Poetry: Gary Beck

Gary Beck

For hundreds of years
men developed skills in chess
improving the level of play.
Then a computer beat the world champion,
outcalculating him,
but not many realized
men programmed the machine.
Now the newest computer,
virtually A.I.,
outthinks the world champions
and can do it in Go, checkers,
even monopoly,
replacing men’s minds
with advanced software.


A new year
in besieged America,
enemies without and within
on a tiny planet
with brutal indifference
for varied life forms
struggling for survival
in deadly competition,
while only humans
have the capacity
to preserve existence,
instead squandering the future
in meaningless squabbles.


The changing of the seasons
when people lived on farms
meant traditional rituals
for planting, harvesting,
other activities
regulated by nature,
early to bed,
early to rise,
didn’t make us wise,
but had a reassuring order,
except when disaster struck
then the struggle to endure
dominated the days.
City dwellers
have forgotten
the schedule of nature,
except to put on
or take off
light or heavy clothing,
waking for work, school,
not tending the fields
no longer competent
in the production of crops.


The dignity of man
is maintained
by courtesy, respect
and lots of patience
with the foibles of others.
Those of us
who are incapable
of good behavior,
the social contract
to get along with others,
go through conflict
clashing with the hostile
on every level,
mental, emotional, physical,
until small confrontations
become large conflagrations.

Scientific Advances

The world has always verged
on devouring chaos,
but not until the Atomic Age
did mankind have the power
to terminate existence.
Meteor strike, earthquake,
forces of nature
didn’t destroy all life.
Now, courtesy of science,
there is ample means
nuclear, chemical, biological,
to eradicate animals, vegetables,
until all we’re left with
is a lunar landscape.

All these poems have been taken from 'Double Envelopment'.

'Double Envelopment’ is an unpublished poetry collection in response to harsh conditions affecting many of our people, who only want a better future for their children.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and his published books include 31 poetry collections, 13 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 4 books of plays. Published poetry books include:  Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions, Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings, The Remission of Order, Contusions, Desperate Seeker and Learning Curve (Winter Goose Publishing). Earth Links, Too Harsh For Pastels, Severance, Redemption Value, Fractional Disorder, Disruptions, Ignition Point and Resonance (Cyberwit Publishing Forthcoming: Turbulence). Forthcoming: ‘Motifs’ (Adelaide Books). His novels include Extreme Change (Winter Goose Publishing). State of Rage, Wavelength, Protective Agency and Obsess (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Still Obsessed and Flawed Connections). His short story collections include: A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories (Winter Goose Publishing). Dogs Don’t Send Flowers and other stories (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Essays of Gary Beck (Cyberwit Publishing). The Big Match and other one act plays (Wordcatcher Publishing). Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume 1 and Plays of Aristophanes translated, then directed by Gary Beck and Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume II (Cyberwit Publishing. Forthcoming: Four Plays by Moliere translated then directed by Gary Beck and Collected Plays of Gary Beck Volume III). Gary lives in New York City.

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