Ghosts of the Past

Three poems
by Gary Beck
Blue Jays III
For a brief moment
I thought I saw a Jay
sitting on the trellis
where they perched for years,
before coming closer for food.
Then a moment later
he was gone.
An illusion?
A ghost?
Wishful thinking?
I do not know
where they have gone.
I think of the pleasure they gave us
and hope they’re still alive
and moved somewhere
to a nicer nest.
Homeless IV
I stand forlornly
at the entrance to the park
rattling my paper cup
in the hope that passersby
will help me out
with some spare change.
I don’t threaten anyone
and wait there patiently
expecting nothing,
most people in a hurry,
looking through me,
making me wonder
if I still exist.
The Lessons of Empire
The Roman Senate
didn’t have qualms
sending the legions
to conquer new lands,
crush rebellions
against their authority,
the only concern
domestic security.
The British empire
cruised the world
subduing unruly nations,
but cautious about
European competition,
yet never hesitated
to send the troops
to acquire new territory,
always with a moral pretext.
The American empire
started a little too late
to grab much more
then in its expanding neighborhood,
killing or robbing Indians,
Mexicans, French, Russians, Spanish,
and brought forth a great nation.
By the time we got to Europe
in World War I
the older dogs
had staked their claims
to Africa and Asia.
So after sour grapes
we chose self-righteousness
and became big brothers
to our underprivileged little brothers,
rather then land grabbers
and just ruled them
Gary Beck has spent most of his adult life as a theater director, and as an art dealer when he couldn’t make a living in theater. He has 11 published chapbooks and 3 more accepted for publication. His poetry collections include: Days of Destruction (Skive Press), Expectations (Rogue Scholars Press). Dawn in Cities, Assault on Nature, Songs of a Clerk, Civilized Ways, Displays, Perceptions & Fault Lines (Winter Goose Publishing). Tremors, Perturbations, Rude Awakenings and The Remission of Order will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. Conditioned Response (Nazar Look). Resonance (Dreaming Big Publications). Virtual Living will be published by Thurston Howl Publications. His novels include: Extreme Change (Cogwheel Press), Flawed Connections (Black Rose Writing) and Call to Valor (Gnome on Pigs Productions). Sudden Conflicts will be published by Lillicat Publishers and State of Rage by Rainy Day Reads Publishing. His short story collection, A Glimpse of Youth (Sweatshoppe Publications). Now I Accuse and other stories will be published by Winter Goose Publishing. His original plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes and Sophocles have been produced Off Broadway. His poetry, fiction and essays have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines. He currently lives in New York City.

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Scott Thomas Outlar hosts the site where links to his published poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, reviews, and books can be found. He is a Best of the Net and three-time Pushcart Prize nominee. Scott's poetry books include: Songs of a Dissident (Transcendent Zero Press, 2015), Chaos Songs (Weasel Press, 2016), Happy Hour Hallelujah (CTU Publishing, 2016), and Poison in Paradise (Alien Buddha Press, 2017). Scott serves as an editor for The Peregrine Muse, Happy Hour Hallelujah, and Novelmasters.

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