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Poems From the Porch 6

Updated on November 9, 2019
Jodah profile image

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

Another porch view
Another porch view | Source

Welcome Back to the Porch

It's hard to believe almost a week has gone by since our last visit to the porch (well yours at least. I go there every day.) I had just put my pen down having finished the final poem when it started hailing. Talk about good timing. Anyway, it forced me inside, but the rain that followed was wonderful. It still hasn't broken the drought but ever drop is welcome and hopefully, more will follow soon.

This edition of Poems From the Porch actually has a bit of a gardening theme with two of the three poems being about plants/flowers. So, pull up a chair, get comfy, and hopefully enjoy this weeks poetry.

Marie Flint

"I've been reading many articles about gardening. One article I especially loved was about how one gardener related her gardening experience with her emotions. Instead of naming the plant, she used the feeling, planting hope, removing despair, etc. Why not try a similar theme in a poem?"

This was quite a challenge in itself but in a comment on a later article Marie went a little further:

"I love sonnets, so maybe put my gardening theme in one of those?

Thank you for whatever poetic form you find inspirational!"

This was probably the biggest challenge I have faced so far Marie, but I thank you for that because I really wanted these prompts to test my poetic abilities and push me to attempt different topics and styles.

The ornamental ginger in flower
The ornamental ginger in flower | Source

Gardening My Emotions - a Sonnet

My garden is the place I like to go,

Away from trials and stresses of my life

To let my feelings and emotions flow

And deal with all my woes and inner strife.


My plants have names you may think rather strange,

Though this, for me, works better than a psyche.

In rows, I have my punnets all arranged

And plant them when a certain mood may strike.


I bury anger deep into the ground,

Regret must be replaced by hopes anew.

I water happiness so joy abounds,

So, nurture love and it will bloom for you.


Just like the sunlight helps the plants to thrive,

Pull out the bad and let the good survive.

Part of our garden kept alive during the drought
Part of our garden kept alive during the drought | Source

Linda Lum

"You want inspiration? Be careful what you ask for, you might get it. It's certain the flood gates will open on this one. Here's one that I've been tossing around as I have just returned from a week-long vacation. 'Superlatives.'"

Linda, this is one subject I certainly would never have thought of as a subject for a poem, so thank you. I actually really enjoyed writing it, so hope you enjoy it too.

definition ~ Superlative: adj or verb - an exaggerated or hyperbolical expression of praise/ the highest quality or degree. Used to compare one thing against the rest of a group.:

Superlatives

You are the greatest of the great,

The very best of the best,

Most awesome of the awesomest,

Much better than the rest.


You're the smartest of the educated,

The wisest of the wise,

The deepest of all oceans,

The bluest of blue skies.


You're the tallest of all mountains.

More vast than all the seas,

The most loving of lovers,

More important than the trees.


You're the most brilliant of diamonds,

The prettiest of all flowers,

Most generous of volunteers,

And the funniest of clowns.


There aren't enough superlatives

To describe how great you are,

But, the fact that you do not seek praise

Makes you the brightest star.

Mary Pickford "Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the greatest of them all?" Image by skeeze from Pixabay
Mary Pickford "Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the greatest of them all?" Image by skeeze from Pixabay | Source

Gypsy Rose Lee

"I don't know if you have a time like we used to have in Latvia when spring comes and lilacs bloom. If you do then one inspiration I could pass on to you is When Lilacs Bloom or When One season Changes to Another."

Gypsy, we don't have lilacs here as far as I know (unless someone has imported them specifically.) We have jacaranda trees that are in full purple bloom right now in Spring, however, so I can relate. At first, I considered writing a poem about the jacarandas but decided to honour your request and write a poem titled "When the Lilacs Bloom."

When the Lilacs Bloom

Pink and purple, sometimes white,

Lilac blooms are a pretty sight.

Said in the Balkans first originated,

And to the olive closely related.


The lovely bush seems Heaven- sent,

With an intense and spicy scent.

The eight-year anniversary flower

Represents love's youthful power.


