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Watching Steps

by Gary Beck

Genetic Benefit

People walk the streets
going about their business
completely unaware
that disaster can strike
at almost any moment
injuring or ending lives.
Yet the hardy human race
is characterized
by the will to survive
regardless of suffering,
the best quality
of a contentious species.


The more I look at people
in my divided land,
the unhappier they seem:
faces mostly fixed in frowns,
lips pressed tight together,
portraits of disappointment
at unfulfilled desires,
bitter failure at shattered hopes,
the last vestiges of expectation
methodically eradicated.

Ah, Technology

Survival-challenged minds
blindly walk city streets
completely absorbed
in hand-held devices,
texting obliviously
to possible hazards,
obstacles in the path,
bumping into passersby,
totally unaware
of the dangers they face
by not paying attention
to where they’re walking.

Evil Deeds

A blinding fog of ignorance
surpassed only by endless greed
continues to pollute the land,
a few manipulating many
to desire and acquire more,
never allowing satiation,
continuously offering
the newest, best technology,
an insidious diversion,
while those who never get enough,
thwarted by insufficient means,
festering with frustration,
victimize the innocent
when they can’t get the latest phone.

Historical Farewells

Sometimes it’s difficult
to understand how everyone felt
when a civilization collapsed.
It took Rome hundreds of years
for its great expansion to crumble.
The British empire dissolved
from the burden of two World Wars.
The brief American Empire
barely lasted fifty years.
Then imperial overreach,
diminutive leaders
combined to eliminate
the illusion of power
consigning its people
to poverty.

Copyright © 2020 by Gary Beck

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