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Poems From the Porch 62

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

Image by tenis en el atlantico from Pixabay

Image by tenis en el atlantico from Pixabay

Let's Talk Tennis

I realise this is a strange topic to open this article with, but I do try to find a current issue to discuss before I move on to the poetry. Most of you may not be tennis fans like I am but I think the controversies that have occurred during this year's French Open at Roland Garros are worth discussing.

There have been a number of issues since the tournament began, firstly that it was postponed due to COVID, and then that they had decided to play night games for the first time and officials decisions to restrict evening matches to male players only attracted accusations of sexism.

Those issues are minor however compared to a number of the top seeds withdrawing for various reasons. First and foremost, Japan's Naomi Osaka's decision to withdraw rather than be forced to front the media in press conferences or after match interviews:

Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the French Open, announcing Monday on social media that she will "take some time away from the court" one day after she was fined and threatened with harsher sanctions for skipping her mandatory media obligations.

Osaka, in a lengthy statement, said she "never wanted to be a distraction" and that her withdrawal is "the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being." (source: ESPN)

Originally, Osaka said that she was willing to pay any fines imposed for shunning her media obligations, and suggested they be donated to charity. However, due to continued pressure from the tournament officials, she chose to withdraw. It was later revealed that she is not a natural public speaker and had been suffering depression and anxiety since the last US Open.

Soon after, Naomi Osaka's decision was vindicated by this (very racist) question asked to American teen sensation Coco Gauff after her opening match:

“You are often compared to the Williams sisters. Maybe it’s because you’re black. But I guess it’s because you’re talented and maybe American too," the reporter started off by saying." Gauff tactfully replied that she just wanted to be seen as Coco Gauff, and not compared to anyone else.

Roger Federer: Image by roby0059 from Pixabay

Roger Federer: Image by roby0059 from Pixabay

.. And Also ..

World No.1 female player, Australia's Ash Barty then withdrew from the tournament midway through her second-round match due to a recurring injury, and that was followed by another prominent player, Czech Petra Kvitová announced her withdrawal on Tuesday, revealing she injured herself while attending to her press requirements.

"It is with great disappointment that I announce my withdrawal from Roland Garros. During my post-match press requirements on Sunday, I fell and hurt my ankle,."

Roger Federer also pulling out after winning his 2nd Round match with fear of aggravating an injury before Wimbledon. However, some say the reason may have been his frustration at having to play his second-round match at 1.00 a.m. in the morning to an empty stadium.

Some people may be of the opinion that sports stars are spoiled and expect special treatment, and in some cases, they may be right. However, I think officials and the media also have some things to answer for in regard to racism, sexism, and the general welfare of players, and this tournament has brought those to the fore. I'd be interested in hearing other opinions.

It must a good feeling to have a community who are supportive of the environment. I have a request to make, and that is to write a poem about the environmental or health impact of plastic. I think we would rather have fashion that never gets old instead of plastic, which can’t biodegrade easily haha.

— Li-Jen Hew

Plastic River Waste: Image by Ria Sopala from Pixabay

Plastic River Waste: Image by Ria Sopala from Pixabay

Plastic Is Not Fantastic

Plastic is not fantastic,

It doesn’t decompose.

A product of society

Easy living is proposed.

Filling rubbish tips and streams,

And dumped into the sea

Discarded cups, bottles, and bags,

They’re disposable you see.

Killing sea creatures and birds

That wrongly think it’s food.

Man’s careless nature is on show,

We’re environmentally crude.

So, let’s all change our careless ways,

Stop polluting Earth, our home.

There’s no excuse for laziness,

And no exclusion zone.

Start using natural products,

Glass bottles, wood, and cans,

Recycling when it’s possible,

Become a clean Earth fan.

How about gnomes? Have you done one on them yet? If so, how about dolphins?

— Bill Holland

Garden Gnome: Image by tomwieden from Pixabay

Garden Gnome: Image by tomwieden from Pixabay

Gnome Away From Home

Wherever I may wander,

Wherever I may roam,

I’m just a humble garden gnome

So very far from home.

I loved my cottage garden

Where I used to spend my days,

But someone came and captured me

And sent me on my way.

Now I’m travelling all around the world

Seeing sites I never knew.

Postcards and letters sent back home,

Photos on Facebook too.

I miss my fellow garden folk,

The statues, birds, and flowers.

I’d love to see them all again,

But return, I don’t know how.

Perhaps the thieves who stole me

Will see the error of their ways,

And when they’ve seen the whole wide world

I’ll get back home to stay.

