Seeking Shelter

Magnitude in the news today in a country half a world away

Shifting sands, where to lay, nowhere to run and no safe bay

Ripple of chaos circles the fold from here to far off Bombay

Rich and poor, young and old, seeking shelter in the fray

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Levels the land no playing field, gives homeless right of way

Ink on paper no measure now with life the valuable cache

Fear in the dark but birds still sing, reason yet to pray

Rich and poor, young and old, seeking shelter in the fray

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Little boy lost, pup without a home, where to go or stray

Turn around and see no ground on which he use to play

Familiar gone in the dust in my eye and all to see is gray

Rich and poor, young and old, seeking shelter in the fray

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The youthful race to life on the run, just another day

Dressed in the latest, face painted on, real not on display

Turmoil takes the fragrant bouquet and renders it's decay

Rich and poor, young and old, seeking shelter in the fray

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No answers in the replay of scenes that now do portray

Reduced to ashes all that was, new rules to obey

My fragile heart now rubble like this crumbled land of clay

Rich and poor, young and old, seeking shelter in the fray

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34 comments

BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

Yes, that was quite a disaster in Japan today. Steve and I were recently watching a Nova special that said there is no place in the entire world safe from earthquakes and a fault line spider webs under the entire earth. Even though the Midwest does not sit on a fault line, scientists say that 200 years ago there was a 'different' kind of quake that took place there and could cause a major one under the Midwest too. They have been hit, in the past by not one but 3 major quakes and eyewitnesses say the Mississippi River changed direction from the quakes.


ralwus 5 years ago

Not to mention danger of nuclear meltdown, and the tremors are still coming. Scary stuff indeed.


Fay Paxton 5 years ago

Amy, this is one brilliant piece of poetry. You captured the mood and horror of the earthquake and tsunami, with such style and beauty.

"Rich and poor, young and old seeking shelter from the fray"....What an amazing talent you are!

Up/awesome


Amy Becherer profile image

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

BobbiRant, I heard there are tens of thousands just wandering in the streets. Yes, in my neck of the woods, we sit near the New Madras fault and you are correct that the flow of the Mississippi River reversed. The thing about earthquakes is the complete surprise...no sirens to warn of what's ahead. I panicked because my sister lives in Hawaii and my bro in N.California.

Thank you, Bobbi, for reading, commenting and your support.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Dear ralwus, scariest of all is the nuclear cooling system that failed. It's been reported that there is no radiation leaking...yet, but well, you know how it goes...Man, where do you begin to get things back to pre-quake? Long time coming. Eventually, we all get our turn to find out...one way or another. Thanks, Charlie


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Awwww, Fay. I love hearing from you. Thank you so much for your confidence building comments, my friend.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

The horrific major earthquake and tsunami in Japan was an awesome eruption by Mother Earth to warn us who is the boss. Surely not we puny humans.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Hear him/her roar! We only think we control things.

Big mistake. Don't ya think, drbj?


La Papillon profile image

La Papillon 5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

Beautiful and soulful poem ;)

Cheers, Louise ;)


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Thank you for your kind and generous comment, Louise!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Very rough stuff Amy. Thank you for this poem about it. You've done a great job as you always do. God bless you dear!


Amy Becherer profile image

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

I feel great sympathy for Japan's populace as they have a long, tough road ahead. Thank you, Micky, for your time and generous comments. God bless you, too, dear one.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

It's a terrible tragedy ... Seems to a series of quakes reminding us of the awesome force of nature and the fragile house of cards we've built and live in. As always Amy you say so much with compassion, subtlety and craft(wo)manship... Your talent measures a lot more than 8.9 on the Richter scale. My heart goes out to all those in Japan and reminds me of the time when Tsunami struck the east coast of India and the anxious time I spent trying to ring my parents !


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Thank you, Docmo. As always, your comments are so kind and always relevant, satisfying food for thought. The closest I've come to comprehension of a quake and a resulting Tsunsami is in a movie and that was terrifying. Can't remember the name or the stars, but I remember a father and daughter standing on the beach, waiting for the inevitable. I can't imagine seeing that wall of water and knowing...waiting. To imagine all those people, each with lives that are important to them, knowing they can't save themselves, loved ones or be saved from a horrible fate...having the time to wait...is beyond full comprehension for me.

