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Poems From the Porch 60

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

Image by zhugher from Pixabay

Image by zhugher from Pixabay

COVID-19 Shows No Sign of Stopping

Welcome to the 60th edition of Poems From the Porch. Would you believe that I have written 37 articles in this series since I first mentioned the Coronavirus in PFTP 23 on 19th February 2000? Who would have thought, at that time, that the virus would become so devastating or that it would be still around over 14 months later, mutating, and in some countries like India, worse than ever?

With vaccines rolling out around the world I had hoped that life for many of us would begin to return to normal, but at the time of writing that still isn't the case. I suppose we need to be patient until more of the world's population are vaccinated, but showing patience is becoming harder and harder.

My thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who has contracted the virus or has friends and family affected (including one of our own hubber friends Rosina Khan.) Anyway, lets try to take our mind off that situation for a few minutes and enjoy this weeks poetry.

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.

— Ravi Rajan

poems-from-the-porch-60

Precious Metals, Man’s Best Friend, and Poets

Gold and silver, platinum,

A dog is a man’s best friend.

A poet’s like an alchemist

Creating gold from lead.


Precious metals signify success,

Their value we are taught.

Athletes seek gold, silver, bronze

In all Olympic sports.


Dogs provide companionship

And love without restraint.

They are faithful to the very end,

And love without complaint.


Poets are a special breed,

Addicted to the word.

They try to make their work unique

And stand out from the herd.


There are golden girls and a golden child,

And even golden retrievers.

Are there golden poets? That I doubt,

Despite the true believers.


There’s silverware, a silvery moon,

And some have silver spoons.

But are there silver poets?

More like tin-cup buffoons.


I care not for gold or silver,

Or other precious stones,

But if a dog is in my house

I will never be alone.

I am just back from a socially distanced walk with a friend and her dog. It's one of the few legal options for socializing open to Brits at the moment. How about a poem about a walk?

— Liz Westwood

Image by Anja

Image by Anja

A Morning Walk

I took a stroll the other day,

My old dog by my side.

The town still sleepy, early morn.

Few cars were passing by.


We met some other walkers,

Some leading their own pets.

Others power walking

And just trying to keep fit.


The sun is still low in the sky

Amid watercolour clouds.

The air is fresh, our pace is brisk.

I love the morning sounds.


Coco stops to sniff some grass,

And makes me halt half stride.

She must sense when I need to rest,

But we resume in just a while.


When we turn and head for home

The town begins to wake.

My favourite cafe’s opening,

“Flat white,” I ask, “to take.”


My dog waits patiently outside

Until we’re off again.

I bend down and offer her a pet,

My faithful canine friend.


We turn the corner of our block,

The final stretch for home.

Coco knows the way by heart.

But her pace begins to slow.


The traffic’s now increasing

As people leave for work.

I see my neighbour in his yard,

I wave and say, “Hi Bert!”


When Coco’s released from her lead

There’s a bee-line to her bowl.

She laps the water ‘til it’s dry,

While I dry my sweaty brow.


Then I turn on my computer,

Coco lies on her rug.

Our morning walks begin our day.

Better than any drug.

My old dog Coco

My old dog Coco

You did a great job addressing Brenda's word prompt of 'majestic.'

Thinking of antonyms for the word majestic, I wonder what you could do with the word insignificant? Just a thought. Have some fun today!

— Peggy Woods

https://pixabay.com/photos/africa-child-humble-young-kid-1996511/

https://pixabay.com/photos/africa-child-humble-young-kid-1996511/

The Insignificant

What is insignificance?

It is just a state of mind.

How important we perceive ourselves

As part of humankind.


When you feel invisible,

And your opinion is ignored,

Just put your shoulder to the wheel.

Long-term rewards will be assured.


You may not feel important

In the big picture of this world-

Just a minuscule bug in the field.

But, a grain of sand creates a pearl.


You are not uninspiring,

Insignificant or unknown,

But a major poker player

In the Hold ‘Em of the globe.


