By the Sword

I see him by the exit, his post near the trash can

Fast cars driven by smug suits curse the caveman

His business card a construction of dirty cardboard

Abandoned angels among us, live and die by the sword

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Not one to crack the window and sully the new sedan

Expensive coat of paint far more value than the man

No symphony of music plays that strikes up the chord

Abandoned angels among us, live and die by the sword

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Designer coat not part of this frozen game plan

Disgust drips, snot crusted cuffs, once better than

He longs for the warm comfort from a bottle poured

Abandoned angels among us, live and die by the sword

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Take off the rose coloreds and see the naked scan

Missing blinders might show members of your clan

There, but for grace, I travel in this sad nomadic horde

Abandoned angels among us, live and die by the sword

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Quick to judge and jury the measure of a man

Holier than thou jumps from the fire to the frying pan

Peaceful sleep escapes you for brothers you ignored

Abandoned angels among us, live and die by the sword

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24 comments

bbnix profile image

bbnix 5 years ago from Southern California

I beautiful expose of the life of too many. Its sad, as life offers so much majesty - a billion nuances that cry life is grand, not a one among them that cries "look at me where I stand."

Each tiny gift of life exists in its own self relish, feeling not a single moment to ever over-embellish.

Life is a gift, so, for us innocuous little beach pebbles, we always treat it as so....


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

You are one extraordinary poet, bbnix, as everything you write shows it. Your comment is a work of art, an unexpected gift and I thank you for leaving it here. I know many homeless that I count as friends and they have managed to make my day often, with a casual sweet word or sometimes, the gratitude, the spark of surprise in their eyes when I acknowledge them, can break my heart. It is shameful to me when I witness disdain or worse, their invisibility in the world. They deserve to be here, without excuse, and someday in some way, we all need some kindness. Karma....

Thanks for visit, bbnix, and your beautiful comments.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

"There, but for grace, I travel in this sad nomadic horde," is a thought always in the front of my mind. For really, we cannot thank ourselves for being where we are today. I mean I should have been a billionaire today, so why am I not?

With every opportunity Life gives us a few cards to play... and most of the time it is a bad hand, compelling us to fake it till we make it or not...

Deep, thought-provoking poem, Amy - Voted up in all ways.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

This is so very beautiful Amy. I gave a guy $20 a couple weeks ago. He wanted just some food he said. I've given him a five before. He doesn't hit me up every time he sees me. I told him to get something good to eat. I doubt he drinks - or I doubt he drinks much. doesn't matter. Have a toast with MD20/20. Will that be the blue or the clear MD2o/20? I don't care. He didn't ask for a sermon. He asked for some humanity.

I gave $60 to a crippled man who walked about a mile from the bus stop with a cane and his hip being thrust up awkwardly. I thought he was just exercising. A friend reminded me whgen I told this story that we should give more secretly. I told a little story about it is all. I haven't given "my all" to either of these men.

I gave $20 to a prostitute when she asked for $10, saying she would do anything for that ten. I didn't want to humiliate her. But I didn't give my all. I can talk about what I've done - but I haven't given my all.

But I'll keep dribbling out, just a little humanity, if to accomplish nothing but be human. God bless you dear! This is such a great write. God bless you, God bless you!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Martie, As always, your comments are thought provoking in themselves. I love the brilliant uniqueness in the way you think and express your thoughts. I always feel I was dealt a lucky hand to have met you and in calling you friend. Thank you, Martie.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Your commentary, Micky Dee, is magnificent. I had to read it three times, the last outloud, because I so relate and, truthfully, I have not met anyone else that doesn't feel the need to justify freely giving to the homeless. My last workplace sat on a downtown STL street that was heavily travelled by the homeless. I got lectures and reprimands by the other employees for not only giving the little I could, but sharing my breaks in greetings and conversations with the nomadic folks. I gained more than they from those talks. There was great celebration in the office when the "powers that be" created a law abolishing panhandling, as if that would stop them or me from exercising my freedom to give. You are the only person who has expressed my same ideal and that is I gave to give some small measure of comfort, whether from a bottle or a sandwish, I don't make stipulations with anyone when I give a gift. I love your statement "He didn't ask for a sermon. He asked for some humanity". Micky Dee...to that I say, Amen, brother. And, God bless you, brother.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Great writing, Amy.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thanks Will. Appreciate your stopping by!


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

This is the mentality of the well to do, they value their 'things' more than any human life. But if the tables were turned, I just wonder where their priorities might fall then. Sad but oh so true poem concerning the very human condition. Great write.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I know you are a champion for the down and out, BobbiRant. You understand, but so many believe that homelessness could never happen to them. They've played the game and won. But, the rules of the game don't apply anymore. And one never knows today where life will toss us. No one is above the fray today. As always, I appreciate your thoughtful and profound comments.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Rich and perceptive words that cpature the plight of these souls, and how easily we can find ourselves walking down the very same path. Voted up and awesome.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you so much, Genna. I love the fact that your excellent commentary describes exactly the message I tried to convey. I always appreciate seeing your beautiful face.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Sharing time with those in need is the trademark of a truly altruistic person. My aunt, who is very religious, told me a tale when I was young. SHe told that there was a young bare foot man sitting outside a convenience store. He didn't beg for money, but she could tell he was in dire need. SHe bought him a drink and a bag of chips, went outside and gave it to the young man. He looked up, said "Truly blessings and peace will bestowed upon you." He took the gifts, slowly turned to walk away. He son called from the inside the store, so she turned away for a second. SHe looked back and the stranger was gone. Angels in our midst?


