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Poems From the Porch 24

Updated on March 5, 2020
Jodah profile image

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

Source

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.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay | Source

Peggy Woods

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
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Image by Gerhard Bögner from PixabaySilken wings: Image by Pexels from PixabayPeacock Butterfly: Image by kie-ker from Pixabay
Image by Gerhard Bögner from Pixabay
Image by Gerhard Bögner from Pixabay | Source
Silken wings: Image by Pexels from Pixabay
Silken wings: Image by Pexels from Pixabay | Source
Peacock Butterfly: Image by kie-ker from Pixabay
Peacock Butterfly: Image by kie-ker from Pixabay | Source

Silken Wings

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

Bill Holland

"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.

Helping hand: Image by Vicki Nunn from Pixabay
Helping hand: Image by Vicki Nunn from Pixabay | Source

Compassion

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kirk Douglas: By Unknown photographer - eBay , seller Old Brass Antiques, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20325755With Eve Miller in The Big Trees 1952:By Warner Bros. - eBay, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25597053With Joan Tetzel in the 1963 Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest:
Kirk Douglas: By Unknown photographer - eBay , seller Old Brass Antiques, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20325755
Kirk Douglas: By Unknown photographer - eBay , seller Old Brass Antiques, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20325755 | Source
With Eve Miller in The Big Trees 1952:By Warner Bros. - eBay, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25597053
With Eve Miller in The Big Trees 1952:By Warner Bros. - eBay, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=25597053 | Source
With Joan Tetzel in the 1963 Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest:
With Joan Tetzel in the 1963 Broadway play One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: | Source

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.

Lorna Lamon

"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."

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Stepping stones: Image by Jaap Schuddeboom from Pixabayones: Image by 은주 송 from PixabayImage by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay
Stepping stones: Image by Jaap Schuddeboom from Pixabayones:
Stepping stones: Image by Jaap Schuddeboom from Pixabayones: | Source
Image by 은주 송 from Pixabay
Image by 은주 송 from Pixabay | Source
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay
Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay | Source

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

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    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      12 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Li-Jen. I always appreciate your insightful comments. Yes the diversity of the subjects does require a quick change of perspective.

    • Li-Jen Hew profile image

      Li-Jen Hew 

      12 days ago

      Hi Jodah, you've come a long way! Your Poems From The Porch is at its 24th series. Definitely virus free page! Thanks for that haha. From a veteran's suicide to butterflies, a dramatic change. It's a good brain exercise since it needs you to change your mood or perspective. Well done for that skill. You did a good job in making the butterfly come alive, with the texture of the wings, its fragile and its short life. You are also good in creating moral stories like the Compassion poem. I like the stepping stones as a metaphor for life decisions. It's true..we can conquer each stone, and push distractions aside. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Lora, thank you so much for appreciating my poetry and the messages or rules I try to convey. I am glad you liked these.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      2 weeks ago

      What profound poems that inspire and reaffirm the golden rules that too often are forgotten. Beautifully done, John. Wonderful acrostic on compassion and I loved Stepping Stones. There's much wisdom in your poem! Thank you for sharing.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hello Tamara, I really appreciate you taking the time to visit and read my poetry. Thank you for the kind comment and glad you like the new profile pic too. Cheers.

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

      Tamara BBYCGN 

      2 weeks ago from Uninhabited Regions

      You are quite the poet and your words dance beautifully upon this post for all to partake and be sweetly gifted. Thank you for sharing these gifts with us.

      Hey, cool profile picture!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      2 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Shaloo, thank you so much for reading these poems. I am glad you particularly enjoyed “Stepping Stones.”

    • swalia profile image

      Shaloo Walia 

      2 weeks ago from India

      So many diverse themes covered in this set of poems. Loved the one about stepping stones... beautifully written!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Peggy. Sure I can do a poem about skipping stones. Did you read my recent one "The River Knows"? I actually wrote about skipping stones across the water in there. But I can do another no worries.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      3 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      From writing about butterflies to compassion and on to stepping stones, you seem to have no limits to your poetic expressions! I liked every one of them. When reading the stepping stones poem, it reminded me of skipping stones across a lake to see how far they would go. My dad was an expert at that! Perhaps you could do a poem about skipping stones?

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Eddy. This concept seems to be popular as I keep getting requests. It is my pleasure to share these poems.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 

      3 weeks ago from Wales

      What great poetry John and how clever to compose the whole hub in this way. Great writing here and thank you for sharing with us.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Clive.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Clive.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      3 weeks ago from Jamaica

      nice compassion

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      MsDora, your comments never fail to make my day. These requests allow me to practice a lot of different forms and subjects so I am learning all the time. Have a great weekend.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      "Stepping Stone" is a classic for all and for all times. The poem on Kirk Douglas gives more information than one would expect in any form of poetry. The two short poems are also excellent. You never cease to amaze us with your versatility and your expertise in all forms. You're a Master Poet.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 weeks ago from london

      Actually I liked the piece, Bro. Nice! About the butterfly thing, I was (post reading your work), also reading a comment from Devika and it triggered a poem with butterflies, already up. It's on kindness, though. Peace.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you manatita, yes a very diverse mix here. I agree that Gregory Peck was a wonderful actor. I was torn between getting the flow perfect on the piece about Kirk Douglas but I opted more for sharing as much information about him as I could. It was a difficult mix.