Always have pride in yourself,

Don’t pretend, it’s not an act.

Stand up for your opinions.

And back them up with facts.


The rich may think they’re powerful

And better than the rest.

But when they meet their maker,

They may not pass the test.


It’s the humble, kind, and generous

Whose legacy lives on.

While those who lived a life of greed,

Will sing a different song.


Here’s to the insignificant,

Stand up tall and be seen.

For there’s one rule that you can’t dispute-

To the top will rise the cream.

More Prompts Welcome

Well, that's all from the porch this week. My list of requests has almost come to an end so if anyone has a new idea for a poem title or subject please feel free to mention it in the comments.

I enjoy the challenge of trying to write poems to suit all of your requests while sitting on the porch, usually surrounded by cats (weather permitting.) So it would be a shame if I run out of prompts. Thinking of new subjects isn't always easy but I have confidence in what you can come up with.

Until next time, stay safe and well.

© 2021 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 29, 2021:

Thank you so much, Alyssa. It is nice that each poem offered up something a little different, and to hear that a poem written on the topic of “insignificance” can be inspiring is wonderful.

Alyssa from Ohio on April 29, 2021:

Congratulations on the 60th edition! With each new prompt, you deliver something magical. The first poem captured my attention and I was sure that it was my favorite, until I kept reading and now I can't decide! I loved your walk with Coco. I felt like I was right there with you two. Your response to insignificance was inspiring!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 29, 2021:

Aww Denise, i don’t think I have ever been called “uncomperable” before. In fact I am certain I haven’t. Thank you so much for reading and enjoying my work.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 29, 2021:

Shauna, good to see you visiting the porch once again. It is an honour to be labeled your “favourite poet.” I will do my best to hold onto that title.

Thanks for the kind words about the last two poems, especially “The Insignificant.” Hmmm.a box of crayons, interesting. I shall hand that over to my muse.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on April 29, 2021:

I agree with bravewarrior. I love your poetry. You are uncomperable!

Blessings,

Denise

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on April 29, 2021:

John, you remain my favorite poet. Your talent is beyond compare; your visions varied.

My favorites in this episode are The Walk and The Insignificant. I felt the cool morning air as you and Coco took us on your daily walk. I love the last line, too.

The Insignificant speaks a very strong message. It should be printed and posted in therapists offices, counseling centers, and suicide prevention forces. Very powerful message, my friend!

So, you're running low on prompts. Let's see..... How about writing about a box of crayons? I'm thinking about how the tangible sparks the intangible: emotions, creativity, etc. But, your muse is on fire, so I look forward to which direction she takes you!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 27, 2021:

Thank you for always reading my work, Brenda. My poetry seems to go through stages .. inspirational, dark, funny, dramatic, deep (like it is now.) Okay, one about stars in the night sky.. consider it done.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 27, 2021:

Hi Vidya. I do my best with the prompts I am given. Some are more challenging then others and take a bit more thought.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on April 27, 2021:

John,

I loved your work.

I have to agree that I think your writing is getting so much deeper.

I think your muse is definitely sticking around.

Great response to Ravi's, but i loved them all.

Coco too! So adorable.

I see where Chitrangada says India is getting better but from what we hear on television it is far from over.

They tell us there is a new strain which the vaccine does not protect against & is more deadly.

I'm so tired of this Covid...I want it to be gone.

I had high hopes for vaccine, but many refuse to take it.

Even a few doctors & nurses around here.

I don't get it.

Have a great week.

How about writing something about the Stars in the night sky?

VIDYA D SAGAR on April 27, 2021:

Beautiful poetry John, all three of them. And the touching video. You are a gifted poet, able to write on any word prompt or topic. Congratulations on the achievement.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 27, 2021:

Thank you Mary. Your kind words are always greatly appreciated. Yes, 60..who would have thought this series would still be going.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 27, 2021:

I am always pleased to read that you enjoyed my poems, Ann. I try to put some sort of philosophical message in most of what I write, even the more simple poems. Some take a bit of trial and error to get the right blend of inspiration, idea, and message.