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.

— Lorna Lamon

COVID warrior: Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

COVID warrior: Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

Here’s to the COVID Warriors

Here’s to the COVID warriors

Who fight on the front line,

Waging war against this virus-

The new scourge of our time.

Here’s to the health professionals,

Doctors, nurses and the like

Who risk their health and even lives

For the population’s sake.

Here’s to the aged care workers,

The police and paramedics,

The scientists and the chemists

All fighting this pandemic.

Here’s to the social workers,

Psychologists and Psychs

Who treat anxiety and stress

For very little thanks.

Here’s to the thoughtful people

Who wear masks when they must,

And practice social distancing.

Let’s beat COVID or bust!

Here’s to the vaccinated

Who trust what experts say

And brave the risk of side-effects

To see a better day.

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

— Pamela Oglesby

Hearty Breakfast: Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Hearty Breakfast: Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Let’s Start With Breakfast

Three meals a day is what we need

To keep us fit and well,

But those opinions change each year,

So only time will tell.

Some say that we should not eat carbs,

While others frown on meat.

If we take note of all we’re told

It is safer not to eat.

But, no matter what the experts say-

Not knowing who to trust,

Most agree on this at least-

A good breakfast is a must!

Start your day with energy,

Kick that body into gear.

Soon your mind will follow suit,

That’s why I’m writing here.

So, eat your cereal or eggs,

Fruit, or favourite spread on toast.

Who knows what lunch or dinner is,

But, breakfast matters most!

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 Queensland Australia on June 09, 2021:

Hello EK (Moondot) my selection of content is dependent on what my readers request, and always an interesting challenge,

EK Jadoon from Abbottabad Pakistan on June 09, 2021:

Awesome work as always, Jodah. I have read all the poem and fascinated by your selection of content. I am at my mum's home and enjoying the days. Thanks for sharing these beautiful poems with us.

Stay safe and healthy...

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 09, 2021:

Thank you for checking these poems out. I am happy that “Plastic Not Fantastic” spoke to you, and hope you have a wonderful breakfast.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on June 09, 2021:

I just love the one on plastic. That spoke to me, although breakfast was pretty great too.



John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 09, 2021:

Thank you Flourish, all efforts to control the use and disposal of plastic products needs to be applauded. I am glad you liked this poem.

FlourishAnyway from USA on June 09, 2021:

I especially liked your "plastic is not fantastic" poem. I've become much more atune to plastic and synthetic fibers like acrylic. Great poem.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 08, 2021:

Thank you Rawan. Much appreciated.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 08, 2021:

Linda, if Li-Jen hadn't requested that I may have eventually written my own poem about the problems of plastics, but I am glad she did.

I am glad you loved the gnome poem too.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 08, 2021:

Rodric, thanks for asking about cadence. I am a bit unorthodox in regard to poetry and rarely worry too much about it and let it happen by accident or just habit. Unless I am writing a poem of a certain style like a sonnet or imitating Dr Seuss' style etc. My syllable count also varies between poems. I read each poem three or four times out loud and if it sounds ok to me then I'm fine. Thank you for reading.

Rawan Osama from Egypt on June 08, 2021:

Amazing poem thanks for sharing it!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 08, 2021:

Thank you for writing about the problem with plastic and publicizing the situation, John. I loved your gnome poem.

Rodric Anthony from Surprise, Arizona on June 08, 2021:

I enjoyed all the poems, John. Do you use a particular cadence in your approach? I try to use 15 syllables when I do rhyming poems for some reason. That just seems like the amount each line should be.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 08, 2021:

Hi Mary, thank you for continuing to follow this series and read my poems. I am glad you find them enjoyable and entertaining.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 08, 2021:

Hello Shauna, I was a little reluctant opening with the commentary about tennis because I know some of my readers are not interested in sport, but this really was’t about the sport per se. It was about the treatment of athletes (racism, sexism, etc) by the media and tournament officials.

Maybe your gnome needs a touch up with a new coat of paint, but at least no one has stolen him.

I am glad you decided that starting the day with breakfast is a good move. It is usually my favourite meal. Thanks for visiting the porch.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 08, 2021:

John, I don't watch sports, so I was unaware of what's going on in the world of tennis. So many people withdrawing! Frankly, I don't blame them. At least they're standing up for integrity and self-worth.

All of your poems this week are great and convey an important message. Even down to the gnome. We have one in one of our plant beds. He's pretty faded from years in the sun but at least no one has absconded with him!

