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Lessons of Summer: Poetry from Prompts

John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Weekly Word Prompts: 'Lesson' and 'Summer'

Each week fellow writer, poet, and friend, Brenda Arledge provides us all with a word prompt in the hope of sparking our inspiration or kicking our muses into action.

I have struggled to motivate my particular muse for the last couple of weeks, hence my response to 'lesson' being delayed until now. But, as they say, "better late than never," so I thought, with the 'summer' prompt already published, I may as well combine the two.

Thank you, Brenda, for providing the encouragement once again, and I hope you enjoy my humble offering in the form of these poems.

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.

— Angela Schwindt

Lessons of Life

The lessons of life we cannot escape,

they are something we need to embrace.

For each waking moment, we spend on this Earth,

we are all here because of God's grace.

So, don't waste a minute, take in all you can,

learn from each encounter you have.

Even the obstacles that come your way,

provide lessons that you'll learn to crave.

We all make mistakes, that's just part of life.

They're not failures, just steps on the way

to gaining the wisdom you're meant to attain.

So throw all false worries away.


Live your life with passion and integrity

Every experience is a lesson on your journey

Showing that drive and ambition can bring reward

Success will follow, but it is the effort that matters

Only you can gauge the extent of your achievements

Never stop learning as there are always new goals ahead

Share your knowledge with others so they, too, can pass those lessons on


Summer sun may make us melt

Ultra-violet rays may not be felt

Melanoma is a risk to health

Make sure you always take your hat

Every time outdoors you're at

Remember to "slip, slop, and slap."


I laze outside on a rug,

the sun high in the sky.

The plan was to improve my tan,

but, by chance, I close my eyes.

When I awoke two hours had passed,

I dreaded my mistake.

My skin was a bright shade of red,

I hadn't browned, I'd baked.

The sun grows hotter every year,

'Global warming' is the term.

We must reverse this climate change

or we all will slowly burn.

I move inside out of the sun

to moisturise my skin,

to minimize the sunburn,

and pray there's no harm within.

For just like my own carelessness,

many countries are the same.

They're all talk and no action -

and just playing the blame game.

© 2021 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on September 01, 2021:

Hi Manatita,

Yes, I was late responding to Brenda’s first prompt so I decided to combine the two. I thought there were also lessons to be learned from summer.

Thank you for reading. Much peace.

manatita44 from london on September 01, 2021:

I see that you have combined both prompts, John. I like lessons the most but summer's good too. Noble effort!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 29, 2021:

Yes, Peg, fortunately we learn not to continue doing some of things we did when younger, like sunbathe. Thanks for reading.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 29, 2021:

I liked each of your poems. When I was a teenager, I used to sunbathe. Now, of course, we realize that it is not the thing to do. Live and learn, as they say!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 29, 2021:

Shauna, thank you for reading these poems. I always appreciate your encouragement and support. Take care, my friend.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 29, 2021:

Interesting collection of poems, John. I especially like the lessons each line in the acrostic "Lessons" partake. Very clever.

I've never seen the Slip, Slop, Slap commercial before. Cute.

I hope you've having a great weekend, my friend. I love it here on the porch!

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Hi Diana, thank you for confirming the message conveyed in these poems. Much appreciated.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on August 26, 2021:

Love your lessons from Summer,John. Also the fact that we never stop learning. Our children also teach us a lot. You are so right. Thanks for sharing your poems with us :)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Good to see you MizB. Yep, the old slip, slop, slap is always important…oh, especially with those dreaded skeetersauruses around. I hope they aren’t as big as that makes them sound. Thanks for reading and liking these poems.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on August 26, 2021:

Nice work, John. I really liked your Sunburn and your Summer, especially the Remember to "slip, slop, and slap." We do a lot of that here in the southern U.S. We slap a lot, skeetersauruses, you know. I've actually started wearing those little plastic mosquito repellant bracelets as part of my daily accoutrements.:)

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Thank you for reading these poems, Brenda, and for providing the prompts in the first place. I knew my muse would come to the party eventually, and she did. It took me awhile, especially “lesson” but I enjoyed composing these. Take care.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 26, 2021:


Better late than never is one of my favorite sayings.

I'm glad your muse decided to combine these two.

In your poem, "Lessons of Life"

We must all embrace the lessons of life & not waste a minute.

Understanding we all make mistakes.

We can learn even from our obstacles.

Everything we do is a part of our life's journey.

There are no failures, only stepping stones of wisdom to help us along the way.

In your acrostic poem, "Lessons" you tell us to live life with passion & integrity.

To understand that each experience in life is a lesson that takes us towards success.

That we should strive to learn more and always share our knowledge with others so they can continue to pass it down.

I love that quote by John Keets ~ its more important to have quality time than a long time together.

In your acrostic poem, "Summer" you tell us to be careful out there under the hot sun.

Not to forget our hat & slap on some sunblock.

Lol...It's a heatwave here again and I didn't wear my hat or lotion.

In your poem, "Sunburn" you tell us about someone who lays out in the sun hoping to get a tan, but he falls asleep.

When he wakes up with a sunburn. His skin has baked.

You give us a warning about global warming with fear tgat if things don't change we will all burn from the heat.

Then you show us how he goes inside to put moisturizer on his skin. He hopes it helps to minimize the damage, as you remind us countries are only talking about this problem & not taking any action regarding the crisis which lies ahead.


