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A River of Mercy

Updated on December 18, 2014
AudreyHowitt profile image

Audrey is a poet, classical singer and voice teacher, recovering attorney and licensed psychotherapist.

Nasa-Taken with the Hubble telescope
Nasa-Taken with the Hubble telescope | Source




i look out from behind scarred lids

to the twinkling of lights

in the square in front of me,

a haze.


i am the one you do not see

or see only through filters,

“addict” chief among them.


i am the one you hope never to become,

as you walk quickly

clothed in designer’s dreams.


i am tired,

the bench beneath me unforgiving,

a cruel combination of wood and iron,

making sleep elusive.


i am cold,

it seeps in

through my seven layers

into crevices that ache.


the light shines between us sometimes,

acosmic pathway

upon which mercy runs.


I see it more often than you do.


And tonight, as you pass by me,

The mercy runs toward you

As I send my prayer out to you,

Hoping that you might see that light

Sometime,

Fit it into your schedule,

Somewhere between lunch and a shoe shine.


copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2012


Please consider making a donation to a homeless shelter this holiday season.

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      Audrey Howitt 20 months ago from California

      Thank you lisavanvorst

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 22 months ago from California

      Thank you Sunnyglitter

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 22 months ago from California

      Thank you Nell Rose!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 23 months ago from California

      Hi Peggy--hope you are well--and thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 23 months ago from California

      It is a sad thing ArtDiva--yes, we have a lot of elders in my community and some are homeless

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 23 months ago from California

      smiles to you manatita!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Hi Jamie--hope your summer is going well

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you Vellur!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you goodnews11

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you Mary!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you Theresa!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you Ruby! Hope you are well!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you Harishprasad!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you Linda!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      Thank you Bobbi!! I so appreciate your kind words

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

      Audrey,

      You are one of the best poets on the Internet, and I hope you have written books of poems. If so brag about them on Google+ and tell me and I will put them on my Pinterest board about Sharing Great Writing from Friends.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      So glad that I saw this on tsu and came here to read it. Good reminder to do what we can to help those who are in dire need of it not only at this time of year, but always. Happy to share.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Audrey- Just as wonderful and strong and tue a poem tonight as it was 24 months ago. Blessings and Merry Christmas. Theresa

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      ArtDiva 2 years ago

      Those "street people," a growing number of seniors, more than many even know. Yes, where is the mercy? Perhaps, in your poem, in that you saw. A sadness comes over me reading this. Very nicely expressed.

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 2 years ago from New Jersey

      A beautiful and powerful poem of letting compassion and empathy rule over self indulgence and looking the other way. We often think of ourselves and don't always think of the pain those around us may be experiencing.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Somewhere between lunch and a shoe shine...awesome poem!

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 2 years ago from london

      Amazing poetry. I wonder if he/she was a poet and had such a placard standing on display, what would happen? Smiles.

    • Sunnyglitter profile image

      Sunnyglitter 3 years ago from Cyberspace

      This was beautiful.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Powerful words Audrey. Jamie

    • goodnews11 profile image

      OSBERT JOEL C 3 years ago from CHENNAI

      Awesome poem... Voted up!!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      A beautiful poem and oh so darn true! how many people really do see those poor people who live out in the rain? not many, sadly. Wonderful poem, voted up and shared, nell

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      A beautiful poem, so well expressed through your wonderful poem. The river of mercy must flow throughout our world. Great write.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      I feel so bad for the homeless people. We have many in our area. "But for the grace of God, go I"

      Very sad poem, but very true.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I forgot how beautiful this was. It made me sad once again. Thank you for a caring heart Audrey..

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      Audrey, What a wonderful poem, my friend. Mercy is such a beautiful word and this poem illustrates it in such an excellent manner. Really, empathy is all that required considering the misery we witness daily. Thanks and all peace.

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Dana--Thank you for reading this piece and for your frank comments--it is so very hard--so many of the homeless are mentally ill and when we closed down mental health in the 70s there was literally no where for them to go for help--there still isn't

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      Dana Strang 4 years ago from Ohio

      This is so beautiful... My MOTHER IS HOMELESS. I try so hard to help her. She mkes it so difficult because she does all the wrong things and none of the right ones. The awful thing is that she thinks she is doing it right. It is so hard to see....

      Those homeless people you see, many of them are good people. Many of them are mentally ill. They have burned all their bridges and are left with nothing. Many of them are no better at caring for themselves than children. It is sad...

      It angers me so much that there are not working systems in place to address this. We can search for water on Mars, yet we cannot care for the people on this earth. :(

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Anna for taking the time to dig this one and read it!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Movie Master!

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 4 years ago from Scotland

      This poem is by far my favourite of your very talented works. Your perspective as the homeless person managed to portray the discrimination many face, the hardships they endure and finally their still lingering hope in the goodness of humanity. I thought it was outstanding.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      A powerful and thought provoking poem Audrey, thank you, voting up and awesome.

