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by Gary Beck






I sit in comfort

in the luxurious house

of a former member

of the Afghan government

finally defeated

by the holy warriors

of the true faith.

I watch the CNN news

as the Americans

carry out the coffins

of the Marines who died

in the suicide bombing

near the Kabul airport.

The President Biden

and other officials

military and civilian

watch respectfully

as the solemn Marines

carry the coffins

of their comrades

to the waiting trucks

that will take them

to a place of honored rest,

not like my brothers

who died in battle

and did not need

earthly recognition

for their sacrifice

against infidel invaders,

since they are at peace

in the bosom of Allah.




a line, (a short blue one)



Down in the Mines


Coal miners lead dangerous lives

going down in the deep hole

where Mother Earth waits

to swallow intruders.

Conditions have slightly improved

from oppressed times

when armed guards kept miners in line,

who were paid in company scrip,

with pay docked for costs of housing,

medical care, tools used in the mines,

while union organizers

were beaten, jailed, assassinated

and families were indebted

to the company store.


When miners resisted

almost indentured servitude

they were fired, blacklisted,

so they couldn’t find work

in other mines.

Abuses were intolerable

and the miner’s protests

were violently put down

by hirelings of the bosses,

whose only concern was profits,

no matter how difficult the lives

of miners and their families,

until tired of endless suffering

the miners fought back.


Mine owners were never fair

and would never share

money earned by laborers

who lived in virtual squalor,

while the bosses lived in mansions

and would never tolerate

defiance to their rules.


But the miners were proud men,

not clerks who would melt away

before armed thugs of the bosses

and fought for their rights

in the era of mine wars,

including a great battle

when thousands of united miners

fought the sheriff’s men

in the pay of the bosses,

until the U.S. Army intervened

and stopped the fighting,

with no improvements for the miners,

victims of ruthless capitalists.




a line, (a short blue one)



Tidal Flow


When I walk on the beach

I see the loneliness

of the Florida surfer,

who waits and waits

for the big wave

that never comes.



a line, (a short blue one)



Call to Duty


The waiting room is empty.

The doctors and nurses

have departed.

Too tired to party

after treating the ill

for what seemed like

endless hours.

Tears, sweat, vomit, blood

flowed almost endlessly.


And the medical staff

stemmed the flow,

made repairs

as best they could,

got grateful thanks

from the healed,

hopefully went home

satisfied they served

the needs of the people.



a line, (a short blue one)



Fraying Reason


The line for Covid-19 shots

grows longer and longer.


Teachers rush for vaccinations

to comply with the job mandate.


A small group of loud protestors

try to persuade those waiting

that it’s a violation

of their constitutional rights

to be compelled to get the shots.


A man tries to convince them

it’s a health issue, not rights,

but they refuse to listen,

get angry, insult him, threaten,

then attack him violently,

until others intervene

and the protestors run away,

a typical example

of the American way

of problem solving.



a line, (a blue one)


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