Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Certain Scoundrel


At the cocktail party

in celebration of

our thirtieth anniversary,

amid friends and relatives;

someone asks my wife,

who has never been

an overtly romantic sentimentalist,

what the secret

is to our longevity.


She holds her

pregnant pause

a little longer than necessary,

looks at me and says,

“Better the devil you know

than the devil you don’t know.”

And with that

gives me a wink

and a kiss on the cheek.

Acquired Tastes


To know the bouquet of wine,

You must first

Let it breathe

And then allow it

To escape the glass

With its unique perfume.


To know the flavor

Of wine

There must be a first

Time taste.


Then with that experience

Behind you,

The complexities

Of each varietal

Can be stored

In the memory.


And so it is

With you.

Gathering Essentials


Wednesday is errand day.

I find my keys in the rose petal bowl,

my wallets is in the carved wooden tray


my blue hat on the door hook.


I cannot find my phone.

I search, curse and research.

Finally I find it,


in the powder room.

(Who charges a phone

in the powder room?)

There are two text messages

I sent myself with reminders to buy

strawberries and Dawn dish soap.

I would have forgotten them.


As I am backing the car

out of the garage,

I suddenly turn off the car

and hurry back into the house.


I’ve forgotten

your heart

and I never go anywhere

without it.

R. Gerry Fabian


Saturday, August 21, 2021



Children of despair

populate my land

increasing in numbers annually,

a criminal dividend

wasting youth, resources, the future

as an indifferent system

that does not care

who survives, flourishes,

those who could help

completely preoccupied

with profit and loss,

continuation of the disadvantaged

of no concern.

Gary Beck



Urban Woe

A great city

is known for many things,

some in the tourist guides,

restaurant guides,

entertainment guides,

and the middle class

still lives well,

those who have not been attrited

by loss of jobs,

other income shattering occurrences.

While the working class

and the poverty class

slowly submerge

into struggles for survival.

The homeless sit on many corners

cardboard signs proclaiming need,

mostly ignored,

too many demands

in a time of decline,

while most of the people

dwell in comfort,

immune to deprivation.

Gary Beck

Cold Front

Winter winds blow harshly

as people trudge unkind streets

heads lowered, backs bent,

walking an exertion

especially for the elderly,

aged bodies stiffening in the cold,

urgently intent

on reaching somewhere warm.

Gary Beck


End of Term

A President dies.

Some mourn genuinely.

Some pay lip service.

Most go about their business

as if nothing happened

that affected them.

Too many of us don’t realize

that although he is a figurehead

created by special interests,

some are more effective than others

in serving the nation.

Gary Beck



A warm day in December

startles the city dwellers

out of winter wear

for brief enjoyment

of the daily routine

without heavy clothing.

 Gary Beck 

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Entire days go by
where I don’t think about you.
I wonder if you feel it                       
when you’re not on my mind?
Does your brain itch?
Is there a chill on your skin?
I feel tantalizing relief
that, fingers crossed,
it will lead into
a second day
without your haunting memories
besieging my countenance,
and if I could stretch it
into a week,
well, put candles on the cake
and let’s celebrate.
Thinking of you
seems to be a chore
I can never scratch off
my to-do list.
Maybe next year
when I get a new calendar
I won’t have to
pen your name in anymore
or at least limit it to
a few sticky notes
on particular days
without you on my mind,
and I hope
you feel that.
Days in the Past
My restive mind
fights with the
soft music
for control of
my emotions.
The low synthesizer
soothes my veins
enough for me
to lay my head down,
but once on a mountain of pillows
trenchant thoughts
spike the calm
like bullets from a sniper rifle,
pinpoint accuracy
I never see coming.
A restorative voice sings
like a lullaby
so I can close my eyes,
trying to dream
of lazy days on the river
and her tan skin
under the sun.
I can always feel
the darkness lurking though,
a blind-alley trap
to keep me insomnolent.
A piano starts from the stereo,
keys pressed with a light touch
and a heartbeat bass
behind them,
and finally
I drift away,
the current taking me back
to the days I need.
Now I Know
And now I know
where the river flows,
down stream
around the bodies
at the edge,
the ones who
took a chance,
got too close,
play the songs
in their honor,
write the stories
to enshrine them,
but don’t blame the river
for defending itself.
Roam the land
of white plant sticks,
deep in the ground,
roots soaked in disillusionment,
leaves stunted as buds
trying to bloom and failing.
Fields everywhere,
sowed, watered, fed,
watched over
by the universal eye,
languishing in the sun,
rotting under the mud of the past.
We drive the roads and paths
searching for growth,
hoping for an omen
but would accept
a sheepish look
as a beginning.
Roaming, looking, searching,
time narrows,
the universal eye blinks,
pledges from the stalks
crumble to dust.
Sex Guitar
In song, Muddy Waters
once wished to be
a catfish
to have beautiful women
chasing him
through the sea.
When his records spin
I can hear
the desire in his voice
and the sex
in his guitar.
Out there in the ocean
among the pop stars
and punks,
the rock ‘n rollers,
country boys and
dance hall disco queens,
the girls

swim after the bluesman.

Christopher Hivner


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