A Christmas Paradox

The beat of a paradox drums on in an empty space inside my head

This way or that stomps confused footfalls from flying dust to dead

While a chorus of angels cry silent unseen without daily bread

And the stairs to heaven crumble while the rest step ahead

============================

A famished farm sits in a frozen frame fielded by hopes that have fled

Another place where hunger huddles in a haunt that now hosts dread

As the ghost of Christmas passes over a stream of dreams that bled

And the stairs to heaven crumble while the rest step ahead

=============================================

An ancient story forges on without room in the shelter for a warm bed

A will to survive the only gift that trudges forward on cold feet of lead

The snow we pray for cannot absolve the dirt beneath greed's tread

And the stairs to heaven crumble while the rest step ahead

=============================================

Looked down into the precipice of despair to feel its tenuous thread

Ambiguity filters through fragmented light of fragility's stead

Brick by brick, love can build a bridge to close the chasms unfed

So the stairs to heaven won't crumble while the rest step ahead

=================================================

Comments 50 comments

epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

....well if I can beat Billy Buc to the top spot here - I call it the Billy Buc Lottery Window of Opportunity where I will go uptown now and buy not one ticket for tonight's draw but two. Thanks Billy , Amy and I will leave Hubpages in your capable hands when we head down to Aruba - expect a postcard though. lake erie time 5:09pm


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I'm going to go through my bikini collection now, Mister C...oh, forget it, I'll just buy the latest when we get to Aruba, you crazy diamond!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

...well the usually unflappable Epi-man is flapping his ruffled feathers and nervous wings as he is fumbling for what to say here.

To be quite frank I am verbally constipated and the words which normally flow through my pen have been impeded by - yes folks, you guessed it, the 8th Modern Wonder of the world - The Dam of Amy Becherer aka The Becherer Dam.

So I guess I will have to slum around again and give you another one of Epi-man's (in)famous top ten lists:

Top ten words or lines here which caught my reader's eye:

10. So the stairs to heaven won't crumble while the rest step ahead

(the payoff line - the poetic punch line if you will - and always the trademark of a modern language we all now know as a 'Becherism'

9. 'precipice of despair' - (sounds like my love life actually -lol - and you can't get any more rock bottom than that phrase - precipice of despair - well actually you can in two words - American government)

8. tenuous thread - (only a writer's writer could come up with a phrase like that)

7. a famished farm (a painter's phrase and description if I ever saw/read one)

6. the beat of a paradox drums (obviously a subversion of someone trying to keep in time; but ladies and gents I would beat on Amy's drums any old time)

5. the dirt beneath greed's tread - (you have the power Amy to provoke my thoughts and feelings so well with a phrase like this. That is why Shakespeare had a 'committee' to help him write his words where Amy is a one woman literary army

4. (and a new phrase for you invented by the epi-man (Amy you are the Autonomous Poet of Profundity)

3. confused footballs (yow!!!!!! and double hubwow!!!!)

2. fragmented light of fragility's stead (my favorite four word phrase here - but that is like saying to a sweet tooth - "you can only line up at this all you can eat dessert buffet - once.")

1. A Christmas Paradox - the title. Yes how true is this when the rich get richer and the poor get poorer - or as my mum used to say:

them that has - gets. No man , woman or child should be allowed to starve not just during Christmas but at anytime during the year - and it should be peace on earth and goodwill to men (and women) not just during the holiday season but all through the year.

And yes Christmas is just one big shopping/spending spree - and sometimes we lose sight that it was the birth of Christ - and the teachings of his love that we should honor - and again not just at this time of year but 365 days in the year . Amen.

And as Tiny Tim once said in Dicken's A Christmas Carol - God Bless everyone who gets to read Amy Becherer.

lake erie time 5:38pm


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

....yes well you beat me to it Miss B - I was going to suggest to just pack two things: a bikini and a toothbrush - lol - but you are so right - let's just get down there first - and worry about that later.

lake erie time 5:42pm

p.s. - the 'nude' beach where we're going may not allow me in with my 'speedo' anyway - lol


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Hold on!!!!!!!!!!! Stop the presses - my new favorite 4 word line :

Amy in a bikini (with toothbrush)

