Poems from Unveilings | Gary Beck

Rank Corruption

I learned at an early age
not everything was as it seemed.
Our leaders praised democracy,
professed to serve the people,
but were hired by capitalists
to benefit the wealthy.
We always had poverty,
crime, violence, disorder,
only slightly better
than other countries.
These conditions continue
year after year without change.
Why is there no improvement?
Why does each generation
include the disadvantaged
whose children are denied
equal opportunity?
In a dumbing down country
all children should be valued
for potential contributions
to an endangered future.

Michael, Boston Subway Station
©2018 Matt Collamer via Unsplash

Frightened Faces

I go to the hospital.
They take my temperature
before letting me in.
I fill out forms,
although I already did it 

The worker disinfecting chairs
in the tense waiting room
does not distance.
Everyone looks tired, stressed,
yet they are pleasant, polite
to the apprehensive patients.

I wait a long time,
but don’t think they’re playing golf.
They take vitals, draw blood,
I wait again.

The doctor appears,
moving slowly,
does everything carefully,
studies my chart,
kindles a smile.
“You don’t have Covid 19.”

I heave a sigh of relief,
thank him, leave,
try to forget scared patients
waiting to learn their fate.


Like other important events
we are already forgetting
invasion of the Capital
that wasn’t quite as dramatic
as the storming of the Bastille.
But what if the invaders
captured and executed
senators, representatives.

Of course some Americans
think it would be small loss,
other ambitious members
replacing them overnight
and not making a difference,
as long as the ship of state,
as leaky as it may be,
continues to sail on.

Unlike the memorable
July 14th holiday
that reminds the French people
of Liberté...
that only materialized
for the few, as in our land,
where there won’t be fond remembrance
of the assault on democracy.

These poems are from Unveilings (manuscript)
©2023 Gary Beck
All rights reserved

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 35 poetry collections, 14 novels, 3 short story collections, 1 collection of essays and 7 books of plays. Gary lives in New York City.



Be inspired… Be creative… Be peace… Be

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