I used to skip breakfast until I got serious about losing weight. Now I eat breakfast every morning and make sure to include a protein (my breakfast protein of choice is eggs). It's made a difference in the way I feel and has helped me lose 25 pounds. So, yes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

I enjoyed the visit, John. The porch is a great place to be!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 08, 2021:

As usual, it is always enjoyable to read what you come up with based on the requests. It never stops amazing me as well as gives me enjoyment.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 08, 2021:

Hello Lorna, thank you for reading these poems a d for your kind comment. I am glad you enjoyed the one about COVID warriors, and the gnome one. I am always happy to hear these brightened your day.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 08, 2021:

Devika, thank you for always reading my poetry. I am glad they left you with a good feeling. Take care.

Lorna Lamon on June 08, 2021:

I'm a little late to the porch John - work has once again taken up a lot of my time and left me drained. Thank you for your wonderful response to my request and I particularly liked how you included those thoughtful people who wear masks.

Loved the Gnome poem and here in the wilds of Ireland we believe they bring us luck and joy.

Breakfast is so important, however, I'm usually dashing out the door with a piece of toast and marmalade in my hand.

As usual you have brightened my day and your poems are always best served with a good cup of tea or coffee on the porch.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 08, 2021:

Jodah You have a great selection of poetry. I enjoy reading poems leaves me with a good feeling. Expressions are true and knowing how this life has changed it is what all citizens deserve. A wonderful idea to appreciate those who have done so much in this pandemic.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 08, 2021:

Thank you for continuing to follow this series, Nithya. I appreciate your encouraging comment.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 07, 2021:

John, I loved all the poems and enjoyed reading them. We should recycle plastics and save the earth from the pending doom. The gnome poem is charming, and you have penned a wonderful tribute to all the COVID frontline workers, and yes, breakfast is the most important meal to keep us going through the day—fantastic writing as always.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Peg, thank you for reading and for your insights on my poetry and the issues discussed. I too wish mental health recievs more recognition in future, and it would be great to end poverty and hunger. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Amara, thank you for the generous comment.

Amara from Pakistan on June 07, 2021:

John I always love to read your poems.. Your writing style is excellent, and you know how to hold the interest of your readers.. Very nice..

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 07, 2021:

I loved each of your poems for different reasons. Cheers to all the many health care workers who have sacrificed to help end this pandemic! Using less plastic and recycling is so important for the health of our planet. We do not have a cute little overseer in our garden, but many people seem to like them. As to breakfast, it is an important meal. After all, it breaks a fast no matter when it is eaten. It makes me think of those who do without and suffer from hunger. We should do all we can to end the scourge of hunger.

As to the tennis...I hope mental health takes a front seat in the future!

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Thank you for the very insightful comment, Linda. It is great that plastics can now be recycled in a number of ways. You are right, I didn't consider the connection with sports stars not being plastic and having normal human emotions, but that is a great point. I don't have a full English breakfast very often either, but the reason I didn't include baked beans is simply that I dislike them lol.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on June 07, 2021:

John, I loved all of these and the introduction as well. I wonder if you subconsciously followed your commentary on professional athletes with the poem on plastics? As you said, many assume that well-paid pros have nothing to worry about because of their fame and wealth. In reality, they aren't "plastic." They have feelings like the rest of us--doubts and fears, anxiety, and depression.

I know that wasn't your point regarding plastics however. Although plastic doesn't biodegrade, new ways are being found for repurposing it (making cloth, paving, roofing materials, etc.).

Garden gnomes--some may see them as cute or charming; I'm in the camp that finds them a bit creepy. (I'm also not a fan of clowns. Perhaps there's a connection there).

I have 4 nieces who are in the medical profession. COVID has had a major impact on them. I am so very proud of what they do and the bravery and compassion they demonstrate day after day. Thank you for the poem for the people taking care of us.

As for breakfast--I love a good, hearty meal of eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns but if I indulged every day in something like that I'd be quite unhealthy (and weigh 200 pounds!). I notice your "full English" didn't include baked beans LOL.

Thanks for a fun read on this cold, rainy Monday morning. Have a great week.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Hi Rosina, great to get your comment and I appreciate your kind words about the poems. It seems to be taking me longer to publish these lately, but better late then never. Take care.

Rosina S Khan on June 07, 2021:

I loved all the poems in this collectiion and enjoyed reading them.

