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Poems From the Porch 18

Updated on January 14, 2020
Jodah profile image

John is a long-time poet, short fiction, and article writer. He studied a Writing for Profit course through ICS but loves story-telling.

A view from the porch
A view from the porch | Source

Versatility is the Name of the Game

Have you noticed how actors often get typecast in a certain roll? Especially if they have played a character as iconic as say, James Bond, Superman and such. These roles are usually the ones that bring these actors initial success and define their careers, but often afterwards their career falters as audiences fail to see them as anything but the popular character they made their own.

So too, it can be with writers. we can become so well known at a certain type of writing that it becomes difficult for our audiences to take us seriously when we delve into a different genre or something they consider "out of character."

The problem with this is that as writers we want to continually improve, experiment, and develop our skills. I know personally that even though I prefer to write poetry, I still need to try my hand at other things like short stories, flash fiction, or the odd essay or article.

This series "Poems From the Porch" is all poetry but it still offers me the opportunity to show verse-atility because of the different topics and styles of poetry requested by my readers. The subjects are often ones I would never have chosen to write myself, and I find that refreshing. I don't really want to be typecast as simply a poet, but if I am I'd like to be seen as a versatile one.

Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little.

— Holley Gerth

Audrey Hunt

"May I request a poem dedicated to my son, Todd, who passed from cancer, at the age of 42. He was the single father of 4 children (the mother abanded them all) and lived for those kids. He had a huge heart and took in any child who needed a place to stay or a meal to eat. (Just a little background.)"

Audrey, it was my pleasure to write this poem in dedication to your son Todd. I hope you find it suitable.

a Hero ~

is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles

— Christopher Reeve

A Poem For Todd

Todd Edward Hunt lived for his kids,

A single dad of four.

He had to raise them on his own,

That was no easy chore.


He'd take in any child in need

Of a place to sleep, or food.

His heart was always full of love,

And Todd Hunt's heart was huge.


He was one with the ocean

And loved to surf and swim,

But cancer has no empathy

And was not kind to him.


it took him much too early

For he had so much to do.

A brother, father, and a friend,

Dear son of Audrey too.


So, this short poem's a tribute

To say we don't forget

A life too short, but valued,

And the legacy he set.


Todd Hunt
Todd Hunt | Source

Rosina S Khan

"I hope I am able to make another new request. Nowadays something or the other happens to make my mood off but I try my best to uplift my spirits. I would, therefore, like a poem on happiness. The title would be, "How to Remain Happy Every Single Day"... I can't wait for my requested poem next week. Hopefully, I will be able to take away something concrete again."


Being happy all the time is something we'd all like to achieve Rosina. It is easier said than done, but I hope this poem helps.

There is no path to happiness: Happiness is the path

— Guatama Buddha

Happy Days (or How to Remain Happy Every Single Day)

It's easy to be happy

When everything goes right,

When every task you try works out

Without the need to fight.


But what about when life goes wrong

And nothing goes to plan,

When people seek to argue

Just because they can?


Sometimes it seems we're dealt bad cards

From the bottom of the deck.

This is when you need to shrug

And just say, "What the heck!"


Your attitude is up to you,

You have the power to choose

Whether to complain and sulk

Or let your smiles run loose.


A good mood is infectious,

it will chase the gloom away.

As the sun breaks through a cloudy sky,

A smile can change your day.


So, be with those who make you laugh,

Do things that give you joy.

Just tolerate the things that don't,

But don't let them destroy.


You can be happy every day,

It's not a crazy dream.

You've beaten problems in the past,

You'll do the same again.


So, don't be stressed or anxious,

Push angry thoughts aside,

Let happiness control your life,

It will be an awesome ride.

Let your smiles run loose, Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay
Let your smiles run loose, Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay | Source

Bill Holland

"I love this series and I'm in awe of your talent. My next request is........

drum roll, please.......MUD!"


Thanks a lot, Bill..."Mud"...sheesh! Not a problem, enjoy.

You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That's a part of it.

