I Once Knew a Man

I once knew an introspective, sad, homeless man

Roamed fecklessly free of compass, coat or clan

With nothing to speak of, he ran full on less than

Saw courage in the colors of his abstract plan

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

I once knew a hypocritical, self-scribed, holy man

Two-faced fast talker spoke in tongues his bran

Vanity suited his mission where his conscience ran

Saw deception in the colors of his hedonistic plan

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

I once knew an egotistical, Christian, businessman

Worshiped the gold that bought him what fantasy can

Vapid heart a frozen wasteland where loves but a ban

Saw nothingness in the colors of his misogynistic plan

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

I once knew a shy, quiet, unobtrusive, family man

Spent his days obscurely bridging needs vast span

Mentor, teacher, my father, love's linear legacy began

Saw greatness in the colors of his altruistic plan

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

Comments 50 comments

Sunnie Day 4 years ago

Wow! The inner makings of man has a way of showing their true colors. Give me a man who has been through some things, humbled by his experiences,followed by a true heart and I will show you a great man.

Thank you Amy..great writing!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you so much, Sunnie, for both the visit and kind words. I've missed you. I haven't seen notice of you in any of my daily notifications. I'm going to check and see if the hub goblins have been playing games with me!


Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

An interesting look at the inner realities of humanity and the ultimate spirit of our creator and father. The circle of good to bad to good and the positive to negative to positive.

Love it Amy!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Mark. I'm glad you like this piece. I love that you see the universally sequential ebb and flow, yin and yang, of different people and the meaning of their messages in our lives. When I refer to my father I'm actually meaning my biological dad. I appreciate you giving me your take, as I will try to find a way to make that more obvious. I love interpretive value, but it's important to me that readers have the distinct impression I am speaking literally of my dad in this poem. Thank you for letting me know, Mark. You are a true friend.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 4 years ago from Arlington, TX

People come in various flavors now don't they?

The Frog


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

For sure, certainly keeps life interesting... thanks for hopping by Frog Prince!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Beautiful as always my dear! Your descriptions of the four men were so detailed it felt like knowing them. A wonderful job of contrasting here, ending with the best of the bunch.

You are so very good!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Awww, Bill, how very sweet. Yes, my dad was the best man I ever knew. Unfortunately, I grew up mistakenly thinking all people were good. Being naive, I made a few mistakes that were a rude awakening, but very effective towards growing up. Life taught me far more than any lecture I've sat through. It's one thing to "hear about" something, it a whole different ballgame when you live it. Thank you, my friend, for being such a great one.


Curiad profile image

Curiad 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

I understood that you were speaking of your dad, I just wanted to toss in the other angle.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, thank you, Mark. Yes, that is definitely another important angle. I was so bent on where I was coming from, that while I was writing this, I have to admit I hadn't thought about it until I read the final copy one last time and saw it might be interpreted in that way. So, you, in fact, gave my piece relevence from another perspective. You have a beautiful mind, Mark, and I am so grateful I crossed paths with you. Thank you


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

....well they once said (back in the day) that all roads led (back) to Rome .....well now the epi-man says that all hub roads must, undoubtedly, lead back to Amy's hallowed hubspace. I start with your writing Amy and I end with it - and everyone else, everything else is in between, for you are my bookends of inspiration. Your restless pursuit of literary perfection is peerless and your poetic search for the meaning in all of our lives is profound and moving - and yes I am still exhuasting the Google word search and still re-reading your 'works in progress' for further hidden meanings and also because they offer more depth and soul than most writers have the right to bear in an entire lifetime - rock on dear Amy , rock on ...... and keep all of us on our proverbial toes as what this whole crazy damn life is supposed to mean during our time spent here and the legacy that we will leave behind ..... lake erie time 2:39pm


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Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Your comments, Mister C, are like a perfectly choreographed short film. I laugh, I tear up, and often outright cry...your words are so touching to me. For all the words I am usually never short of, that you say you "google", LOL, your's here leave me choked up, touched and extraordinarily happy. Although, I am an amateur, I seriously love writing. It is cathartic magic, it is a driving force that cannot be denied, it is all consuming and the most fun I can imagine . When you tell me that what I write has meaning, some relevance, some depth, I feel that my writing has purpose. And, I can't think of anything that matters more to me. Thank you, Colin. Right now, I feel rich beyond my wildest dreams.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Vapid heart a frozen wasteland --

I have known too many of these--this feels like a song to me Amy!