I wanted to say something to lighten the mood, but the magnitude of what transpired in Japan just won't allow me to even try to be clever or funny here today as it somehow feels just wrong. So, I'll leave it at my appreciation for your attention and most beautiful comments, Docmo.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

I believe times will be getting more diffilcut for us all. However, I'm heartened by the outpouring of support and compassion from around the world for the Japanese. I hope it's positive sign of an uncertain future. Thank you again for sharing.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Sounds ominous, Augustine. What are your thoughts specifically, if I may ask? It does feel that way generally, but you sound as if you are thinking in that direction in a very specific way. Thank you for your time and attention, my friend.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

I believe that were getting to the point of taking all we can from nature and each other; this disaster may just be the beginning. Soon celestial bodies will align, resources will dwindle, and there may be more strife and more suffering. However, if we can still come togethor in support for each other in our time of need, we may be allright.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Augustine, thank you for coming back to answer my curiousity about your profound statement. Yes, I agree. We are reaping consequences of our careless attitude about the earth and it's resources. As polar bears near extinction, our waters polluted with oil and chemicals, and our rain forests disappearing, we are destroying this beautiful gift. There comes a point where the damage is irreparable. Holding each others hands will be the best we can do. Thank you, A.A.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

....it's hard to believe that people actually pay to go and see 'this kind of tragedy' as entertainment in a movie - life is actually more scarier than any movie - and the irony here - an anchor lady on my local TV station said, upon watching some of these devastating images, "Gee it all looks like a movie ......"

....as always Miss B - your profound thoughts and sensitive nature and respect for human life and dignity .....impress the epi-man.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Yes, epi-man, I notice that some seem to treat real life as just another reality TV show. The human factor escapes some...if it's not their loved one, it's not real. But this recent reality is almost too montrous to comprehend, and it may be a defense to see it as if on the silver screen. My worry is that this tragedy has not "played" yet to it's conclusion. I hope I'm wrong. Thank you for your insightful, compassionate commentary, Colin.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Amy I felt your heart and soul in this beautifully sad scribe. To watch this sureal event unfold before our very eyes and witness the carnage and devastation in front of all these people in Japan was heartbreaking to watch.

Like Epiman stated a real movie in front of our very eyes, it could happen anywhere in our world. Mother nature is rebelling and flexing her muscle, a warning to us all that live on her planet to take better care of it or else we will all be subject to this type of tragedy.

My eyes have been glued to CNN for the last two days and I cry for these helpless people, I cry for our world, I cry for our souls. Thank you Amy for this brilliant piece you never fail to amaze me with your eloquence.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Your words to me, written by one of the most eloquent writers I know, make me sing with happiness. With the news in the world today, that is no small feat. As I hear reporters talking about recovery in Japan, I have the fear that this has not yet played itself out. The nuclear possibilities loom heavy. It still feels surreal to me in it's magnitude and I am afraid many tears are yet to fall. When I awoke to the first day of this devastating event, my concern reached to Hawaii where my sister lives and Northern California where my brother lives. It appears they were lucky, and I thank God. As I continue to see the pictures from Japan, and imagine the sadness that overwhelms and brings a country to it's knees in just a few minutes, a populace that was thriving and bustling with plans just the day before, "there but for the grace of God, go I" is with me. And, saddlerider, you are correct in that no one is exempt. The fact that we know this does not diminish the fear that in the blink of an eye, it can be us. Thank you for your compassionate commentary.


bbnix profile image

bbnix 5 years ago from Southern California

I just watched a story on the news where a northern Japanese town was completely obliterated - over half the population believed dead. I just heard that the nuclear powerplant was exploding and literally melting.

We are a global community now. We can't just watch the intolerable destruction half-way around the globe. It's time to physically connect with our planet, its people, and the wildlife. We have to act now. I don't know how yet, but dammit I'm going to figure it out!!!