— Denzel Washington

MUD (Moistly Underrated Dirt)

Mud is great and mud is good,

Mud is just misunderstood.

Don't eat mud-pies, kids are taught,

Mud truck racing is a sport.

I guess mud wrestling may be too,

But the truth of that is up to you.

Mud mask facials make skin soft,

Muddy boots need taking off.

"Mud Men" of the New Guinea highlands

Used to raid the other neighbouring clans,

Pretending to be evil demons

To steal their land and pigs and women.

So, mud is not just dirt that's wet,

When mud is dried like clay it sets.

Build eco-houses with mud bricks,

And when mud's flung it often sticks.


Running in mud, Image by David Mark from Pixabay
Running in mud, Image by David Mark from Pixabay | Source

More Prompts Please

At one stage early on, after starting this series, I had so many requests for poems that I thought I'd never get through them all... but I have!

This week's poems are the last of those I have on my list. Even though there are only three, I am sure you'll agree they are quite diverse subjects.

If anyone has requested a poem that you haven't seen appear. or I may have forgotten, please let me know. Also, if I am going to keep the series going I urgently need new requests. I can extend it for a while by choosing to write on subjects of my own choosing but that takes away from the fun and the challenge.

I am sure some of you will come up with more ideas you'd like to see in poetry, and whether you have made previous requests or not doesn't matter. The more the merrier, and thank you in advance for helping Poems from the Porch keep on keeping on.


True poets don't write their thoughts with a pen. They release the ink that flows from within their heart.

— Ritu Ghatourey

© 2020 John Hansen

Comments

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    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks so much, Rasma. Haha, mud was easier than I thought.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      8 days ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      I loved them all. Applause on being able to get inspired by mud.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      10 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for those requests Li-Jen. I will try to write both of them as they appeal to me.

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      10 days ago

      Hi Jodah, I didn't add my request in my comment below. I would like you to write a poem about how poetry brings together people from all walks of life, like this series! But if it's not appropriate, then you can write a funny poem about waiting. You can write both topics if you like!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      11 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Chris, well the rains have come. We have had more in two days then we had in all the previous 12 months. So we are rejoicing but it has also brought some flooding, which although challenging is much better than fire and drought. It is good to share a bit about my country. Sometimes I take for granted that people kno more than they do about Australia. So, kangaroos it is.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      11 days ago from Queensland Australia

      What a great comment, Shauna. I do my best to make these poems interesting or at least to meet the needs of what I think the requester may be after. Bill is always trying to challenge me with obscure topics like “mud” lol..and that’s fun to come up with something. Ok my favourite cartoon or TV show...already chose one so I’ll start working on that soon.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      11 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for the insightful comment Elijah. Okay, I will compose a poem with your provided rhyme scheme. Thanks for the prompt, and I look forward to reading yours.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      11 days ago from Green Bay, Wisconsin...for now

      John, thank you for writing the poem for Audrey's son, Todd. I hope it is an encouragement to her. Your poem, Happy Days, strikes several familiar chords. And I am sure it has not been easy for you and those around you to remain happy when there is a raging wildfire in your back yard. I hope the rains came as expected. The poem about mud is awesome.

      Most of us here will never get to visit your part of the world. There is so much to know. In your poem in honor and memory of my late wife, you told us about The Rock. I would like to know more about your world, so, yes, I'll request it, the obvious, a poem, please, about kangaroos.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      11 days ago from Central Florida

      John, you've outdone yourself (again)! The poem for Audrey's son is very moving and heartfelt.

      Happy Days is amazing. That should be printed and stuck to everyone's fridge or mounted next to the bathroom sink, always to be seen when we find ourselves succumbing to negative forces.

      And Bill's mud. What can I say? You gave me more meanings for mud than I knew existed!

      So, you say you need more prompts, eh? Let's see.....

      What was your favorite childhood cartoon or TV show? Write a poem about it and see if we can guess the name of the show (or cartoon).