They aren’t always sophisticated poetry but that isn’t my main goal.

Thanks for your kind words.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on April 27, 2021:

That's quite a production - 60th. You are indeed a gifted poet being able to do poems for all these challenges. Truly admirable.

Ann Carr from SW England on April 27, 2021:

Loved these poems, John. I think your poetry is becoming deeper and more philosophical but you also retain a slice of humour. I always enjoy your poetic offerings and you have a right to claim your place high in the upper echelons of the poets here.

Ann

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 27, 2021:

Thank you, Devika. We all need to take this pandemic seriously no matter where in the world we live. It will take a combined effort to beat this.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 27, 2021:

Hi Jodah your poems are beautifully written and with such great thoughts. What is going on globally is a scare for some and others do not respect it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Thank you for reading, Jamie. Your kind comment is greatly appreciated,

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on April 26, 2021:

I liked the first poem the best but all in all an incredible collection of poems.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Oh yes, “fireflies” is a very recent request by you. I thought there may have been an older one I missed. I have it on my list and will get to it by probably Poems From the Porch 62. Thank you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Hi Farah, thank you for reading my poetry. I felt that an appropriate phrase to end that poem with. Take care my friend.

EK Jadoon from Abbottabad Pakistan on April 26, 2021:

Jodah, I have requested you to write poetry on 'Fireflies'. It's not urgent—take your time and write it. I would love to read your poem about fireflies.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Thank you for your kind words, Nithya. I am glad you enjoyed reading these poems especially “A Morning Walk.”

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Hello Rasma. Thank you for visiting the porch and enjoying the poetry. Wishing you an enjoyable week too.

Farah N Huq from Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 26, 2021:

“To the top will rise the cream”... I can’t agree more. Lovely poems as usual, all three of them. Thoroughly enjoyed reading them.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 26, 2021:

Beautifully penned poems! I enjoyed reading them all. I loved the “Morning Walk” poem. Looking forward to reading many more poems from the porch.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on April 26, 2021:

Another delightful and wonderful poetic meeting on the porch, Enjoyed. I hope you have a wonderful and inspirational new week ahead,

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Thank you Mr Happy. I am glad you liked these, and could relate..for whatever reason.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Hi EK (moondot)

I do recall that you made a request but off the top Of my head I can’t remember what it was. Perhaps you can refresh my memory.

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on April 26, 2021:

Nice! I love dogs so, lots of mention of dogs in your poems here. I'm also a sucker for rhymes and that second poem had lots of those!

The last poem was probably my favorite if I had to pick but that's only due to the message, nothing else.

Thanks and have a great week ahead!

EK Jadoon from Abbottabad Pakistan on April 26, 2021:

Jodah, I have given you a word prompt. Do you remember? I am waiting for your poem.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on April 26, 2021:

John, you continually amaze me with your creativity and the thought you put into each piece of poetry. Thanks for writing such a beautiful piece revolving around the word "insignificant." I enjoyed the other two poems, as well. That last video brought some tears to my eyes when remembering some of our lovely pets. I hope they are all chasing butterflies.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

I can’t ask for more than that, Bill. Much appreciated.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 26, 2021:

You rock, buddy! This is one of my favorite series on HP. I hope it lives on forever.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Chitrangada, thank you for the kind comment and for sharing the true situation in regard to your country and the pandemic. It is difficult to know what to believe on the news, and yes there are many other countries suffering as well. Let's just hope most people around the world are vaccinated soon and life can return to some sort of normal.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Thank you so much, Pamela. I am glad you enjoyed "A Morning Walk" and thanks for the prompt about breakfast.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on April 26, 2021:

Excellent work John!

As always, I enjoyed reading all your poems, with special mention of ‘A morning walk.’ The suggested prompts are very thoughtful and your response is always amazing.

Keep up the good work. I always enjoy your creative work.

Thank you for your concerns about India, with reference to the pandemic.

