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Poems From the Porch 65

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

Image by Агзам Гайсин from Pixabay

Image by Агзам Гайсин from Pixabay

Good Sportsmanship, Comradery, and Acceptance

Like many others, I have spent a lot of hours over the last couple of weeks watching the Tokyo Olympics. There has been wonderful competition in a wide variety of sports (many that are new to the Olympic arena), ups and downs, disappointments, celebrations, world records broken etc. but the thing that has impressed me more than anything else has been the comradery shown at these particular Games, especially as they are being held during the present COVID pandemic affecting the world.

A few specific examples have been:

  • In the Men's High Jump final, the final two jumpers left, Mutaz Essa Barshim from Qatar, and Gianmarco Tamberi from Italy, both agreed to share the gold medal instead of a "jump-off." They embraced each other with great respect and enthusiasm.
  • After finishing last in the gruelling women's triathlon, an exhausted Claire Michel from Belgium sat on the ground after crossing the finish line and cried inconsolably. Of the 54 athletes who began the race, 20 were either lapped or dropped out. Norway's Lotte Miller, who came in 24th, went up to Michel and gave her a little pep talk. "You're a f......g fighter," Miller told Michel. "This is Olympic spirit, and you've got it 100%."
  • At the Men's Decathlon final there were similar scenes as almost every competitor embraced or congratulate each other, whether they were successful or not. There seemed to be no disappointment or animosity...just respect.
  • In the new sport of skateboarding (both men's and women's) it was the same, no matter what country the competitors were from they seemed genuinely happy for the winners and sad for the losers or those who had accidents.
  • When runners Isaiah Jewett of the US and Nijel Amos of Botswana fell during the 800-meter race, they helped each other up, put their arms around each other, and jogged to the finish line together. "As he looked at me, he said, 'I’m sorry,' Jewett recalled after the race, "I said, 'It's OK, man.' "Regardless of how mad you are, you have to be a hero at the end of the day," Jewett said. "Because that’s what heroes do: They show their humanity through who they are and show they’re good people."

I am sure there were also some signs of disappointment and bad sportsmanship but it didn't seem to be on show. I think the world can take a lot of lessons from the athletes at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.

As for prompts, I have a request. In about a month, my husband and I will be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. Can you offer something in recognition of a long, loving marriage? We've been through much, done much; through the good and the bad he has always been by my side. My best friend.

— Linda Lum

A Long and Loving Marriage

A long and loving marriage

Is something to admire.

It can’t be taken lightly

So keep stoking the fire.


It’s all a case of give and take,

But mostly you should give.

Both partners need a middle ground

On how they want to live.


Love is what’s important,

Unconditional and true.

Put your partner’s welfare first -

They’ll do the same for you.


Raise a loving family,

Instil in them good traits.

Then they will try to make you proud,

You won’t have long to wait.


Always respect your partner,

Even when not in the mood.

But every conflict is resolved

By sharing scrumptious food.


For Linda and her Husband,

Daughters Beth and Megan too,

I wish many more loving years

To every one of you.

You are a master at turning various subjects into poems, John. Let's keep the ball rolling because it is fun to see what you do with prompts. OK, here are some ideas, and have some fun with them if you have not already written pieces about them. You need not combine them, obviously.

Building a snowman

Flying a kite

— Peggy Woods

Snowman: sketched by me

Snowman: sketched by me

Building a Snowman

When the landscape’s white with snow

And you can skate upon the lake,

There’ll be snowball fights, toboggans,

And fine snowmen to make.


Gather snow near your front door,

And pile the snow up five feet high.

Shape a round body and a head,

Add lumps of coal for eyes.


Find some old clothes rarely used,

Give him a carrot for a nose.

Wrap a warm scarf around his neck,

Give him a regal pose.


Now for just the final touch,

Put a top hat upon his head,

Admire your work for just a while,

And call him Bob or Fred.


Then all who come to visit

Will admire your man of snow,

And his stoic calm demeanour.

Even when the cold wind blows.


When the weather warms again

And your snowman begins to melt,

Put on a brave accepting face,

Hide the sadness that you’ve felt.


Then come again next winter

You can rebuild your snowy friend,

Give him a brand new hat and scarf,

So he’ll be there again.

Flying Kites

Rising high upon the breeze,

Just balsa wood and paper.

A kite hovers overhead.

There are no fumes or vapour.


Multi-coloured, many shapes,

Kites can captivate our eyes.

Just relying on the wind

To decide how high they fly.


Slowly let the string release,

Slipping between your fingers.

Then lie back and just relax,

Letting no worries linger.


In a world full of restrictions

Flying kites can set us free.

For just a small moment in time

It is therapy for me.

I don't wanna see the Porch Series go away...

How about writing on whatever you see from the porch.

I love that you have a special place that you can relax.

— Brenda Arledge

A Porch With a View

The sun shines down on my balcony,

And the cats all laze about.

Life is hard when you sleep all day,

And the hens come up to join the fray.

- The porch is the hub, no doubt.


With notebook and pen, I sit reclined,

Soaking up the morning sun.

I look around, as I am inclined

Marvelling at a view so sublime.

