Child Soldiers Demobilized

featured in the poetry forum November 16, 2010  :: 0 comments

Hundreds of child soldiers
in eastern Congo’s war
recently returned home,
often to the village
where they killed and pillaged.
Some were forced to leave
by threats of vengeance.
Others were ostracized
by their own families.
Some who were welcomed home
beat their heads against the wall
until they were tranquilized.
Others remained mute for days,
eyes darting back and forth
like frightened animals.
These children were kidnapped,
used by the rebels
as fighters, laborers
often as sex slaves,
manipulated victims,
now only fit for war,
or mental institutions.

Abandoned

featured in the poetry forum July 3, 2010  :: 0 comments

Abandoned in the desert
I dream rescues,
while smiting the sand
strips the shimmering flesh
from my rejected bones.
Where is the guide?
Wagon master of the soul’s journey
fording rivers,
repelling ambushes,
then leaving me behind,
a companion to the voyage
who turned the wheel
harder than anyone,
but questioned the road.

This Good Life

featured in the poetry forum June 14, 2009  :: 0 comments

What is the hunger of water-falls
for little men in tiny boats,
flirting with alluring whirlpools,
who lie on crowded Sunday beaches
dreaming of vacations in the winter,
burdened by cameras that seek
Palm Beach condos,
Fort Lauderdale motels,
Miami hotels.
The tourists sleep late, swim,
drive on across an aging land,
veined with highways of destruction,
submerged with cities of corrosion,
skeletoned by crumbling towns and farms,
and always arteries of roads, roads, roads,
coursing its people like blood
through a diseased body,
until one day
the price of oil
ends our way.

 

Days_of_Destruction_G_Beck
“This Good Life” is from Gary Beck’s new poetry book “Days of Destruction.”
To order a copy of Gary’s book please click here.

Ordinary People

September 7, 2008  :: 0 comments

People in the South Bronx
are like people in the North Bronx,
or any other place.
If you look behind skin deep,
you’ll find preconceptions
that have judged, condemned, sentenced
the undefended to exile
in the slums of fate.

Cold War Truce

September 7, 2008  :: 0 comments

I swam in a tiny swimming hole
in a chilly Vermont stream
and after the first goose-bump tremors
never felt so fine
and couldn’t recollect
in recent crises
when I had no imminent thoughts
in a body of water
of Polaris surfacing.

Montpelier, Vermont

September 7, 2008  :: 0 comments

Pollution is forbidden in the Winooski River,
but no one seems to remember that men
have driven on uncongested moon highways.
Not many folks seem myths of New England.
Prognathic jaws, rickets, beri-beri, scurvy,
Sunday blue law VD, much sinus trouble
and watery eyes from the gold dome capital,
dazzling with Doric exterior.
Haven’t seen Corinthian interior; won’t.
Not much more than Main Street,
but most of America
is not much more than Main Street.

Tread Lightly

September 6, 2008  :: 0 comments

Intangible wilderness
that sometimes possesses us
in the myth of civilization,
is all that holds
this raptured city from destruction.
Do the poets who sing of the city
know anything of the city?
When we are the only core
that keeps reality together,
for surely if our reasoning selves
suddenly were to doubt
that our subway days
and rummage-sale nights
were all the glory
we ever would obtain,
in that faithless moment,
nature, in her new sneakers,
would place her arch-supported,
space-age ventilated soles,
on 8 million delusions
and pffffft….

Detached

September 5, 2008  :: 0 comments

Among our fevered expectations
there is no time for interruption,
when the meetings of strangers
breaks forth into praises.
City, your men who tread grit-streets
are fugitives from combustible places,
trapped in summer climes, with unthawed faces
that no longer seek the dawn’s arising,
who dwell in awkward hesitations,
by the measures of distance
from sheltered places
abandoned in the wasted siege
that shore no longer seen.

Emergency

September 4, 2008  :: 0 comments

The buildings rise in angry bruises,
beaten by night’s thin skin.
The city’s desperate cry for help
is throttled by TV antennas.
The air dribbles old men stuff
that stains and smears our visions.
The siren of forgiveness sounds
the last attention to tomorrow.

Casualty

September 3, 2008  :: 0 comments

This evening she will come,
the dark-haired girl I adore.
She promised.
I sit a Baron of power
dreaming her perfect,
but the drabness of my office day
smashes my vision
and leaves me at my desk,
a victim of my pencils.