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Bewildering Stories

Gary Beck, Contusions



Author: Gary Beck
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Retailer: Amazon
Date: April 13, 2019
Length: 115 pages
ISBN: 9781941058886

Contusions is a heartfelt poetry collection that explores the aches and pains we suffer from the assault of life. Each piece explores some of our deepest daily challenges such as safety, violence, and today’s political climate.

Medical Profession

In the 17th century
barbers were doctors,
cut your hair,
treated your illness
mostly by bleeding
to remove noxious vapors
that cured or killed you.
And you paid bills promptly,
aware of the perils
of a close shave.
Like much of humanity,
you managed to survive
health practitioners
who never seemed concerned
with how little they knew.


A boy and girl
went on a date
seeking a quiet night
rather than raucous club,
blaring rock concert,
drug and booze party,
decided on a movie.
Ten minutes into the film
a lunatic opened fire
with automatic weapons,
killing and wounding many.
The boy and girl were unharmed,
departed traumatized
wondering sorrowfully
why there were no more
places of safety.

To the Lost Children

At night I hear the cries,
mostly ignored
by fellow citizens
of dwindling moral sway,
too preoccupied
with their fears
to stem the flow of tears
from tormented children,
screamed at, beaten by Mom,
tortured by the boyfriend,
murdered for gobbling candy,
for not using the toilet,
getting in someone's way,
easier to remove
then to comfort, educate,
give a chance
to become a person,
survive a daily diet
of indigestible abuse
shocking the brain cells
until they no longer learn,
shattering the heart
until it no longer feels,
locked away in prison shell
a simulacra of youth
amputated from humanity.

The shattered discards,
punished for being born,
the wrong place, wrong time,
to the wrong people
unfit to raise children
whatever the reason,
corroding the minds and souls,
destroying the bodies,
creating twisted creatures
who cannot adapt
to the challenge of life
and succumb to rot of the street
in indifferent cities,
arbitrarily denied
the right to join the system,
with hopes, dreams, aspirations,
consigned to urban trash piles
for a tarnished existence.

Yet they watch the same tv
as the rest of us
and cannot comprehend
why they are deprived,
with no structure
to provide guidance,
turn to crime, violence,
a desperate attempt
to get the goods they crave
dangled tantalizingly
out of honest reach.

But they never see beyond
the nearest store to rob,
the nearest victim to mug,
oblivious to the system
that manufactures monsters
from what should have been humans.

I do not sleep well at night
having seen the suffering
of so many children,
helpless to alter their fate,
knowing it is worse
in third world countries,
but the anguish never leaves me
that I cannot prevent
the horrors that go on
all over America.

Copyright © 2020 by Gary Beck

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