- It’s time my writing's begun.


As I start to write the words just flow,

My muse taking over my mind.

While I ponder all that I know

As life moves on around me so slow.

- And others caught in the grind.


The view from the porch is quite sublime,

A backyard landscaped with trees.

As I write I lose track of time

While attempting to perfect my rhyme.

- and flowers are abuzz with bees.


A baby blue sky sprinkled with clouds,

Rooves of the houses below.

Quiet small town roads crisscross around,

From the porch, there is barely a sound

- Far cry from the city flow.


Each poem I write is reader inspired,

A prompt or a peer’s request.

These help to stoke this writer’s fire.

After an hour I may start to tire

- But time on the porch is best.

poems-from-the-porch-65

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

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 10, 2021:

Thank you for the lovely comment, Lora. I had my reservations about this Olympics even being held during the pandemic but I do think the world needed it.

I am glad the poems like Building a Snowman and Flying Kites managed to brighten your day too. Have a great day/night.

Lora Hollings on August 10, 2021:

What a wonderful collection of poems, John. Like you, I find it very uplifting to see the camaraderie show at the Olympic Games. It gives me hope in a word that often seems too torn by strife. Your poems were just delightful and brought a cheerful feeling to my day. I think Building A Snowman was my favorite especially since we don’t get snow in the desert and it made me nostalgic for all those wonderful wintry days I spent in the Midwest. But, Flying Kites was very special too and wrapping it up with A View from the Porch sure ended this set with a real finale!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 09, 2021:

Thank you, Linda. Glad you liked the poems and the porch. Yes, the cats are happy there.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on August 09, 2021:

Your poems were all enjoyable to read. Like Flourish, I enjoyed seeing your cats on the porch. It looks like an interesting and safe place for them.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 09, 2021:

Thank you, Flourish. It is nice.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 09, 2021:

I barely caught notice of the Olympics, but I liked your highlights. I sure loved those cat photos. That porch you have is enviable, and I liked the poem about what you see and experience on the porch.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 07, 2021:

Hello Brittany, what a humbling comment, but I am proud to be your favourite current poet. I would also be honoured to write an article on your website. May I have the link, or is it on your profile?

Brittany Benko from South Carolina on August 07, 2021:

Wonderful poems, like always. You have become my favorite poet that is actively writing today. I feel many people who write poetry today do not grasp what poetry truly should be. It's comforting to see rhyming poetry is still alive and written with such talent. Thank you for sharing your passion with the world. I would be honored if you would write an article on my poetry blogging website. Blessings to you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

Hello, Chitrangada. Each edition of 'The Porch' seems to be taking me longer to publish these days but I would rather do each poem justice rather than just rush them out. Thank you for congratulating Linda, and for your kind words in regard to the poems. Blessings.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 06, 2021:

Hello John!

An excellent presentation of poems from the porch series!

I liked reading your opening paragraph about the Olympics, which I am following with keen interest! There is so much to learn from the sports and the sportspersons!

Loved all the prompts and your well crafted poems, in response to them!

Would like to congratulate Linda and her husband for their wedding Anniversary! Wish them many more years of love, happiness, and togetherness!

Thank you for sharing another wonderful edition of your excellent porch series!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

Thank you for reading and commenting, Vidya. Glad you enjoyed, and yes the Olympic sportsmanship was commendable. I am sure Linda appreciates the well wishes.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

Peggy, how wonderful that you could attend the Opening Ceremony in Barcelona. The 2032 Olympics are in Brisbane so maybe I can attend then…touch wood.

Thank you for reading and for your kind words. I know I have written about the ‘she shed’ in a previous Poems From the Porch, but not in depth. maybe I will do that. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

It is always good when something I write gives someone a laugh, Mr Happy. Especially if it is meant to be funny haha. I am sure the presence of a snowman would be most welcome there right now..though he may melt in 30 degree heat. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

Hello Rosina, it is always a pleasure to receive your comments. I am glad you enjoyed these poems. Like you, I have never built a snowman..only in this poem. Thank you also for your congratulations to Linda. Glad you liked my sketch too.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

It was my pleasure to write that, Linda. 40 years married is very worthy….39 years next month for us.

Thank you for enjoying the porch once again.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

Brenda, I am so glad you liked the poem I wrote from your request. I think the cats like their patio, but they prefer being inside given the choice lol.

Making a snowman was just guess-work on my part. I have never even been anywhere near snow, so thanks for the insight as how it is done.

Life has settled down for now….new date for son’s wedding in October and I now have hot water..a luxury.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

Manatita, I thank you sincerely for your generous and kind comment. To say I felt compelled to write something about the Tokyo Olympics is an understatement. It was late being held but that it went ahead at all was a miracle. I think it was much needed though. Many of the athletes had had no International competition for two years, and I think it showed how much they missed and appreciated that.

I thought of including Simone Biles in my commentary (also worthy) and I love how she returned and competed on the beam, but felt she would be talked about enough elsewhere.

Thank you for enjoying my poetry as well, and for your congratulations to Linda. Much love and respect.

