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Poems From the Porch 61

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

Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay

Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay

Diverse Topics to Write About

I am continually being surprised by the plethora of diverse topics that you, my readers, are coming up with. I thought, surely, that new subjects for poems would be in short supply long before this 61st Edition of Poems From the Porch.

Of course, I was wrong, and I continue to receive unique prompts. I could count on one hand the number of duplicated requests I have received, and even if I do I can usually come up with an alternative take on the subject to make it completely different.

For those of you who look forward to this series being published weekly, I apologise. It has been three weeks since the last Poems From the Porch, so it is almost becoming a monthly publication instead. Oh well, better late than never.

I enjoyed writing the three poems found herein, and they are all very different. Pull up a seat on the porch and I hope you enjoy the read.

Here's a prompt for you....Love thy Neighbor!

— Bill Holland

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Love Your Neighbour As Yourself

“Love thy neighbour as thyself”

or so the Bible says.

The Second Commandment of the Lord-

more important than all the rest.

Would you rip the shirt from off your back

and give it to a friend

and expose yourself to ridicule,

their embarrassment to end?

Or better yet, a stranger,

someone you’ve never met-

Scroll to Continue

would you donate to them a meal

and go without yourself instead?

If your neighbour needs a hand

to do some gardening jobs,

will you volunteer your time

To help finish them off?

Always have a greeting smile

and ask, “How is your day?”

For even if they’re feeling down

they may just need to say.

If you can just take the time

to show some real concern,

they won’t forget your selfless act

and one day help you in return.

So don’t be selfish, share their load,

it’s lighter when there’s two.

Love your neighbour as yourself,

It’s the greatest thing to do.

How about a poem on the joys of motorbiking, on a long and winding road in the mountains (or wherever you like!)?

— Ann Carr

Image by shauking from Pixabay

Image by shauking from Pixabay

The Joys of Motorbiking

Clad in padded leather,

defiant of the weather,

we mount our bikes and give high fives

and speed into the nether.

Helmets hide our feelings

as around bends, we go reeling,

along the winding mountain roads

that no one’s thought of sealing.

Squeeze the throttle, feel the power,

hear the engines growl.

We form a biker conga line

And we stay in queue for hours.

Our hearts beat with excitement

as we leap a steep embankment.

Adrenalin rush spurs us on

with a sense of real enlightenment.

We kick up stones and gravel

but no rider’s nerves unravel.

Our mantra’s, “Onward, faster!”

Over every track, we travel.

To return home we’ve been stalling,

but now the dusk comes calling.

Retracing tracks our tyres have made

so there’s no fear of falling.

Some have a love of hiking

but my joy is motorbiking.

There’s nothing I would rather do,

the freedom so exciting.

Jodah, I have given you something new to write. Write poetry on fireflies.

— EK Jadoon

Wish Upon a Firefly

Fireflies twinkling after dark

light up the greyscale trees,

trying to attract a mate

like people that you see.

The stars are trapped high up in space,

they sparkle from afar,

but fireflies hover close at hand,

children catch them in a jar.

A firefly lantern lights the way

while walking in the dark,

to be released on reaching home

so they retain their spark.

They’re also known as lightning bugs,

and some synchronize their flash.

They taste quite bad to predators

and their light warns “I am trash!”

So, you can wish on shooting stars

and hope that wish comes true.

Or you can trust in fireflies

to bring good luck to you.

I wish that I may often see

a lightning bug within a tree.

Showing me the guiding light,

my pretty beacon in the night.

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 May 20, 2021:

Thank you Mel. It is a constant adventure. Always good to see your comments.

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on May 20, 2021:

Here we go speeding into the nether again. Your heartfelt poetry lights the way like fireflies in a dark forest. Great work as usual.

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

I agree Brenda, it isn't getting any easier. I find myself not bothering to comment on some articles I read now if I can't find them easily in the feed. That's sad.

Thanks for liking these poems.

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

Thank you for visiting the porch and reading these poems, Bobbi. I always enjoy writing poems to the prompts provided.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on May 19, 2021:


I so hate this Hubpages thing ..when I read it and it doesn't come back to your article.