      I look forward to a butterfly poem from you soon.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      3 weeks ago from london

      Nice mixture of afflictions, love and romance, philosophy, nature … and so forth. I really loved Kirk. He was one of my heroes along with Gregory Peck, a bit more formal and less charismatic, but he was very versatile, Gregory was. Kirk was my kind of man. Bold, daring and adventurous. A lover of life and of course a philanthropist.

      I didn't know he wrote books, but then most actors do.

      Your take on compassion is noteworthy and of course we need it or will soon, according to the current world events and you have touched on Covid 19 very nicely.

      Compassion is probably God's most powerful tool to help us and as to Lorna's, I like to think of them as experiences -- the yogic word. Means that the light and darkness we acquire are all necessary to our progress in this school of life. Neither good nor bad, but simply experiences.

      Perhaps I will write a piece about butterflies. They are in many of my 800 poems but I don't think that I have written a piece on them. Thank you and Peggy for reminding me. It may take another two weeks to manifest, knowing me. Haha. Excellent pieces Bro!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for visiting the porch once again, Eric. Fires no longer a threat, now a few cyclones brewing off the coast so I guess floods will be the next threat.

      Glad to hear I encouraged you to tackle those stepping stones.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, Flourish, the diversity surprises me too. It isn’t always easy to come up with verse suitable either but the challenge is fun.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Cheers Nell, I learnt a lot from researching him too. A very interesting man. Thanks for reading.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      I m glad you enjoyed these poems, Ruby, especially the Kirk Douglas one you requested. All the best to you.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      I am glad you enjoyed these poems, Pamela. There were a lot of interesting facts about Kirk Douglas I couldn’t include unfortunately. Lauren Bacall had a huge crush on him but he only wanted to be friends, she thought because she was too young for him being eight years younger. It was interesting that he starred in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as a sailor on the Nautilus because he had been a communications officer on submarines in the navy. thank you for reading.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Umesh. Glad you enjoyed reading these.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Glad to hear you read “The Ragman’s Son”, Shauna. Kirk Douglas certainly made his mark after very impoverished beginnings.

      Yes,I have heard of “bubble gum music,” so let’s see what I can come up for bubble gum.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      I surely do look forward to sitting on your porch each week. Good news about the fires I hear. My mom sure had a fancy for Mr. Douglas.

      True confessions -- I took a different path in the canyon today - I was not up for the stepping stones across the creek - I will get them after reading this.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      3 weeks ago from USA

      I can’t get over the sheer diversity of what people request,, from compassion to Kirk Douglas.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 weeks ago from England

      Absolutely wonderful! I particularly liked the Kirk Douglas one. I learned more about him through your words than I ever knew before. Loved it!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      Just when I think you've wrote the very best, you manage to top all the rest. I loved your poetry about Kirk Douglas and the rhyme so true. Thank you. Stay well my poet friend.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      3 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      Each poem is very good but uniquely different. The stepping stones reflected life steps so well, John.

      I didn't know some of those facts about Kirk Douglas and I thoight that poem was excellent also. Butterflies and compassion were also good topics for your poetry writing skills.

    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      3 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Good collection. Nice reading. Thanks.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 weeks ago from Central Florida

      I love each one of these poems, John. I think my favorites are "Compassion" and "Not Just a Ragman's Son". I actually read "The Ragman's Son" years ago, which is odd because I rarely read non-fiction. Something drew me to it. I suspect I simply wanted to know more about the handsome, charismatic legend.

      As of yesterday, there have been three confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Florida. They're telling us it's not a case of "if", but "when" the numbers increase. Florida is a tourist state, especially Central Florida where I live. We get visitors from all over the world who want to experience the theme parks, Disney being the biggest draw. Time will tell.

      Let's lighten things up a bit, shall we? How 'bout writing a poem about bubble gum? It could be about the pink stuff we chewed as kids or the music teeny bopper girls listened to back in the day. (Have you heard the term "bubble gum music"?)

      Thanks for the pleasant visit, John. Stay well.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      My pleasure, Bill. Thank you for your support of this series. I will keep them coming as long as I get requests. Chocolate is one of my favourite things, so I can't say no to that.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the lesson on compassion, and thank you for continuing this series. It has become one of my favorite features on HP. Take a shot at "chocolate" when you get the chance.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Greetings Lorna. I am pleased that you like "stepping Stones" the poem you requested. I tried to be a little different this week and attempt free verse more than rhyme. I felt a little out of my depth but practice makes perfect I guess. Glad to hear the virus is being contained there in Ireland. I hope it stays that way.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      3 weeks ago

      Greetings from the Emerald Isle John and thank you for writing such a beautiful poem 'Stepping Stones' which I love. In fact all the poems have a message to relate - compassion, nature, life and remembrance.

      Another thoughtful collection which I enjoyed reading. So far Covid-19 is being contained here, however, other countries are struggling. Hope you all stay well down under.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      I really appreciate your continued support with this series, Rosina, by both reading the poems each week and requesting ones for yourself. I am glad you enjoyed "Stepping Stones."

    • surovi99 profile image

      Rosina S Khan 

      3 weeks ago

      I loved this collection of poems as always but like Devika, my fave is Stepping Stones. Can't wait to read my requested poem next week. Like before, I am sure I will have something concrete to take away. I love the series and I hope it will continue on and on, John.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for your kind comment and being the first to read this Devika. Yes, the effect on tourism is one of many countries concerns.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      3 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I like the poem so sweet a request from Lorna Lamon. About the Corona virus, well all here in Croatia. It is in certain places and not a good sign for tourism.

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