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Swing the Lantern - a Poem About Starting Anew

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

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Text added using Picfont

A Poem for Manatita

My friend and colleague, manatita, (The Lantern Carrier) requested the following in my article Christmas From the Porch:

"Here's a poem with a difference. Cover the march to 2021 and 2021 itself, in the way of Love, Beauty, Light. Do not use the everyday words: Avoid, 'Covid', 'vaccines, mask and sanitisations and so forth.

You are allowed to use veiled words, like I do sometimes: struggle, challenges ... but even avoid them also, if you can. Write a futuristic poem, so we feel hope, harmony, Love... there's your challenge. Peace." ~ manatita

Because I try to write requests in the order I receive them, whenever possible, I had not written manatita's request as early as he would have liked. So, for that reason, I am publishing it now as a stand-alone poem.

"Now I didn't respond to your last hub when you talked about a lessening of requests. Purely because I wanted mine for the turn of the New Year. It was an elaborate question as far as I can remember, asking about something very positive and possibly related to hope.

The reason why I didn't mention it, is because it's a bit late now, Jan 20th. But you can still do a special. If I can raise the bar a little, make it a bit like what that 22-yr old did for President Joe Biden, full of Hope, beauty and promise. Do it, in such a way, so as to turn the negative on its head and avoid words like Covid and vaccines.

You know, the great Savant Nolina kanta Gupta, once said that the difference between Eastern and Western Philosophers, is that many of their great lines expressed the dark, while in the East, they use similar conditions to express the Light. Try expressing the Light." ~ manatita

Well, this poem is not in the same stratosphere of Amanda Gorman's "The Hill We Climb" that was performed at President Joe Biden's inauguration, however, I think it meets manatita's brief of expressing the light. I hope so anyway.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Swing the Lantern

Wake up to the sunrise

and greet a brand new day.

Throw out your arms in gratitude,

lift up your head and pray.

Embrace this fresh beginning

as the New Year starts to dawn.

Forget all that has gone before,

act like you've just been born.

Like a phoenix from the ashes

we'll rise up from the fire,

stronger and more beautiful

to achieve goals that inspire.

For life is full of wonders

to tempt us and surprise,

that tantalize our senses,

and captivate our eyes.

Don't dwell on past discomfort,

just focus straight ahead,

forging new experiences,

ignore what's being said.

March towards that shining light

that promises success,

and urges you to make your move

in this great game of chess.

Stay away from media,

it promotes chaos and stress.

A week absent of all bad news,

we'll feel our life is blessed.

Be inspired by others

and encourage in return.

Ensure there's nothing that you do

from which you do not learn.

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Concentrate on things you love,

make plans and see them through.

Don't let the negativity

impact on what you do.

Admire the world around you,

Let nature do its thing.

The bees still buzz and crickets chirp,

flowers bloom and birds still sing.

Swing the lantern, show the way,

be a beacon for the lost,

Don't dwell on mistakes and regrets,

that has too high a cost.

This year will be amazing,

the best since time began.

Embrace each moment with a smile,

then make it go to plan.

© 2021 John Hansen


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on February 13, 2021:

Yes, Peg, we need to try to focus on what is really important despite what goes on around us. Nature is thriving so that's a good thing.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 13, 2021:

I loved reading this positive message. Bees still buzz, flowers still bloom, birds still chirp, and life goes on, in spite of challenges. We all need to focus on the positive things in our lives.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on February 13, 2021:

Devika, in present times we have to try to keep a positive attitude. I am glad my poems promote that.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 13, 2021:

Jodah Positive is key to a great life and that is what you give me in your poems.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 31, 2021:

Thank you, Alyssa. I couldn't ask for more than bringing a smile to your face.

Alyssa from Ohio on January 31, 2021:

What an amazing poem to kick off the new year! Inspiring, hopeful, bright.. and reading your words brought a smile to my face. Thank you!

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

I am glad the first stanza echoed the sentiments of you and your husband, Marlene. Don't lose that perspective that this will be a wonderful year. Thank you for reading.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on January 29, 2021:

My husband and I were just talking the other day and were tickled at how blessed we feel and how we feel this year, in spite of all the negative surroundings, will be our best year yet.

Your final stanza sums up our sentiments quite nicely.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 28, 2021:

Thank you, Brenda. I always appreciate you sharing my work.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on January 28, 2021:

Here's the link.


BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on January 28, 2021:

John ...

I am sharing this as a link on poets with a voice.

I'll send you the link.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 28, 2021:

Hey Flourish, thank you for reading and appreciating.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 28, 2021:

Make a plan then work the plan is what I was always told. This was very sunny and positive. Very refreshing.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 28, 2021:

Hi Denise, that is exactly the type of response I was hoping for. That my poem managed to let you see the light at the end of the tunnel is great to hear. Blessings back at you.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on January 28, 2021:

That was truly encouraging and uplifting. You really rose to the challenge. I see light at the end of the tunnel in your poem.



John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 28, 2021:

Thank you so much, Jason. I am happy that you found this poem empowering and inspirational. Take care.