Amy Becherer profile image

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

bbnix, I know, as I see more and more news, it appears that, as I suspected, the stark reality is too much to bear. Now, iodine capsules are being encouraged to help avoid radiations effects on the thyroid. Can you just imagine the abject fear, when there is no to run?

Surviving the Tsunami was the first hurdle, the nuclear possibilities are now unfolding as more bodies wash ashore. The thing with nature is some events are unstoppable. An earthquake can't be foretold or stopped. And I don't care what expert says that one earthquake cannot cause another somewhere else. I disagree. If an earthquake is the shifting of plates beneath the surface, a magnitude of 8.9 is going to affect the rest of the planet, including the known fault lines around the world. Just because we don't see an immediate cause and effect, doesn't mean that the impact hasn't been felt. The mistrust I have regarding the news is well earned by the misinformation and deliberate lies in the name of "sugarcoating" what they decide we can't handle. In a crisis of Japan's magnitude, I believe none of what I hear and half of what I see. It's all so watered down and filtered, I am always suspect. When I first understood the nuclear possibilities, I knew, this is way worse than the initial earthquake. No one knows how this will end and even though I am worried, we can still pray for everyone. At this point, it may be only in God's hands. Thank you, bbnix, for your great compassion in your beautiful commentary. The world needs your heart and fire.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

A horrific, devestating tragedy. I think that Mother Nature is giving all of us a warning. We have treated our planet the same way people abuse children. And it has gone on for way to many years. I pray for everyone involved in this terrible, deadly tragedy. I wish I could make it all better. Your beautiful and heart-felt words are filled with the beautiful person you are.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Your comments, vocalcoach, are so heartfelt you make me cry. Animals, too, have suffered at the hands of cruel, heartless humanity. When Katrina hit Louisiana, I was so disheartened by the suffering in the people and the animals, I wrote the STL Post Dispatch Letters to the Editor. They published my letter and the following year on the anniversary, they published my follow up letter as Homeland Security, whose specific purpose that they are paid well to accomplish, was an abysmal failure. I am glad there are still kind, caring people like you, Audrey, because from my vantage point, but for a few exceptions, we are in deep trouble. Thank you for your beautiful, inspiring comments.


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

Hey, Amy! Slow in getting around nowadays...This verse had so many perspectives from individual to global even pushing toward the end of time. I liked very much and your choice of music to accompany it was very good as well! WB


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Hey Wayne, it's always so good to hear from you. I know from your poetry, the depth of your understanding, yet you amaze me in the profound reach you found in my piece. Thank you for taking the time to read this. The horrific natural disaster in Japan is far worse due to man's nuclear capabilities and has created a scenario that implicates the whole world. I appreciate your excellent commentary. As always, you show a great sense of having a firm grasp on reality.


Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 5 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

Why I never came across your work before? This is amazing. Great message from wonderful heart.Thank you for created this poem. We need more voice about humanity. ^^


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Dear Freya, Your visit is a honor for me. I am so happy to see your lovely face here at my space. Thank you for your kind words. I hope to see your kind and gentle spirit often.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Amy, this is beautiful. there are no other words needing to be said. It is just beautiful.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Dear Lucky Cats, I just chose three of my poems to send on to a poetry contest. I could not make my final choice, and I saw your comment regarding "Seeking Shelter" waiting for me, so I quickly made it my final selection. It was perfect timing! Thank you for your comment, Kathy. I am always so thrilled to see you here and so happy you are my friend.


Alladream74 profile image

Alladream74 5 years ago from Oakland, California

Your poem captures the human struggle very well.

Would love to see your paintings here on hubpages,if you have already posted,please give us the link.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Thank you Alladream. I appreciate your comment and your interest in my paintings. The two poems that were created around two of my paintings are "Don't Like Goodbye" and "Tell Me Your Secrets". I hope you like them.

http://hubpages.com/literature/Dont-Like-Goodbye...

http://hubpages.com/literature/Tell-Me-Your-Secret...

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