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      11 days ago from Washington DC

      I Must say once again "John is the poem man." I must concur with "Happy Days," after all, happiness is only "how one judges the events surrounding them." I've heard many Christians say "let go and let God" and although I don't literally believe in God I've found that to be true. What I usually say is "Elijah, you can't change that," or whatever term applies, 'there's a reason for it so when it's time you will understand what that is" and leave it to follow another train of thought.

      They all were very much on the spot from perspective.

      How about an "ABBACDDCEFFG" rhyming scheme I have one or two I might post after you do yours, provided I feel like going to the Library another day soon.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      12 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Lora, thank you for your kind words in regard to Todd's poem. He was obviously a wonderful person. I am also happy you enjoyed the other poems as well. Thank you for the prompt to write a poem about February. That should be an interesting challenge for me.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      13 days ago

      What a beautiful tribute your poem is to such an extraordinary man! I was very touched by your portrait of such a caring and loving human being. I also really enjoyed Happy Days and the Mud poem. Very witty! I have a suggestion for you. How about writing a poem on February especially since it's coming up soon. Thanks John for sharing your gifts with others in creating a more giving and loving world.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      13 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, manatita, I find myself both giving and receiving here so writing poetry for others is also rewarding for me. The responses from people like Audrey when they read their poem makes it so worthwhile too.

      Thank you for reading and offering your valuable comment.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      13 days ago from london

      Your rhyming poetry is getting better and better and in that sense, I think the Hubbers are helping you here. Still, both giving and receiving are, or can be wholesome needs.

      I enjoyed those four pieces and Audrey's was done in a very beautiful way. My continual Love and condolences to her, as well as Ruby, Mary and others. Much Peace.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      13 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Hello Li-Jen. I always enjoy your comments because you touch on points out points that I really appreciate. I'm not sure how much wisdom I possess I just write down my thoughts in these poems, but the "simplicity" you mention is deliberate. I decided long ago that I always wanted the message in my poems easily understood so people didn't have to scratch their heads trying to analyse the meaning. Now and then I may write a poem that is a little abstract just for fun or as a challenge but they are in the minority. Haha, yes, the mud poem may have been a little heavy.

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      13 days ago

      Hi Jodah. I like that you know what's the right thing to do straight away, in the happiness poem. The poem requests are challenging but you have used your wisdom and turned the poems into something we can all understand. That's a good thing about your style because nobody needs to scratch their heads and the simplicity makes perfect tributes like the one to Todd. Your mud poem is full of mud, which makes the poem "heavy". Clever idea. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      13 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Audrey, it was my pleasure to write this tribute for you and Todd. I really hope his children love it as well. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to create this.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      13 days ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Thank you, John, for creating this extraordinary poem for my son. I am beyond touched. You have captured Todd with complete truth. I'll be sending this tribute to his children and they will honor and love it.

      You've given me a beautiful gift and I thank you dearly.

      Audrey

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Brenda, your kind comment is much appreciated.

    • Brenda Arledge profile image

      BRENDA ARLEDGE 

      2 weeks ago from Washington Court House

      John,

      Each one of these poems are great. I loved them all.

      The tribute...so touching

      Happiness is a path of its own - your words so true.

      Mud...this one cute and witty.

      Loved the quotes with each one.

      Thanks for sharing.

      Great write.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hello Ruby, it is always a pleasure to see you on the porch. I am glad you liked the Poem for Todd, and got a smile from MUD. Thank you for your request, I will add “a little Indian boy” to the list.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      2 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Now, who could write a poem about mud? Of course John can, and it was fun to read. We can't let this series die, so may I request one about a little Indian boy? I loved all of your poems especially the one about Audrey's son. Thank you.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Linda, yes, Audrey is such a happy and positive person. I don’t know how I would handle it. It needed to be followed by something cheerful. I look forward to any ideas you can throw at me.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Haha Charlie. You got it! Thanks for visiting.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      It is nice that you like Mud, Flourish. Yes, Audrey just keeps on smiling no matter what life throws at her. I admire her.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      2 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      The poem for Audrey was very touching; I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child. Despite her grief, she has endured. How appropriate to follow her poem with one on remaining happy.