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

This is so beautiful, Amy and sadly so true. All too often, the hurt and the helpless are forgotten and scorned. "There but by the grace of God go I". Well done.

Up and beautiful


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Augustine, thank you so much for sharing that beautiful experience and story with me and anyone lucky enough to come across it here. Yes, angels among us. I got chills in the recognition. God bless you, my friend.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Fay, as truer words were never spoken in your comments. What really irks my soul are those that try to inflict, no, rather, demand that I cease and desist following my conscience and giving what I chose to give! I am blamed for enabling addicts and crime. As long as I don't have my hands in their pockets, as an adult, I resent being lectured like an indolent child. I believe I am well within my rights as an American to exercise my freedom to give to whom I choose. By the same token, the president of the company that laid me off had a special interest in a home for women in difficult circumstances and he volunteered all employees once a month to spend the morning in the shelter with no choice in the matter. I think his spirit was altruistic, but I resented being loaned out by my boss. My autoimmune problems make staph a real concern for me and my job title did not stipulate anywhere that I would be volunteering at his discretion. It took a warning from my doctor in the form of a note to release me from putting my health in jeopardy. Irony is abundant in the double standard and I was vaguely amused that those with the most to say to me about giving to the homeless in my own way did not understand my dilemma in this situation. Selfish bastards any way you look at it. I almost forgot about the shit I dealt with at a company full of deceit and double standards. Whew, Fay, gotta step away from that hornet's nest. Thank you for your beautiful comments.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Unfortunately, Amy, the scenario you have written about is chillingly realistic and is played out on the streets of major cities throughout the world.

My husband, Rocky, was much like Micky - he always had money in his hand for those unfortunates he encountered. Sometimes I believe that people took advantage of his generosity but he believed it was the right thing to do and it made him happy to contribute.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear drbj, when you say your husband, Rocky, you sound like you are talking in the past tense. I sincerely hope Rocky is well because this world needs more like him. Those like Rocky and Micky are a source of inspiration and joy, kindness and empathy in their generosity and non-judgmental minds. My impression is that there are few truly altruistic souls that simply give for the joy of giving. Thank you, drbj, for sharing this beautiful fact about the sweetness of Rocky.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Wow, once again this piece of urban snapshot is so beautifully etched by your painters eye and a poetic heart. The words ring like church bell - strong, resonant, distinctive and powerful.

You are a master of this and I bow before such talent. Well done! voted up & awesome.

'Abandoned angels among us, live and die by the sword...'


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Docmo, I knew you and your big poetic heart would feel what I felt as I wrote this. It is heartbreaking...the old adage I use to hear from my ex was "Don't give them money. They need to GET A JOB", as if every homeless person was on the street because they wanted to be or were just too lazy to work. There are those that, even today, believe that. Sometimes circumstances beyond our control happen; physical and mental illness, the economy, addictions, the list is as myriad as the individuals. Thank you for finding beauty in this piece from the heart.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...and you certainly know how to use your poetic sword - touche!!!!!!

So nice to connect with you again Miss Amy - you truly are a hub treasure here in my humble book and congratulations on 100 followers (plus 3) - they are certainly lucky men and women - and obviously smart too - because that is the one word which always comes to mind when I think of you - smart!!!!!!! I have always felt that you can 'write anything' if you could put your fine mind to it - and it shows in 'every word' that you choose to write .......and of course I love your paintings ... can't wait to see more too - and it was a good idea you had to put each painting into your avatar profile along with your hub and your poetry ......


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Hi epi, thank you for all your superlative comments. The avatar thing and my paintings, I don't understand. I'll have to check when I can sit a spell. The only thing I did with my paintings was put them in a photo capsule at the top of the piece. Yes, I found a camera that must be my daughter's so I'm going to figure out how to use it and photo my paintings soon. If you liked the other two, I have a notion you will like these better as they are extremely detailed. Thanks again, Colin, for your beautiful comments.


Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 5 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

The Fact of life around us, right? It should give us another benefit, which is too be grateful that we are not living on their shoes. We think we are so miserable sometimes, definitely forget there's another people who are way miserable than us out there. Then when we understand how lucky we are, we should reach them and help, even if we are not able to give much.

Beautiful provoking poem. I wish for others to be able to see through this poem, about life outside their door. Thank you, Amy.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Freya. I am so glad you stopped for a spell here. I knew you would understand. You are most certainly, absolutely correct that when we reach outside of our own circumstances, we are able to connect with our brothers and sisters that need our help. I just wish that some of the fortunate would open their hearts to lending a hand. It seems that many of the financially successful have scorn for those that aren't. Some circumstances are outside of our control. I can't imagine anyone choosing to be homeless. Thank you for your kind words, my friend.

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