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Poems From the Porch 17

Updated on July 7, 2020
Jodah profile image

John is a freelance writer, ghost-writer, storyteller, and poet. He always tries to include a message or social commentary in his writing

Fireball, Image by Gerd Altmann from
Fireball, Image by Gerd Altmann from | Source

2020 Bring It On!

The number of natural disasters to cause devastation across the globe in 2019 was exceptional.

Unrelenting wildfires, explosive volcanoes, withering drought, and historic floods created havoc, destruction and loss of life. Across the world, climate change and global warming is tightening its grip on a seemingly complacent population, and Mother Nature is starting to get angry!

The year ended with the tragic eruption of the White Island volcano in New Zealand and then with the devastating bushfires across much of Australia (that are still burning.) Being optimistic, the longer the country goes without rain the closer we must be to getting significant downpours, and with the cyclone season not to far away that could actually come to fruition and even culminate in floods.

Well, I am confident 2020 will be a better year, and hopefully, I am not proved wrong. Welcome to the porch, and 2020, bring it on!

Update: In Hindsight

Well, we need to be careful what we say. I take back those words “2020 Bring It On! Little did I know when I wrote that how the Coronavirus COVID-19 would change the world as we know it. How wrong I was that 2020 couldn’t get any worse. Let’s just hope that by the end of the year we have the virus under control and life can return to some form of normal.

Flooded park bench
Flooded park bench | Source

Lorna Lamon

"Perhaps you might like to include a poem about the homeless who are never far from my thoughts at this time of year. Thank you."

Lorna, I must apologise for not posting this poem before Christmas. For some reason I overlooked it but, fortunately, it isn't much too late and some of us have just finished eating left-overs and the decorations are, in fact, still up.

In 2013 I wrote I invited other writers to participate in writing a poem with this same theme: Poem Without an End

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty

— Mother Teresa, Missionary and Saint.

Beneath the Baubles

Friends and family gather

To feast and exchange gifts.

This is the festive season

So spirits all should lift.

The tree is decorated

And no expense is spared.

Christmas lights are glowing,

Goodwill and love is shared.

But this is surface glitter

On show for you and me,

Beneath the baubles and the tinsel

Are things that we don't see.

Like the homeless in the subways,

And huddled on the street,

Or sleeping on a park bench,

With nothing much to eat.

There are people with no families

Who spend Christmas all alone,

No greeting cards or presents,

No "Merry Christmas" on the phone.

So while you slice the turkey,

Or cut up the Christmas ham,

Just ask, "What would Jesus do?"

Don't perpetuate this sham. (Maybe invite a homeless man.)

Homeless Man, Image by Quinn Kampschroer from Pixabay
Homeless Man, Image by Quinn Kampschroer from Pixabay | Source

Devika Primić

"I would like a poem Devika Primić. Please."

This is the first time I have been asked by someone to write a poem about them. I admit I wasn't really comfortable with it, but there has to be a first time for everything. Devika, I hope you enjoy this.

I believe that writing opens the mind to all kinds of experiences and when you believe you become hopeful in life

— Devika Primić

Meet Devika Primić

Devika is a HubPages friend

Of Indian descent,

Though South Africa is where she from,

Where her childhood was spent.

She moved away from all she knew,

Her family, culture, friends,

To a new life in Croatia

And the challenges that presents.

She writes about the culture shock

And her struggles to adapt,

Also about relationships

And keeping them intact.

A book on Indian spices

Is in her repertoire,

Folk tales from around the world,

And her advice on love.

Devika writes with passion

And always from the heart,

A prolific HubPages author,

And as a reader plays her part.

Always quick to comment

And acknowledge what she reads,

With the kindness and encouragement

That every writer needs.

Devika Primić
Devika Primić | Source

Ann Carr

"I'm glad you've finally had some rain though I doubt it's enough yet. Having been in that area in February last, I'm mourning for all the wildlife and vegetation which lifted my heart...

Great poems, John. How about something on droughts or floods?"

Ann, these subjects are so topical at the moment with what's happening in the world. I had to write about them.

The risk of increased intensity and increased frequency of fires is real, it is already occurring and it will get worse under climate change

— Professor David Karoly, Melbourne University

Australia, Land of Drought, Fire, and Flood

The land is scorched and drying,

Most plants and trees are dead,

Wildlife too are perishing

In this time of mounting dread.

