Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gary Beck. Three.


To Grandmother's House

A 13-year-old Somali girl
who lived in Kismayu
went to visit her grandmother
in the war-torn capitol,
but never arrived.

Three men pounced on her,
raped the helpless child,
threatened her with death
if she reported the crime.
When she managed to get home
her horrified family
sought protection
bt the authorities.

The Shabab militia
that controlled Kismayu
accused the girl of adultery
and sentenced  her to death
for violating Shariah,
the legal code of Islam,
based on the Koran.

The girl was taken
to a soccer stadium,
placed in a hole,
buried up to her neck,
and fifty men,
watched by thousands,
stoned the girl to death.

She was victimized twice;
first by the rapists
who were not arrested,
then by those responsible
for administering justice
who deprived her of life,
the final abuse
of an innocent child.

Submerging to Obscurity

Poets once inflamed the world
with the summons to action
and became celebrities.
Mass entertainment
turned attention elsewhere
and poets dwindled
in the public esteem.
They no longer incite
inflammatory passions,
too often content
with college comforts
to dare the changed world.
Seems in electronic postings,
they enhance nuance
shunning direct contact.
Internet users
often find
versifying stultifying.
Blunt language may reach
those now out of touch
and poetry might discover
the needs of a new lover.

Receding Presidents

In a confused land
of violent extremes,
an indifferent middle
and media deceptions,
we have become accustomed
to despising presidents
and no longer remember
the last one we admired.
Our children no longer wish
to grow up and become
our chief executive,
instead preferring
rap stars, movie stars,
even sports stars,
who don't qualify
after intelligent appraisal
of their redeeming value
to serve a needy country.

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 chapbook 'Remembrance' was published by Origami Condom Press, 'The Conquest of Somalia' was published by Cervena Barva Press, 'The Dance of Hate' was published by Calliope Nerve Media and 'Material Questions' was published by Silkworms Ink, 'Mutilated Girls' is being published by Bedouin Press and 'Dispossessed' is being published by Medulla Press. A collection of his poetry 'Days of Destruction' was published in by Skive Press. Another collection 'Expectations' was published by Rogue Scholars press. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway and toured colleges and outdoor performance venues. His poetry has appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.

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