...well that's 6 words but who's counting


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Epigramman, When I read your comments, I am always caught up in the exuberance your exude. I can't help but think of a local commercial proclaiming the wonders of a "Trane" furnace, with the clever verbiage "You can't stop a Trane". Those words remind me of you, Colin; stoked up, fired up and unstoppable in your exuberance and wealthy imagination. You make me feel, by God, I AM a writer, after all! The gift of your caring friendship, your undying support and extraordinary encouragement are priceless to me. You give me the a gift that can't be bought or tied up in a ribbon. It is a gift that is uniquely epi(c), from the man I know as a crazy diamond. Merry Christmas, Colin, and thank you for making me feel like a star.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

....yes and Christmas ain't over yet my dear Amy - it is just beginning for you and I went we head down to Aruba over the holidays sans bikini, speedo, and toothbrushes - lol lol


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, boy, an all-over suntan...well, except for a straw hat and RayBans.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Yes, my dearest beloved one Amy,

Love can build that bridge . . . true love, that unconditional love ---the real deal ---no need for any more words here, as your poetry says it all.

I stand amazed once again at your sheer talent you have so graciously shared with us all.

Voted way up++++ and sharing

In His Love, Faith Reaper


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

If more people would look at the next guy with the same compassion they wish for their own loved ones, I don't think there would be so many hungry children. I'd like to think that "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony" means more than memories of an old Pepsi commercial.

Thank you, dear Faith, for your generous heart, for your visit and for sharing this piece. Sending love to you from me in St. Lou


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

...I gotta warn you though Amy .....this Scotsman's wee little bum is quite white and may sunburn easily .....


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

O.K., well, then sunscreen, too!


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Your poetry, dear Amy, was a one-of-a-kind imaginative entree and the repartee between you and Colin was the dessert. Thank for both these treats.

And I recommend Orient (nude) Beach on St. Martin. Just sayin'. :)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I have a confession to make, dear drbj. I sound much braver here than I am in real life. Most of my thrills are of the vicarious sort...still, someday, before I get too old to enjoy it, Orient Beach on St. Martin sounds like just the ticket...just sayin'...Hugs to you


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Seems like I always say this Amy, one of the best. Colin and billy and I and many others are in your admiration society. drjb got it right about the repartee too. This is delightful in every way.


Sunnie Day 3 years ago

Dear Amykins,

You are so talented as I have shared this many times with you. Your words flow so beautiful and the message is deep and profound. Thank you.

Sunnie


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear xstatic, I am profoundly touched everytime you leave a comment for me. You are a writer I deeply admire. Thank you for stopping to give me a read and leaving me a message of support and encouragement that keeps me going.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, Sunnie, everytime I see your "Amykins", I melt. That is the sweetest name anyone has ever called me. If all you ever said to me was that, I'd feel special. Thank you, my friend.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Sigh! It appears you have run off with Epi....hopefully someone will read my comment. Love will build a bridge.....well my dear, I certainly hope that bridge is built soon. We need a strong one, and it needs to hold the weight of the world. I'll get the cement truck....you get the cables...I'll meet you in the middle.

love from Oly,

bill


btrbell profile image

btrbell 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Amy...once again, outstanding! What a moving, beautiful poem! And, as always, impeccable music choice. Thank you so much for allowing us this glimpse into your amazing heart! Up+++ and sharing! Randi


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, Bill, I love that..."I'll get the cement truck...you get the cables...I'll meet you in the middle." And, you said you aren't a poet. I know a poet when I see one...You are, my friend. Thank you, Bill. Love from St. Lou


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Awww, Randi, I am so grateful to have met you here at the hub. Your visits and your words make me sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that one of the best choices I've made in my life was to write at hubpages, where I am in the company of the best of writers that I also call friends. Thank you!


Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 3 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

Ah, Christmas, that time of the year when the wealthy show how truly caring they are by appearing at photo-ops where they are depicted serving those who can now boast about two decent meals in two consecutive months! It must warm the cockles of their hearts to know that they really did help, and even more to know they now get an eleven month break until Thanksgiving!

Soon it will be time for us to get back into the swings of our lives arguing whether you should be helped or not, with even those who believe you should be helped forgetting to give you a sandwich, a blanket, or shoes.

So, eat well this day, ye of need. Those pigeons are quick to scavenge the best crumbs the rest of the year!

