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Poems From the Porch 66

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

Stairway to Heaven: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Stairway to Heaven: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Life is Fleeting

R.I.P Raymond "Paul" McLaughlin (affectionately: "Boris")

Welcome to the Porch, edition 66. I hope this finds you well and enjoying life. The last few years have been especially challenging for most of us, but whatever the obstacles or hardships we face, life goes on.

We have all been affected by the COVID pandemic in one way or another, whether we have a friend or family member who has contracted it, or passed away, or through just enduring lockdowns, travel restrictions, wearing masks and the like.

While this has overshadowed almost everything else that has happened we still face a multitude of other everyday trials like making ends meet, marriage breakdowns, neighbourhood disputes, etc. But, whatever is thrown at you in life you have to try to overcome, seize the moment and make the most of the good things that make us happy.

A number of things have happened lately that have made me sit and contemplate (often when on my porch) about how fleeting life actually is and how it is much too easy to waste a lot of it. This is cliched, but we really do have to start living each day as it could be our last.

We received the sad news yesterday that my brother-in-law, Paul, my wife's youngest brother (and best man at our wedding) passed away. He has suffered a form of leukemia for a number of years but it was still a shock as he was only 57. What makes this even harder and really hits home the shortness of life, is that he is the third sibling my wife, Kathy, has lost in the last 10 years. Another sister and brother were both taken by brain tumours, and neither reached 60 years (her sister, not even 50.)

Because of this latest wake-up call, we are determined to make the most of each day because we do not know how many we have left. No one does! So, I urge you as many of the things you love - as soon as you can. Start ticking off that bucket list COVID or NO COVID!

Anyway, the poetry this week seem to reflect that theme of enjoying life, throwing cares away, and doing what you love. I hope you enjoy these poems.


— Peggy Woods

Girl Skinny-Dipping

Girl Skinny-Dipping



Skinny-Dippers Lost in Time

We walked down by the river,

Arm and arm and hand in hand.

A picnic lunch that we could share-

Life in those days was grand.

We found a lovely shady spot

‘neath a weeping willow tree.

An awesome place for a first date,

Scroll to Continue

At least it was for me.

We placed the basket on the ground,

“Come swim with me!” she said.

“Um…I didn’t bring a swimsuit…”

I’m sure my face was red.

She winked and gave a playful grin,

Then her dress, she let it drop,

And stepped out of her underthings-

She was nude before she stopped.

I watched her step down from the bank,

The water looked a little cold.

Then she turned and waved at me

And dared me to be bold.

The smile she gave me eased my fears

As I swallowed all my pride,

And threw my chagrin to the wind.

I had nowhere to hide.

I swam to her, and pulled her close,

Wrapped my arms around her waist.

All my shyness flowed away,

Honey lips begged me to taste.

Beneath the water’s surface

Wild passions were released.

But then the censor came along



“You can’t write smut on HubPages,

This is not an adult site!

Erotica may have its peace

Somewhere else, and late at night!”

“Keep your nudity under wraps,

And your hanky-panky moves.

Reign your galloping hormones in

And don’t jump out of the grooves.”

So, we sat upon a tartan rug,

Sharing sandwiches and wine.

Like characters in a fairy tale-

Skinny-Dippers lost in time.

How about a poem on watermelon? I certainly eat a lot of it here where temps are in the triple digits throughout the summer. It has such a cooling and refreshing taste. I can't imagine a summer picnic without it.

— Lora Hollings




The sweet pink flesh melts in the mouth

Spit out the seeds for fun

Slice open the hard green skin

Down your chin the water runs

One thing I have always enjoyed

In the sweltering summer heat

Was watermelon kept on ice

The perfect childhood treat

R.I.P Tom T Hall: Passed Away 20 Aug 2021.

Here is a suggestion from me too— Long drives!

— Chitrangada Sharan

We are currently traveling to Texas to see our granddaughter. That is a 1000+ mile trip. I don't know if you can find a poem there.

— Pamela Oglesby

The Bus, Mitchell QLD. Australia

The Bus, Mitchell QLD. Australia

Long Lost Drives

I am going on the road again,

the highway calls my name.

Travel restrictions still in place-

that they’re needed is a shame.

We cannot travel interstate,

the borders are all blocked.

But Queensland still has many roads

my odometer's never clocked.

The bus has not been out in months,

in fact, it’s been two years.

The cobwebs need to be cleaned out,

and allay the COVID fears.

The last long drive was epic,

2000 miles return,

from Murgon up to Darwin.

On the way back a clutch burned.

The open road’s appealing,

long stretches, rolling hills.

I haven’t travelled in a while

but the urge is with me still.

So, I check the oil and water,

make sure the battery’s charged,

pack enough food for two days,

and mark Jodah as “At Large.”

Now point me at the highway

for I’m ready to attack.

I’ll be off and driving

and there’ll be no turning back.

