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Beneath Your Skin, a Poem to Inspire

John is a Christian but feels that all religions have both positives and negatives. He prefers to live by his own code of ethics.

Beneath Your Skin

Beneath Your Skin

Why Am I Preaching?

I don't know what's come over me lately. I feel like a lot of my writing may be seen as preaching. Admittedly, I am usually trying to promote some life message through my poetry but it usually is subtlely disguised and not as open and obvious as this poem.

I'm really not trying to invade Eric's niche of sermons. I'll leave that to him as he is much better at it than I am. For some reason though, I find my muse (or higher power) prompting me to write this, so who am I to argue? I hope someone who needs this message is also prompted to read it.

Listen to This Accoustic as You Read

Good or Evil? It's your choice.

Good or Evil? It's your choice.

Beneath Your Skin

I sit here contemplating life.

I'm sure I bore my darling wife.

So many things in history past,

I've come to see the truth at last.

No matter what we've done before

You can't go back through a locked door.

To change the past is not a choice

So what's the point of making noise?

Just live the present as you can

And try to be a better man.

The future will depend on you

So be forthright in all you do.

Learn from the past and your mistakes,

Real common sense is all it takes.

Make changes where they are required,

True dedication is admired.

Remember those who have inspired,

Who helped when you were sad or tired.

They picked you up when you fell down

And made you smile instead of frown.

The seeds of doubt come from within

But make sure you don't let them win.

Look straight ahead to what you seek,

The putrid smell of satan reeks.


Take everything that he can throw,

He's a weak and cowardly foe.

When God is watching over you,

There's nothing that you cannot do.

Be confident and don't back down,

You're satan's victor, not his clown.

Do good deeds and don't be cruel,

And be a wise man, not a fool.

Treat your family with respect,

Don't ever show your kids neglect.

Resist the pushers peddling sin,

Don't let them get 'beneath your skin.'

Whatever you believe or not

I hope this puts you on the spot.

Always choose good over evil,

It isn't cool to be the devil.

Good vs Evil

Good vs Evil

Author's Note

Once again, this poem was inspired by the title of a novel in my bookcase. This time it was 'Beneath the Skin' by Nicci French. It's a great psychological thriller, but believe me, the content didn't inspire this poem ... or maybe it did! To choose good over evil.

Here is what Harpers & Queen had to say about it:

"Cancel all appointments and unplug the phone. Once started, you will do nothing until you finish this thriller."

I can recommend it too, it's edge of the seat stuff.

© 2018 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 27, 2018:

Thanks, Larry. Your reading and comments are always appreciated.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 27, 2018:

Under my thumb:-)

Great read.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 26, 2018:

Hello Tim, thank you for reading another of my scribblings :) I felt it was a worthy remnder message to share. Our values sometimes seem too easy to forget.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on July 26, 2018:

Excellent, John. The message is one worth repeating in a time where we have tended to forget our values as people who love God and as democracies. Powerful, clear, well written. It's worth a reread.

Thanks again.

Much respect,



John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 22, 2018:

Hi jwmurph. Thanks for reading this and your kind comment. I appreciate it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 22, 2018:

Thank you, Nithya. Your positive comment is much appreciated.

John Murphree from Tennessee on July 22, 2018:

Nice statement of a positive life philosophy,,,thank you

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on July 22, 2018:

A wonderful inspirational poem and the best way to tackle life head on.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 22, 2018:

Hi Genna, ou are right tha we never know when our muse will strike. Glad you liked this and, yes, I am sure you will enjoy that novel.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on July 22, 2018:

Inspiration can visit us from so many unexpected places and moments. The muse whispers in the ear; taps us on the shoulder; paints our corner visions with a moment of light -- often as brief as a nanosecond. I'm glad this one found you -- that is a wonderful poem, John. And thank you for the referral to the French novel. I love page turners that seize the imagination.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 22, 2018:

Thank you as always MsDora. Glad you found it a worthy message in this poem. Blessings.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 22, 2018:

Thanks for following the promptings of your Muse. Great message-one we need today, and expertly presented.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2018:

Thank you Sean. I appreciate that.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2018:

Thank you Flourish. Yes temptation is everywhere.

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on July 21, 2018:

I love your code of ethics, my brother, John. I liked the simplicity in the wisdom you shared by those verses.



