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It's Better Than It First Appears, a Poem

John is passionate about human and animal rights, social justice, equality, and the environment, and likes to convey that in his writing.


Life is Good

Life is good! - It really is. Just push aside any stresses you may have, forget the aches and pains, and maladies you may be suffering, and just for a moment let your mind turn to all the blessings you have that make life wonderful.

Think of your children, your grandchildren, the joy of completing a favourite hobby or project. What about graduating with your degree, the start of that vacation you have been so looking forward to, or just a baby's laughter?

There are so many things to be grateful for, and life is too short to wallow in pity about the few things we have to suffer or overcome. Think of most of them as just challenges or learning experiences, anyway. When you are going through a rough patch, instead be confident in the thought that there are better times just around the corner, and look forward to those.


It's Better Than It First Appears

This illness overtakes me,

It's progression swift and sure.

It gifts to me a racking cough,

My throat and head are sore.

Aching joints and muscles

Are really all I feel,

Lethargy overtakes me,

It's all in the package deal.

I'd planned to do some outdoor work,

Like weed and mow the lawn

But feeling sick put paid to that,

It hurts me just to yawn.


To concentrate on work is hard

But it's what I need to do.

I brought the clothes in off the line

For a storm is threatening too.

Rain is needed badly here,

We're in the midst of drought.

So, even though I am not well

It will ease my ills, no doubt.

A storm may resurrect me

From the depths of flu,

So I can write something profound

That may relate to you.


What if, instead, the rain clouds pass

And open up elsewhere,

Will, I just wallow in my woes

And be left with nought to share?

In fact, the sky grows darker

As I put my pen to page,

And I can feel the raindrops fall

Upon my human cage.

So, on I write with some relief

That my hopes have been fulfilled.

What started as a sulky poem

Is now praising God's will.


Like farmers who are losing crops,

Or stock dying from thirst

Now have some welcome drought relief.

Let's pray the grey skies burst.

For, even when life gets you down

And you feel sick and sore,

look for those other blessings

You didn't see before.

It's better than it first appears,

There're silver linings in the clouds.

So, if you gripe about your lot

Don't say it very loud.


© 2018 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on November 02, 2018:

Thanks Lawrence, yes often we need to just sit and reflect. The first part of the year was terrible for my family with one thing after another going wrong, but the last few months have turned around. Touch wood, that this continues. Blessings to your family.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on November 02, 2018:


Someone once said, "if you're going through hell, KEEP ON GOING!"

The last few days, as a family we were reflecting on how things have been over the last few years, and we kept on going!

Enjoyed this poem, it got to the point.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 09, 2018:

Thank you for reading this MsDora. For many of us “perseverence” is one of the hardest lessons to learn, especially in today’s society when everyone wants things to happen so quickly.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 09, 2018:

So many good messages, progressing gradually up the positivity ladder; and the rhythm doesn't change, which in itself suggests perseverance. Great life lesson.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 08, 2018:

Dana, thank you so much for sharing that incident. It makes me so happy to know that something I write has a positive effect on a reader. Mostly you just hope for that but never have the privilege of hearing about it happened. So, knowing this poem and message helped you in some way in very special to me. Thank you for the great comment.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 08, 2018:

Thank you Devika. I am glad you found this inspiring.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on October 08, 2018:


Friday, I bought a bunch of groceries forgetting that a new fridge was being delivered to my home and the old was going to be set outside to make room for the new. So, I asked my friend to hold my groceries in his fridge until my new one came.

When he brought the groceries I noticed my tomatoes were missing and, let's just say I wasn't nice about it. Anyway. I got on hubpages to catch up on the people I follow and comment, mind you I'm still peeved about my tomatoes and I ran across this article.

Well, I laughed because I guess the Lord, wanted me to see how silly I was being. After all, they were just tomatoes! And, this friend is a really good friend. He has put up with me which makes him a saint and I was being selfish.

I immediately texted him and apologized for being angry and thanked him for keeping my groceries because he didn't have to. It made me feel better and I'm sure he felt better also. This never would have happened if I hadn't read this hub so, John I thank you.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on October 07, 2018:

Inspiring poetry! Life is just one and one shouldn't take anyone for granted or life itself.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 07, 2018:

What can I say, Paula? It's comments like that that make writing a pleasure and addictive. Peace to you also.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 07, 2018:

hi Sean, by all means, feel free to use anything I write in your classroom if you think it is worthwhile. "Always look on the bright side of life..' a true classic from Monty Python. Blessings.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 07, 2018:

Haha sorry, I sounded bored Li-Jen, actually I guess I was when I started writing it. The aches were real but I am over it now thank goodness. Thanks for reading.

Suzie from Carson City on October 07, 2018:

Jodah.......So real, so true, so inspiring, Jodah. I love the positive message in your words. This lovely poem is sure to give anyone a boost, despite their current woes!! You're good, Jodah...really good. Peace, Paula

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on October 06, 2018:

Marvellous my dear brother, marvellous! A child's laughter is one of this great gifts; it's the best motivator for me!

