Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gary Beck - Two Poems

In My Lifetime III

I have seen America change
from an industrial power
to a military power
that occupied much of the globe,
inflicting on the weaker world
culture, values, ideas,
transported by democracy.
Somehow our rulers neglected
the foundations of our nation
and all our creating, building,
the production of a people
was allowed to rust away,
while the world progressed
leaving us far behind,
declining in engineering,
diminishing in invention,
our bright hope for the future
fading, leaving us bitter,
our only consolation
dominance in the arts.

Condition Normal

When I was young
my country won a great war,
then brought our troops home
in millions, leaving thousands
occupying conquered lands.
Soon frictional rivals
threatened another great war.

As I grow old
I measure out my life
in different wars,
each more erosive
of the human spirit
in never ending conflicts,
filling me with dread
that I will meet my end
with the sound of the guns.

Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director and worked as an art dealer when he couldn't earn a living in the theater. He has several chapbooks including: 'Remembrance' (Origami Condom Press), 'The Conquest of Somalia'(Cervena Barva Press), 'The Dance of Hate' (Calliope Nerve Media), and 'Expectations' (Rogue Scholars Press). His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway and toured colleges and outdoor performance venues. His fiction and poetry has appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.

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