In any case ...I found it.

I loved your poem about neighbors..i only wish mine were worthy. They are not.

I love Ann's challenge & you did it great.

As for for fireflies.. lightening bugs were a part of my childhood.

Always great to see your spin in your challenges.

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on May 19, 2021:


I read your poems and you did a great job on answering the prompts you received. I enjoyed them and thanks for sharing.

Bobbi Purvis

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

Hi Vidya, when I began this series it was somewhat of an experiment to see if I could in fact write poetry from every prompt I have received. I doubted my ability, but so far I have managed to write a poem for every suggestion I have received,

VIDYA D SAGAR on May 19, 2021:

I am amazed at your creativity John. I feel you and Brenda can create poetry out of any word or sentence or any topic. I loved the poem on motorbiking the best. Great work. Thanks for sharing.

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

Moondot, so glad you liked the fireflies poem that you requested.thank you for the kind words.

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

Nithya, I appreciate your continued following of this series. Glad you particularly enjoyed the motorbiking poem.

EK Jadoon from Abbottabad Pakistan on May 19, 2021:

Thank you Jodah, for keeping my words. You have done a great job. You won the hearts with your superb work. All the poems are fantastic, but I really liked the poem about fireflies.

Keep up the good work. Blessings!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 19, 2021:

I enjoyed reading all your poems. Each one of your poem is an excellent reply to the given prompts. I am amazed at how you skillfully craft poems for each prompt. I loved the motor biking poem.

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

Good to see you MizB. What a famous phrase is “southern hospitality.” It would be a pity if it is no longer valid. We keep things simply because they retain nostalgic memories that we wish to hold onto. I am sure that is the case with the Suzuki.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on May 18, 2021:

Love your three subjects today, John. Love thy neighbor -- that is a great subject. I wonder where our southern hospitality has gone. Fireflies -- yes, we call them lightening bugs in Arkansas. They are some of the most beautiful sights at night. Motorbiking -- we enjoyed motorbiking a lot when we first married, but Larry's nearly fatal heart attack at age 40 put a stop to that. We still own the motorcycle, a big Suzuki 1100. Don't know why though.

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

Audrey, I am so happy that “Love Thy Neighbour..” resonated with you. Thanks to Bill for requesting it, but yes a good message for us all. Thank you for reading.

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

Haha thanks Flourish, and would you believe I have never been motorbiking? I have a good imagination though.

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on May 18, 2021:

"Love Thy Neighbor" is a critical part of strengthening our communities, our nation, and the world. Your poem is essential for peace. Beautiful! And thanks to Bill for this request.

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 18, 2021:

Hats off to you. Who is the world could write a poem about motorbiking, and a good one at that? My word!

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

Thank you for reading and commenting Amara. I am glad you enjoyed these poem. Blessings.

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

Hello Linda. I always appreciate that you take the time to read my work and your comments are always very welcome. We certainly do need to love our neighbours at this time. I have only seen fireflies once myself, but it was a delightful sight. Thank you and take care.

Amara from Pakistan on May 18, 2021:

Superb.. All poems written so beautifully.. :-)

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

Once again you've done a stellar job of taking those simple prompts and creating lovely poems. Love thy neighbor--we all need this, especially now. I've always wanted to see fireflies--we don't have them in my part of the world. Thanks for doing this for us. Don't worry about timing--allow your Muse to do her thing. We're always happy for the outcome.

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

I am glad you found these poems interesting and fun to read, Peggy. Thank you for those prompts..sharpening pencils and whittling wood. What original requests. Cheers.

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

Hi Ravi, I appreciate your compliments and particularly enjoyed writing the motorcycle poem so I am glad you liked it.

I have eluded to myself as a poet in quite a few articles, but maybe disguised as generalities about poets. I am not really comfortable writing about myself in that way, but let’s see. I will try.

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

Thank you for reading, and for sharing your personal experiences Mr. Happy. Even riding a bicycle in Australia has had mandatory wearing of helmets for around 30 years. I can’t even remember a time when you didn’t have to wear one if riding a motorcycle.

That must have been quite some camping experience.

