Thursday, November 27, 2014

Gary Beck- Three Poems

When I was young
I asked myself
how the Founding Fathers
conceived the ideas
that created a nation
based on democracy.
Of course I knew even then
that all men weren't equal
and government of, by, for,
was only for some of us.
Yet now that I am old
I still ask myself
how those rebels
managed to produce
such noble documents,
and frequently wonder
why our recent leaders
are completely incapable
of exalted heights.
I try to be charitable
and remind myself
that film, tv, Youtube,
dilute the quality of expression
by constant bombardment
of visual information
reducing originality,
but am forced to conclude
we now breed lesser men.

Art Clips
Og painted bison on cave walls.
The Pre-Renaissancers depicted saints.
Van Eyck composed exquisite details.
De La Croix presented the heroic.
Then the Impressionists came along,
soft and shimmering,
made it difficult at first
for common folk to grasp,
but they finally caught up
just in time for Kandinsky
to divorce realism.
From that time on
critics intervened
between artist and viewer,
glibly explaining
what we're looking at.

The sun rises later,
sets earlier,
the days grow cooler.
I take in the patio furniture,
put up the storm windows,
restock the pantry
with cocoa and oatmeal,
get out the down quilt,
put away the t-shirts,
unpack the sweaters,
make sure there's enough firewood,
saddle soap leather boots,
grease the sled runners,
final check that all's ready
for the season of winter,
then sit back in comfy chair,
plug the IPad in the charger,
pick up weighty volume one
of the Decline and Fall
of the Roman Empire,
settle in, content
to await the coming of spring.
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 7 published chapbooks and 2 others 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 (Winter Goose Publishing). Perceptions and Displays will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press) Acts of Defiance (Artema Press). His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). 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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