Australia's in the midst of a drought,

It's not rained for a year.

Bushfires raging through the states,

Communities cower in fear.

Many livestock can't be moved,

Sadly, left to die.

Such devastation never seen,

it makes you want to cry.

But, even as Australia burns

The cyclone season nears.

February is the month

That holds the greatest fears.

But this year may be different,

It will be a welcome change.

The winds may not be pleasant

But we'll all embrace the rain.

For cyclones usually lead to floods

That saturate the land,

And should extinguish all the fires

That still burn out of hand.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
desert drought, Image by Marion Wunder from PixabayForest fire, Image by skeeze from PixabayFlood, Image by lmaresz from Pixabay
desert drought, Image by Marion Wunder from Pixabay
desert drought, Image by Marion Wunder from Pixabay | Source
Forest fire, Image by skeeze from Pixabay
Forest fire, Image by skeeze from Pixabay | Source
Flood, Image by lmaresz from Pixabay
Flood, Image by lmaresz from Pixabay | Source

Liz Westwood

"I think the UK, caught up in our election, is similarly immune to President Trump's impeachment proceedings... I wondered if you might consider writing a poem about Brexit some time please?"

I admit I had some trouble with this, Liz. I haven't really been following Brexit either, but I heard that Boris Johnson's victory in the recent election was confirmation that the people want it to go through sooner than later. I did a little research and at least came up with something for you.

“On June 23rd 2016 we took the opportunity to abandon this sinking ship captained by failed politicians and unelected crooks. But we’ll still trade, we’ll still holiday abroad and America will still ask us to stand Shoulder-to-Shoulder with them in ‘their’ fight against terrorism.”

— Karl Wiggins, Gunpowder Soup

To Brexit or Not to Brexit?

British exit - Brexit,

Let's leave the EU now.

The referendum voted "Yes,"

May had to work out how.

But people's votes don't matter much,

Politicians, they decide,

Whatever makes it difficult

For the other side.

Supposed to exit before now,

But MPs knocked it back.

Something called "Irish backstop"

Has proved a real setback.

But under Boris Johnson

The backstop's been replaced,

So on the 31st of January

The exit should take place.

Brexit, Image by Thanks for your Like • donations welcome from Pixabay
Brexit, Image by Thanks for your Like • donations welcome from Pixabay | Source

Same Time and Place Next Week

Thank you for visiting the porch. I hope to see you all again next week when the poems will be those requested by Audrey Hunt, Rosina S Khan, and Bill Holland.

Remember, if you have any requests for poetry you'd like me to write just let me know in comments here or shoot me an email. Bye for now.

© 2020 John Hansen


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    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      16 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Denise. I do my best, but some are more difficult than others. I appreciate your generous comment, and blessings to you.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      16 months ago from Fresno CA

      You are loaded with talent to write poems on demand. I'm thoroughly impressed. They were all beautiful.



    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Nithya. There is some rain falling so let us hope there is more to come.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      17 months ago from Dubai

      Great poems, each one so well written. I pray that the fires are put out soon. It breaks my heart to see the the animals being scorched and people fleeing to safety. Take care.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Rasma, thank you so much. It is challenging but fun. I appreciate your comment.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      17 months ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Awesome poetry and your creativity is admirable as you go from the problems of the homeless to the fires of Australia and all the other poems it is just great to read them all

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Manatita, bro, I think you covered everything in that insightful comment. I greatly appreciate your viewpoint and also sharing your own experiences. Thank you for your encouragement. All the best to you.

    • manatita44 profile image


      17 months ago from london

      I feel -my own perception - is that you have done these four poems exceptionally well, as you have captured the spirit of the pieces.

      Lorna's homeless piece was awesome, and interestingly, you started by highlighting or contrasting those who have, before embarking on those who don't. Just like a poet I heard on Thursday. Homelessness is such a difficult subject! Right now there are a lot of poems springing up about Mental Awareness and care.

      This is so appropriate! I do what I can but there are a lot of people and increasing, on London street. I believe other cities here and elsewhere suffers the same problem.

