Outside my Wooden Door

The numbers hit me square crashing thunder at my shore

Left my careful words empty in the space of hunger's score

Catching in my throat enough to suffocate an impotent roar

As another stone turns to dust outside my wooden door

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

One point six million small stalwarts inured a cherubic corp

Downcast eyes hide their need now too blinding to explore

Face the pale ghost of Christmas to slip on translucent lore

As another stone turns to dust outside my wooden door

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

Heaven steps aside as you traverse 'cross hell's bleak moor

Passed by a candle in the glass while the wicked wind you wore

The prayer you once relied on now sits too frozen to implore

As another stone turns to dust outside my wooden door

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

Linger in the walkway with a silent secret aching you ignore

But hunger has a language that speaks to a childlike core

Find hope in a trip down the aisles of a weary Walmart store

As another stone turns to dust outside my wooden door

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

Bitter the taste that one child knows the pain of hunger's bore

Or roams the street without a place to lay his dreams ashore

While I thaw the prayers I'd put away a million miles before

As another stone turns to dust outside my wooden door

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



Comments 24 comments

onetouchnewlife profile image

onetouchnewlife 4 years ago from Cemetary

Reminds me of the Raven. I could hear the rhythmic thud of each pounding stanza. Great job!


Cathy Fidelibus profile image

Cathy Fidelibus 4 years ago from NJ

Beautiful and thought provoking


Amy Becherer profile image

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

onetouchnewlife, Yesterday I saw a PBS program called "Why Poverty" and I was struck by the facts. Ironically, originally the first line included the word "thud." I appreciate your visit and awesomely encouraging words.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Cathy, Thank you so much for stopping to read this piece and leaving your meaningful, inspiring comment.


btrbell profile image

btrbell 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

Wow, Amy! This was intense. I love the cadence! I think you should put this on H.O.W. It is so appropriate and meaningful. Thank you for this beautiful poem!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

.....other than the obvious fact that I've never seen words put together like this before ....what strikes me about the recurring style of your poetic prose are the common threads of sensitivity and intelligence.

It's always a fine line for most writers to tread but you handle it dear Amy of Awesome with considerabe ease and natural aplomb.

Again I see/read the brush strokes of a painter and that is also a trademark of yours.

You paint each line with new colors and your words always come alive in the most vibrant and opulent way.

Thank you for taking this tired old poetry genre into new directions and breathing life into it and giving your readers an awe inspiring artistic experience courtesy of one of the greatest writers I've ever met in my life.

lake erie time 12:20pm


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I need a politician to explain to me how poverty and homelessness can exist in this country. I have serious doubts if any of them could do that, because it is impossible to fathom how a country could allow these horrors to still exist and multiply.

Your cadence is like a jungle drumbeat, pounding the points across and demanding an answer....where there are no answers.

hugs from Oly

bill


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida

I wasn't certain which 1.6 million individuals you were referring to in your beginning stanzas, Amy, until I read 'Walmart.' Then it became clear. That class action suit had much merit (women being denied promotions and salary raises) but was doomed to failure I believe because of the impact it would have had on 'big business.'

But there is hope in another way. I viewed the segment on PBS' "War on Poverty" (amazing) and was uplifted as I watched those Jordanian women who were only allowed to attend school until the age of 10 (further education would be 'shameful' in that society) as they learned how to create solar energy after a 6-month class in India. So there may be hope after all.

We do need your beautiful poetry, m'luv, to remind us.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Great work and the cadence strikes me as well as it did others. Colin got it right on this poem.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Dear Randi, Thank you for your meaningful thoughts. I appreciate your intensity, my friend, which I can feel through the screen. Your words make me feel like I won the big lottery!


Amy Becherer profile image

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

I feel, Mister C, that you just sent me a priceless chunk of the crazy diamond that you are. Christmas has come early for me. I am always stunned by your beautiful words, which are poetry in motion, via hubpages own Poet Laureate, that lights up my space. The encouragement and support you extend to me, Colin, motivates my inspiration to keep painting new colors into new shapes and fresh designs. There are no limits to the world as long as our imaginations reinvent the colors in which we see it. Thank you for enriching my world, Colin, with your friendship, the generosity of your vision and your kindness.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

I love that you hear a "jungle drumbeat", Bill. Ironically, I saw a PBS program last night called "Why Poverty" that inspired this piece. It sighted several countries, including Africa, Vietnam, among a few others, including the United States. One of the facts that hit me between the eyes is that there are 1.6 million homeless children in the U.S.! The numbers that go to bed hungry here are far more. The stories in Africa and Vietnam were horrendous, with many babies and their mothers still dying during labor and delivery. The conditions are abominable, with women dying from a lack of prenatal care when problems could have been averted and one woman dying after enduring several days with a ruptured uterus during labor. By the time the surgeon performed the necessary surgery to remove the deceased little baby, it was too late to save the mother, who had 6 other children waiting at home. The OB, who performs many C-sections everyday, said "the money is there, but it is not distributed for medical care for poor, pregnant women." And, for all the state-of-the-art medical institutions here, the death rate for newborns is rising as poverty increases. Even for the necessities of medical care, decisions boil down to money. We are more primitive than I even realized.

