Last Threads

featured in the poetry forum May 10, 2023  :: 0 comments

I lie in illness bed
and do not know
if I will live
to see the next dawn.

Too tired to think,
images past
creep through my head…

A waterfall
I stood under
with lively friends,
a bird concerto
the first night in the woods,
singing until the darkness faded.

So much beauty
I was fortunate to see
that I cannot regret
imminent departure.

editors note:

In the grand scheme of things, all departures are imminent. See it all before you go. – mh clay

Treasure Hunter

featured in the poetry forum July 31, 2022  :: 0 comments

I wake each morning
just after sunrise
sweeping my metal detector
back and forth,
hand shovel, swag net,
always ready
for the big find
that’s never there.
The punk kid
goes out on his surfboard
every morning and insults me:
“Hey Pop. Find any treasure?
Ha, ha.”
One day
I’ll find something great,
maybe a rolex watch
and show him.

editors note:

One waits to find treasure while the other waits to find a wave. Ha, ha! – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum March 24, 2021  :: 0 comments

I walk the streets of Dream City,
see the homeless on every corner,
cardboard signs proclaiming need,
yet few stop to give alms.
I listen to the people I pass
speaking foreign languages.
I carefully look around
and the city is familiar,
A shock. It’s not Calcutta!
It may not look it anymore
but I’m in America,
becoming a third-world country.
So many have fallen
so far, so fast,
I barely recognize my land.
The capitalists may as well give away
the Statue of Liberty,
the inspiring French gift,
not much different now
from the Eiffel Tower,
a tourist attraction.

editors note:

Here’s a POV to elicit yours; while you fumble for your fast-pass to move you to the front of the line. – mh clay

Non-Binding Treaty

featured in the poetry forum December 18, 2019  :: 0 comments

We were still colonies of Great Britain
and missed The Thirty Years War,
since G.B. had her own problems
and wasn’t meddling on the continent.
So we didn’t sign the Treaty of Westphalia,
the first treaty negotiated without the papacy,
that established sovereignty since the treaty declared:
‘One nation shouldn’t interfere
with the internal affairs of another nation’.
The signers didn’t respect it for very long
and by the time we became big enough
to interfere with the affairs of others
we weren’t obliged to respect their sovereignty,
since we never signed it in the first place.
As long as we had sufficient power
we never let ideas of sovereignty
hinder our aggressive expansion
as we interfered in the affairs of others.

editors note:

American ingenuity; ever looking through loopholes. – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum May 31, 2019  :: 0 comments

In the prevailing climate
of imminent destruction
of civilization,
it may no longer be
in our nature
to save ourselves
before it is too late.

editors note:

So close to the fire we gotta get. No spark will fall on us, we believe it. – mh clay

Seeing II

featured in the poetry forum October 21, 2018  :: 0 comments

One peculiar condition
I’ve found in this strange life
that when I think I’ve seen it all,
something new comes along
more horrible or beautiful
than I’ve seen before,
renewing my still eager expectation
for continuation.

editors note: Yes! Please, let’s continue. – mh clay

From the Terrace

featured in the poetry forum August 9, 2017  :: 0 comments

After thousands of years
of uncomfortable evolution
I sit on concrete balcony,
far removed from nomad hordes,
earlier agricultural enclaves,
medieval conjoinings,
warming myself
in the weak, spring sun,
not entirely different
than an elderly lizard
hulking on a heating rock
lethargically awaiting
the encroaching desert.

editors note:

Even in the wasteland, we can work on our tans. (This poem is part of Gary’s most recent collection, “Tremors.” You can get it on Amazon here.) – mh clay

Brief Dreams

featured in the poetry forum November 21, 2016  :: 0 comments

In the intermittent struggle
between capital and labor
that started in the caves,
or even earlier,
the wealthy usually triumphed,
or when briefly toppled,
wangled their way
by any means necessary,
until once again they directed
the destiny of mankind.

Jacquerie, rebellion,
revolution, all resulted in masters,
new or old,
well-disguised puppets,
as they made the people dance
to celebratory tunes
applauding riches.

editors note:

The toppers love it best when viewed from the bottom; the more viewers there, the better. (This is one of Gary’s latest, included with his new collection, Fault Lines. You can get copies of it here. Congrats, Gary Beck!) – mh clay

Same Old

featured in the poetry forum May 30, 2016  :: 0 comments

When election year arrives
presidential contenders
have already worked hard
telling us what we want to hear,
however unrealistic.
Once ensconced in office
promises are forgotten
while the burden of problems
generates excuses.

editors note:

Surprised? So much we promise ourselves is lost to our own excuses; why would we expect any difference from them? – mh clay

Dire Prediction

featured in the poetry forum July 24, 2015  :: 1 comment

Service men and women,
police officers,
other functionaries
vital to society
insufficiently appreciated
by bloated consumers
frequently sheltered
from traumas of life.
Now that we are removing
the capable blue-collar class,
outsourcing jobs abroad
complementing the flight of capital,
the growth of servitude jobs
does not inspire confidence
that we will retain
men and women
who will walk through fire, bullets, blood,
to protect us.

editors note:

Prediction or prophecy? – mh clay