Thursday, August 27, 2015


Interchangeable
Well dressed tourists
clog desirable streets
digitally clicking
hi-tech cameras
at sights of interest.
Except for minor differences
it’s hard to differentiate
between bearers of the Euro
and those using the dollar.

Gary Beck

Going Once…
Auction houses thrive
on collective greed
as the seasonal sale
of Impressionist paintings
attracts the wealthy,
American, European, Asian,
squandering their riches
on recognized art,
a secure commodity
for avid investors,
to the approving applause
of titillated spectators
endorsing extravagance
in the showrooms of acquisition.

Gary Beck
Ode to the Forgotten
As your value sinks to obscurity
to the wealthy, the powerful,
who no longer recognize
the necessary labor
to keep food growing,
to maintain the roads
so food can travel
and feed the hungry,
who tend the water system
so the pipes don’t go dry
and thirst can be slaked.

And if the toilers are neglected
while the rich carouse on mega-yachts,
and are not nourished
they fall into despair,
no longer preserve the skills
that bind the nation together,
and the contract between those who have
and those who aspire, lapses,
and the workers are despised
instead of recognized
for meritorious service
that allows all to function,
rich and poor alike,
interdependent,
as long as there is hope
for another tomorrow.

And if the low envy the privileged
this is the pattern of history,
yet toilers should not be scorned
by economic betters
merely because they have less.
As the needs of the people are neglected
then their efforts will diminish,
skills will dwindle, repairs will suffer
in the loss of ability
to fix something,
talents will not be nurtured,
so quality will decline.



If the rich do not awaken
to their dependence
on the populace at large,
collapse is inevitable
and there will be no refuge
for rich and poor alike.

The wealthy my last a little longer,
but if they have children,
heirs to prosperity
who they wish to flourish,
they must change the fortunes
of a faltering people,
allow wealth to trickle down
to nourish continuity,
support parental dreams
for cherished offspring
fearful of the future,
who do not think
they will prosper.

So awaken oligarchs,
the safest refuge
in a dangerous future
is in your own land,
no security offshore,
and sustain those
who sustain you,
before it is too late.
Gary Beck


Imminent Despair
A man sits by the window
of his decaying house
watching the children
at play on the street
unaware of anything
but the game of tag,
as urgent feet
escape capture.
They do not know
the troubles of the land,
the loss of jobs, homes,
the end of hope for many.

A man sits by the window
of his decaying house
about to be foreclosed
by a religious bank
devoted to profit,
indifferent to the woes of the people
as long as it makes money,
so the wealthy can flourish
as the social network crumbles
under the burden of demand
from legions of the needy,
deprived of resources
to endure deprivation.

A man sits by the window
of his decaying house
watching the children play
completely unaware
he has no voice
in a nation is divided
between haves and have-nots.

Gary Beck

Transportation
Flying has become
almost normal
for many,
but not as stress free
as train or bus.
The biggest tensions,
lateness, noise, overcrowding,
are not as stressful
as the occasional shock
when the Captain’s voice
says: ‘fasten seat belts’.
For a nervous moment
there is atavistic fear
that we will fall out of the sky,
quickly forgotten
when turbulence subsides.
We resume listening to our IPODs,
watching the in-flight movie,
eating the courtesy pretzels,
brief alarm forgotten, suppressed
apprehension replaced
by expectation of arrival.

Gary Beck