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The Second Sunrise

Updated on August 21, 2018
Jodah profile image

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books.

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To Rise or not to Rise? That is the Question

There are numerous sayings and wise words espousing the benefits of rising early to greet the day:

  • "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." - Benjamin Franklin
  • "The early bird catches the worm." - unknown
  • "Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it." - Richard Whately
  • “It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”
    - Aristotle
  • “I never knew a man come to greatness or eminence who lay abed late in the morning.”
    - Johnathan Swift
  • “Life is too short,” she panicked, “I want more.” He nodded slowly, “Wake up earlier.
    - Dr. SunWolf
  • “The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years.”
    - Thomas Jefferson
  • “The difference between rising at five and seven o’clock in the morning, for forty years, supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to a man’s life.”
    - Philip Doddridge


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Practicing What You Preach

I have never been one for going to bed early but generally, I rise reasonably early, during Summer anyway. My inbuilt timer always seems to wake me whenever I am required to wake earlier than usual and as a back-up, I have a number of living alarm clocks that wake me on the dot of 7 am each morning. The dogs want to be taken outside and the cats demand feeding.

At our previous house, the bedroom window faced east so the rising sun would wake me every morning to the beautiful colour pallet it made in the sky, but our current bedroom faces the south so that is no longer the case. Most mornings, now, after feeding the animals I go back to bed for another hour or so, especially when it's cold.

I often wish our creator in his infinite wisdom had decided to bless each day with a second sunrise so late risers like me could still enjoy and marvel at the spectacle. To make up for missing the sunrise I try to ensure I take time to admire the wonderful and even more spectacular sunset in the evening, but it isn't the same.

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The Second Sunrise, a Poem

The sunrise wakes the sleeping world,

Creatures stir from slumber,

Birds sing and roosters crow

As the sun peeks above the horizon.


Humans are a lazy lot,

Our instincts long since lost.

Most don’t rise to meet the Sun,

To comfort we are bound.


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We‘ll set our artificial alarms

Our phones, tablets, and clocks.

Then hit the snooze repeatedly

Until the time is up.


We rise and staggering half asleep,

To shower, to dress, and eat.

Check emails and SMS,

Then off to work we trek.


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The beauty of our natural world

So often goes ignored.

Something that we should hold in awe

Simply passes by.


Oh, how I wish that everyday

The sun rose a second time,

So, it’s sublime beauty could be admired

By lazy human kind.

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Off the Shelf

Firstly, I’d like to thank Eric Dierker for naming this series “Off the Shelf”, in one of his comments. That name suits perfectly because this series of poems/articles are all inspired by the titles of novels in my bookshelves at home.

This time it is ”The Second Sunrise” by Geoff Pike. With 614 pages, to call this book an epic is an understatement. In the tradition of James A Michener this work of fiction offers a wonderful insight into some of the history of Hong Kong and indirectly, China. The characters are unforgettable and the action and drama exciting.

"It began among the mighty rivers and murderous pirate fleets of the South China Coast. One bid for greatness in the richest and most dangerous game on earth - the China Trade. From the opium taverns, gambling dens and bordellos of Macau's violent waterfront to the decadence of Shanghai in the1920s, Ben Deverill chases his father's stolen dream."

I would honestly say this is probably the favourite book in my collection. There is also a sequel called ”Tiger Dawn” which I may use at a latter date.

The Second Sunrise by Geoff Pike
The Second Sunrise by Geoff Pike | Source

© 2018 John Hansen

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    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      13 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you once again, Ann. I am enjoying using the book titles as inspiration for poems. It helps me to have some guideline to start with. It’s why I also like writing challenges.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      13 days ago from SW England

      Another great reminder today of how great life is, John!

      Lovely poem with a great sentiment.

      Your 'Off the Shelf' series is certainly a great success. Well done!

      Ann

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Catherine. So glad you enjoyed this poem and it’s message. I greatly appreciate your comment.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      6 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      This is a lovely poem. You are very talented despite your disclaimer about being a poet in your profile. I liked this poem so much because it celebrates the natural world while relating it to the human condition. P.S. seldom rise early. A second sunrise would be great for me too.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Genna. Yes, that quote was new to me as well. Glad you enjoyed this.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 weeks ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Life is too short,” she panicked, “I want more.” He nodded slowly, “Wake up earlier.”