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Wonderful poems my friend and I especially liked the one about the family man. I hit many buttons for your well written poems.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

I think you are right-on, many living unthuths, many unhappy. Your love for your Father shines.I had to run to Webster again but that's ok. I love to learn new words. (hedonistic ) Smiles my friend..Hogs**


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Audrey, yes, we all meet up, eventually, with a vapid heart. I spent years with one who substitutes sex for love. I spot it a mile away now, but in my youth, well, I learned the hard way. When I got to the point that I felt outright, unmistakeable dislike, it was time to move on. No one can pretend forever...and I didn't want to give away anymore of me. When I look back on that time in my life, how confused, useless and desolate I felt, I can't remember how I had the strength to walk away from him. I suppose feeling I had nothing to lose allowed me to push through the fear. Thank you for so perceptively understanding my meaning in those words. I appreciate your support and attention.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

Interesting, Amy, we've known the same men :))

Voted up and well-stressed.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Minnetonka Twin, My dad is the finest man I've ever known. He worked constantly changing shift work, but was never too tired to take care of not only me, my sis, and bro, and our mom, but his parents, too. If a neighbor needed help, he gave. If he met a stranger that needed, he gave. I grew up watching him, quiet and generous to a fault, and thought all men were like him at heart. My poem tries to illustrate the comparisons I have personally experienced, which made me appreciate my dad all the more. He was my hero. Though he died nearly 10-years ago, I feel him watching over me still and I am so proud to be part of him and the legacy he left. Thank you for allowing me to expound on my extreme gratitude for being able to call him dad. God knows, if the circumstances of birth were a choice, I wouldn't have chosen anyone else.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Ruby, I think we all encounter all kinds of people if we live long enough. I came from a protective, caring environment and was stupidly naive about the ways of the world. I learned in my own stubborn fashion, the hard way, but those lessons stuck with me. Experience is the best teacher, after all. When I got tired of pretending and disgusted with myself for doing so, I had no choice but move on. Such is life.

Although I feel badly that you had to get the dictionary out, my adorable friend, I am so touched that you care enough to do that. You make me so happy to hangout at the hub, because it's where I found you. Love to you, Ruby.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Martie, It was a rude awakening for me, my friend. I doubted myself for a long time before I realized I was seeing things the way they really were. I had to grow me some balls in order to move forward. I did and didn't look back. I wasted too many years as it was. There's a lot of truth in the old saying "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." Thank you, Martie.


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

Great poem again, Amy! I agree with Epiman, the depth of your poety is astounding. Your use of alliteration is astoundingly great. We meet all kinds of men in this life, don't we? Sometimes our fathers are the true men in our lives. It is hard to find others as good as my father was. This is a wonderful tribute to your father at the same time. Your poems always have a great life lesson in them. Thank you for sharing your life's knowledge. We can all learn from it.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, Suzette, thank you so much for keeping me afloat (yes, that's how I feel), because I have self-doubt. I don't look at self-doubt as negative unless it stops someone from doing what they want. But, it's you that gives me courage to "go for it." I never publish a piece where I don't wonder what you will think. I don't write to teach, but share and, in doing so, I learn so much from each of my readers from their generosity in sharing their thoughts. It is the best feeling to write something that another relates to and then lets me know why. Learning has never been so rewarding and inspirational.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. So true it is not riches that make the man but his soul and his attitude towards his family, friends and the world in general.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Gypsy. You got it, girl, and I couldn't have said it any better than you just did.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Wow Amy-thanks for telling me about your wonderful father. I am so glad you know what a real man is. I too miss my dad whose been gone 14 years now. He too was a beautiful person and taught me so many life lessons. What I wouldn't give for one more day with my dear father.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

