Redemption Value by Gary Beck

Dark Days

Another rampage
slaughtering children
in a horrific attack
blighting America
in what has become
a regular event,
the weekly detonation
of a disturbed man
inflicting his madness
on helpless victims,
for real or imagined
obsessive grievances,
always concluding
with homicide
then suicide.

Make Haste

The city bulges with people
rushing to work, sleep, play,
in an energetic jostle
that leads to destination,
concerts, shows, museums,
the endless entertainment
of a great metropolis
deluding the middle class
they can escape the limits
of class distinctions.


The voices of the righteous
are raised virtuously
in the halls of government
by our concerned leaders
who always look sincere
when they tell us they care.
These are the same folk
who bailed out the big banks,
the auto companies,
the insurance companies,
without doing anything,
while millions lost jobs, homes,
since they were too small to save.

Policy Failures

The ideals of the republic
handed down for generations
were prepared by men of wealth
who elected custodians
to preserve their privileges,
the exact same policy
since time immemorial
to separate the classes,
maintain the rights of the rich,
keep the people dependent,
superficial values shaped
by Hollywood, television,
so they never interfere
with the owners of power.
The hirelings who serve the system
levy taxes, exempt their masters,
enact laws that protect profits,
while parents lose jobs, homes,
children go hungry,
as the servants of privilege
squander our money
on unwinnable foreign wars.
Our military efforts
failed in Iraq,
failing in Afghanistan,
leaving death and destruction
when our troops depart,
nothing resolved as chaos reigns
on streets no longer patrolled
by American troops
shedding blood far from home,
where their homes are foreclosed
while they’re fighting far away
to build democracy
in a theocracy
that hates us passionately,
as does most of the world
oppressed by our capitalists,
secure in their possessions,
since most of us
do not understand
who owns America.


Burden of Democracy

Too many Americans
feel persecuted
by news reports
warning of dire consequences
if they go to Greece, Africa,
the Middle-East, ride the subway,
go to a movie,
visit a shopping mall
where lunatics are lurking
armed with automatic weapons,
eager to use assault rifles
on targets of opportunity,
deterrence only possible
by odd coincidence,
armed security personnel
prepared for intervention,
the only alternative
to stay at home.

© 2017 Gary Beck


Follow Gary

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays (Winter Goose Publishing). Fault Lines, Perceptions, Tremors and Perturbations will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Press). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) Acts of Defiance (Artema Press). Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing). Call to Valor will be published by Gnome on Pigs Productions. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.


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