The situation was almost normal, since the last October. But, the new variant has taken everyone by surprise, since the last fortnight. It spreads much faster than the earlier one, of last year. It is affecting even youngsters, which was not the case last year.

Thankfully, the situation is under control, due to the relentless efforts of the doctors and the Government of India. Hopefully, things will improve further.

The vaccinations have started since the last two months, phase wise. First, the vaccinations were administered to health workers, the frontline workers, then the senior citizens, then the middle aged, and now it’s for all above 18 years of age.

The vaccinations do provide protection against this deadly virus, and unless everyone around the World is vaccinated, the risk will not be over. Remember, it’s a pandemic.

One last point—Everything, which is shown on television, or other social media, or other sources of News is not true. Unfortunately, there are vested interests, even in times of crisis like this, and this is happening everywhere around the World.

I am sorry for this long comment.

Stay Safe and take care. Thank you once again.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 26, 2021:

Each of these poems is excellent, John. The topics were uniquely different, which is nice. I particularly liked the one about the walk.

As for a future topic, how about eat breakfast to start the day.I don't think you have had that topic before. Have a good week, John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Thank you MsDora. Yes, it keeps me going too. Blessings.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 26, 2021:

John, excellent work. Great morning inspiration here for me. "Long term rewards will be assured." That keeps me going. Thanks again.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Lorna, good to have you visit the porch again. I am glad you enjoyed all these poems, but especially “The Insignificant” because of the reasons yo7 stated. I will write a poem about those brave people you worked with.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Flourish, so glad you enjoyed the poem about our walk. I also appreciate you wishes for India.

Lorna Lamon on April 26, 2021:

It's been a while since I have pulled up a chair John, however, as usual I am in awe of your ability to create wonderful scenes to contemplate. I enjoyed each poem for different reasons and my favourite would have to be 'The Insignificant' - which reminded me of the many brave people I worked beside and treated. To honour these people would you write a poem about their courage. Thank you.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 26, 2021:

What a beautiful poem about a walk with your beloved dog (and a fine looking dog indeed). Give my regards to Coco.

I too am hoping that India's suffering ends.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Thank you for reading this, Urwa. Let's keep India in our thoughts. I appreciate your kind words. Blessings to you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

I am proud that you liked the poem I wrote in response to your challenge, Ravi. I enjoyed writing it. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on April 26, 2021:

Yes, Misbah, I too have been watching the news about India, and am very concerned for my friends there. Thank you for reaching out with your prayers as well.

I am happy that you enjoyed my poems and appreciate your generous words. You are an excellent writer, however, and don't have to compare yourself with me or anyone else. :)

Iqra from East County on April 26, 2021:

Hi, John, I loved this article, the third wave of COVID-19 is very dangerous. I was watching on the news that the condition of India is very worrying and secondly your poems are amazing. It's true dog is the only pet in loyalty. Fantastic John and thanks for this sharing. Blessings

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on April 26, 2021:

Thanks John for writing such a brilliant poem in response to my challenge. I am really honored. I especially loved the golden words below :

"A poet’s like an alchemist

Creating gold from lead."

Thanks again for sharing John.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Rebels. on April 26, 2021:

John, my heart weeps for India. I was watching the news a few minutes ago. They said India hit a rate of one COVID-19 death in just under every four minutes in Delhi as the capital's underfunded health system buckles. I wish and Pray this deadly virus will end soon. It's like a tsunami in India. I want to tell through this platform to all my Indian fellows they are not alone we are with you. You are in our prayers. I am glad Rosina is recovering.I wish she will be back here with us very soon.

John, all the poems are lovely. Beautiful and delightful as ever. I like these lines from the first poem:

"Poets are a special breed,

Addicted to the word.

They try to make their work unique

And stand out from the herd."

This from the third:

"The rich may think they’re powerful

And better than the rest.

But when they meet their maker,

They may not pass the test."

The Morning Walk is also a very lovely poem. You have the ability to use few words in such a strong manner that it blows my mind. I see myself nowhere near. Pray for me. I want to be as good as you or somewhere near to that.

Peace and Blessings

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