FlourishAnyway from USA on July 21, 2018:

There’s certainly enough out there to tempt people. Your poem sermon is a good reminder to do the right thing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2018:

Thank you bro, always great to hear from you and thank you for the encouragement and confirmation.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 21, 2018:

Diana, I am so glad this piece proved inspirational for you. I do believe we are often directed subconsciously to read things that have the message we are looking for at the time. It happens to me quite often. I sincerely hope your spirits lift and you get the needed motivation. Blessings.

manatita44 from london on July 21, 2018:

Some book!

Great poetry and necessary message. We tend to feel better when we serve in this way. When we can see humanity as our brothers and sisters, then there is no preaching, as Love is there.

An inspirational piece!

Diana L Pierce from Potter County, Pa. on July 21, 2018:

I was happy to find one of your poems in my news feed this morning. I surely need a lift of spirits. As I am still fighting a mound of clutter both in my emotions as well as my house, I appreciate any inspiration to get me in a mood to get off my behind and do something about it. I know I am blessed. A helpful reminder never hurts. The good Lord willing, I will escape this rut and perhaps get back to doing the things I love as well as the things I need to be doing. Thanks old friend.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 20, 2018:

Thank you, Mark. Glad you liked the title of this poem. I think a lot of us a wise fools at times.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 20, 2018:

Yes, Venkat. I think you captured the essence to life n your wise comment. Thank you for reading.

Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on July 20, 2018:

Great title for this poem. I think i’m more of a wise fool, though. Not complaining.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on July 20, 2018:

Very inspiring poem. Learn from the past mistakes and move on towards the brighter future doing your present deeds wisely and with good intentions. I think this is the essence of it all.

Suzie from Carson City on July 20, 2018:

Thanks, Jodah.....but the "new" pic is about 7 yrs old. If you'll notice that partial head on my shoulder.....it's my husband, who was so interested in what our friends and I were discussing, he fell into a deep (snoring included!) sleep while resting his weary head on my back. We laughed like hell and his brother recorded his SNORE for future entertainment. (Just a brotherly-love thing, I guess)

I must give you a slightly incorrect impression.....I can be frightened by certain dark stories...and more so since I'm alone in this house. I am infamous for my habit of being startled by the slightest sudden sound or movement. I jump, scream and drop things! Mean bullies have been known to sneak up on me for the purpose of seeing me FREAK! Sounds like we have an awful lot of cruel associates! Come to think of it we do!! LOL.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 20, 2018:

You are welcome, Cynthia. I am glad you could relate spiritually and found this inspiring. Thank you.

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on July 20, 2018:

Jodah, the audio really did fit with the poem. I appear to be in a similar place to you, spiritually; that is, synthesizing my own beliefs from a variety of sources through life to "choose good over evil." Thanks for the inspiration!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Linda, thanks for reading. Yep, that's the basic message.. choose good over evil. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Thanks for the heads up, Paula. Glad you enjoyed the read. Oh, great new profile pic by the way. Yes, I think the book is a safe read. I get the impression you don't scare too easily. No guarantees though...lol. Have a great day.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 19, 2018:

Choosing good over evil is always a worthy goal. Thanks for reminding us in this interesting poem, John.

Suzie from Carson City on July 19, 2018:

Jodah....Simply LOVE this.....however you were inspired to write it, I'm grateful you did.....the music's a bit spooky to me! LOL.....but the bongos are cool. Ya think it will be safe for an old lady who lives alone in an older home, secluded from neighbors, to read the book you recommend? What if it scares the BeJeebers out of me??? LOL

You needn't worry about being "preachy." I think everyone knows your heart & your muse work in sync.....Peace, Paula

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

jwmurph, thank you so much for reading and for your positive comment.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Wow, Dana, you said the same thing in just a few words :) Thanks for reading.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Thanks, MizB (nice new pic by the way). I'm happy to hear that the second and third verses resonated in some way, but yes, we do all have our own truths shaped by our cultures or societies we grow up in. Glad you liked the music too.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Hi Eric, I was interested to read your comments on this one :) Thanks for endorsing my brand of preaching lol. I think maybe your wise words are rubbing off on me.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Hi Mike, thanks for reading my Thursday Sermon lol. Yes, what good are my thoughts if I don't write them down :)? Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Hi, Linda. Thanks for the confirmation that I wasn't being too 'preachy' here. If we as writers can put pen to paper I feel we should try to be as uplifting as possible the majority of the time. If others are reading what we write why not try to encourage and motivate them to be better people. I'm sure you will enjoy the Nicci French novel also. Blessings.