You did a wonderful job with these two word prompts.

I love getting a tan in the summer, but I know it's not the greatest thing for my skin.

I posted a link in the word prompt article.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Thank you for reading the poems, MG. Much appreciated.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on August 26, 2021:

Lovely poems, great share.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Yes, we have to make the most of every moment, Nithya. I am so glad you enjoyed these poems.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Bill, if we can all do that it would go a long way to make the world a better place for everyone. I try my best, as I am sure you do. Thanks my friend.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on August 26, 2021:

Wonderful poems, I enjoyed reading. Great responses to Brenda’s message. Wise words in your poems. We have to live and enjoy every precious seconds of life.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 26, 2021:

"Live your life with passion and integrity"....Amen to that, my friend. That's the way to get your money's worth out of this thing called life, and I have no doubt you have done that. Bravo to your poetry and bravo to your life, a man of passion and integrity.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Thank you as always, Rinita.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Hi Peg, yes I was late with "lesson" so thought I may as well combine them and they seemed to tie in ok. Yep, been sun burned too many times.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Thank you for reading these poems, Umesh. I am glad you enjoyed them.

Rinita Sen on August 26, 2021:

Nice potpourri. Loved the last one. Funny in the beginning with a more urgent message later on.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on August 26, 2021:

Two birds with one poem, or two, or three. Great idea to combine these inspiring prompts into this post. Your summer poem reminded me of the many times my friend and I went to the beach seeking a nice tan and came away with a blistering sunburn. Nicely done.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Hi Chitrangada, so glad there were some wise words to be found amongst my poems. I am glad you enjoyed them all. Thanks.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on August 26, 2021:

Great composition. You have knitted both the words in one response. I enjoyed the response.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Hello, Rozlin. I am glad you enjoyed these poems. Thank you.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Thank you MsDora, I always hope the messages in my poetry are worthwhile ones. I much appreciate your comment.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Hi Misbah, it makes me happy that you always enjoy my poetry. We all like our writing to be appreciated don't we?

As for tanning or whitening of skin. You are so right when you say that we desire whatever we don't have. Brown-skinned people want white skin and vice versa. There is a term "bronzed Aussie" and it used to be an Australian ideal to have a golden tan and be seen to be fit, healthy and a lover of the outdoors. All that changed about 20 years ago when we became aware of the dangers of too much sun.

We had two Japanese homestay students from Okinawa with dark skin who so wanted to be white like us also. They said most Japanese loved white skin. So people are strange.

I love the verses you wrote too, they add to the article. Thank you my friend Misbah.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 26, 2021:

Hello John!

Excellent response to the word prompt—Lessons and Summer. I enjoyed all your poems. While you share some valuable words of wisdom in the poem, based on ‘Lesson’, the poem on Summer has some good reminders and an important message for everyone.

Thank you for sharing the well crafted poems. Have a great day!

Rozlin from UAE on August 26, 2021:

What a joyful read! Wonderful response to Brenda's prompt. I enjoyed reading your all your poems in the hub. Thank you for sharing, John.

Dora Weithers on August 26, 2021:

Your poems on lessons are lessons in themselves. Full of wise messages. The summer poem bring back memories of the season. All excellent.

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on August 26, 2021:

I don't think there is any need to tell you that I enjoyed reading your poems very much. You already know it's very obvious, no? ;)

Thank you for sharing these lovely poems, John. All of them were enjoyable to me. I'm glad your muse finally worked. I also enjoyed the acrostic poems. In the last poem, I liked how you mentioned tanning. I've never understood the concept of tanning and lightening the skin. What I believe and have witnessed is that we can never love what we already have.

So want to add a few lines here, can I?

Brown people want to make their skin bright,

and whites are working on making it tan.

Brown people want their skin to be bright,

while white people want it to be tanned.

There is a lesson to be learned here.

Try to be content with what you already have.

If you try to become something opposite,

you will either be baked or cracked.

It's Crazy, no?

Take care and once again thank you so much for the lovely share. :)

Blessings always

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 26, 2021:

Vidya, thanks as always for your generous comments. I appreciate your liking the message in the poems and the quotes I included. Blessings.

VIDYA D SAGAR on August 26, 2021:

Lovely poetry with a beautiful message John. Yes global warming is a serious issue. But as you said, there's all talk and no action on it. I loved the accrostic poems, and the quotes by Angela Schwindt and John Keats. They are so meaningful. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 25, 2021:

Thank you, Ravi. These seemed like easy prompts to turn into poetry but for some reason they challenged me. Once I started to write it wasn't so bad though and thoughts started to flow. I'm glad the sun shone through the summer imagery. Cheers.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on August 25, 2021:

Hi Rosina. It is always good to read that you enjoy what I have written. It always encourages me to want to write more. We all need a touch of humour in our lives.

Ravi Rajan from Mumbai on August 25, 2021:

Wonderful John. I loved the way you were able to give valuable advice to your readers in lessons. The summer poems are great and the imagery reflects right out of them. Thanks for sharing.

Rosina S Khan on August 25, 2021:

Wonderful poetry on "lesson" and "summer" word prompts. Loved the summer poems with their sense of humor. You couldn't have expressed them better and your talent shines through as always. Thank you for sharing, John.

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