VIDYA D SAGAR on August 06, 2021:

I enjoyed reading all the poems John. My favorite is "A Porch With a View". The camaraderie shared by the participants at the Olympics is inspiring. Your sketch of the snowman is good. You are really talented, John. Wishing Linda many more years of happy marital bliss. Thanks for sharing.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 06, 2021:

I loved all of the topics you mentioned. We attended the opening ceremonies of the Olympics in Barcelona and have been watching them ever since that time. While we do not watch every competition, we do catch many of them. Sportsmanship at its best!

Congratulations to Linda and her husband!

We built many a snowman in Wisconsin, and I loved your sketch. You are so talented in many ways.

Flying a kite does make one feel free!

Your porch is a beautiful place in which to spend quality time. Thanks for sharing it with us. You mentioned your wife's "she shed." You could undoubtedly expand on that. What makes her "she shed" special?

Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on August 06, 2021:

"Life is hard when you sleep all day" - Haha!! Yes, especially when one wakes up hungry. Too funny!

Thanks for the poems - I liked the one with the Snowman the best but that's just because I love snow and anything that has to do with it. It's non-stop over 30C here so, I'm dreaming snow right now lol

All the very best!

Rosina S Khan on August 06, 2021:

Loved your collection of poetry a lot, John.

Congrats to Linda for the 40th celebration of her wedding ceremony. I do hope and pray she has plenty of years to celebrate.

I do think flying kites can set us free and be the therapy for us.

Building a snowman would be interesting. I have never been near much snow to make one. By the way, your sketch is beautiful.

"A Porch With a View" is my fave. I love the way you describe the view.

Thank you for the entertainment. I really enjoyed your poetry tonight.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on August 06, 2021:

John, thank you so very much for the poem in recognition of our 40th anniversary. You have touched my heart.

Your little snowman is adorable (is there anything you cannot do?)

And, thank you for giving us a glimpse of your surroundings as you write "On the Porch." What an idyllic spot for you and your Muse.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 06, 2021:

John

It's nice to see you on the Porch again.

I loved the poem you wrote, "Poch with a View".

Those kittys must be the envy of all the neighborhood cats with their own private patio.

Congratulations Linda ~ i pray you are blessed with more years to come.

Making a snowman would be so much easier if we piled the snow up and then carved him out.

We actually roll up a giant ball then pick it up and carry it...placing one on top of the other.

Loved the sketch...you are talented.

I hope life is finally treating you well & you can kick back and relax.

manatita44 from london on August 06, 2021:

John your work is always excellent! But perhaps today I had a flying start or you had a flying start with the Olympics. I have a poem called 'hero' and your piece left me all teary-eyed. You didn't mention Biles but yes, I'm going to add her in my poem plus your heroes who tripped over as well.

Before I continue, permit me to digress a bit. My spiritual teacher absolutely loved the Olympics and said many inspirational things about how sport and athletics helped the world. He met many athletics himself, including Sudhahota Carl Lewis, Jessie Owens and the best of them all, Mohammed Ali himself, plus more! 'Nuff said.

Let me offer my congratulations to Linda L. I have seen couples married for 80 years, but then I have been a nurse for 47 years. So it happens. 25 years is no joke, let alone 40, so many kudos to her. All your other poems are exquisite, tender, loving and oh, I really loved those Olympic rings. Gratitude!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

Thank you, Rasma. I appreciate you reading and commenting. I am pleased you liked Porch With a View. Thank you for sharing a little about your own porch too.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on August 06, 2021:

These were all just wonderful. Especially like The Porch With a View. I have only a little porch outside my door on the second floor but I can see the outside cats playing, the palm trees swaying and there is a bit of something for some inspiration, I wish you a great weekend,

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

Bill, I didn’t start watching the Olympics right away either. I missed the opening ceremony and day one, but once I started I got hooked and have tuned in at some stage each day. Glad you are finding Poems From the Porch addictive too. Cat Food..lol…really? Okay, you asked for it.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 06, 2021:

I wasn't going to watch the Olympics this time around; no fans had me turned off...until I turned on, and now I can't stop watching them. It's like the poems from the porch; once you start, you really can't stop.

Keep it going....next topic.....cat food!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

Hello Shauna. Glad you like the new profile pic lol...but more importantly the poems. Yes, I hope the world does heed the comradery at the Olympics.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 06, 2021:

I love all of these, John. I can't pick a favorite this time. Well, on second thought, "A Porch With a View" is peaceful and took me on a pleasant, relaxing journey.

Thanks for sharing your observations of the camaraderie displayed between the Olympics competitors. The world should take heed and be kinder to one another.

Excellent episode, John. And I love your new profile pic!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 06, 2021:

Pamela, thank you for being the first to read, and I appreciate your comment. Yes, Linda's poem was special, and I am glad you agree with what I said about the Olympics. Australia was fortunate to win the Men's Skateboard gold medal too.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 06, 2021:

I think the poem written for Linda and her family is terrific . I really loved all your poems, as usual, John. Peggy's suggestions resulted in good poem as well.

I was watching a bit of the Olympics I recorded last night and the Australian skate board athletics sure were good. I agree with your opening comments about the Olympics.

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