      I do what I can, but my inner and outer experience shows me, that sometimes one look is sufficient to say that some homeless need more than money and even shelter. They need real help, the Mother Theresa kind of help.

      I took a young man for a meal very recently. He was looking for a homeless shelter and only 25 years old. We talked. He was reeking of alcohol but his problem was much bigger! 'Nuff said. Yet I still say that we need the moral values and ethics … the milk of human kindness that seemed to have been removed from schools and Governments. Us too.

      Devika's poem was beautiful! To my mind she just asked for a poem but you covered her life's journey in a very succinct and beautiful way. I wrote about two hundred poems like that. Not published and I did most of them for people I knew: Their persona, virtues, likes and aversions, environment and family … that kind of thing. Bill and Bev and Chris's The Night Sky are probably the closest I have got to that here. Don't do them anymore.

      Yes, you and all Australians most definitely have my empathy and good wishes. Actually, you may know that it has galvanised some people to donate in the six figures and even Royals to help. Yes, I believe the Queen is still the Head of State there, no? So perhaps that's not too relevant.

      Grenada was devastated by Hurricane a few years ago and many countries helped too. Hope that you guys can recover pretty fast.

      The last poem is like a tiring dance for us. Let's see what happens soon. A lot from me today. Thanks bro. Stay well!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Liz, I am happy you feel I nailed these poems. I admit they were somewhat challenging but was reasonably happy with how they turned out. Glad you thought I captured the Brexit situation ok as well. Thanks for reading as always.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      17 months ago from UK

      I admire your incredible versatility. The poem about homelessness would play out well in UK national media next Christmas. It has a very relevant and direct challenge. I especially liked the punch line taking us back to the real meaning of Christmas.

      You could get a job writing biographical poetry! You have encapsulated what we know of Devika well in verse.

      I really hope you get rain soon. Your poem on natural disasters brings the reality of life at the mercy of weather systems home. I don't recall fires as bad as this in my lifetime.

      Thanks for nailing the Brexit issue. The clock is ticking until the 31st. No turning back now, but I just hope a deal can be struck for trade over the next few months. Brexit is set to rumble on for many years to come.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Lora, I always greatly appreciate your comments, and I agree with everything you say in regard to the need for politicians to urgently address the increased natural disasters occurring across the world.

      Thank you for your insightful comments on the other poems as well.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      17 months ago

      John, a wonderful collection of poems for this week to start out the New Year! Climate change will not go away and it is becoming increasingly apparent that politicians ignoring it is going to do nothing but exacerbate its consequences. What is happening in Australia is very reminiscent of what recently happened in California with its wildfires raging out of control and leaving so many people without homes. Your very poignant poem addresses the need to act with urgency and to stop and reflect on all that we risk losing. I especially loved your poem, Beneath the Baubles, which is a startling reminder of the homeless who go hungry and have no one there for them nor any place to go even on a holiday such as Christmas. We can and all should do something to make life a little easier for them. And I really enjoyed your poem about fellow hubber, Devika, who has been given some big challenges and has risen to meet every one of them. Thank you for writing these awesome poems.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      17 months ago from Central Florida

      John, you are confirming what I read today. The article stated that several of your recent PMs didn't meet term because the people booted them out.

      I think America has too many levels of government. DT should have been booted out long ago. I highly doubt it will happen because in America, we really don't have a voice. Money talks. So does bullshit. The people don't matter.

      Do your best to stay safe, my friend. My heart is with you, your family, your critters, and your homestead.



    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Our Prime Minister is under enormous fire for his actions during the fires, his holiday in Hawaii, his refusal to meet with fire authorities who wanted to discuss the effects of climate change on fires and try to implement new approaches to tackling it (this was before all the fires got out of control), him visiting some towns under fire and forcing people to shake his hand but not staying to listen if they tried to complain.

      Yes, as soon as a Prime Minister’s popularity drops below a certain level in a number of polls you can be fairly sure the party will begin to consider replacing him and they will organise someone else to challenge his leadership. Then the political party themselves will cast a vote. So indirectly it is the people who cause a PM to be replaced.

