the damage we suffer
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Poems from "Lacerations"
by Gary Beck



Doctor Visit


The ill line up and wait

hoping for treatment, cure.

Officious clerks ignore you

as you stand on frail legs,

unsure if you might fall

before you’re called.

You’re sent to a waiting room

and wait. And wait.

Then, name mispronounced

you’re taken to an examination room,

where you wait. And wait. And…

A nurse comes in,

takes vitals, says:

“The doctor will be right with you.” 

You wait. And wait. And…

It is almost an hour

after your appointment time.

The doctor comes in,

tells you to do things at home,

tells you to come back in three months

and quickly departs

without giving you a chance

to discuss your condition.

You go back to the desk,

wait with others

to make an appointment.




a line, (a short blue one)





When it’s not too  hot

and not too cold

urban residents

enjoy themselves more

than in extreme weather,

conditioned to indoors

spending most of their time

with climate controlled tv,

or the internet,

not as hardy

as their forebearers.





a line, (a short blue one)





Over the years

many have argued

whether or not

there is dignity in labor.

If one toils mightily

yet gets no fame,

fortune, other reward

except subsistence,

some believe

we are just slightly evolved

from the beasts.

If we are part

of the great mass

of undistinguished humanity

living obscurely

by the sweat of effort,

many more fed

it is insufficient

to justify the purpose

of our species’ existence.




a line, (a short blue one)



Growth Spurt


In 1814

we weren’t more advanced

then in 1714.

But in 1914

we were industrialized

and made modern wars

with tanks, airplanes,

powerful  weapons

to kill each other.

By 2014

we progressed enough

to destroy the planet,

leading some to speculate

that by 2114

we could obliterate

the solar system.



a line, (a short blue one)



Faker Spouts


The President complains

about fake news

as if he invented the concept

used by so many before him

and frightened followers believe him,

as he leads them to confusion

hopefully not persuading them

to drink Kool-Aid.



a line, (a blue one)


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