"For, even when life gets you down

And you feel sick and sore,

look for those other blessings

You didn't see before."

Permit me to write this verses in a frame in my classroom for my students to see.

"Always look on the bright side of life!" as my beloved Monty Pythons used to sing!

My Love and prayers are always with you!


Li-Jen Hew on October 06, 2018:

Hi Jodah. Haha, I like how bored you sound in the poem but at the same time it's funny with the yawn and laundry. But glad there is gratefulness in the poem. Take care and hope the aches are gone by now, if they were real.

manatita44 from london on October 06, 2018:

Good to hear. Continue to go gradually. Best wishes.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2018:

Thanks Ann..almost there.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 06, 2018:

Get well soon, John!


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2018:

Thank you manatita. Yes, it does apply to me but I am now well on the way to recovering. I actually got some lawn mowed today, but still felt a little weak.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 06, 2018:

Kshipra, thank you for reading another of my poems and for such a generous comment. Have a great day.

manatita44 from london on October 06, 2018:

The title and message fits very well. Even the clown is playing his part. Wise words as usual. Get well if this applies to you. Peace.

Kshipra Pal on October 06, 2018:

A beautiful poetic piece on the importance of gratitude that is missing in our lives. The flow of the poem is effortlessly natural. Thank you John !

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 05, 2018:

Hi Venkatachari, you mentioned some wonderful things in your comment to be thankful for. There are so many that we often just take for granted. Thanks for reading, My Friend. Have a great day.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 05, 2018:

Hello Rinita, yes it was personal, I have ben suffering from the flu...but starting to ease now thankfully. Yes, now the rain seems to have stopped I’lol be able to mow..but wait, I see more dark clouds hovering :) I am glad this was timely for you once again, and thank you for you lovely comment.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 05, 2018:

Ann, thank you for sharing about the man and his son on the prom. We all need a little reminder now and then. I always appreciate your comments.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 05, 2018:

It is my pleasure, Linda. I am so glad to hear this was helpful to you today. Blessings to you also.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 05, 2018:

Yes it does Shauna, and good for you. I could always tell you were a positive and cheerful person.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 05, 2018:

Bill, certain things in life get to is all at some time or other, so we all have to learn this lesson at some stage. I know you enjoy every day now, so that’s what is important.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 05, 2018:

Exquisite, Eric? Not sure, but I don’t see why not. Statistics and figures can be boring and impersonal can’t they? I am sure gratitude has the power to do a lot of things.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on October 05, 2018:

A very poem, John. It's true that God has gifted us with so many nice things to enjoy and be thankful for.

Only a few days before I told somewhere here in my comments that I enjoy so many wonders around and feel blessed. The child's laughter, the innocence of them, the chirping birds, the enchanting circling of dozens of birds in the sky in a rhythmic style and many like things.

So, there is so much to be thankful instead of complaining of the sorrows and daily chores of life.

Thanks for this inspirational post.

Rinita Sen on October 05, 2018:

John, I hope this is not personal, and that you aren't actually suffering from flu. If yes, wish you speedy recovery, so you can mow the lawn again.

This poem is a necessary reminder, and comes just in time. Just before reading this I heard some sad story about someone else, and was filled with gratitude about my own life, and I began to think, what the heck do I complain about, my life is great!

Thank you, John, for this brilliantly written piece.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 05, 2018:

You're so right, John. There are many things to be thankful for and happy about.

You mentioned a baby's laughter. I was walking along the prom yesterday and so was a young man with his son in a buggy. Every time the Dad said something his son chortled. A couple of dogs barked and he shrieked with laughter and delight. It brought a smile to the faces of people all around. I could still hear him when he was way off in the distance!

There is always someone worse off, they say; well, that's true but also we don't often realise just how good life is around us or how lucky we are to have our families and friends.

Thanks for reminding us of all that, even the rain!


Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on October 05, 2018:

An attitude of gratitude. I have been greatly in need of that reminder. Thank you for steering me toward the positive. Blessings to you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 05, 2018:

Thank you for reading, Larry. I greatly appreciate that, and your comment.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on October 05, 2018:

Every dark cloud has a silver lining and every problem has a solution. I'm a pretty positive person, John. I rarely succumb to doom and gloom and woe is me. Life is good. Every day.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 05, 2018:

Beautiful, John! This is a lesson I had to learn in 2006. It was crucial to my rebirth.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 05, 2018:

Can a poem be exquisite? I really don't know but to me this is.

Now I read rather serious piece on gratitude this morning and they stated all the studies and results of trials. Gratitude can help you maintain a healthy weight. I had a mantra when I was really sick; Thank you Lord Jesus. And I was really grateful for each new day.

Larry Slawson from North Carolina on October 05, 2018:

Thank you for sharing. Really enjoyed :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 05, 2018:

Not nice Clive...spoiled sport. :)

Clive Williams from Jamaica on October 05, 2018:

Nice, but life is bad. It belongs to Luci.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on October 05, 2018:

Thank you Flourish. Much appreciated. I will try.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 05, 2018:

I liked this. Often I find if I put off a task a day to take care of myself no one cares much. Get well!

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