Gary Beck


The roar of engines shocks the night,
wheels hum, whine, screech on darkling streets.
The clop of hooves, neighs, moo's, cockadoodle doo's
no longer prod our sleeping windows.
The million snarls of grumpy motors,
grumbling and complaining of the coming day,
throttle the grating voice of morning man
striving to command the dawn.
Recalcitrant machines resist
man's jostling for control of life.
The brief doze of the city is shattered.
The sounds of drive break the last peace.
The calm thought and quiet dream is forgotten.


The brief night silence slowly fades.
The snorting wind runs home to nest.
The sleep of houses day invades
and pokes dulled dreamers from their rest.
The traffic sounds the hour to rise.
The light bulbs cruelly end the gloom.
The sleepy dust makes bleary eyes
blink at the odor in the room.
The morning yawns and curls its paws
'round men who rush to work in herds
with razor cuts upon their jaws,
they never hear the songs of birds.
Their cigarette and coffee through,
men start machines and in their fright
forget the sleepless poet who
in every city guards the night.

Gary Beck's poetry has appeared in dozens of literary magazines. His recent fiction has been published in numerous literary magazines. His chapbook, The Conquest of Somalia, will be published by Cervena Barva Press. His plays and translations of Moliere, Aristophanes, and Sophocles have been produced Off-Broadway.



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