      At one stage I think we went through five Prime Ministers in five years or something. Yes, to me it sounds like the Impeachment was a total waste of time (and probably tax payer’s money.)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      17 months ago from Central Florida

      I read an article today in the Orlando Sentinel about your Prime Minister. Apparently, he's not well-liked for his stance on the climate crisis and has been criticized for taking his family on a vacation to Hawaii in the midst of the wildfires that are destroying lives, homes and habitats. Some say he fled to safety while he left the Australian citizens to live with and fight the fires. It also stated that several of your PMs have been voted out of office or "fired" (my word, not The Orlando Sentinel's) because popularity and/or effectiveness had waned. I wish we could do that here. DT has been impeached but is still in office and probably will be acquitted. So why go thru the process? It means nothing. It seems your people really do have a say over corrupt or ineffective leaders. Or am I wrong in my interpretation?

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Shauna, well we have had two days of rain in the entire year, but for most of it we have been looking out at a sea of brown grass and withering plants. We can only water by hose for two hours four days a week, no sprinklers.

      The current fires aren’t near here. We had fires earlier but they were put out fortunately. All we need this New Year is rain.

      I am glad you enjoyed these poems. Thank you as always my friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      17 months ago from Central Florida

      John, it's almost incomprehensible what's happening to Australia. How close are you to the dangerous conditions? It really hasn't rained for a year???? Wow!

      I haven't been following Brexit either, but what you say about politicians making the decisions regardless of what the people want can probably said about all governments worldwide. So sad.

      I love your poem about Devika. I learned a lot about her. She sounds like an amazing woman and writer.

      "Beneath the Baubles" is sad because it's true. Too many people are "lost" or displaced. I'm so thankful that I have a home, a job, friends and family who love me. These are blessings we should never take for granted.

      Nice entry for the new year, John. Hopefully this will be a year of positive change.

      Happy New Year, my friend!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you as always, Rinita. Your comments are always insightful and generous. You are so right regarding poverty of the mind.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      17 months ago

      The one with Australia brought tears to my eyes, but I'm glad there's still hope in the form of hopefully approaching cyclones.

      Lovely to meet Devika. Writing about a person you never met is difficult, but you excelled as usual.

      The first one was my favorite, especially the thought that poverty can mean isolation and being left in misery, too. Poverty of the mind, too dangerous because it cannot be shown. This makes the poem stand out.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hey Devika, I am happy that you like your poem. It is the first I have written about an actual person here. All is ok here at the moment touch wood. No fires close to where I live, but still a smoke haze in the air.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      17 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Wow! This is a beautiful poem so glad I asked you to rite one about me. Sorry about the fires hope all okay with you.I appreciate you taking the time and researching information about me just a perfect poem. Well done!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Jason, thank you for you kind words as always. I am glad you found the poems diverse and touched different emotions. It sure would be a great world if we could eradicate suffering, and yes there are some wonderful people on this site. I have been here for 10 years and don't know of a better community anywhere else. All the best.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hello Rosina. Thank you for continuing to follow this series and for your kind comment. Your requested poem will certainly be here for you next week. Yes, I hope you find it insightful.

    • Nicoartz profile image

      Jason Nicolosi 

      17 months ago from AZ

      John, I felt as if I were on a roller coaster of sensations while reading your poems. One moment I felt sad, the next I was smiling.

      The poem about "Australia, Land of Drought, Fire, and Flood" is outstandingly written but a very tragic situation. "Beneath the Baubles" was very touching. I truly wish that there was no suffering in the world. There are so many who are in need, it breaks my heart. The poem "Meet Devika Primić" is beautifully done. It really brought a smile to my face. There are so many great people on this site. It truly has opened my eyes to see that there are still a lot of really good people on this planet. All the poems were wonderful. Great work!

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      17 months ago

      I loved all the four poems in the collection. I am so sorry to hear about the bushfires and lack of rain in Australia. I hope and pray from the core of my heart that there will be rain that will help to mitigate the suffering. Besides, I can't wait for my requested poem next week. Hopefully, I will be able to take away something concrete again.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Linda. I thought this series would be a good way to get to write about diverse subjects. Glad you like the one for Devika.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      17 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You've covered some important issues in your poems, John. Thank you for doing that. Your poem about Devika is lovely.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Flourish. It is hard to know what to do to best help the bushfire cause. Donating money helps I am sure. My wife is sewing pouches for baby marsupials that have been orphaned. The news is depressing. Glad you enjoyed the Brexit poem.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      17 months ago from USA