      The poem on mud (moistly underrated dirt?) was a good chuckle. I'll ponder on some ideas for you for 2020.

    • drylen profile image

      Charlie Halliday 

      2 weeks ago from Scotland

      Is the minibus in the picture for the ever increasing visitors to your porch ? :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 weeks ago from USA

      The mud poem certainly was funny. Condolences to sweet Audrey on the loss of her son.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for your encouragement Peggy, and also for the requests.. the sadness of wars veterans committing suicide, and butterflies. Much appreciated.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi John,

      The poem for Audrey about the loss of her son was so touching. Following it with choosing to be happy seemed so apt. The poem about mud was amazingly good. I always enjoy your poetry.

      How about one about the sadness of so many war veterans committing suicide. The rising statistics are alarming!

      Another much lighter topic might be one about butterflies.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi JC, great to have you read and comment here. It is always much appreciated.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Devika, I am happy you liked the tribute to Todd. I was honoured that Audrey asked me to write it. Thanks for supporting my series.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Well it isn’t everyday you have a poem written about mud, is it Bill lol? I am glad you approve and want another. Hmm “the muffled silence of snow”..interesting.

    • JC Scull profile image

      JC Scull 

      2 weeks ago from Gainesville, Florida

      Hello John, as always very well done!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      H Jodah a beautiful tribute to Todd. You have created a unique series here and I look forward to your next. I like the style of this poem. Such tributes make me see your talent.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I was looking forward to your mud poem for two weeks, and you didn't disappoint. Another, please? "The muffled silence of snow."

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Pamela. The one for Todd was a little difficult to write but I am glad I did. I hope Audrey likes it. I have written a few about pets but not a lot. Harish just requested one about a dog, so It looks like a theme for the next anthology. I will write one about pets for you too.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      2 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      This is another excellent porch poetry article. I was so touched by your poem for Todd that I had tears in mu eyes. I know Audry's grief will always remain and I am glad you were able to write such a lovely tribute for her.

      I also enjoyed the poem about mud and being happy. I agree that happiness is really a choice.

      I do not know if you have written a poem about pets. Through the years I have had such loving dogs and cats. However, my first pet was a canary. My girlfriends bought it for my 16th birthday as my parents would not let us get pets when we were growing up. I was overjoyed.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Harish, thank you for the generous comment. Yes, it is fun to write for friends. Ok, sure. I can write a poem about a dog if that is your wish. Thanks for the prompt.

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 

      2 weeks ago from New Delhi , India

      What a fun it is to write poems on requests from friends ! John, all three poems you posted are so beautifully written. I enjoyed them all. Thanks for sharing.

      A few days ago, I saw a dog on the way. Instantly a thought lingered in me about writing a poem about dog , but it hasn't materialised as yet. Could you please write one extending this series.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      What can I say, Rosina? I am so glad that you are pleased with the poem I wrote for you, and hope it does help. I look forward to any more requests you may have.

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      2 weeks ago

      John, you have outdone it again! I loved all the poems! About my requested poem on happiness, I will treasure it always and my biggest takeaway from the poem comprises the following lines:

      You can be happy every day,

      It's not a crazy dream.

      You've beaten problems in the past,

      You'll do the same again.

      The last quote on True Poets is my fave. I will request a new poem again... in the meantime let me ponder what I would like to be about. Thank you so much.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Liz, Thank you for being the first to read and comment this week. I appreciate your comment on the versatility and contrast of these poems. I will certainly be happy to write one about the benefits of travel.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 weeks ago from UK

      I love the play on words with versatility. You have certainly demonstrated yours to good effect in this series.

      Your tribute to Todd Hunt is poignant, fitting and moving. His is such a sad story to be taken so young.

      The contrast is striking with your next poem on happiness. It's upbeat tone is a real spirit-lifter on the gloomy days.

      I thought Bill had set you a difficult challenge, but you more than rose to it with Mud.

      How about a poem on the benefits of travel?

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