Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Celestial Reckonings
A primitive space vehicle
after many years
finally reached Pluto,
the planet, not-a-planet,
and discovered water,
at least ice formations
that could be water.
At the current rate
of space travel progress,
if we survive
nuclear, chemical,
biological war,
climate change,
other disasters,
we might reach Pluto
in two or three hundred years,
barring a scientific breakthrough
just in time to find out
the water is polluted.


Camera Serenade
The tourists come
to Bryant Park,
take photos of statues
of they know not who,
photos of the carousel,
photos of the chess players,
the jugglers, ping-pong,
yoga on the lawn,
photos, photos, photos,
digital substitutes
for personal involvement
in all the events
crammed into a tiny park.


Pity the Children
The changing nature
of a liberal society
committed to tolerance
of the unreasonable,
the unacceptable
by any moral standards
that allow horrific crimes
inflicted on children,
while apathetic citizens
never rise up in outrage
and demand harsh punishment
for violent abusers.


Clamor
Prolonged discussions
of political or social issues,
controversial events,
rarely lead to agreement,
most ending in argument,
irreconcilable dispute,
intentions invariably
on self-assertion,
inflicting opinions
on unappreciative listeners.


Trauma Time

Virtue is no longer a virtue
in a land of tolerant intolerance.
The spoiled offspring of privilege
stroll through city streets
creatures so absorbed in entitlement
they cannot conceive that disaster
will ever target them,
armored in middle class comforts,
oblivious to others
until the sudden shock
of abrupt interruption
halts their serene conversations,
compels them momentarily
to confront harsh reality.

Gary Beck