      You are so clever. I especially liked the Brexit poem (go figure!) and the one about Devika. The devastation in Australia makes me feel so sad and helpless for your country — the people and the wildlife. I’ve donated money to help the wildlife efforts but don’t know what else to do. I just can’t bear to watch the tv coverage of it anymore.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Ann, I am glad you enjoyed these particularly the poem you requested. I was not confident at all in regard to writing about Brexit. Glad I didn’t make a total fool of myself. The fires are heartbreaking.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Ruby, it is hard to deal with this situation. Normally I don’t watch the news but at the moment I have no choice..and it is depressing I must admit.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for your kind words, Lorna. I am glad you enjoyed this collection especially your request.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for your comment, Linda. I am constantly surprised when we introduce our friends to other hubbers they don’t know. This is such a great community that you sometimes take it for granted you all know the same people. Glad I introduced you to Devika. Thank you for the safe wishes, and Happy New Year to you.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Verlie, and your fire pun is excused. A couple of these were tricky I admit but I like a challenge.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, the really sad part is that one guy was arrested for starting twelve fires and and two teenage girls were charged after posting and boasting about starting fires (that became major incidents) on Facebook. Now people have been looting abandoned homes and stores that people fled from but weren’t destroyed.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      17 months ago from SW England

      Thanks for meeting my request with your perfect words, John.

      We watch it all unfolding every day, on our TVs, and each time I am sad. But you're right, the rains come and refresh and rejuvenate. I just hope the scale of it all doesn't mean we've lost forever what can't be replaced.

      You're very brave to tackle Brexit and you managed to be diplomatic! Nearly there, as long as nothing else upsets the applecart!

      Great poems from your beautiful porch!


    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      17 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I loved all your poetry. Homelessness is a tragedy that shouldn't exist anywhere in the world, I feel for the animals and people who have lost their lives due to the fires in Australia. I know you are hurting, yet you still write poems for us. You are a blessing John.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      17 months ago

      I was so touched by your poem on the homeless John and the beautiful words of Mother Teresa. I love your work, however, this is definitely my favourite collection. Your poem about Australia outlines the devastation of climate change and sadly the suffering. I hope you all have some much needed respite soon. Thank you for another wonderful collection.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      17 months ago from Washington State, USA

      John, thank you for these first poems for 2020. The devastating effects of climate and natural disasters were certainly a large part of 2019. The poem for the homeless is still ever so timely. Where I live there are tents and tarps pitched on almost every bare spot of land along the highways, in the parks, and even on some of the sidewalks. Truly tragic.

      Thank you also for introducing us (me) to Devika.

      Best wishes to you and your family for a safe, healthy, blessed New Year.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 

      17 months ago from Canada

      John, You are on fire! (My apology for the obvious metaphor.) Kudos poet for taking these difficult and complicated themes and 'splaining them in verse. What a challenge you've taken on. Your Devika poem is a refreshing portrait of a remarkable woman.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      17 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Loved the poems, of course, but a word or two about the wildfires is in order. It breaks my heart to watch the news and see what's happening in your country. My God, John, when will we learn as a species that the Earth is our friend?

      And did I just hear that people were arrested for intentionally starting some of those fires? I can't wrap my brain around that kind of irresponsibility.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for your kind words of support, Pamela. The situation in Australia is catastrophic. Heartbreaking for both the people and the many many animals affected. I also appreciate your kind comments regarding these poems. Blessings.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      17 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Not a problem, Elijah. Cheers.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      17 months ago from Sunny Florida

      My heart breaks for the people and animals of Australia. The fires are horrific and we often see pictures of people giving little animals some water. I pray you will soon have rain. The poem was perfect for this situation.

      You had a unique variety of poems today and I enjoyed each one. I have also found Devika to be such a sweet lady and Hubpage friend, plus a gifted poet. I like Lorna's homeless poem also. With unemployment figures being so low I am not sure why there are more homeless in the US, but the number has increased. It is an awful problem and I do not see solutions either. Good work John!

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      17 months ago from Washington DC

      Sorry about the second post on 16, John, I thought I was on this number 17. Thanks for these well written works of art.


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    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)