Poems by Gary Beck

Pic by Thirdman



Urban Sight

The creaky, old homeless woman,
ravaged by unmet demands
pulls her cart of broken dreams
as she trudges unkind streets
that do not welcome outcasts,
concrete without compassion
for relics of once normal lives.



I carry the delivery bag
and no one looks at me.
They ignore the delivery boy
and I can’t tell them
I’m a man, not a boy.
I hate my boss
who talks down to me,
because I’m an immigrant.
I hate the people who tip me
as much as those who don’t.
They are all the same,
despising me.
I try not to think of the old days
when I walked with Shining Path,
carried an AK-47…
No one laughed at me then.
Now I am a delivery boy
and must eat my pride.


Non-Emergency Visit

The wait at the doctor’s office
gets longer and longer.
Aching, frightened patients sit,
some stand it is so crowded.
The clerks sit at their desks
hiding behind computers,
begrudgingly acknowledge a patient,
begrudge any information,
begrudge common courtesy,
let along compassion
for ailing visitors.


A Dimming Light

I walk the crumbling streets
of a city in turmoil,
citizens rioting,
services disrupted,
violent clashes
between hostile groups
leave dead and wounded,
then the shock to the senses,
it’s not a third world country
but the good old U.S.A.,
quick to proclaim democracy,
slow to live up to it.


About the Author

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 also been a tennis pro, a ditch digger and a salvage diver. 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 and his published books include 34 poetry collections, 14 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 5 books of plays. Gary lives in New York City.