Thursday, July 2, 2020

Arms once raised in ‘Heil’,
now carry coffee cups
in a time of consumption
before resumption
of Information Age war
when tanks are a memory.

Now swift airstrikes
initiate missile attacks,
conserve the lives
of democratic troops
reluctant to be squandered
without meaningful purpose,
yet loyally obeying
incomprehensible orders
to fight limited battles
with confusing enemies
in Iraq, Afghanistan.

While the fading hegamon
still bestrides much of the globe,
the only sovereign power
willing to confront extremism,
as long as it doesn’t offend
the peace loving people of Islam
who never seem to deplore
the brutal violence carried out
in the name of the prophet.

The decadent West,
whose wanton females
shamelessly bare their flesh
to the eyes of men,
tempting them to sin,
are the true enemy.


to reject calls to Jihad
are righteously ignored.
How else can evildoers
be redeemed for wrongful ways,
if they don’t accept the true faith,
the only road to salvation?

Someone coined the phrase,
‘Win the hearts and minds of the people’,
a strategic fantasy of our leaders,
who never understood
the will of the enemy
is stronger than theirs,
who know without doubt
that sooner or later
we will abandon our allies,
leave our trucks behind,
withdraw our troops,
proclaiming victory.

This pronouncement
meant to disguise defeat
by a primitive foe
that had no jet fighters,
hi-tech missiles,
just an unconquerable will
that refused to crumble,
despite devastating assaults,
emerging victorious
over the oppressors.

While another great enterprise
by the bastion of democracy
failed ignominiously,
every setback a further erosion
of the spirit of America,
besieged on all sides
by friends and foes alike.

Gary Beck

Holiday IV
We celebrate the Fourth of July.
The French celebrate Bastille Day.
I forget what the Russians celebrate.
Potemkin Day? Karl Marx Day? May Day?
But does anyone remember
why we celebrate these holidays?
We all seem far removed
from revolutionary change
and except for the usual 1%,
we all want more material comforts
and most of us are unwilling
to cut off the heads
of the aristos,
substituting fireworks,
patriotic music,
for the Guillotine.

Deceptive Words

The President addressed the nation,
explained why once again
we’re going to war in a foreign land
that does not threaten us,
but is inexorably linked
to the war against terror.

I wonder if he understands
in a declining nation,
once the policeman of the world,
limited resources
are insufficient
to stem the barbarian hordes
clamoring for the blood
of civilized Westerners.

So our leader spoke loudly,
despite carrying a shrinking stick,
paid for with the taxes of the people
who continue to get poorer,
while the wealthy profit
from ongoing wars.

And leader after leader
gave us war after war
consuming our youth,
devouring our treasure,
while a resentful world
measured our decline,
waiting for the tide of history
to dwindle us to impotence,
so aggressive nations
can conquer other lands
we no longer protect

We squandered our resources
in consuming interventions
that left us destitute,
barely able to resist
envious competitors.

The tragic fall
of a great empire
was caused by overreach,
led by the greedy few
reaping obese profits
at the expense of the people,
who foolishly believed arrogant leaders.

Gary Beck

Park Entertainment
A Broadway show
comes to Bryant Park,
a musical, of course,
safer then serious drama,
or controversial comedy.
The actors sing, dance,
highly skilled,
but their voices lack
warmth, emotion,
the vital qualities
that make music move us.
Yet this is a free show
and I can’t help wondering
why people pay
$125, or more, a seat
for impersonal entertainment.

Gary Beck

National News
The media tell us
the economy is improving
and the well-to-do,
the comfortable
believe them.
Yet the poor
struggling to survive,
the middle-class
of diminishing income,
no longer accept
reassuring pronouncements
that things are improving.

Gary Beck

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...