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Poems from the Porch 13

Updated on December 11, 2019
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John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded the "Best Poet 2014 and 2021" Hubby Awards.

Rain | Source

Rain at Last!

Well, as I sat on the porch to write these poems the sky was getting darker and darker..thunder began to rumble in the distance and then it happened. It started to rain! We got a storm. Not a lot of rain yet, but it keeps stopping and starting so it's the most promising we have had in months, and It did force me inside to finish these poems off.

I also apologise for this edition of Poems From the Porch being a little later than usual, and you will also notice I have only written two poems. I had expected to write four but I found these two more challenging than usual, or maybe my muse was on holiday. So, to Flourish and Ruby..sorry, but your poems will appear next week and just in time for Christmas.

Mel Carriere

"Do you ever try your hand at free verse? How about something a little Walt Whitman style, something maybe on the subject of brush fires, a theme relevant to Aussies and Californians alike."

Yes, Mel, I do try my hand at free verse now and then though it isn't my preferred style of poetry. That said, you really challenged me by asking me to write something in "Walt Whitman" style. I know he is often called "the father of free verse."

Being a lover of rhyme I have to admit I have never really appreciated Whitman's poetry, but I found a couple that I don't mind. The funny thing is, the one I like the best is one of the very few he wrote that has any form of rhyme scheme, (O Captain! My Captain!) and because Robin Williams read it in the movie Dead Poets Society it is also one of his most popular. Whitman himself regretted writing it.

I know you asked for free verse, but sorry, you aren't getting it with this one. At least it is about a brush fire. This was a tough challenge but I do appreciate it.

O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;

The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

— Walt Whitman

O Warden! My Warden!

O Warden! my Warden! the raging fire is beat,

The brigade has persevered, despite the raging heat,

The end is nigh, the smoke subsides, the community’s still grieving,

We keep our eyes upon the scene, to prevent the fire rekindling.

But O the heat! heat! heat!

O the smoldering embers,

Where the corpses of the wildlife lay,

It’s what we will remember.

O Warden! my Warden! the sirens never cease;

Move on - to another fire - it’s what you do the best,

For you get gratitude and thanks - for that is how you cope.

For you are the people’s hero, they turn to you with hope;

Dear Warden! our Saviour!

The fire was devastating,

It left the land charred and dead,

Unrelenting, unforgiving.

My Warden remains silent, he seeks no accolade,

My leader just does what he must, with no desire for pay,

One fire is out and finished, the next under control,

Of sacrifice and bravery, are tales soon to be told;

Hail the brigade, and shout for joy!

Who showed no sign of fear.

While for those who perished in the fire,

We shed a sullen tear.

Firefighters | Source

Pamela Oglesby

"I was thinking about how police get such bad press here in the U.S. and they have a very hard job, so may a poem about that at some point. Thank you John."

Pamela, thank you for this request. Yes, police often get a bad rap here in Australia as well. The poem I wrote for you is light-hearted and based on the song "Mr Spaceman" originally sung by The Byrds, and also recorded by Jimmy Buffet and others more recently. So, this poem, Mr Policeman, is really a song as well.

If you think people are inherently good, you get rid of the police for 24 hours - see what happens.

— Sylvester Stallone

Mr Policeman ~ a Song

Got home late at night, what time I can’t tell.

As I opened the door I stumbled and fell.

I turned around when I heard someone yell,

Who it was I couldn’t tell.

Was it a burglar who prowls in the night

To ransack a house and make us uptight?

“Sir it’s the Police, we followed you home.

You drove through a red light.”

Hey, Mr Policeman

I’m glad you came along

But, I didn’t do anything wrong.

Hey, Mr Policeman

Thank you for escorting me home.

Woke up this morning, surprisingly well

I smelt a strange smell, I was in a Police cell.

There was the Policeman I spoke to last night.

“Sir, I just need to read you your rights.”

Hey, Mr Policeman

I’m singing the same old song

But, I didn’t do anything wrong.

Hey. Mr Policeman

Can you please let me out to go home?

Hey, Mr Policeman

I don’t like it here in jail

So, thanks for releasing me on bail.

Hey, Mr Policeman

I appreciate you driving me home.

Police | Source

More Requests Needed

Well, that's it from the porch for another week and the next will be the last before Christmas. Poems fo FlourishAnyway, Ruby Jean Richer and Chris Mills.

Oh, and those are the last requests I have to date which has worked out well taking the series right up until the end of the year. However, I will need more to keep it going, so if anyone has any ideas for more poems please let me know. It will be good to have some up my sleeve for the new year.

Thank you for continuing to support this series. Bye for now.

© 2019 John Hansen


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