      - Dr. SunWolf

      Lol. I haven't heard this one before. I love it.

      I'm an early riser but this is due to my job and a daunting commute each morning.

      And I love this poem....especially

      "The beauty of our natural world

      So often goes ignored.

      Something that we should hold in awe

      Simply passes by."

      The Cat Stevens song is perfect, John.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Jo. Yes, early morning is a great time to get things done. Everything is more peaceful before the world is up and about. I am sure you would enjoy this book if you like Michener type epics.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you once again, MsDora. I am glad you are enjoying this series.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      All the poems in the "Off the Shelf" have been great. I like the premise of this one.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 

      7 weeks ago from Tennessee

      Early morning is my favorite time of day. I'm normally up early. I call it watching the morning come. It's not just the sunrise, but also listening to the world come alive. It's a quite time for me also, a couple of hours before my husband gets up, I need this time. So important.

      I'm also enjoying learning about the books on your shelf. I loved the James Michener books and often wish I had something similar to read since I've read all of Michener's.

      Thanks for this lovely start to my day.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading, Safoora, and also for your kind comment.

    • Dr safoorabajwa profile image

      Safoora Bajwa 

      8 weeks ago from Islamabad

      Great Information! I love the title

      2nd Sun Rise

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Linda, thank you for reading. I am glad you enjoyed the theme of the article, and think "Off the Shelf" is a good name for the series. Cheers.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      8 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Sunrise can be a beautiful sight, though I don't see it very often. This is an enjoyable article with a lovely theme, John. Thank you for sharing the quotes and the poem. "Off the Shelf" is an excellent title for your series.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      8 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John we are brothers in reverence to the men who made us.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks brother Sean. Yes, you are right again. We are a greedy lot and if God gave us a second sunrise, we would then crave a third. “Eric rocks”...I know right!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Dana, when I was working for others in various office jobs, I would do the same...set my alarm for 15minutes earlier than I needed to rise so I could hit snooze and stay in bed awhile longer :) When I had a job that started early, the worst part of driving to work at sunrise for me was that the sun was usually in my eyes and made driving dangerous. Still, always beautiful and to be admired.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Mary, my book collection is very diverse. I am sure there is something there to suit every taste and I have more books than I can read in my lifetime. I do hope you manage to read some of them.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for your kind words, Linda. There may be some truth to the sailor’s saying but I’m not sure. I know a red sunrise or sunset sometimes reflects fires nearby, but I doubt that would be the case at sea :) Maybe you are right about a Heaven and constant changing display of colours..wouldn’t’t that be wonderful? I hope you do manage to find some of these books in the library.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for sharing your daily routine, Venkatachari. I am afraid my day is much more random and that has it’s good and bad points. I agree seven hours sleep is more than enough, in fact I probably get an average of five or six. Thanks for reading too.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      I never really had much chance to know my grandpas, Eric, but one uncle we used to stay with often was like a grandpa to me. He was up every morning at 4am to mlk the cow and separate the milk and cream and even churn butter. I often got up and accompanied him, so we’d also see the sunrise. Glad this brought back memories for you too. Thanks for the “Off the Shelf” title, too.

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      8 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Your poem is an excellent "alarm", my brother, for our multileveled laziness. Physical and Spiritual. After all, if we had been given the chance of a second sunrise every day, we would ask for a third!

      Thanks for this sublime piece of your Heart!

      Sean

      PS: Eric rocks!

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      8 weeks ago from LOS ANGELES

      I get up early because I have to be at work a 6:am usually I beat the sun up. I also hit that snooze button over and over and its funny I actually set it 15 minutes early just to give myself time to put it on snooze a few times. Then I straggle out of bed still tired and grumpy because more than likely I didn't get a good nights rest.

      After I have my first cup of coffee or maybe my second, all is beautiful. By that time I had my shower I'm dressed drinking my coffee and watching the sun rise on my way to work and I think "what a beautiful sight."

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      Interesting that your series introduce me to books I have not yet come across. I love knowing what other people read and explore authors I still have to read. Some of the books off your shelf just beg to be read.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      8 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      "Off the Shelf" is a perfect title for this series. Like you I do not have an east-facing window, but our kitty makes sure that we are up bright (?) and early.