The first one about plastic is a true threat to earth's pollution and we should do our all to minimize it. The next one about a gnome is funny. I am glad you honored COVID warriors by writing a poem in this collection. And eating breakfast to start the day is a well known concept but opinions do change over time about how many meals should be taken throughout the day.

Thank you John for this marvelous contribution. I look forward to the next ones.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Bill, unfortunately, racism raises its head in many countries around the world, here included, although probably not to the same extent. It would be a wonderful world if it could be eradicated. Thank you for enjoying the poems, and don't let me force you to eat breakfast haha.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 07, 2021:

Love the commentary at the beginning. We in the U.S. are quite well-versed in racism, and I doubt, seriously, it will ever go away in this country. Sigh!

Always love your poems, my friend. Now you have me re-thinking my habit of not eating breakfast. lol

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Hi Chitrangada,

I appreciate your generous comment. Yes, I agree these were important topics suggested for this collection of poems, especially "Gnomes" haha.

Seriously, we do need to take the use and disposal of plastics very seriously. The COVID workers can not get enough praise. The media seem to think they are above normal etiquette and fairness. Thank you.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 07, 2021:

Hello John!

Excellent collection of poems from the porch, on some important topics. I liked each one of them, and writing about COVID warriors and frontline workers is so thoughtful. We can’t thank them enough.

Plastics is another important topic, and the more awareness about it, the better.

You have dealt with all these valuable topics, in an excellent way.

Talking about Tennis— I like watching sports, and Tennis is one of my favourite.

Media is sometimes so irritating, especially with the celebrities. I liked reading your take about it in your opening paragraph.

Thank you for sharing this wholesome and well crafted article/ poems.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Thank you for reading and also for your comment Fran. Much appreciated.

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on June 07, 2021:

Great poems covering different problems, especially plastic in our world's devastating marine life. Thank you for your poems.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Hi Bill, thank you for reading this article and for sharing your views on the French Open and the media. Naomi said that it was draining for her to be asked the same questions time and time again. I saw a few after match interviews at this French Open and they were not the best. Yes, Coco handled herself excellently.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Hi Misbah, great to receive your wonderful comment. So, sorry to hear about your childhood sporting injuries. I can understand why you were reluctant to play tennis again after that. I am happy that you enjoyed these poem. Stay safe and well.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Thank you for reading this, Rozlin. Blessings to you also.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Thank you for finding this article interesting, Pamela, and giving your views on my poems and commentary. Always greatly appreciated.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on June 07, 2021:

Hi Charlie, good to see you. Thank you for reading and your kind comment.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on June 07, 2021:

Wonderful poems John. Regarding the issues at this year’s French Open I do think there is a problem with the way the media handles these post match press conferences. And the French Open organizers certainly made a mistake by only having men’s night matches. Hopefully they learn from their mistakes and make changes going forward. I’m not sure how to prevent the media from asking stupid or racist questions but this definitely needs to be addressed. I thought for someone so young that Coco Gauff handled herself well.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on June 07, 2021:

John, all of these poems are lovely. Each one was enjoyable. The opening of this hub was quite different, but it conveyed an important message. Racism, sexism, ageism, casteism, and other inequalities exist in our society. I always feel sad about that. Tennis is not my favorite sport to play, but I love to watch it from time to time. My favorite tennis players are Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Sania Mirza.

When I was a kid, I had two injuries while playing sports. One was with basketball I had an injury in two of my fingers, Luckily on the left hand. Still, in the winters, I feel pain.

The second injury was with tennis the worst one actually tennis ball hit my nose and I got faint. After that day I never tried to play it again. To be honest, I'm really scared of that. Lol... I went off-topic, sorry for that. It's hard for me to choose which poem is the best one. They are all delightful. You are a blessed poet my friend. I like the breakfast photo it looks so refreshing. May God continues to bless you with His countless Blessings. Amen!!


Rozlin from UAE on June 07, 2021:

This is an amazing hub. I enjoyed all the three poems. Thanks for sharing. Blessings

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 07, 2021:

What an interesting article! First, I think the media often act like vultures, and it seems the officials are not very considerate. Who can play tennis well at 1 AM?

I love the variety of poems, which are all excellent. Honoring the workers for their work during this pandemic is a good idea and I like the poem. I love your lines about a good breakfast and they maybe we shouldn't eat at all. I think many of us aeee concerned about plastic nd the way it is being dumped in the ocean, etc. I enjoyed everything you wrote, John.

Charlie Halliday from Scotland on June 07, 2021:

Another great selection of poems John.

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