Poems by Gary Beck

Gary Beck

Pity the Children

The changing nature
of a liberal society
committed to tolerance
of the unreasonable,
the unacceptable
by any moral standards
that allow horrific crimes
inflicted on children,
while apathetic citizens
never rise up in outrage
and demand harsh punishment
for violent abusers.

Homeless VIII

They robbed my cans
for the second time
in a week.
I hustled my ass off
getting those cans
and got nothing for it.
At least they didn’t beat me.
Maybe I’ll get me a knife
and cut them good
if they try to rob me again.

Urban Reaches

Alone in a great city
strangers pass,
intent on jobs, crime,
shopping, terror.
I know not what.
They all look remote,
don’t say ‘good morning’,
don’t meet my gaze,
except the hostiles,
when I quickly look away.
I cannot tell
who is good, kind, normal,
smart enough to build a future.
Temporarily marooned
in a vast enclosure
I do not know what to do
to establish an identity.


Prolonged discussions
of political or social issues,
controversial events,
rarely lead to agreement,
most ending in argument,
irreconcilable dispute,
intentions invariably
on self-assertion,
inflicting opinions
on unappreciative listeners.

Trauma Time

Virtue is no longer a virtue
in a land of tolerant intolerance.
The spoiled offspring of privilege
stroll through city streets
creatures so absorbed in entitlement
they cannot conceive that disaster
will ever target them,
armored in middle class comforts,
oblivious to others
until the sudden shock
of abrupt interruption
halts their serene conversations,
compels them momentarily
to confront harsh reality.