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

Shauna, I feel that I owe it to those making the requests to do the best I can with their prompt. Some are more difficult then others so I put them away until I find the necessary inspiration to do them justice. I am glad you could relate to each of these poems in different ways.

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

Love thy neighbor as thyself is such an important message. I have never ridden a motorbike, but I can imagine the fun it must be to do so. I do remember catching fireflies in a jar when I was a kid. Your poetry about myriad subjects is always so fun to read!

Here are some crazy topics for you.

Sharpening pencils

Whittling wood

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on May 18, 2021:

Great writing John. You are gifted poet who has the uncanny ability to convert any word prompt into a beautiful collection of words. The poem on the "joys of motorbiking " is fabulous. Thanks for sharing.

By the way John have you ever thought on writing a poem on yourself as a poet ? How would you describe yourself as a poet ? What makes you tick as a gifted poet ?

Food for thought !!

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

Thank you Liz. I appreciate it.

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on May 18, 2021:

"Or better yet, a stranger,

someone you’ve never met-

would you donate to them a meal

and go without yourself instead?" - In Romanian we have a saying: "Dar din dar se face raiul", which basically means "Gift by gift heaven is created". Altruism is in my veins. I couldn't get rid of this sentiment if I tried.

"Helmets hide our feelings" - Many States in the US do not have laws requiring a helmet. So, that's optional but I do know Australia has had helmet requirement laws since the 60s.

"Some have a love of hiking

but my joy is motorbiking." - That rhymed pretty good but I do love both, hiking and riding.

Fireflies are indeed lovely! I tripped-out one night for hours on ecstasy, watching fireflies. Fun camping experience, haha!!

Alrighty, thank You for the poems.

All the very best!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 18, 2021:

Once again, you've done a wonderful job with the suggestions thrown your way, John. I love the message in "Love Thy Neighbor", especially the last stanza.

As a former biker chick, I related to your second poem with a smile on my face as I read.

And, finally, your poem about lightning bugs brought back fond childhood memories. I've never seen lightning bugs in Florida, though; I guess it's too hot here for them.

I always enjoy your poetry, John.

Liz Westwood from UK on May 18, 2021:

This is a great selection. Once again I marvel at your creativity and versatility.

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

Hi again, Chitrangada. My muse was on a roll this week and I managed to get two articles published. I hope it keeps up. Thank you for reading. Take care.

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

Awww a treat, really? Thank you for appreciating my poetry, Misbah. Yes, it is very rare that I publish two articles in a week, let alone the same day. Fell free to send that poem to your neighbours anytime you see fit lol. Blessings.

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

Wonderful poems, in this edition of Poems from the porch. I enjoyed all of them—the prompts are unique and your creativity shines in each of the compositions.

Thank you for sharing this excellent series.

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

Thanks again, Pamela. I always love your comments. Have a great day.

Misbah Sheikh from — This Existence Is Only an Illusion on May 18, 2021:

Hi John

I would say today is a great treat day. Yes, it's true that you made us wait so long this time. But I am glad that you are here. It's always a pleasure to read your poems. They are all so well crafted. I enjoyed each of them. I liked your take on motorbiking. The poem on respecting and caring neighbors is so good. I think someday when my neighbors will be disturbing us with loud music I can send it to them. Lol!

Fireflies are always beautiful and lightening and so is the poem.

Thanks for the beautiful surprise of posting two hubs on the same day. It was a great treat

Blessings always

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 18, 2021:

I really enjoyed all 3 of this totally unique poems. The topics were wonderful and you certainly rose to the occasion, John.

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

Thank you, Rosina. I am glad you enjoyed reading these poems. Take care.

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

Hello Devika. I am pleased that the message resonated with you and that my poems are able to make the reader feel good and confident. Much appreciated.

Rosina S Khan on May 18, 2021:

John, yes you are right- each of the poems is unique. And they all deserve applause. I really appreciate your creative talent. Thanks for the superb collection of poetry.

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

Hi Jodah Your poems are enjoyable and with a great message. The joys of life and the wishes we have give us a positive lifestyle. A lot has changed making us feel ups and downs. Your poems opens our minds to reading and feeling good. A light to make us feel confident.

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