There's No Fire

Shuffle the sidewalk, like an old man needing a cane

It's only myth that a turkey can drown in the rain

Steady your course, gaze this way, back and again

The motor still putters, but the fires left your brain

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

Once, in the dark, in the vein of humane

Spoken with angry passion, my words sans restrain

Your response in eyes glazed with alcohols stain

The motor still sputters, but the fires left your brain

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

At an age, beyond your prime, alone you remain

You muddle and I wonder if you ever desired not to abstain

An ideal, maybe love or just a need for something to attain

The motor still flutters, but the fires left your brain

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

Bumbling, stumbling, mumbling death by mundane

Another drink, you drop the smoke, closed chain of constrain

Vessel without faith, hope or love, wasted, you feel little pain

The motor still stutters, but the fires left your brain

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

A path to nowhere where pity lived, now leads me to disdain

Roads with forks where choices are made, staking the terrain

Smooth with regret, maybe satisfied, going against the grain

The motor still shutters, but the fires left your brain

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

Comments 18 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Very good, Amy! Voted way up.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Thank you kindly, Will. This is about a neighbor of mine that I wrote in a moment of dismay and disgust. I'm no saint. Although I try to be kind to everyone, sometimes...well, you know how it is. Thank you for giving me some of your time, Will.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

THE MOST POETIC WAY TO TELL SOMEONE TO F***K OFF EVER....


Amy Becherer profile image

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

I feel bad about being mean, but a person can only take so much!!! LOL Thanks for not making me feel like an ass, even though I am.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

Your not an ass. Your allowed to be angry and vent. We just like your roar, sounds healthy from this end...


Amy Becherer profile image

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

I hate to admit it felt fun writing this, while I was still in the throes of exasperation! Then, I could laugh and forget about it! Writing is therapy without the angst.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Excellent piece of work Amy! You could have been writing about me six years ago. Glad I found the fire again.

Great job!


Amy Becherer profile image

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

From your writing, billybuc, you sure have come a long way. The neighbor I've spent time talking to lives only to drink. I started out, of course, not knowing that and would pour my heart out about things and he didn't remember a thing I'd said the next day. He comes running out everytime I take my MacGregor out and I actually still feel sorry for him, but I don't spend the time and energy anymore, getting into any deep conversations. He acts and looks like a blank slate. He just stands around, looking, smoking and says he's bored. I will be picking up leaves from the magnolia tree in front of the apt building and one minute he'll criticize me for doing something I'm not getting paid to do and the next he's pointing out more leaves that have fallen. If my hands are full and I'm trying to take my dog back to the apartment, it never dawns on him to help me. Last night he was bleary eyed drunk, nearly fell down the steps to his basement apartment and dropped his lit cigarette at least 3 times. He has no interests, hasn't worked in at least 9 years and his only priority is having a frig full of beer. I always felt sorry for him, but now I feel like its his choice and that's what is important to him. It's not my business. I won't be "mean" to him, but I won't share anything important to me either any longer. He could care less. It is amazing to me that someone with no friends, no ambition, no nothin', complains about boredom, especially when it's too much trouble for him to listen when someone does talk to him. Thank you billybuc, as I always appreciate your time and attention. Unlike my neighbor, I do care what people have to say.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Amy, it's a sad disease with zero prospects for the future unless he wants help. That's the cold, hard truth. Until he wants help and is willing to do the work it's best to let him be miserable. Maybe at some point he will be so miserable that he will actually do something.

Thank you for sharing the story! It helps me and millions like me to here the suffering that can happen any day if I allow it to. It is my choice...and it is his.

bill


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Thank you, Bill. I think my neighbor has lived the way he has chosen for so long, he is content and from what I can ascertain, is not likely to make any changes now. As you know, an individual must feel something lacking in their life before striving to change it. It is never easy. An addiction is like a parasite...it has a life of its own and wants to survive at all costs. I think, too, that the person in the clutches of any addiction is controlled by it, lives for it and loses sight of anything else. I've heard many an addict express the feeling that they can't live without their drug of choice and don't want to. Prisons are full of addicts, whose only goal is getting their drugs. Their brains are dependent on it and without professional medical intervention, some cannot withstand the process of withdrawal. Depending on the drug, they can die without carefully monitored help. I've heard many stories about people who undergo necessary back surgery that end up addicted to the doctor prescribed pain meds, some of which are highly addictive in a very short timeframe.

Thank you for your comments. They are brilliantly right on point. I appreciate your honesty, Bill.


Docmo profile image

Docmo 4 years ago from UK

This is a starkly observed commentary on how one can lose themselves to alcohol. The refrain 'The motor still flutters, but the fires left your brain' is perhaps the best description I've heard of the sad state that afflicts many. This poem may say it like it is, but at the heart of it is the still thudding heart of humanity. All too often we may believe feeling sympathy and coaxing someone gently is the only way to make them change but more and more evidence shows people need challenge and a description of their stark reality as much as they need sympathy. One without the other can make matters worse.