      There's an old saying, 'red sky at night sailor delight, red sky at morning sailor take warning.' Do you find any truth in that?

      Maybe in Heaven, we will have an ever-changing display of colors--there will be no time.

      Thank you for continuing this series. Your poetry style is very pleasing to my ear, and now you have given me yet another book to look for at the library. Wonderful!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      8 weeks ago from Hyderabad, India

      It's truly off the shelf. I enjoyed this approach towards Second Sunrise.

      But, I am an early bird and a late sleeper. I get up exactly at 6 AM on listening to the alarm, sometimes even before the alarm rings. I go to sleep at 11 pm. And, 7 hours is quite enough for anybody to sleep. No sleep during daytime at any cost. Only a 10-minute break lying on the bed for rest to your back. That's enough.

      Everything is planned in my routine. 6 to 8 am taking a look at the sky and work in the kitchen. Then, bath and worship. Then breakfast, coffee. And it is 11 now. 11 to 1 pm computer. Then again some work in kitchen, lunch, 10-minute rest. One TV serial 2:30 to 3 pm. Then again computer till 5:30 pm with a tea break for preparing and drinking tea at 4 pm. Then some walking in the building itself and gazing at the sunset and the sky. Then, fresh up and again kitchen, two TV serials and Dinner at 9 pm. Then again at computer till 11 pm.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      8 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John I pretty much "do" sunrises. Maybe they "do" me. It would be so fun for me if we had a second for my lazy lazies around the house ;-)

      Or maybe not. I get some real good one on one me time with all love and God are. But then again the first one would still be mine.

      Here is something hoke, my grandpa would visit in the summer. And he would not disturb the other 5 kids but swoop me up to go fishing before the rise - that is what he called it.

      Thanks friend for putting me back there.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for sharing your routine, Shauna. Glad you think a second sunrise is a good idea too lol.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      8 weeks ago from Central Florida

      I'm in bed every night by 8:00, but I don't go to sleep right away. I watch TV for an hour or so. I'm up by 6:12 through the week (after hitting the snooze button 4 times) so I can feed the cats, shower, have a cup of coffee and get to work on time. Weekends are a different story. I get up when I naturally wake up, usually sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m.

      I don't think I've actually seen the sunrise in quite some time. If I'm up, I'm in the shower, so I miss it. I do catch the sunsets, tho.

      I love the idea of having a second sunrise. That would be pretty cool, John.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Sorry to hear about those forest fires still burning, Bill. Yes, Eric’s suggestion was great and I am using it.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Glad you agree the the “Off the Shelf” name Flourish. I am glad my cats sleep in a little longer.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      When I had roosters we did the same Chibuzo. Thank you for your kind comment.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      No sunrise here. Our skies are filled with forest fire smoke...94 degrees today and no sun....miserable!

      I love Eric's suggestion for a title....perfect.

      Have a tremendous Tuesday, John!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you as always, Rinita. You are often the first to read my offerings and always leave such a generous comment. I like the quote from Wuthering Heights too. Yes, I think we can ask too much of the creator. We need to enjoy all the wonders already provided.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      8 weeks ago from USA

      Off the Shelf is a great name, and I enjoyed the poem. I rise at 4 am because of my cats and due to habit. My daughter used to have to catch the bus at 5:55 am and I needed to make her breakfast and drive her to the bus stop because it was a very busy road unsafe to cross for anyone in the dark. I typically am up a few hours then go back down so I wish I had a second sunrise too.

    • Rossimobis profile image

      Chibuzo Melvin Mobis 

      8 weeks ago from Nigeria

      Morning has broken... In my place we rise early to face the day by the cock...cock crows at dawn. I enjoyed every bit of this article and the last phase of the poem caught me... I wish the sun will truly have a second rise.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      8 weeks ago

      Excellent article/poem. Your introductory lines remind me of Nelly from Wuthering Heights, who says - "A person who has not done one half of his day's work by ten o' clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone." Well, it was really Bronte who was saying it through Nelly.

      The second sunrise would indeed be lovely, but really, as humans, how much more are we going to ask of the creator, isn't it?

      The book sounds interesting. Eric's nomenclature for this series of yours is perfect. I hope we get many more "off your shelf".

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