By Gary Beck


For thousands of years
man’s biggest challenge
was a steady food supply,
energy exerted
to feed family.
Then profit reared its head
awakening the insecure
to paths of acquisition,
unsated hunger for more
controlling interaction,
erasing tribal ties
with mediums of exchange
at the expense of others.

Technical Progress

In low-tech times
the mentally ill
listened to messages
on transistor radios.
Hi-tech times
allow conversation
on the cellphone,
a subtle effort
to appear normal.

Bird Brains

Hungry urban birds
flock to feeders
placed to attract them,
but have trouble eating
when they can’t figure out
how the feeder works.


Summer brings the homeless
to city parks
seeking security,
the same need as others
for comfort from concrete,
unsightly, unmenacing,
unlike the mentally ill
raving, cursing, threatening,
blighting the oasis
for nervous neighbors.

Call to Arms

Soldiers do their duty
fight, bleed, die
for love of country,
rarely knowing why,
believing their leaders
won’t throw away their lives
for greed, power, stupidity.
They go to foreign lands,
kill who they’re told to kill
and many become unfit
for the rigors of combat
nurtured on tv couches,
computer game joysticks,
unprepared mentally
for fanatic opponents
born to hardship,
raised in third world poverty
to view life differently
than young Americans
nurtured on Facebook, Twitter,
the illusion of freedom,
their harshest upbringing easy
compared to their enemies
whose religious dogma
devalues the individual,
rewards in the afterlife,
as long as they never give up
until American leaders
recognize their failure,
bring our men and women home
to an unwelcoming land.

About the Author:

gary beck

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.