Jason Behm from Cebu, Philippines on January 28, 2021:


This is very empowering! I could feel your message to spread courage, inspiration, and strength. Keep spreading the light. I am one of your advocacy.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Thank you for reading and appreciating this poem Brenda. Manatita wanted me to spread the light...so that's what I tried to do.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on January 27, 2021:


This is inspiring.

I think Manatita44 will be happy that you waited to compose it for this season of our lives.

It truly holds a wonderful message.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Hello Shauna. I am glad manatita put the pressure on me to write something inspirational like this. I may have anyway, but it made me focus more directly on 'being the light.' I wish and hope that mankind in general develops this mindset. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Thank you so much for your encouraging comment, Ann. Yes, we just need to focus on the positives. i will look at the news headlines and then choose what I want to read. If I think it will be depressing (which 99 per cent is) I pass that by.

There is light on the horizon...keep marching towards that.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Hi Linda, it often astounds me that whenever we have a low moment or are feeling down, someone here at HubPages always comes to the rescue by writing exactly what we need to read to lift our spirits.

People like, Eric and Manatita do it regularly. I am glad to have my name mentioned there as well. it is always wonderful to read your words have encouraged or uplifted someone.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on January 27, 2021:

John, this is so inspiring and uplifting. My favorite line is : "Swing the lantern, show the way, be a beacon for the lost," Very visionary, my friend. If all mankind kept that mindset, peace would be the bi-product.

I absolutely love this. I think you rose to Manatita's challenge beautifully.

Ann Carr from SW England on January 27, 2021:

Beautiful poem, full of light and hope. We all want some of that!

I think that's all we can do, concentrate on the positive and try to help others. I've stopped listening to the news, except for making sure I know about any new rules.

2021 is the year of vaccines, of an approaching spring and summer, so much light on the horizon.

Well done, John! This is superb.


Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on January 27, 2021:

John, you and Eric, and Manatita have been my lifeline this week, at a time when I was feeling quite low. Thank you for the encouraging, positive thoughts. You carried The Lantern's message beautifully.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Well done to you Ruby, catching this poem in time to comment. Amanda’s poem was an inspiration and glad you enjoyed this one too. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Bill, although the poem wasn’t written to support any political agenda or change, I agree that it could be taken as renewal of hope for the new presidency of the USA and the year ahead. Thanks for your approval.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Thank you Chitrangada. This poem wasn’t actually written in response to the political changes, but just to spread a message of positivity and to inspire people to embrace the year ahead...wherever they are. I hope you have a lovely day.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on January 27, 2021:

This gives new meaning to a life well lived. Beautiful words and Amanda's poem makes it doubly special. So happy I got here before it was sent to a site.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on January 27, 2021:

This poem could be written for the 80+ million who voted for President Biden. A collective sigh and a renewal of hope. Well done, John! Very well done!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 27, 2021:

Beautifully expressed John, and I am sure Manatita would be pleased to read this.

I liked the positivity and optimism, with regard to the new political changes, expressed by you.

Thank you for sharing another wonderful creation of yours. Have a pleasant day.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

As always, it is a pleasure to receive your generous comment, Rosina. I am so glad you enjoyed this poem and found it inspirational.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Vidya, I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment on this poem. We do need to all focus on beauty and positivity, and push aside all dark thoughts, fears and stresses brought on by things outside of our control.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Manatita, your comment warms my heart and I hoped that this poem would fulfill your requirements of spreading the light and inspiration for the year ahead. Thank you as always. Blessings.

Rosina S Khan on January 27, 2021:

A lovely, inspirational poem indeed! I am glad Manatita liked his requested poem. I too enjoyed the poem very much. Thanks for the splendid share, John.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Misbah, I hope you are able to view your comment here. Thank you for you kind and generous comment. I am happy to read that you found the poem optimistic and beautiful. Take care and blessings to you.

VIDYA D SAGAR on January 27, 2021:

A beautiful poem John. Full of hope and positivity for the year ahead. We truly need this lantern to bring light to this gloomy world. Amanda Gorman's poem is quite fitting. The pictures are also beautiful.

manatita44 from london on January 27, 2021:

Well, well. So beautiful!!

You've done an awesome job, Bro. From swinging the Lantern of Love to getting the race right for the 'Namaste.' The ancient Seers/Rishis ... knew what they were saying and doing.

The poem Itself is full of Light, Love ... beauty and will give solace and hope to many, I trust. Inspirational! Amanda at the end is laudable ... commendable! Gratitude ... much!

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on January 27, 2021:

Very beautiful and optimistic poem Jodah.

Very wonderful and energetic words. I Hope my comment reach out...lol..☺️

I really loved it..

Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful piece of writing from your side


John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Thank you Pamela, I really wanted it to be inspiring and uplifting. I appreciate you confirming that it meets that brief. Take care.

John Hansen (author) from Gondwana Land on January 27, 2021:

Ah MissDora, your comments always inspire and energise me in return. Thank you for your complimentary words.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on January 27, 2021:

I really love this poem, John. You certainly met Manatita's request. It is uplifting and gives us a very hopeful message as a new beginning sounds wonderful.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 27, 2021:

Jodah, each of these beautiful verses is a stand-alone engizer. The message of a new beginning is as powerful as it can get. Excellent work!

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