© 2021 John Hansen


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

It is never too late Shauna, and I do greatly appreciate your condolences. Yes, losing another sibling has not been easy on Kathy. They university hospital actually did tests after the death of her older brother to see if there could be any genetic link to two sibling’s having the same rare brain cancer and another having blood cancer but reported no apparent link..just bad luck. Still scary, losing three of five and all under sixty.

Haha I’d love to go skinny dipping too, but it is a bit chilly here right now at 5 degrees Celsius. Enjoy your week.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 24, 2021:

John, I've been meaning to get here for two days. First, I want to say how sorry I am to hear about your brother-in-law. It must be very difficult for Kathy to lose so many siblings in such a short span of time. It's heartbreaking.

Once again, you've taken suggestions and run with them. My favorites are "Skinny Dipping" and "Long Lost Drives". I'd love to go on along ride to a lake or river and go skinny dipping right now. That would be a great way to cool off!

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

Lora, your kind comment is most welcome. It is so true that none of us knows how long we have been allotted on this Earth. Glad you enjoyed each of these poems for different reasons. Blessings.

Lora Hollings on August 23, 2021:

So sorry for your loss, John. None of us know when we will run out of time as you remind us of the importance of making the most of our lives right now. I loved your audacious and amusing style on Skinny-Dipping. The poem on Watermelon was as much of a treat as the real thing! And the last poem was on target about long trips. And King of the Road took me back to the era before I ever heard of covid which was really nice. A delightful read!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 23, 2021:

Hello Rinita, thank you for the kind condolences. My moto..”if you are feeling down, throw yourself into writing.” It certainly is cathartic, and helps me redirect my feelings. I am glad we both chose thee same image. “Brilliant minds” must be.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 23, 2021:

Hi Denise, it is always a pleasure to receive your comments. Haha yes in the skinny dipping poem I felt it beginning to go a little too far so was glad the censor stepped in just in time. I think I have been writing here long enough to know what is acceptable and what isn’t. I had ads removed in the early days because content was deemed unsuitable.

I am glad King of the Road brought back memories. Blessings.

Rinita Sen on August 23, 2021:

Sorry for your loss, John. Prayers for the passed soul. May the light be with him. Hope your wife finds the strength at this hour.

It's amazing that despite the loss you could write a poem like skinny dipping. You're amazingly talented.

Oh and I've also used the first image in one of my poems. Brilliant minds think alike?

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on August 23, 2021:

Roger Miller's King of the Road sure took me back. My dad used to love that song on long drives into the mountains. I loved the sensor clipping your poem. Just how I feel sometimes. Funny.



John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 23, 2021:

Thank you so much, Fran. Yes, we do need to treasure each other. Glad you enjoyed the poems

fran rooks from Toledo, Ohio on August 23, 2021:

My condolences to you and your family. We must treasure each day we have. Loved your poems as always.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Hello Greg. I appreciate your sincere condolences. It is a sad and unfortunate situation in regard to my wife’s family and it is hard, especially for her, not to dwell on it. Life, however, must go on and we need to live it to the fullest.

Glad you enjoyed the poetry, especially the skinny-dipping one. I am happy I was able to make the HP censor addition work. All the best to you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Thank you Nithya. Yes, life is too short. I appreciate your kindness, and pleased that you enjoyed these poems.

greg cain from Moscow, Idaho, USA on August 22, 2021:

John - so sad to read the news about your brother-in-law. Heartbreaking, really, when he is the third to go in the family in just a decade. Please accept these heartfelt condolences all the way from Idaho, too. And keep up the great poetry. I was digging the skinny-dipping one, but loved it even more for the way you tied it up with only a PG rating. Nicely done. All of them were well done, actually, and I've a hankering for watermelon now besides. Best to you and your bride, my friend, and grab life by the horns and squeeze all you can out of it. Best to you and your bride.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on August 22, 2021:

My sincere condolences John. Life is short and we must live every second to the fullest. I enjoyed reading all your poems, beautifully penned as always.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Vidya, thank you for the kind condolences. We will grieve, then carry on. Blessings.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Your kind words are appreciated, Flourish. Sadly, too many people are experiencing loss in recent times. Glad you enjoyed the twist in the skinny-dipping poem. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Hello Peg, thank you for your condolences. It is never easy when a family member passes, but we need to grieve and then carry on. I am glad you enjoyed the poems and appreciate all the prompts you provided. Take care.

VIDYA D SAGAR on August 22, 2021:

Excellent poetry John. Sorry to know about your brother-in-law. Condolences to you and your family. You are right, life is so unpredictable, with or without covid. Take care, stay safe friend.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 22, 2021:

I'm sorry about your loss, John. It seems like lately there is a lot of loss going around, whether COVID or other causes. I wish you peace in your grieving.