Oh, and Merry Christmas! May God bless all you bums, especially the veterans amongst you!

Sorry Amy. I think I got carried away.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, Tom, believe me...the inspiration I see that riles me up, before I write these pieces from my heart, requires that I calm down first. I am glad to see so much fire in your sincere words. Complacency, apathy and an acceptance of status quo means the poor will be shoved aside and continue to go hungry. Anger, even outrage is, ultimately, the ember that creates the fire that results in all real change. Your message warms my heart. Merry Christmas, Tom, and thank you.


BongSantos profile image

BongSantos 3 years ago from Philippines

It would be much simpler if good is rewarded and bad punished. Unfortunately, life is a paradox as you eloquently expressed. Thinkers have always wrestled with life's enigmas, each advocating differing truths that attempt to intellectualize life's ambiguities, absurdities, and mysteries . The truths of some are contradicted by the truths of the others, and the battle of the minds, not to mention hearts, continues. I choose to believe that life's paradox will ultimately be solved by divine justice.

I'm so taken by your write. Thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I appreciate your beautifully thoughtful words, BongSantos, and I see that you understand exactly what I tried to express in this write. Humanity is so complex, and, as youso eloquently state, the endless circle of contradictions regarding individual truths will go on as long as their are people on earth. I believe that there are some mysteries we won't know until the afterlife. Of course, as curious, thinking beings, humans will continue the quest to understand in the hopes of making life better for all.

Thank you for your kind, perceptive and completely awesome statement, BongSantos. Merry Christmas to you, too.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

Such a beautiful poem for this time of year. I love your repeated line, " So the stairs to heaven won't crumble while the rest step ahead. " Many never stop to look at the needy as they forge ahead, thinking only of themselves. Thank you for poetry that always touches the heart of the reader..Peace on earth...


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you so much, Ruby. I really, really want to be in the Christmas spirit, but I see so many sad things happening all around me, it dampens the season for me; the story about the nurse who took her life due to an insipid prank, the 4 pizza delivery drivers beaten and robbed for a couple of dollars a few streets down from me, the news from Syria and Egypt. Even the traffic is manical with frantic people losing sight of the meaning of the season. On a lighter note, Ruby, I nearly got run over by a frantic shopper's grocery cart. For all the "good cheer", I managed to get scowled at and coughed on in the grocery store. LOL So, with that, my dear friend, I want to say thank you for your kindness and your beautiful heart, which shines with the goodness of Christmas everyday. Peace


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 3 years ago from Central Virginia

Sweet Amy, if your love can't build a bridge, a bridge can't be built. When you put words together, they form bonds, just as you do with the people who are touched by your art. I am always amazed and humbled by your gift. Hugs!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

This world, here, Linda, that now feels like family to me, is a sturdy, limitless bridge. You, along with all the people I call friends, have helped me through the toughest time in my life. Without your support and encouragement, I wouldn't be writing. I learn something from each and every generous person here. I have grown from a hesitant person to cross the bridge with gratitude and confidence. Here, I feel brave. Thank you for being my friend, Linda. I am sincerely grateful for your kindness. I cannot imagine a gift that could make me happier than your enthusiasm about my work. Your words make me glow as bright as Rudolph's nose! Hugs to you, my friend.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and beautiful. Wonderful imagery and great song. You bet bridge to love will save us every time. I sure wish there was more love in this world. Passing this on.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Here in the city of St. Louis, Gypsy, there has been a increase in violence this season, with 4 pizza delivery drivers brutalized for the pizzas and couple of dollars they were carrying. Last night the same man terrorized a local Subway restaurant, with families inside, by brandishing a gun for the second time and robbing the business. The woman behind the counter said she looks over her shoulder now, everywhere she goes. Its not only hunger, but rampant drug use, that fuels todays desperation. We've gotten off track in a big, bad way. It seems it's going to take a miracle to find the way back. Thank you, Gypsy, for your visit, support and meaningful wish for what the world needs now...love, sweet love.


Crystal Tatum profile image

Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

Wow, is all I can say. You are truly a gifted writer.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Crystal. You've made my day!


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England

You get so much into so few words. You can paint a picture of the darkest despair yet you always give some hope, some way of repairing or solving the problem. Beautiful! May we all try to stop the stairs from crumbling.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you so much, annart. I appreciate the gift of your time, understanding and awesome comment. I hope you have a healthy, fulfilling and meaningful Merry Christmas.


