“Severance” – Poems by Gary Beck



Severance – a poetry collection that looks at how connections are cut for and against our will.

Who Rules…

The eternal struggle
between the common people
and their rulers
changed with the advent
of democracy.
Feelings of entitlement
sparked concepts of belonging
to the process of governance,
in which all had a stake.
Yet the wealthy do not believe
in equality.
and the lower classes
are of no concern
unless they benefit or disrupt
the people of privilege,
who reward or punish
according to circumstances.



Patients wait in the emergency room
some battered, some bleeding,
all frightened, in pain.
They do not mock or sneer
at doctors or nurses
looked to in desperation
to relieve suffering,
much more important
than dignity or prejudice.


Assault on the People

Many intelligent Americans
protest the ascension of Trump
and bitterly rail against him.
When he stoops to scorn them
they object ferociously
and do not seem to realize
that with a tame congress,
led by George Babbit and Peter Rabbit,
a divided Supreme Court,
there are few restrictions
on his initiatives,
encouraged by the billionaire boy’s club
and the General Officer’s Club,
so lies and deceptions
are the programs of the day,
while corruption in high office
blights the nature of democracy.


Destiny… Or?

King of Sparta,
had two daughters,
Clytemnestra and Helen,
who grew up privileged
with the best of the ancient world.
One married a king,
another a prince who became a king,
and they brought ruin
on both their houses.
As far as history
or mythology can tell
they were not born ill-fated,
yet the suffering they brought
to so many victims and vanquished
in a great war
the destruction of noble houses,
is part of the story of mankind
when certain individuals
bring death and disaster
to innocent and guilty alike.



The streets of tarnished cities
are dark with discarded refuse.
Even when intermittently cleaned
an indelible surface of grime
oozes its way into the minds and bodies
that traverse hazardous deposits
dangerous routes to destinations
that do not give sufficient decontamination
to ease the assault of toxic crime
blighting beleaguered extensions
without amelioration
of debilitating conditions.


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 23 poetry collections, 7 novels, 3 short story collections and 1 collection of essays. Gary lives in New York City.