Poetry: Gary Beck

Gary Beck
America Unfurled

Americans learned early
how to steal land from others
from British colonists
who quickly evicted the Dutch,
unwilling to let foreigners
occupy the tempting frontier
of the new world,
which they wanted for their own
without the faintest idea
of the size of the vast continent.

As more colonists arrived
they settled, needed more room,
then began the long usurpation
of Native American lands,
taking when strong,
negotiating when weak,
a pattern cleverly employed
until the colonies were strong enough
to dispute ownership with the French
and forcibly expel them.

As the colonies flourished
the British Empire grew,
spreading across the world
by conquest, trade, or both
a lesson to watchful colonists
conveniently gifted 
with the same genetic urge
to acquire land from others
on some occasions peacefully,
but almost always by war.

When the great separation began
between colonies and motherland
the King and Parliament were shocked
by the revolutionary fervor
of the graduate students
of advanced acquisition,
who thoroughly understood
that when someone grabs illegally
they establish a precedent
for others to grab illegally.

Thus began the great leap forward
as founders of the new nation
quickly consolidated the gains
from the recent revolution,
digested that they had defeated
the strongest empire in the world,
which sent a jolt of confidence
coursing through the covetous veins
of land hungry occidentals
willing to kill for their own farms.

The snatching of other people’s lands,
became the object of existence
for all those able to snatch
a new homestead, a new life.
And always distantly unseen
the men of wealth and hunger,
whose only mantra was more, more,
manipulated the masses
with pronouncements from Washington
like ‘Manifest Destiny’.

So we got rid of the foreigners,
Russians, French, the Spanish,
so we could concentrate efforts
on removing the Indians
who interfered with expansion
preventing exploration,
mining, farming, trade, settlements,
constricting acquisition of more,
so obstacles of progress
had to be eliminated.

Our fundamental greed
brought irreconcilable groups,
Northern industrial magnates,
Southern agricultural barons,
into inevitable conflict,
over who would rule the new empire.
When compromise was exhausted
they resolved their differences
in a bloody civil war
that ended Southern gentry rule.

Control of the future
of the partially battered land
liberally decided
by the use of gunpowder
the new lords of profit
knew few restrictions
in using the economy
to fund the fundamental urge
to acquire the land of others,
more by war then peacefully.

Reconstruction in the South
raised a new class to wealth, power,
then infected them with hunger
for the lands of others,
defeating the Sioux, Apaches,
until there was only one rule
from the Atlantic Ocean
to the Pacific Ocean
with increased appetite for more.

In our first offshore venture
we quickly assaulted
the crumbling Spanish Empire,
establishing our empire
in the Caribbean,
then in the Pacific.
And the new captive people
needed the benefit
of democracy,
enforced by the gun.

So we surprised the old dogs
in Europe and Asia
by displaying our power.
But they knew we were children.
When they exhausted themselves
in the biggest war ever,
they thought they outsmarted us
in the treaty of Versailles,
yet they never realized
we learned to fight a world war.

The ‘Great Depression’ shattered lives
of millions of Americans
who couldn’t drink legally
to forget their troubles
courtesy of the Volstead Act
that gave birth to organized crime
illicitly providing,
the booze that everyone craved,
generating enough wealth
to corrupt our government.

Yet the long soup kitchen lines
of the desperately hungry
dominated the media
and Hollywood pictures,
but concealed new factories
that began to produce
steel, oil, automobiles,
while our growing agriculture
began to feed a starving world,
adding to our wealth and power.

The seekers of expansion
ordered their armies to march
into weaker countries 
that could not resist
modern war machines.
Soon the world was engulfed
in devastating conflict
as invading hordes
ravaged the conquered,
looting captive nations.

Some foreign autocrats
did not realize
industrious America
created a mighty system
to produce massive amounts
for the necessities of war.
One peaceful December morning
when we were bombed into action
we quickly built ships, planes, tanks, guns
that defeated our enemies.

After a few bloody years
we inherited the earth,
inhabitants exhausted
by ravages of modern war.
Our legions camped in other lands
ensuring the new order
of economic dominance
would not know interference
as our sales of oil, steel, cars
did not have competitors.

So we rebuilt Japan
and rebuilt Germany,
challenged surly soviets,
reveling in the profits
 of glorious victory
as the dollar ruled the world.
When millions of soldiers
came back from World War II,
factories closed, they went to college
and became the middle class.

The cunning lords of profit
driven by relentless greed
successfully removed
those who would fight the bosses
for a fair share of earnings,
replaced them with a new class
that sat behind desks, computers
and became so prosperous
they would not risk losing all
in an idealistic fight.

Within established ‘Cold War’ rules
that ensured it wouldn’t become hot
we sent the legions to Vietnam
to preserve democracy.
As our youth were bleeding, dying
in a far off Asian land,
youth and supporters at home
vigorously protested the war,
alienating the true blue,
bitterly dividing the nation.

The ‘Great Schism’ distracted us
from innovative business deals
closing most of our factories
that cost too much to retool,
paid our workers too much
and offshored them abroad
where they didn’t pay taxes
and paid low wages
abandoning America
to make greater profits.

The protests of the Vietnam War
that divided the nation
made the lords of profit rejoice.
Instead of an aware people
following the affairs of state,
the media told the nation
we had become two opposed groups
each with their own agenda,
far more important to them
then the fate of our country.

Many citizens believed
republicans or democrats
knew what was best for our land.
Each party had mouthpieces,
media propagandists,
who told us what we should know.
They weren’t allowed to tell us
the 1% hired both sides
to keep us polarized
while the rich grew richer.

The evidence of betrayal
of the American people
is carefully concealed
so we argue with each other
as we grow poorer and poorer,
our land grows weaker and weaker,
since the rapacious 1%
are no longer invested
in the future of our land,
while their wealth is in other lands.

Our tragedy, America,
is that an indifferent few
determine the fate of many,
abandoning our tomorrow
by amalgamating our wealth
while impoverishing our land,
eroding our security
as we face many foreign foes,
while we do not realize
our empire is crumbling. 

Extinction Path

We do not go
into the streets
the way we used to,
fearing the virus
evolving faster
than our mindsets
dealing with it.
The plague on our land
dividing us,
as everything else
divides us,
revealing our failures,
as many prefer
a million deaths
to compromise.


It’s not a rumor.
It’s true.
The infidel Americans
are finally departing,
by the holy warriors
as we defeated 
the infidel Russians.
Despite their tanks, drones,
the vaunted technology
that can never conquer
men of faith.
Now that we have our country
we will use it as our base
to bring Sharia
to the entire world.
God is great.

Failing Wings

I am old and tired.
Soon I won’t be able to fly,
then I’ll die.
There used to be many Grackles
soaring and displaying
in fields and towns
before humans drove us away
from feeding grounds.
So we went to the shore
where for a while
we entertained humans
walking fast on our long legs,
flashing our lustrous tails.
But there are fierce competitors,
gulls, pigeons, crows
who drive us away.
No one notices as we disappear
and it’s as if we never were,
for no one ever sees
a dead Grackle.

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