The skinny-dipping poem's little twist about HP being a family site was cute.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 22, 2021:

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your brother-in-law. Please extend my condolences to your wife and her entire family. It is so hard losing loved ones. Your expression of living life to the fullest extent possible is good advice. Your poems were a delight to read. Thanks for taking our suggestions and running with them.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Thanks for the condolences, Bill. Sending Lora your way. :)

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 22, 2021:

I'm very sorry for your loss, John! Blessings to you and your wife, my friend. As for the porch poetry, tell Lora I have some watermelon on the counter and I'll be happy to share with her. :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Thank you Misbah, your kind words are greatly appreciated

.It is hard to put into words the feelings you endure at these times and even harder for others to know what to say to comfort you.

I am glad my poems bring a little sunshine with them in this time. Bless you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Bill, I really appreciate your condolences for myself and my wife, and your reading and commenting on these poems and my commentary. Take care.

Misbah Sheikh on August 22, 2021:

Dear John, I am so sorry to hear about your brother in law's death. I'm so sorry for your loss. I believe, there are no such words that can give comfort. I truly agree with you that we must make each moment count.

Life is tragic. It strikes us hard when we least expect it. I can feel your wife's anguish. May God grant you and your family the strength to bear this loss. Ameen! May his soul rest in peace. Amen! Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

Your poems, as usual, are rays of sunshine that are always welcome and beautiful in brightening the day. I adored each and every one of them.

Sending healing hugs and prayers to you and your family.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on August 22, 2021:

Hi John. First of all my condolences on the passing of your brother in-law. Very sad that your wife has lost three siblings. The poems are wonderful and your message about living life to it’s fullest because there are no guarantees of a tomorrow is something everyone should adhere to.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Chitrangada, thank you for the kind and caring words. Yes, we have no choice but to stay strong and move forward. We still have a life to live.

I am glad you liked the poem I wrote for your request as well as the others. Stay blessed.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 22, 2021:

Hello John!

I am so sorry about the loss in your wife’s family. My sincere condolences. One has to stay strong, and move forward, because this is the only option. You have some wise advice there. Life is fleeting, and we have to live each moment, well.

I enjoyed all your beautifully crafted poems.

Thank you for including my request. I loved the poem about long drives/ road trips. I enjoyed your pictures too.

Everyone in my family enjoys long road trips. It is so much fun, to watch the natural beauty, all along the driveway.

Thank you for sharing this excellent series. Have a good day.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Thank you manatita, my brother. Your words are wise. I too think many lessons have been learned from COVID, but we are still not perfect. Glad you found the poems vibrant and light-hearted. Peace.

manatita44 from london on August 22, 2021:

'Sorry for your loss.'

manatita44 from london on August 22, 2021:

Condolences, my brother. Suffer for your loss. Noted, though, that like Brenda you're also philosophical too. Yes, we must make hay while the sun shines as tomorrow is not ours.

Yet we are so human that the Buddha's philosophy of impermance, is not always foremost in our thoughts. Covid-19 helped, I feel but humans are returning to our old self.

Your poems are vibrant and with some light-hearted streaks. R.I.P to all other significant associates. We have all lost a few. Peace.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Hi Mel, thank you for the condolences, and for appreciating the insights in my work.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Pamela, I appreciate your kind words. Yes, my wife's family history is quite scary. Tests have been conducted that confirm there is no link between these cancer deaths in one family. they say it is a coincidence and just plain bad luck.

Thank you for enjoying the poems and videos. Blessings,

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on August 22, 2021:

Sorry about your family's tragedy. Life is fragile, I am glad you are making hay while the sun shines. I always enjoy your insights, poetic and otherwise.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 22, 2021:

John, I am so sorry to hear of your brother-in-law passing aways. You message is one I believe. I am sure your wife's family history is frightening. We need to live each day like it is our last. I made a choice to be happy despite a plethora of health problems that cause constant pain, but there is still so much to enjoy, like family. Life is tough sometimes, but we have to persevere. Who wants to live in fear and misery?

On a brighter note, I appreciate your poem about long trips. It was very good, John. The poem about skinny dipping was delightful, and one to smile about. I enjoyed all the appropriate videos also. I love that Tom T Hall song. Thanks for a very touching article this morning.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

Thank you for your condolences, Brenda. Thanks for reading also and glad you enjoyed the first poem.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 22, 2021:


I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.

But you are so right.. we must make each moment count.

Embrace your wife & family each day. We don't know when our last moments might be ~ age really has no concern.

I love your poems on the porch series.

This time my favorite was your very first poem.

Have a fantastic Sunday.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 22, 2021:

It is my pleasure, Diana. I am glad you enjoyed the article.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on August 21, 2021:

Thanks John for your refreshing poetry and also the reality of the fact that we should make the most of our days and not take them for granted.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 21, 2021:

Rosina, it is always a great compliment to read that my poems made someone's day. I am glad it was yours this morning. Thank you for the kind words.

Rosina S Khan on August 21, 2021:

A delightful collection of poems, John. I loved them all. All were full of fun and were enlightening. I feel so good reading your poetry this lazy morning. Thanks for sharing your awesome and intriguing poems. They certainly made my day. Cheers!

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