Poetry: Gary Beck

Gary Beck

Rapid Fire

The right to bear arms
is hotly debated
by those who care,
gun manufacturers
supportive, eager for sales,
protesters concerned
with growing violence.
Some remember fondly
when criminals carried guns,
but rarely shot bystanders,
others reacted
when gang members
terrorized neighborhoods.
Nowadays assault weapons
have created equality
by indiscriminate use
in lunatic shooting sprees.

So Many Defeats

Emily Dickinson wrote
"Success is counted sweetest
by those who ne'er succeed."
It fits my country
that has become
dedicated to poor choices,
bad decisions,
selecting disastrous wars,
as we lost the wars on drugs,
poverty, crime, obesity,
the recent war in Iraq,
the failure in Afghanistan,
all lost at prodigious cost
of national treasure,
the blood of precious youth,
while the wealthy remove themselves
from responsibility
for our well-being.

Bitter Vision

We are helpless to repair
damage to our battered land
plagued with drought, floods,
hirelings of special interests
elected or appointed
feasting with their masters,
while the tables of the poor
serve meager portions
that do not nourish the children
who will not inherit the earth,
exiled without choice
in a land of plenty
to a life of poverty.


Yesterday fades
into the past
faster and faster,
until blank spaces
confuse memory,
recall falters,
making us worry
as deterioration
devours us.


After a reasonable time
erasures on the pages of history
no longer matter,
since no one remembers
accurately enough
to resolve disputes
over veracity.
Digital visuals
reassure many
who do not realize
pictures can be altered
as easily as words.

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