My dad visits me still. That's a whole other chapter that cemented my belief in the hereafter. I am certain now, beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is real. My dad told me so in no uncertain terms. And, my father never lied. Thank you, my friend, for coming back to share your love for your dad. I know he feels honored by your words of love. I know that I feel honored that you spoke of him here.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I saw you father here, in the final verse, and he reminded me of my own. He was a man of fierce integrity and grace. He never went to church, but was one of the most Christian men I have ever known. This is superb writing, Amy, as always. :-)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Genna, my father didn't sit in church either. He lived it everywhere he went, to work, to the grocery store for my mom, in the yard when he pitched for me and the neighborhood kids in the summer time. After I left home, I found out from my mom that dad gave a Honda he was going to trade in on a new basic model, to a man who didn't have transportation to get to work. He left 2 cans of soda out for the trashmen every pickup in the summer. He didn't have a vain bone in his body. He was clean but dressed like a bum to go to the store. After I went to barber college (yep, it's really called college), he asked me to give him a haircut. I took great care and time with his short haircut, while I enjoyed a rare opportunity to talk to him about his elderly parents, who he helped care for. He insisted, despite my protests, in giving me a $20 bill. Two days later I got the most beautiful, handwritten thank you I've ever received, raving about how perfectly his hair laid after my cut. I can no longer find that treasure of a note from my dad. I must have lost it during a move, but I still go through my cedar chest to look for it periodically, still hoping I just missed it the last time I looked. I still believe I'm going to find it.

Thank you, Genna, for telling me about your father. Somehow, I knew your dad was a great man. I can tell from the beautifully meaningful stories you write.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

From this poem and your comments it is wonderful to hear about your humble, generous, wonderful Father. This poem is so wonderfully crafted - not only because it comes from truth and your observations- but also because you never lay a word out of place. While the rest of struggle, verbose and wasteful you place every word like its a piece of a puzzle, never out of place, always flowing, always meaningful and magnificent. A true poetic prodigy!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, Docmo, in my head that is how I see the craft...pieces of a puzzle that, when I feel it, snaps into place with a snug, sure fit. It is a visceral experience. You have so many gifts, and one is your intuitive ability to feel, because your words tell me that you do and it is astounding to me. I trust you and because I do, your words give me courage to keep trying, to reach my potential and that is a wonderful feeling of hope. I feel like nothing is impossible. I know I have just scratched the surface and what fun lies ahead! And, the process is incredibly fun. So, thank you for the energy your words bring me. I can't think of anything more valuable.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

I would love to hear your stories about dad visiting. I've had some experiences too that I've written about here. If you have time you'll have to check out my favorite one.

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-night-...


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Oh, thank you, Minnetonka Twin. I will definitely check out your link! One of these days I'll write a hub about my dad's visits. They are so "him". One of the most amazing aspects of his visits have been the fact that they are messages that only I would understand the meaning behind. It is sheer genius, because I get it immediately. It is not obtuse or difficult for me to understand, because it is so specifically, so perfectly designed by my dad for me. Thank you for a great idea, my friend, and letting me know you'd be interested in reading on this topic.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

I am so looking forward to you hub about some of your father's visits. I see you just read my hub about one of my dad's visits. Isn't it amazing how they come back in a way that only you would understand. When we lose someone, they are still here for us, just in another way. Thx again for visiting my hub and reading about my experience. It is a real gift when we get a visit from a loved one that has passed. Here's to our awesome dad's Amy~


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Here, here, Minnetonka Twin! We are lucky women. I am so glad we shared this awesome experience with our dads.


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

Do you see your beautiful father smiling down on you, Audrey? I do!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I not only see him smiling down on me, I feel him watching over me, drbj. Thank you for noticing. Love sent to you from me.


shruti sheshadri profile image

shruti sheshadri 4 years ago from Bangalore, India

This is seriously awesome poetry amy! You are a great one indeed... isnt it always easier to portray your thoughts in the form of poetry than other kinds dnt you think?