The lilac flowers just once a year

Signalling when spring is here,

So, let's all push away the gloom

Each year, when the lilacs bloom.

Lilacs, Image by RitaE from Pixabay
Lilacs, Image by RitaE from Pixabay | Source

Lilacs: The Greek Myth

The story of lilac, according to Greek mythology, begins with a beautiful nymph named Syringa (lilac's botanical name). Captivated by her beauty, Pan, the god of the forests and fields, chased Syringa through the forest. Frightened by Pan's affections, Syringa escaped him by turning herself into an aromatic bush – the flower we now refer to as lilac. (Source: Teleflora.com)

* There are other versions of this story with the most popular being that Syringa (Syrinx) was actually transformed into reeds just as Pan embraced her. He cut some and was intrigued by the beautiful sound whistling through them so he glued them together with beeswax and they became known as the syrinx or pan pipes.

Keep the Requests Coming

Remember, if you have an idea for a poem you'd like me to write, then let me know in comments. Throw subjects at me and I will do my best to write poems about them. If you want to really test me you can even request the type/style of poem you want.

Next weeks poems should include requests by Artchelle Arcillas, Li-Jen Hew, and Dora Wethers. Until then, stay safe and keep writing.

© 2019 John Hansen

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    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      9 days ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Lawrence. You are always welcome on the porch. Oh, and number 12 has the poem you requested about a special assignment.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      9 days ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      John

      Really enjoyed these, especially 'When lilacs bloom'

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      It is never too late, Nikki. Thank you to take the time to read and enjoy these.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      6 weeks ago from London

      All poems are beautiful, Superlatives is my favourite one though.

      Sorry, couldn’t get to read them early John.

      I loved reading all of them. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Shauna, glad there was even educational value this week. Cheers.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Another great rise to the challenge, John! I never knew there was a historical myth about lilacs. Very interesting!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Brenda, I greatly appreciate your comment. Yes, I had to research lilacs to be able to write about them.

    • Brenda Arledge profile image

      BRENDA ARLEDGE 

      7 weeks ago from Washington Court House

      John,

      You never caese to amaze me.

      The first one on gardening is by far the best...but i did so enjoy you writing on lilacs when you have none there.

      Keep up the great work.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      What a beautiful and encouraging comment, Rinita, I too like sonnets though I have only written a few. Your comment may inspire me to write more. I am so glad you enjoyed these.

    • Senoritaa profile image

      Rinita Sen 

      7 weeks ago

      I was so mesmerized by the sonnet I wanted to stop and meditate before reading further. I have a special weakness for sonnets and your verses made a strong statement for the style.

      Superlatives were great! I initially thought you were going in a sarcastic direction, so the ending pleasantly surprised me.

      Great job finding the artistic video on the lilac myth. Inspiring collection as always.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Cynthia, I am glad you enjoyed these poems and the commentary. I have never smelt a real lilac, only soaps and candles artificially scented, so the “spicy” description came from an article I read online. Yes, you will have to check it out for yourself to confirm either way.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hello brother Sean. Thanks for your affirmation of my account of the story of Pan and Syrinx. It is y pleasure to keep the colours flowing, I am the rainbow poet after all :)

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 

      7 weeks ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      I enjoy reading your poems and the narration of their backgrounds. It was interesting to hear the lilac described as "spicy" and that description has seemingly erased my aural memory of the plant's intense fragrance. I shall have to go to a soap or candle shop to seek a validating sniff. Here by the sea I grow an Italian lilac different in every way from the overgrown lilac bushes of my childhood on the landlocked prairies of Canada

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      7 weeks ago from Greece, Almyros

      Oh! You did it well with Greek mythology too, my brother! We had plenty of myths, gods and goddesses about the beauty of Nature! Thank you for the colours, through flowers this time! Stay safe and keep writing...

      Much Love and admiration from Greece!

      Sean

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi MsDora, so glad you enjoyed this poetry. I think Superlatives would be the easiest to memorise as well.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Karen. Much appreciated.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you as always Elijah. I hope you overcome those communication barriers and I look forward to seeing you here online.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      All beautiful verses as usual, but Superlatives is the one I'd like to memorize. Impressive!

