won't make you choose lol.

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

Beautiful collection of poems, on diverse topics. As always, you have done a wonderful job, and it's difficult to choose one of them, as favorite.

Thank you for sharing.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on February 17, 2021:


I forgot. I hope the vaccine rollout is a success.

We are getting it here also. Though it is very slow going. It started in December and only a very little percentage has taken it so far ...we have both Moderna & Pfizer.

I get to take my first vaccination on February 24.

I am one of the lucky ones, since I have a health issue I get to go ahead of alot of others in my age group.

Take care & keep writing.

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

Thank you for reading these poems, Rasma. Glad you enjoyed the poem about Maggie especially.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on February 17, 2021:

I loved all the poems and the one for Maggie Bill's dog is just wonderful,

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

Brenda, I hope your car is ok. I have never experienced snow so can only imagine what having your car buried in a snow drift is like. Yes, all poets are different..rhyme isn’t for everyone. It just suits me. Yes, I feel like I know Maggie quite well from Bill’s articles. Thanks for reading.

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

Linda, your comments always brighten my day. To know people look forward to these poems always makes me happy. Haha yes I have been taken notes during Bill’s walks with Maggie. How could you tell.

Glad you enjoyed these. Have a blessed day.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on February 17, 2021:

Great work.

I love the one for Bill's doggies. You seem to have Maggie down pat.

The poem on poets..well you can rhyme.

That is something I usually don't find in my work...occasionally maybe.

You are right about our styles and temperaments.

Take care and enjoy your porch.

I'm watching my car buried in a snow shovel or not to shovel...that is the question.

Take care.

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

Shauna, I will have to check my list and see if “oxymorons” is still to come. If I have missed it I am sorry and will rectify that in the next anthology.

Yes, we learn a lot from Bill’s walks with Maggie, I agree. I also agree that my poems are easy to understand. I am rarely very cryptic. I want my message to be clearly understood. If my poetry comes over as too simple because of that, so be it.

Take care my friend.

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

Hi Tanmoy, I really appreciate having you follow my work and I welcome your opinions. Thank you for the kind comment. In this series I try to interpret what I think the person requesting a poem is looking for and attempt to deliver that. All the poems may not be masterpieces but I try to give them positive message.

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

Thank you MsDora. So glad you enjoyed these poems. I feel Bill’s own series “Walks With Maggie” are quite poetic in his imagery and his easy flowing language so I just tried to borrow from that. Poetry will never disappear if people keep writing it.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on February 17, 2021:

John, I always know that when there is a Poems from the Porch, I'll have a few delightful minutes. The verses about silver and gold--so very true. "Do not store up your treasures on Earth."

The next poem, about Bill and Maggie is perfect. Obviously you've been taking notes on those walks with Bill.

What makes poets special--yes, you do view the world differently, or more carefully. Thanks for brightening my day.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on February 17, 2021:

John, I love these poems. I especially love your ode to Maggie. We learn so much about her and Toby on Bill's walks, don't we?

Your poem describing the uniqueness of poets is spot on. Sometimes we have to read between the lines to get the message the author is trying to convey. Not with you, though. I always understand right away and I like that about your poetry. That and how smoothly they read.

I don't know if I missed it, but a while back I suggested you use oxymorons as a theme. For instance, why do doctors and lawyers refer to their vocations as practices? Shouldn't they have "practiced" in school?

Great porch folly today, my friend!

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

Hi Bill. I am, of course, pleased that you loved the poem dedicated to Maggie. Give her a pet from me. Toby too.

Hegel from 26.3452° N, 89.4482° E on February 17, 2021:

Your poems are very pleasing to the soul (of the reader). They have a peculiar character, because they always end up being lovely.

Please know that I'm an avid reader of your work, and whenever a new installment of the 'Poems From the Porch' comes up (or any other new poetic work from you), I'll always be one of the readers.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 17, 2021:

The poems all leave good thoughts with us. Sure Bill must be very pleased about your poem on Maggie. The poets deserve that tribute especially because "Poetry does not receive The accolades it should." True.

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

Obviously this is one of my favorite installments from the porch. For Maggie and Toby, I thank you. We thoroughly enjoyed our moment in the limelight. You captured Maggie perfectly with your words, my friend.

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

Hello Centfie, thank you for reading these poems, and commenting. I greatly appreciate your input.

Centfie from Kenya on February 17, 2021:

I enjoyed them all. Almost said Amen to the first one about "gold and silver. The one about Maggie is so cheerful. And the one about poets is spot on.

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

Thank you so much for that kind comment MG. It is greatly appreciated.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 17, 2021:

You have the knack for writing lovely poetry. This was a wonderful poem one that can enchant you.

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

Hi Misbah, I appreciate you saying you like the way I write and choose words. Sorry to hear you have a dog phobia. Than you for reading. Take care.

Misbah Sheikh on February 17, 2021:

I always love the way you write and choose your words.

I like the first picture a lot of the silver and gold mask with a white rose...

Bill's dog is cute besides the fact I have dog phobia (cynophobia)... Lol...

I really appreciate your work

Keep writing!


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

Greetings Ann. Thanks for the great comment. with the poem about Maggie, I could really only echo things Bill has told us in his 'walk' articles but I am glad you liked it. I was put on the spot being asked what makes poets special people but did my best lol.

Good luck with the vaccine.

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

Thanks Pamela. Glad you enjoyed these. Thank you for sharing that all went well with your second vaccination too.

Ann Carr from SW England on February 17, 2021:

Great one about Maggie! You've captured all those things that Bill tells us about.

Gold and silver - yes, the best riches are the ones in our health and our hearts.

Poets - well, you're the best one to judge that. I've come to poetry late in my life, but I think that's because we had to analyse everything at school, go into the poet's soul, etc. and to me it's all about praising the world around us, with the occasional deep comments too of course! I think poetry lends itself to certain subjects and the rules of rhythm make us compose carefully.

Great 'from the porch' this week, but then it always is.

I hope your vaccine doesn't take too long. My call from the surgery is supposed to be some time this week.

Keep safe and well, John.


Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 17, 2021:

Each poem was different but excellent. I thought the poem of Maggie was so cute. I appreciate the gold and silver poem at my request, but I also enjoyed the poem about poets. The porch poems are always a joy to read.

On a positive note, I got my 2nd vaccine Monday and had no side effects at all.

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

Rosina, I always look forward to your comments. Thank you for always following my work and I am pleased that you enjoyed these poems.

Rosina S Khan on February 17, 2021:

Gorgeous poems you have composed, John. I love all of them. But "My Dog Maggie" (which made me smile wide) and "What Makes Poets Special People?" (which educated me about poets interestingly) are my faves. Thank you so much for the marvelous share.

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

Hi Ravi, thanks for reading these poems and for your suggestion. That certainly will be an interesting challenge, but I will work on it.

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on February 17, 2021:

Interesting topics John and quite diverse too. I love your selection of words especially the words you used in the 'gold poem'.Thanks for sharing.

BTW, One challenge that just came to my mind, Can we write one single poem combining all three topics; precious metals, man's best friend, and poets. It should be quite an interesting challenge to try sometime.

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