Anil and Honey profile image

Anil and Honey 3 years ago from Kerala

Hai nice, I like your simple language and sweet words.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

My curiosity got the better of me, Anil and Honey, and I had to look up Kerala to find it is in the southwest region of India on the Malabar coast. So, you have broadened my horizons today! Thank you for your visit and most welcome words.


kathryn1000 profile image

kathryn1000 3 years ago from London

Wonderful imagery,Amy


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you from friend from London! That is a supreme compliment coming from an artist of unrivaled imagery.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

Sir Paul recently disclosed that "Blackbird" was inspired by the USA civil rights movement. I love the song since the white album was released. I like the fact that you left room for hope in the last stanza. The stairs to heaven won't crumble when love builds the bridge for the unfed. Your image of others letting the stairs crumble as they step ahead is so creative and original. The light of your gift shines brightest from the empathy of your heart. PS: I also love the sidearm pitch for the homeless Holy Family on Christmas eve and keeping the reference implicit rather than explicit. You have mad skills Lady Lancelot.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Gerry, you just gave me all I need to have a wonderful Christmas. Nothing...nothing could make me happier than what your words say to me. I love how you get every nuance and I love the fact you've told me so. I didn't appreciate Sir Paul until later in life. As a youngster, I didn't skim far below the surface. And, frankly, my brilliant friend, I feel like more of a youngster today, as my world feels so much more full of wonderous marvels that are there for exploring. I've only just begun. Mad skills? That alone will keep me warm for a year. Sending love to you, sligobay.


TravelinJack profile image

TravelinJack 3 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

Beautiful hub Amy. Your words are so eloquent and thoughtful. The way in which I attempt to harmonize the paradoxes of the world is to believe that life's complexities are far beyond my comprehension, and even the most fundamental contradictions of this world have a meaningful and rational connection, if but we could only understand them. All I can really do is trust in my will and capabilities. Voted up and beautiful!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, TravelinJack, for your complex yet simple honest truth so beautifully stated. I appreciate your visit and awesomely profound words. Your comment makes me feel understood. And, that, Jack, makes me very happy.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

Hello Amy of St. Lou. Just waiting for Saturday Night Live to hit the airwaves and this site had popped up on my email screen. My reread of your poem and the comments has made my night. Your poetic skills have blossomed from the buds that I viewed when I met you two years ago into a most colorful boquet. Your fragrance continues to intoxicate all of my senses. Enjoy the NFL playoff games tomorrow and the 2nd Inaugural Speech on MLK Day.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Awww, Gerry, you've made my weekend with your visit and heady words. I will definitely be watching the 2nd Inaugural Speech on MLK Day. I just heard the news that Stan "The Man" Musial died today at 92 years old. He was in declining health with cancer and Altzheimers. The angels are singing tonight. Aside from his extraordinary athletic talent, he was known as a humble, kind and extraordinarily fine human being.

I watch SNL, too! The "Hunger Games" girl is onboard tonight. Enjoy your weekend, Gerry and thank you for your awesome visit.


sligobay profile image

sligobay 3 years ago from east of the equator

Sorry about Stan. Altzheimers is a terrible way to go. My father and his brother Chris both went that way. SNL is so great again. They can never compete with the earliest days. Hugs.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

My mom is now dealing with the indiscrimate thievery of dementia. It's an ironic bastard that hasn't touched her memories of childhood, yet she can't recall a conversation from 5 minutes prior. It makes her afraid, tentative and sad at losing her ability to manage her life independently. I am sorry to hear you lost your father and uncle to Alzheimers, Gerry.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 3 years ago from Taos, NM

The beat of paradox drums - during the Christmas season the greed and 'getting ahead' our society does is quite the paradox - we can't seem to get the Christmas spirit to coincide with how we should behave to one another. Isn't it sad? Another beautiful reminder from you, Amy, as to how we really treat one another.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I probably ought to 'stifle' myself, Suzette, but I can't seem to simply write of Santa, snowflakes and visions of sugarplums, well ever... much less at Christmas. When I think of everything that has happened in the world in the past year, the 'paradox' is what 'lights' my tree!

Thank you for your brilliant comment, Suzette. You always make me think!

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