John Murphree from Tennessee on July 19, 2018:

a good philosophy of life,,,positive

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on July 19, 2018:

Nice message. Let the mistakes of yesterday build a stronger tomorrow.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 19, 2018:

Very skillfully written poem, John. The second and third verses especially contain so much wisdom. All religions contain some truth, or so I've been told. What is truth? I don't know but I do know that it is in the eye of the beholder, just like beauty and sin. We all have our truths. The acoustic is a nice touch, something nice to meditate by, turned down low, of course.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 19, 2018:

Well now we have one that is graceful, fun and beautiful. You never cease to be amazing. My preacher mentor who had been both a Navy surgeon and a chaplain. Said "Eric you put it out there, and let our friends preach to themselves - far better job than we could do" I like your brand of preaching or peachy as they say.

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 19, 2018:

Hello John - It's not Sunday. haha You contemplate life and then write a poem for our amusement.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on July 19, 2018:

John, this wasn't preachy at all. Just good common sense. Coulda/woulda/shoulda is a meaningless exercise. We can't turn back time any more than we can put toothpaste back in the tube.

Thank you for a wonderful, uplifting message.

And, thank you for another title to add to my "to-read-list." Especially when winter sets in, I'm always looking for a good book to enjoy by the fireplace.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Hey, Shauna. thank you so much. Yes, check the book out. I love anything by Nicci French (the author is actually two people..husband and wife I think). A couple of the novels have been made into movies.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 19, 2018:

Spot on, John! Your words should be everyone's guiding force. I'll have to look into the book that inspired you to write this poem. I love a good thriller!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Chitrangada, I always value your comments. I am glad you feel most readers can relate and that the poem is inspirational.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

I appreciate that, Bill. I never really thought of myself as a preacher. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Thanks, Mary. I guess we all need reminders now and then to get back on track.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on July 19, 2018:

This is truly inspirational and I can relate to it. I think many readers can.

I believe, every creative piece does have an important message, and they should have.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful poem!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 19, 2018:

No preaching at all....reflections of an active, intelligent mind...that's more like it, and I like it.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Thanks, Frank. Much appreciated as always.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Thank you ps, for saying it doesn't sound preachy. I'm glad you support my thoughts. thanks for the angels too.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on July 19, 2018:

The future is there for us to shape and do well in the present moment. This is all that matters. A preaching once in a while hits home.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Thank you, Charmaine. Yes, we need to live in the now and try not to look back.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 19, 2018:

the seeds of doubt.. yeah love that line as much as I did the poem itself.. awesome poetry my friend...:)

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 19, 2018:

Absolutely...we cannot go back through that door that is past...cannot unring the bell but we can make today a better day in every way for others. This does not seem preachy to me...it just seems the words of someone who is contemplating life and sharing those thoughts....well said. Angels are on the way this morning ps

threekeys on July 19, 2018:

Reading this poem made my mind drift to what was espoused as a way to live or a way to aspire to is no longer functional or relevant. "Care , community and connection is needed together with consent not extraction and force".

We need to leap now.

Lovely poem of encouragement to keep not looking back through the keyhole of life but to stay in the now as much as we can. Cheers John

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on July 19, 2018:

Thank you Rinita...religion and politics are two topics I will never debate. I think everyone should be free to believe what they want and what their background dictates. I think basically most people want the same thing to live a happy, healthy life and be kind to their fellow men.

I am so glad that this was inspirational and helpful to you on a personal level. That is the hope I had when I wrote it.

Rinita Sen on July 19, 2018:

Only you could have switched from a blowfly poem to this in a span of two days. I don't want to get into any religious debate, those debates have done more harm than good. I will just say that this poem (especially the first few stanzas about moving on from the past) struck a personal chord. I am guilty of not being able to leave the past behind (trying to get back through locked doors), and this shows up as a recurring theme in my poetry as well. So I guess I am trying to say thanks for these inspirational lines.

The acoustic was a fine choice!

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