By Gary Beck

Hidden Treasure

We move through city streets
intent on arrival
at destinations,
immune to the beauty
around us;
elegant willow,
sweet Finch song,
the fall of light
on an old building,
the paths of pleasure
that reduce the angst
of the city dweller,
focus narrowing
on the need to endure.

Desolate Highway

When I was young
my inquisitive mind,
unexposed to wisdom,
or intelligent guidance,
demanded answers
to fanciful questions
of why we’re here,
where we’re going,
how should we live,
what comes next.

Religion and philosophy
offered explanations
that never coincided
with the harsh life around me.

I finally decided
that the glib instructions,
elaborate descriptions,
were made by men of leisure
far removed from mean streets
in places of safety,
who smugly told others
to believe what they’re taught
and ignore through faith
the many contradictions
of their composed reality.

Lacking security,
I chose my own direction,
often lost, blind, stumbling
in a wilderness of cities,
reinventing the wheel.

Since no one taught me the wheel
it took many years
of trial and error,
an endless succession
of painful mistakes,
to finally realize
all that mattered
was to try harder
at daily tasks
and be a better person.

Love’s Gift

Lips that have tasted
sweet fruit
of another’s lips
bind together
in indolent passion,
joining each other
for the simmering flame
igniting continuation,
a benevolent condition.

Bursts of Fire

Violent madness
crosses the land
erupting suddenly
into injuries  and deaths,
completely unexpected
by unaware citizens
at work, school, play,
abruptly interrupted
by automatic gunfire
mowing down the innocent.

Learning Curve

We went astray
in a land filled with promise
that raised hope in the downtrodden
for equal opportunity,
a chance to improve their lives,
as well as their children’s.
Foreigners think us naïve
for believing we’re as good
as everyone else,
never understanding
our innocence derives
from freely electing leaders.
The old world won’t accept
that we take for granted
a democratic process
benefiting the oligarchs
who begrudge sharing.

gary beck

About the Author:

Gary Beck spent most of his life as a theater director. He has 12 published chapbooks and 3 accepted, 11 published poetry collections, 5 accepted for publication. He has 3 novels and 2 accepted for publication. 1 short story collection and 1 accepted for publication. He lives in NYC.