Sunday, March 6, 2016



To the Lost Children
At night I hear the cries,
mostly ignored
by fellow citizens
of dwindling moral sway,
too preoccupied
with their fears
to stem the flow of tears
from tormented children,
screamed at, beaten by Mom,
tortured by the boyfriend,
murdered for gobbling candy,
for not using the toilet,
getting in someone's way,
easier to remove
then to comfort, educate,
give a chance
to become a person,
survive a daily diet
of indigestible abuse
shocking the brain cells
until they no longer learn,
shattering the heart
until it no longer feels,
locked away in prison shell
a simulacra of youth
amputated from humanity.

The shattered discards,
punished for being born,the wrong place, wrong time,
to the wrong people
unfit to raise children
whatever the reason,
corroding the minds and souls,
destroying the bodies,
creating twisted creatures
who cannot adapt
and succumb to rot of the street
in indifferent cities,
arbitrarily denied
the right to join the system,
with hopes, dreams, aspirations,
consigned to urban trash piles
for a tarnished existence.

Yet they watch the same tv
as the rest of us
and cannot comprehend
why they are deprived,
with no structure
to provide guidance
turn to crime, violence,
a desperate attempt
to get the goods they crave
dangled tantalizingly
out of honest reach.
But they never see beyond
the nearest store to rob,
the nearest victim to mug,
oblivious to the system
that manufactures monsters
from what should have been humans.

I do not sleep well at night
having seen the suffering
of so many children,
helpless to alter their fate,
knowing it is worse
in third world countries,
but the anguish never leaves me
that I cannot prevent
the horrors that go on
all over America.

Gary Beck

Entertainment Industry
In ancient Rome
the games entertained
rich and poor alike,
the only difference
the rich went home to comfort,
but both equally enjoyed
barbaric bloodshed.

Other empires before Rome
gave the people festivals,
the Olympiad in Greece
the most notable
non-religious event,
substituting games for war.

In modern times, radio
spoke directly to millions,
a rapid revolution
in mass communication
and the airways were innocent,
except for some of the news
bringing distant horrors
to avid listeners.

Once a picture was worth
a thousand words
and television briefly
confirmed the exchange rate,
when people tended
to believe what they saw.

Then new technology,
fueled by the computer
developed the power
to alter images,
so we can no longer trust
whatever they show us.

Twenty four hours a day
cable tv
provides diversion
for most appetites,
the spread of sex and violence
consistently guaranteeing
attentive audiences.


 Gary Beck