Thank you, Bill, for your compassion and understanding. I am forever grateful for your kindness.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Dear drbj, Yes, the Walmart dilemma is heartbreaking for all who work there, including the 112 workers that died in a horrific fire in Bangladesh making clothing for Walmart, and those that shop there due to the poverty that binds their hands. The 1.6 million children my poem refers to are the homeless in America per the PBS program I viewed last night called "Why Poverty?" The program compared the rate of starving children in several countries; Africa, Vietnam, a few other mentions, including the states. It is appallingly disheartening that, despite our verbiage about being the greatest nation in the world, we relegate our poor to, relatively speaking, shamefully primitive standards. It seems money out trumps humanity universally.

Thank you, drbj, for your beautiful, caring heart and your thoughtful, kind words.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Bless your kind heart, xstatic. The world needs more compassion, the likes of your's, my friend. Your words mean the world to me. Thank you


lrc7815 profile image

lrc7815 4 years ago from Central Virginia

Amy, this one grabs at the heart. Sometimes I start a poem and get lost and don't finish it. Not this one. I pulled at me all the way to the end. You really are amazing and have a true gift.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Thank you so much, Linda. Poetry can be difficult, both for the writer to create and the reader to decipher. When I want to write about something, I really try to create an interesting, unique read that doesn't get lost in the creativity. Sometimes, the message can become so obscured by the storm of verbiage, it requires interpretation. The mix is a tightrope to walk. I appreciate your honesty about a conundrum I often face with writing poetry. Thank you, Linda, for your awesome comment.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

Heartbreaking Amy. When i think of children being hungry, i think of children in Africa, never in America. How did this happen? Greed, wal street who put profit above humanity. You should put this in a H.O.W. project that is making the rounds around hubville. Thank you..Beautiful poetry..


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Thank you, Ruby. Hungry children comprise a global, heartbreaking tragedy today. I watched "Rock Center", a program hosted by Brian Williams, and saw Ann Curry interview a family, both parents college graduates, that were devastated by the economic downturn. Their children were traumatized by losing their home, then living in a large apt, then a smaller apt until the dad got sick with kidney disease. The cost of his meds meant they could no longer afford the tiny apt, at which time they lived in their van until it was repossessed. They traveled from one shelter to the next until they found a family friendly, church sponsored shelter. Recently that organization was able to qualify them for a 4-bedroom apartment with rent help for the next five-years. They are looking forward to moving in by Christmas. It has been a crushing experience for the children. The oldest daughter couldn't talk about it without crying. The youngest girl carried a little red sparkly birdhouse she'd made from popsicle sticks as a constant reminder of the home they once enjoyed. Yes, they are surviving, but only by the grace of God and their own determination. But, why do children, through no fault of their own, have to learn to live in such desperate, brutally harsh circumstances? I had a difficult time myself, as an adult without young children, pulling myself together after losing my job. I cannot imagine being a child and bearing up with less than nothing, not even my own bed to sleep in. Sorry, Ruby, I got on a roll...

Thank you for your heart, my friend. You have a way of making me feel safe in the storm.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and beautiful. This is such a wonderful message to make people aware of hungry children everywhere. Passing this on.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Oh, thank you, Gypsy. Food is such a basic need and hunger shouldn't be something a child has to struggle with. Christmas has become so "I, me, mine", with mobs of frantic shoppers on Black Friday, pushing and shoving and trampling each other to grab another gift, and advertisers spending millions to hawk the latest trinket, the reality that many children go to bed with nothing to eat should not happen. In this economy at Christmas time, the true spirit of the holidays should be in gifts that feed the hungry. Bless you, Gypsy.


onetouchnewlife profile image

onetouchnewlife 4 years ago from Cemetary

Just a heads up. I thought you would find this interesting: http://hubpages.com/animals/Grim-the-Barnaby-Rudge... Again, great work.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Thank you, onetouchnewlife...Your write is deep, dark and intriguing, much like its subjects, Poe and Dickens. I had never read Grim, but I love it. Thank you for thinking to send it to me, as it is a work of art and as delicious as the finest decadent dessert.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Amy, with your usual style and grace and flow of words you've touched upon the side of human misery that most of us would turn our heads to avoid. After reading the comments its deeper meaning fell into place. You are an incredibly gifted writer. Loved the imagery and cadence; I was deeply moved.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Peg, You couldn't have said anything that means more to me than exactly what you've said. I am so touched by your generous, heartfelt understanding, compassion and support. You, and each uniquely awesome writer and friend I see here gives me great hope for our world. So many kind hearts, so many brilliant minds, so many generous souls...there is hope. Thank you, Peg

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