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 

      7 weeks ago from New England

      Lovely poems....plus the additional treats of music with images!

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      7 weeks ago from Washington DC

      Even when rhyming you school us, John, I now need only to further research your teachings for the deepest education possible.

      I enjoyed them all, my friend, I will be here next time, I hope. There are forces that doesn't want me to communicate so getting online is becoming a problem for me. So, keep it up, I'll be here whenever I'm allowed.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Marie, glad you could finally access the Internet. Yes, I could have added more to your garden poem if it didn’t have to follow the strict form of a sonnet, but I was pleased with how it turned out anyway, I’m pleased you were too.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 

      7 weeks ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

      I finally got to the library so I could access the internet (connection is poor in Tawas Township).

      I liked the sonnet, John; I only wish it could have been longer, but that's the form.

      Oddly enough, an advertisement on the library's computer wouldn't let me read the poem you wrote for me, so I had to use my phone!

      All's well that ends well.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      7 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Alyssa. Glad you enjoyed these, especially "Superlatives."

    • Alyssa Nichol profile image

      Alyssa 

      7 weeks ago from Ohio

      What a wonderful collection! I am particularly fond of your Superlatives piece. :)

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you so much Ann. I think a few small extras like the lilac myth will help hold people’s interest rather than the poetry alone.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      8 weeks ago from SW England

      Another great response to others' challenges for poetry themes, John.

      They are all well-crafted and I like the inclusion of things such as the Lilac Myth.

      Ann

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Peggy, if this series is around even half as long as Bill’s mailbag I will be more than happy, I am glad the “lilac” poem brought back pleasant memories for you.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

      This is a fun series and will probably be a long-lived one just like Bill Holland offers every week. Each topic was a good one, but the one that instantly zipped me back to my childhood in Wisconsin was the topic of lilacs. My parents had a lilac hedge and the fragrance of those flowers each year was nothing less than heavenly!

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you so much Linda. I hope so too. I am enjoying writing these poems for people.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      8 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very enjoyable series, John. I hope it continues for a long time.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for the fine comment MsB. Yes, I love wisteria. We had one at our last home and the purple hanging blooms are amazing. Love the limerick... ”mysteria”, great word.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      8 weeks ago from Beautiful South

      John, these are wonderful, especially the lilacs and the superlatives was superlative! We don't have lilacs here either because our climate is too warm. They don't grow very well south of the Mason Dixon line...maybe they don't like us Southerners. LOL Our substitute is wisteria, which has beautiful lilac color blooms. I'm not a poet but here is my limerick, even when I have to make up a word to rhyme.

      I adore spring’s wisteria

      And I go into hysteria

      Purple blooms dangle

      a downward angle

      They are so mysteria.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hello Linda. Thanks for the kind words. I am so glad you liked the superlatives poem, and can relate to the lilac and the garden one as well. I am enjoying writing this series and happy that you are enjoying reading.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Rasma, I am especially pleased that you enjoyed the lilac poem you requested. That you liked the others is just a bonus.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you so much Nell. Another lilac lover lol. I really appreciate your comment.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Flourish, thank you for the generous comment. I was worried about writing the sonnet but once I started it seemed to flow surprisingly easy. The superlatives one was fun.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hello Lora, I seem to be enjoying writing these poems more each week. I did worry that it would get too much for me but so far that doesn’t appear to be the case. I am glad you enjoyed these.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Ruby. It seems lilacs are adored by a lot of people, and rightly so. Hmm a scary short fiction story, ok, but it will probably be a stand alone hub, I will see if I can come up with one for you.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      8 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Nurture love; what a wonderful thought. We have many here on Hubs who seem to do that very thing (I'm talking to you, John). Thanks for picking up my suggestion. You grabbed and ran with it.

