Suffering of the People By Gary Beck

Suffering of the People

I often ask myself
where do we go from here,
the nation conflicted
at home and abroad.

Once desperate for Mid-East oil
foreign policy twisted and turned
invading some countries,
trying to convince our people
we were building democracy
in lands wanting theocracy.

Our leaders spent soldiers, treasure,
so the oligarchs profited
as gasoline profits went up,
leaving us just enough money
to purchase assault rifles
to use on our neighbors,
and by some strange coincidence
the rich are never victims
in senseless rampages.

Consolidation of power
was accomplished long ago
by those deciding our destiny,
drafting or recruiting our youngsters
to obey and carry out orders
to protect national interests
that don’t benefit the nation,
only the lords of profit
and their obedient servants.

I often ask myself
why no one seems to notice
that the lunatic killing sprees
occur in schools, the workplace,
all kinds of public spaces,
never mansions of privilege.

As long as the rich are shielded
from the threats of day to day life
they will retain complete control
over our daily existence,
determining what groups prosper,
who remains trapped in poverty,
who lose homes, jobs, security.

Yet we still believe in the system
that no longer guarantees
life, liberty, the pursuit of….,
equal opportunity,
deluded into accepting
the illusion of democracy,
instead of the covenant
promised by the Constitution.

I often ask myself
how to change an unfair system
tilted against ordinary folk
who just want a decent life
and are willing to work hard
for the future of their children,
but are callously abandoned,
betrayed by our greedy masters.

By Gary Beck


Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks and 3 more accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions (Winter Goose Publishing). Fault Lines, Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) and Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing). Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions). Acts of Defiance will be published by Dreaming Big Publications. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. 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. He currently lives in New York City.

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