Poems From the Porch 24
Coronavirus or COVID 19
Almost every third news story at the moment seems to be about the coronavirus as it begins to spread around the world. At time of writing there have been 50 confirmed cases in Australia, but so far none in my town of Murgon. I guess that is one of the advantages of living in a small country town.
That said, however, the effects are still being felt here as some items are in short supply or missing from supermarket shelves due to people stocking up in case of an outbreak and being forced into quarantine in their homes. The most notable shortages so far seemed to be in toilet paper and milk, but I am sure other items may soon follow. There has already been a shortage in the supply of face masks.
One fact that brought it home to me was that I saw out local Chinese restaurant had a sign on its door today "CLOSED DUE TO HEALTH CONCERNS." That is a little worrying as we just had a meal there two weeks ago.
Anyway, I hope all my readers are safe and well and there are no cases in your immediate vicinities. As I mentioned earlier, there are still no confirmed cases here, so feel free to join me on the porch (virus free) as I share these poems.
I previously wrote a poem for Peg about veteran's suicide, however I didn't see this request that she requested at the same time.
"Another much lighter topic might be one about butterflies."
I am glad I went back and saw this request Peggy. Here is a short poem about butterflies.
Butterflies are self propelled flowers.— Robert Heinlein
Silken wings of patterned hues,
Each one a perfect clone,
Carry you from flower to flower
Until your work is done.
In such a fragile, minute form
You're God's perfect creation.
A life so short but valuable,
Your purpose, pollination.
The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.— George Carlin
"I don't remember if I made a recent request or not...let's see.....how about 'compassion?'"
Compassion is a worthy topic for a poem, Bill. So, thank you. I decided to write it as an acrostic.
Compassion for our fellow man
Of every race or religion
Must be the centre of our thoughts
Peace to all, our mission
Assisting those who need a hand
Showing good grace to all
Standing up for ones oppressed
It's us who must stand tall.
Often our leaders make things worse
Never heeding pity's call.
A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures ...— Albert Einstein
Ruby Jean Richert
"Now, I'm wondering if you might write a poem honoring the great actor Kirk Douglas?"
Kirk Douglas was a wonderful actor, Ruby, and I have done my best to honour him in this poem.
Not Just a Ragman's Son
Born in Amsterdam, New York
As Issur Danielovitch,
Kirk Douglas was an actor, director,
Writer and philanthropist.
From Russian Jewish immigrants,
And a childhood that was impoverished
To become a leading box-office star,
Successful and accomplished.
Kirk appeared in 90 films
And maybe even more.
His explosive acting style on screen
Suited dramas, westerns, and war.
As a US Navy communications officer
He served in the 2nd World War,
But injured by a depth charge
And medically discharged in 1944.
Kirk worked in radio, commercials and in theatre.
Success on the stage was his primary goal,
Until recommended for a supporting movie part
By his close friend Lauren Bacall.
He played the parts of Spartacus,
Ulysses, and Van Gogh,
Some sensitive, romantic leads,
But mostly tough guy roles.
Kirk Douglas wrote ten novels,
And memoirs, The Ragman's Son.
"Even on Eagle Street, the poorest section of town,
The ragman was the lowest rung..."
A philanthropist right to the end
Many charities he'd fund
He left them most of his estate.
He was not just a ragman's son.
Kirk is one of a kind. He has an overpowering physical presence, which is why on a large movie screen he looms over the audience like a tidal wave in full flood. Globally revered, he is now the last living screen legend of those who vaulted to stardom at the war's end, that special breed of movie idol instantly recognizable anywhere, whose luminous on-screen characters are forever memorable.— Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America.
"I was wondering John if you have time could you include a poem about stepping stones. I think our lives are a series of stepping stones. Cheers."
Thank you for your request Lorna. Here is my take on "stepping stones."
Life can be like stepping stones,
Be careful where you step.
Don't try to rush along the path
Where others fear to tread.
Try not to stray far from the track,
The stones are there to guide.
But if you ever must detour
Leave clues to lead you back.
The stepping stones of life are true,
They're not there to confuse,
But many people lose their way,
They're blinded by the light..
Fix your eyes upon the stones,
Don't look to left or right.
Temptation is at every turn,
Stay focussed on your dreams.
Conquer each stone as they come,
Make each a separate goal,
You'll soon be well along the path
To achieving real success.
Tune in Next Week
If you are free next week please feel free to drop into the porch and say "hi." I will be sharing poems I am writing for: Pamela Oglesby, Gypsy Rose Lee, Rosina S Khan, and Peggy Woods. Topics are California dreaming, Making Peace With My Past, Spring Cleaning, and Senior Citizens and Doctors.
Until then, have fun and stay well.
© 2020 John Hansen