      I love lilacs. I have a large one just outside my front door. Even before it blooms in the Spring, I can smell the fragrance of the buds forming. I hope this series just keeps on coming. It's a nice respite from the chaos of the rest of the week.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      8 weeks ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Thank you so much for the wonderful lilac memories I loved the poem and I was also delighted by the other poems.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 weeks ago from England

      I love them, John! I like Lilacs, but all of them were wonderful!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      8 weeks ago from USA

      I really like those lines about burying anger and replacing regret. I’m impressed with your sonnet and loved the fun of the superlatives poem. Anyone receiving that would be the happiest.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      8 weeks ago

      Lovely poems this week from the porch, John! I especially liked the lilac poem. They are the quintessence of beauty for me as far as flowers. And I thought the Superlatives poem was especially witty! Wonderful poems. Thanks for sharing.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      This was all beautifully done! Lilacs are one of my favorite flowers and scents. I use lilac body wash and perfume. Can I ask you to write a short fiction story that is really scary. I attempted but it was not that good. Thanks in advance.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you so much Liz. I barely know what “verbal dexterity” is but I just try my best. Cheers.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      You are always welcome to visit the porch Charlie. I am so glad you enjoyed the sonnet and that it connected with you. Take care.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, I am blown away with the response to this idea. Yes, I think it will be going awhile...maybe not as long as your mailboxes, but long enough. Cricket will be my pleasure.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      8 weeks ago from UK

      This is a great collection once again. I am impressed by your verbal dexterity and creativity.

    • drylen profile image

      Charlie Halliday 

      8 weeks ago from Scotland

      You have excelled this time John. The sonnet was amazing and for me personally a wonderful poem.

      A very thought provoking visit to your porch.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you Pamela. Much appreciated, and I have added autumn leaves to my list.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it when a good idea sprouts wings and takes off, all on its own. That's what this series has done, and I suspect it will be around for quite some time....my request.....cricket the sport. :) Maybe I'll learn how to play the game through your poetry.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      I really liked the superlative poem as I think that was a difficult request, and you did it so well. I love the lilacs also, so I enjoyed that poem along with the addition information. You always seem to rise to the occasion.

      As many are enjoying autumn leaved right now that might be a good topic if you haven't done that lately.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Mary, that is a huge compliment, that you feel like reciting these poems as you walk through the gardens. I feel for you missing the changing colours and the mountain freshness. I too moved from the country to town and miss it greatly.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hi John. I love these poems. I feel like reciting them as I walk through the gardens. I do miss the lake and the changing of colours as I did not stay in the cottage for this. I also long for the freshness of the mountains as I look out the bleak city street.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Lorna, thank you for your kind words and for following this series. I am so glad to hear that you were touched by "When the Lilacs Bloom."

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      8 weeks ago

      Hi John, Glad the rain paid you a visit as I know how important rain is in your part of Australia. Once again in awe of how versatile you are with your poetry and styles. My favourite would have to be "When the Lilacs Bloom", as this was the flower my mum loved to see in the garden. I was touched by this poem.

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for reading and for your insightful comment Eric. I'll see what I can do with that request...if it can be incorporated into a poem.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

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

      Cool again. Sorry but I went out there dreaming of hail and rain. The story of Narcissus is kind of interestingly similar to Lilac - my favorite flower.

      Gardining Emotions, is one of those deals I thought everyone does and you nailed how it flows.

      Oops I am doing one of those too long comments again.

      (you have read some of my Boy Teacher series - how about your perspective on that with your sons and grandsons)

    • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

      John Hansen 

      8 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Mr Happy, thank you for sharing your love of Lilacs and about their smell. That is actually shade cloth over half my porch but it does look like a blue tarp in the photo (and, yes, an upside-down swimming pool.)

      All is good here, and hope it is for you too.

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 

      8 weeks ago from Toronto, Canada

      I love liliacs. They have such an amazing smell!! They go by too quick though. We have a purple one at the back of the house here and yes, the flowers pass way too fast. I liked these since I was a kid. The smell is so playful, fresh, sweet ... ya just awesome!

      I like your porch. That tarp on the top makes it look like there's a swimming pool on top of your porch, haha!! (An up-side-down swimming pool, to be percise.)

      Alrighty, wish all is well on your end. Cheers!

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