Poetry: Gary Beck

Gary Beck
A House Divided
Once upon a time
love of country
wasn’t a crime.
So it may have been
since we never were
the land of the free,
except for brief moments
Now a great peril
endangers the future
of a declining nation
that can no longer afford
the burden of empire,
while an irresponsible leader
threatens nuclear war,
attacks the environment,
shatters the fragile fabric
that barely holds us together,
until we are separated
from the ideal of unity.

As I get older
my dreams get stranger,
with  infrequent nightmares
as my id evolves away
from torments of youth
that required unconscious enactments
to prevent madness.
Most of my dreams fit
the standard definition,
wish fulfillment, problem solving,
but once in a while
a unique dream occurs
that I actually think about
in an effort to understand
the inner workings of my mind,
yet I can’t comprehend
how or why I had
a comical farce dream.

Progress III
The last time I drove
on I95
65 mph,
the slowest car on the road,
I saw lane changes
without warning
at 75 mph,
tailgating at 75 mph,
texting at 75 mph,
metal machines
barely under control
at excessive speeds,
drivers totally unaware
of the constant danger
of death and destruction
making me yearn
for driverless cars.

All cities are related
with the wealthy few,
struggling middle class
aspiring to something better,
and the burden of the poor,
crushed by the knowledge
that few will escape
the disease of poverty.

In some cities
there is an effort
to assist the needy,
limited of course
since other interests prevail.

In other cities
the poor are cordoned off
as far as possible
from the gardens of prosperity,
hoping they’ll go away,
at least not disturb
the well-to-do.

Other Cities
train the police
to contain the undesirables,
allowing the use of force
to keep them in their place,
away from their betters.

Harsh cities
use plainclothes and secret police
to control the masses,
forbidding dissent,
ruthlessly smashing
desperate protest.

Hurricane IV
Gol darn suma bitch.
Who he think he is?
Telling me this. Telling me that.
‘Earl. Get more gas’.
‘Earl. Make sure the boat’s ready’.
Man. I hope that storm surge
wipe away his fat ass,
his nasty, big mouth wife
like a ugly old turtle.
And those snotty kids.
Well maybe not Miranda.
She be almost thirteen,
just about a woman.
It serve them right if I take her.
So let the others drown.
Me and my brother come here first.
If the ocean don’t get them,
maybe we will.

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