Poems From the Porch 15 ~ Christmas 2019
Christmas is Here
Welcome to the porch. It is Christmas Eve here in Australia and I am happy that I have managed to get this published just in time because all the poems have a Christmas theme. I have been so busy that I had almost given up finishing this collection before the New Year. But, I did it!
I hope you enjoy this Christmas edition of Poems From the Porch.
Rosina S Khan
"I loved your poems from porch 13. I would like to make a new request for the New Year. The title would be: "How to find the silver lining behind every cloud".
Thank you for the request, Rosina. I hope you can use this to inspire you in the coming New Year.
Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.— -Rabindranath Tagore
Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining
Every cloud has a silver lining
That's how the saying goes,
So don't waste your whole life whining,
Bend down and smell each rose.
When things in life don't go your way
Just shrug and say "So what?"
This isn't just a one-act play,
Each scene's a brand new shot.
There's no such thing as "can't be done,"
Just give it your best try.
Leap each hurdle on the run,
Have the motto "Do or die!"
Storms sometimes make us cower in fear,
Lightning strikes and thunder roars
But those dark clouds will always clear,
And soon a rainbow forms.
Try to find that rainbow's end,
Search for the pot of gold,
For even if it is a myth
At least you had a goal.
So, don't give up, be bold and true,
Though impossible it seems.
See all the hard times you've been through
As pathways to your dreams.
"I would like to make a suggestion for a poem about visiting a nursing home during the winter season. I'm sure many of these residents don't get many visitors due to the inclement weather and they probably have to spend most of their time confined indoors. Maybe a poem about lifting the spirits of those who may feel quite lonely during this time."
Yes, winter/Christmas must be a very lonely time for some Nursing Home residents, Lora. Especially if they have no family or who just don't bother visiting. It is my pleasure to write a poem about the subject.
We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.— George Bernard Shaw
The Christmas Visit
It was winter in the nursing home,
Snow fell throughout the night.
The residents were safe and warm,
But that didn't ease their plight.
Some roads were cut by snow and ice
So visitors were few,
But it happened every winter
So this was nothing new.
It was lonely at the best of times
But winter was the worst.
People didn't venture out,
They put their comfort first.
So, I decided I would visit
And brave the winter bleak and cold
To try and bring some comfort
To these poor lonely souls.
I'm no saviour or a hero,
I'm just your average joe,
But loneliness is crippling.
That's something that I know.
I bought small gifts to hand around
And spread some Christmas cheer,
For everyone should celebrate
This special time of year.
Well, they greeted me with open arms,
And they shared the gifts I bought.
While the old folks told me stories
And the lessons life had taught.
We played games and sang carols
And discussed the Christ child's birth.
For the nursing home's dear residents
This was a time of fun and mirth.
They asked me to come back again
When I could spare the time.
I hugged them all and said I would.
And I did time after time.
Believe it or not, Bill, I had a little trouble with this one. I thought it would be a piece of cake because "mistletoe" is mentioned in lots of songs and especially at Christmas. Anyway, I decided to write a limerick about it, just for something a little different.
It's supposed to be jolly, with mistletoe and holly... and other things ending in olly.— Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
A pretty young girl and her beau
Stood under the mistletoe.
Someone said if they kissed
They would have wedded bliss.
Where he went, she will never know.
Fun Facts About Mistletoe
- Mistletoe or in old English mistiltan: derived from the Anglo-Saxon words mistel, meaning "dung," and tan, meaning "twig." So, it literally means "poop-on-a-stick." The sticky seeds are spread by bird droppings deposited on the branches or limbs of trees.
- Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on a range of trees including willow, apple, pine, and oak trees., and even, surprisingly, cacti.
- The tradition of hanging mistletoe in the house started the ancient Druids. It is supposed to possess mystical powers which bring good luck and wards off evil spirits. It was also used as a sign of love and friendship in Norse mythology and that's where the custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from.
- When the first Christians came to Western Europe, some tried to ban the use of Mistletoe as a decoration in Churches, but many still continued to use it! York Minster Church in England used to hold a special Mistletoe Service in the winter, where wrongdoers in the city of York could come and be pardoned.
- Although all parts of the mistletoe are poisonous to humans they provide a popular food for certain species of birds and are a particular favourite of butterflies.
I'd like to thank everyone who has followed this series throughout the year, as well as a special thank you to everyone who gave me ideas and requested poems. Without you, this series would never have gotten off the ground.
I hope to see you all back on the porch when the series commences again in the New Year, but for now, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, and wishing you all a wonderful New Year.
© 2019 John Hansen