      Best wishes Lesley

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much ryanjhoe!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you rasta1!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi anglnwu! Thank you!!

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      ryanjhoe 4 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

      Wonderful poems! I capture you express your feeling when feel tired maybe after doing daily activities. Well done, excellent thought!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Rajan!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Happy new year to you as well epi man!! And thank you for your continued support!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you vespawoolf!

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      Marvin Parke 4 years ago from Jamaica

      Very Beautiful and calming. Good job of expressing the sensory perception from someone else's point of view.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 4 years ago

      Lovely and poignant. Thanks for sharing.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Very touching and moving piece of poetry Audrey. We need to give a thought about doing whatever we can for them.

      voted up, beautiful and awesome.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Theresa!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      ..well that is a title to die for - and the words which follow obviously show you to be a writer's writer and a poet's poet .... to be admired and cherished by all of us here at the Hub.

      I am sending you warm wishes for your continued health, happiness and prosperity in the new year

      lake erie time ontario canada 3:18pm

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      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Audrey, very beautifully written. So many poems are written about the presence or appearance of the homeless...but so few take the perspective OF the homeless. Nicely done.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is a touching tribute to the homeless. We can all make a difference, and not just during the Christmas season. Another beautiful poem! Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Sannel!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Jamie! Happy Holidays to you!

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Oh, Audrey. My eyes are full of tears, as they should be. Powerful, honest, beautiful, compelling, tragic. A perfect poem and a perfect plea and reminder that we truly "see" and reach out to those who need help. There but for the grace of God....

      May you and your family have a Blessed Christmas this year. ~~Theresa

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Dim!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Tom, thank you so much!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Audra! Thank you!!

    • Break of Dawn profile image

      Break of Dawn 4 years ago

      Beautiful and moving! Definitely passing this one along!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Olde! I am glad that you enjoyed this one!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Jan!

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      Jamie Lee Hamann 4 years ago from Reno NV

      Beautiful poem Audrey. Merry Christmas. Jamie

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you ExoticHippieQueen!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you tobusiness~

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much tillsonitan for reading this and for your lovely comments--

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much LadyFiddler!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Vellur!! Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Frank! Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you for reading this one Gypsy Rose Lee!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 4 years ago from Great Britain

      Absolutely stunning....... beautiful word formation that had me quessing for a while.

      The ending brought me to tears. Totally beautiful.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Valleypoet!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Mary!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much drbj!

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      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      A very beautifully written poem with a wonderful message !

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Ruby! I hope all is well in your world!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Ruchira! I so appreciate so visit!

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      AudraLeigh 4 years ago

      I wish people had just a little bit of time to make the differenxe in another's life...make them a priority. I hope I got this right from your words...so powerful!

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      Olde Cashmere 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Wow, I enjoyed this poem. Beautiful wording and a thought provoking message. Voting up, sharing, and rating across (except funny).

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      Janhorner 4 years ago

      This is a reality check for all who read and digest the message. Loved the line, 'Clothed in designer’s dreams.' You ar a very gifted writer. Voted up,

      Jan

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      ExoticHippieQueen 4 years ago

      Beautifully expressed, Audrey. "A cosmic pathway

      Upon which mercy runs."

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Oh Mike! Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you for reading it LauraD!!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Debbie!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Hi Nikkij! Thank you!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Maybe so arb! Thank you!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Leslie!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you Jools!

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Audrey, this is a poignant and timely reminder to open our eyes and see the pain around us and don't just look away. heartfelt and beautiful.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      This one needs a "powerful button"....how could anyone read these beautiful words and not be touched by the inhumanity around us? Frank is right, a beautiful tribute to the homeless. God Bless you.

      Voted up, awesome, and beautiful!!

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 4 years ago from On planet Earth

      Nice poem Audrey

      Keep up the good work

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Your poem so well expresses the feelings and thoughts of the helpless and poor. It touched my heart. Very true some people just pass by without even blinking an eye, choosing to see only what they want, blind to people on the other side. Voted up and shared. Awesome.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

      wow what a sad.. but beautiful tribute to the homeless... i am set in the perfect giving mood when you described his place of slumber.. the cold hard bench... bless you Audrey :)

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. It's the importance in this life that we are open to giving, sharing and especially kindness and understanding. Love your last line so it inspired me to say: perhaps someday the world will join hands all around the globe if it doesn't get stuck

      Somewhere between lunch and a shoe shine. Hugs and hope your holiday will be great. Passing this on.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you sherrituck!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Life IZ!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image
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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you LaThing!!

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      Valleypoet 4 years ago

      Thank you for this timely message, in poetry, for the season of giving. A poem can convey a message in a way other mediums cannot, especially when written by a poet as talented as you..thanks for sharing Audrey:-))

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Oh Nellieanna--thank you!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you HoneyBB!

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Thank you btrbell!

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      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      What beauty in your words. Hopefully, we will do more to help the helpless people in our society.

      I voted this UP, and will share.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      This is thoughtful and powerful, Audrey, and expecially appropriate for this time of year.