You are a true poet, take care :)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Shruti, Before I started at hubpages, I did not write poetry. I read some here that changed my mind about the art form and began playing with rhyming verse. It wasn't long before everything I thought about ran through my brain in poetry. I cannot think of any better way to state my peace.

I plan on reading your work, too, Shruti. I can see from your words that you are a poet. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my work. I am grateful for your understanding.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Such brilliance shines through your poetry. I love this Amy! So discriptive, it's like a work of art. And your last verse, dedicated to your beautiful father who is just a blink away - always watching over you and loving you. Voted up and across except for funny. Sharing too. Thank you dear Amy.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Came back for another read--this is still such a powerful piece Amy!


Vincent Moore 4 years ago

Like the beautiful artist you are. Your colours of these 4 men is absolutely stunning. Your work is so visual and full of imagery, I felt like I was right there with you as you penned this masterful powerful piece. Your dedication to your father is brilliant, he definitely is one of your angels. Peace and blessings I send to you this night my poet. Voted up and shared.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dearest vocalcoach, I hope you are continuing to feel better each and everyday. Thank you for your kind words, my beautiful friend. I miss my dad. He is my measure of a man and I've not met many who measure up. I can't help but be biased. He was so generous and dedicated to the underdog. I know I'll never meet anyone quite like him. I appreciate your sweet support. Please know that I'm thinking of you and hoping for your continuing improvement. Love from St. Lou from me to you.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Audrey, You just made my week! I can't thank you enough for the generosity of your time and encouragement, Audrey.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I feel so incredibly blessed, Ken, in my father, but also the turn of events that happened just prior to his sudden death. I had been estranged from my family for almost 20 years per my mother's wishes. I never shut the door, however, and missed my parents everyday. I decided I had to see them and did. My father hugged me for the first time I can remember and told me he loved me. It wasn't quite 2 months later that he had a stroke at his brainstem that took him within 24 hours. I stayed with him in the hospital. He struggled to open his eyes when I told him my daughter, Megan, was there. He knew I was with him and it was an honor and privilege that makes me feel so blessed. I shudder to think if I'd not paid attention to my gut, if you will, the day I was compelled to see them. I believe it was divine intervention, and, as a result my spirituality is now a tangible part of me forever. Thank you, Ken, for your support and leaving me a comment that rejuvenates my remembrance of the greatest man I've ever known...my dad.


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

What a nice tribute to your father. I could really relate to your first verse, too. I knew a man like that. Voting up+


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

I love the pregression and evolution of the poem. Starting with the facets of selfishness found in the sorry individuals in the world. Walking through the scenes, seeing the worst, but then finishing with the salt of the earth, your humble father. AS it should. Thank you for sharing.


Gail Meyers profile image

Gail Meyers 4 years ago from United States

Great poem, Amy. I wish we all knew more of the salt of the earth men and less of the other kind! Voted up.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you so much, Pamela. When I worked in downtown STL, I looked out a huge window onto Locust St. and saw and befriended many homeless that fit that description and thought of them when I wrote the first verse. I knew one of each stanza and saved the best for last. I'm glad you can relate to this piece, Pamela. I appreciate your words.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Augustine, Like everyone, my dad was one of a kind. I realize, of course, that every individual has traits that lean towards both good and bad, strengths and weaknesses, generosity and stinginess, honesty and deception. I know, also, that I am biased, but the people I wrote about are all real people that I personally knew. The differences are so profound and the predominant characteristics so transparent, that I wrote this piece, not in judgement, but from a lifetime of observation. I look for hints of my dad in others. I see bits and pieces here and there, but his absence will always be profound to me.

Thank you, A.A., for a very thoughtful, beautiful comment, my friend.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, Gail. I think the great people stand out because we experience so many that aren't. Maybe we wouldn't recognize or appreciate kindness, generosity, truth and sincerity as readily if it wasn't so special. Love your comment, Gail. Thank you

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