Author: Gary Beck



Gary Beck/Transitions


Do As I Say

Primitive man

didn't understand

the nature of the universe

and developed superstitions

when answers were needed

to make sense of life.

When tribes gave way

to church and state

the new leaders

promptly took charge

of ignorant fears

and substituted faith

in the current rulers

for simple explanations,

leaving us to digest

designated confusion.


Age Old Story

Politics goes on,

business as usual

for those of us

who can participate,

while the disadvantaged,

those who watched bank bailouts

while their homes were foreclosed,

just like the oppressed

in any other age

mostly suffering in silence,

while the wealthy revel.


Cold Notice

A chill wind

pokes at people,

rudely reminding us

with shivering bodies

to put on sweaters.


Rest Stop

The days are still warm.

We still go outdoors

lightly clad,

but migrating birds

heading south

pause in the city

for nourishment,

then fly off,

another sign

we do not notice,

summer is over.


The Age of Glibness

We don't know

who invented civilization,

abandoning nature,

but it was a dramatic change

from a simple life,

hunting, gathering

that made things better for some,

worse for others.

We don't know who invented religion,

but it was a drastic change

from invoking nature

that confused some,

changed things for others.

The growing scope

of human endeavors

fostered bigger cities,

bloodier wars,

clever intellectuals

telling us everything,

sincere philosophers

explaining everything,

serious economists

calculating everything,

slick politicians

corrupting everything,

dedicated scientists

inventing everything.

But no one asks

were we better off

twelve thousand years ago

before the rise of cities

complicated existance.


An unpublished collection: 'Do As I Say, 'Age Old Story', 'Cold Notice', 'Rest Stop', 'The Age of Glibness'. 'Transitions' looks at the rapid and gradual changes taking place in our society.