This is a profound way of describing their state, the impact of the path they've chosen. No one does it better than you , Amy. voted up and across!


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Docmo, You do it to me everytime. My heart skips a beat when I see you've left a comment. I read it intently and have to get up and think about what I want to say in response. Your comments, like all of your writing, are uniquely you, no pat responses, that tell me you are a humanitarian, a thinker, that leaves me grateful that I am a part of hubpages, as without I would never have met you. I say what I say in all sincerity, with no embarrassment intented.

Your sincerity has encouraged me to keep writing, as without it, I doubt I would still be doing so. Life is short and I wanted you to know. Thank you, Mohan, for taking the time to understand and leave your words here. They matter immensely to me.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Voted up and awesome. Great way of putting it - the fires left your brain. Amazing that people like this even have half a brain. My husband's brother lived for the drink. Here bums and the like can get homemade brewed stuff for cheap. I've seen him unconscious, I've seen him slobber and fall. We kept as far away from him as we could because he just didn't want any help and he also had a daughter and two grandsons. No one could say anything to him and it was best to leave him alone. One time he disappeared and my husband had to locate him because there were papers to be signed as they both have rights to their parents house. The papers got signed, he continued drinking and started to look really bad. Apparently during this time when he had disappeared and lived with goodness knows what kind of bums he had gotten TB - yes in this day and age - who else would be the most likely to get such a disease so quickly. No one knew and when he started looking like a concentration camp victim his daughter and son-in-law got him to a hospital at which he also wanted to get up and go home ranting and raving. He was diagnosed but along with what the alcohol had done to his body mercifully he died. That was two years ago. He left behind his legacy his youngest grandchild whom he managed to kiss has TB and apparently for a young child hard to combat.


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Oh, Gypsy, talk about passing the grief along. Yes, TB has made a comeback. In fact I heard the "Occupy" tents were spreading that disease among others, as the living conditions were the same as homeless camps. What a terrible story, not only for the alcoholic, but for everyone who knew him. That's one of the side effects of addiction. It's effects are not exclusive to the user. I hope his innocent grandchild can recover, as TB has a tendency to harm the lungs and can smolder. That is tragic. Thank you for sharing your story, Gypsy. You are helping others by sharing a painful part of your brother-in-laws life and the devastating impact of his addiction on all those around him.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hi Amy..who is his about whom you've written? Sounds like *(he) is well on the path to destruction. Fluttering and stuttering along w/a ruined brain..sounds like it's pickled! Addiction, in it's many forms; ruins lives...period. And those who care a little or alot. Well, I hope no one was pulled down to the depths by this hapless person/situation. another great one, Amy..you have a style all your own..isn't writing a great catharsis? Thank God! d


Amy Becherer profile image

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

This one, Kathy, is about a neighbor who lives in the basement apartment below me. I finally realized that all the discussions I had over daily life happenings (he runs out to visit with me everytime I take MacGregor outside) he has no recollection of the next day. He follows me around as I pick up after 'Gregor. While I'm outside, rather than do like him and stand with my thumb up my axx, I pick up the huge leaves that fall constantly from the magnolia tree (a little exercise and it makes a considerable difference in the appearance of the yard). He says the same things over and over, how it's stupid for me to do something I'm not paid to do. He keeps insisting my pup should be able to go up and down the stairs, when I've explained he fell down the stairs as a puppy and is afraid. Structurally, his stocky frame and short legs are not conducive to navigating stairs. Since I lift my buddy and ask him for no help, I think he should butt out. Nevertheless, he insists on trying to coax MacGregor down the concrete stairway to the basement. I've begged him not to, since it is my dog that will suffer and the vet bills are also something I cannot afford. Everytime I remind him, he acts like he's never heard that before. Although, I am a compassionate and tolerant person generally, I could strangle him! He is bleary-eyed drunk every evening or before and I am concerned one day he will drop his constant cigarette in his apt and burn the place down. When I got a call from the hospital after my mom's bypass surgery to come take care of her, I had no choice but to run my key down to him and ask that he let MacGregor outside when he stood outside. He FORGOT and when I got back to the apt I knocked and knocked, but couldn't wake his drunk ass up. I found another way into my apt, thank God. I don't care what he does, but I can't completely avoid him, as I go out the door, and there he is. I know he's lonely, but I have enough needy people in my life without a stranger with an alcohol problem affecting my life. I'll be cordial, but I am unwilling to allow him to create even one iota of stress for me. I lived with two alcoholic ex-husbands for too long, I won't give anymore of my life away.

Yes, Kathy, writing is cathartic. It's amazing that it doesn't take moving a mountain to write something with a message. Just living is enough. I love your comments as they are so relatable...so profound in themselves, you make me want to write a book! Bless you pea-pickin' heart! Remember that, Lucky Cats?


Angela Brummer profile image

Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

Very well written poetry! Bless You!


Amy Becherer profile image

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

Thank you Angela and bless you, too!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working