Below are the all-time best Sidney Beck poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members
EXERPTS FROM HITLER’S DIARY 1941
"I never travel without my diary, one should always have something sensational to read . .
. " Oscar Wilde, 1891
Tues May 9:
Just when I was busy with plans for Russia, Rudolf Hess dropped by with crazy notion of
flying to UK for peace. Said he bought some new boots yesterday for the trip -
dead shiny . I’d like a pair like that. I told him - forget the trip and tell
me where you got the boots.
Wed June 22:
Invaded Russia. Eggs for lunch - hard boiled again - I hate that. Must speak to Eva
Thurs June 23:
11:00 am - heard Chamberlain on radio again – that dreary voice! that paper-waving
droopy-moustached old gopher! My small black moustache is much neater.
12:30 pm - inspected new bunker in East Prussia with smoother concrete walls . Eva
wants to wallpaper them (nice little red flowers) and why not?
8:00pm - after dinner, practised arm-gestures for big Nuremburg speech on Saturday.
Rehearsed a few ad libs. . . . Eva liked them.
Rained all day. Slow day (almost invaded Egypt) - stayed in and read. Eva dyed her
hair creamy-yellow. ( I’m gonna start calling her Blondy.) That new german
shepherd Bormann gave me - I took her out for walk. . . . she's called Blondi too
(Joke there - the guys will like it) . After dinner we all listened to Franz Lehar’s
“Merry Widow” again. I love it. Eva fell asleep; so did the dog.
Sat June 25:
Nuremburg speech went ok. Got all the ad libs in except one. Rommel was on the phone
talking about Africa and Libya, and some place called Tobruk. Must make a note – where is
Tobruk? P.S. Must find out where Libya is.
Sat Dec 6:
Just read the latest in the newspapers....almost four million Russian prisoners now.
Sun Dec 7:
Those crazy Japanese have gone and done it. . . . oh boy, they’re gonna be in trouble!
Thurs Dec 11:
Oh, what the hell. . . in for a dime in for a dollar : this Russian war is too easy, I
need a bit of a challenge. Think I’ll whiz down to the Reichstag tonight and tell ‘em
we’re declaring war on the USA. Might get a pair of those shiny boots there too.
Written by Sydney Peck
for Constance La France ( A Rambling Poet ) - Contest Name: The Diary
Always cold in the morning, this kitchen is warmed now
With a roaring fire and my wife working beside me making just desserts
We stand here two hours this afternoon doing one of our projects
Cooking soup and fish for this evening’s xmas party of friends.
The ghetto, the Projects, contained me with the music of
The school’s leather belt and cane. And then
Parents lost in a fire.
That was a tough xmas, alcohol boozy flavored in an
Empty-bottle kitchen, crowded and smoky.
It was a tough meat just cut today red blooded, now pale in the friends’
Xmas gift, the tureen shiny clean. The soup’s
Alcohol flavored in effort to disguise taste of the firm onion, now soft slop. Next, must
Empty bottle of sauce in …add spice…Oh, now chop more veg: and the
Kitchen knife peels and reveals their secret inner fleshes,
Crowded and jostling with juicy tomatoes, now reduced to wrinkled skins; and
Smoky, tall, erect celery now chopped into mini-sets of false teeth
Innocence lost in the poisonous smog of Dublin’s
Orphanage hymns and anthems: God and the state will help
Uniformed religious staff and teachers to tell me
I do not belong - I must reveal no secrets about being
Woken, shaken out of bed, taken (with no word spoken) from the
Cold dormitory, scaly hand on my knee:
Drown in this grasp - fish out of water
Cold. A small shivering fish caught in net, taken now from its fridge
Dormitory for this sacrifice: staring, unfeeling, cold-blooded creature, its
Scaly skin shining on my cutting plate.
Hand on knee, I sit down to gut it, gills first - which made him
Drown as he struggled in the tightened net; and
In this grasp I cut the fish open - an old
Fish which was still feeling
Out of water. It seems a silly, scaled creature now, lifeless, staring at nothing.
I lost my loneliness from that hostile world:
She gave me peace and serenity -
Warm feelings of belonging ; and it’s
Christmas every day.
She is sweet, inviting, colorful, and around her
Melt-in-the-mouth music plays.
She is the essence of sugar,
Sweet free-running chocolate,
Inviting me to dissolve all of her creamy meringue shells
Colorful and delightful, which will swirl
Around her taste and
Melt like love on a summer’s day.
In the mouth of my hell, she has uttered
Music, and forever now, it
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Written for and entered in Debbie Guzzi’s Contest GET SERIOUS
SATURN - GOD’S FAVORITE
This floating sovereign rules her black see *
Like an Inquisition bishop - perfect : accepts no plea
No argument no competition,
Watching me watching her in adoration,
Her cold unblinking eye
Reigning the black and silent sky.
Saturn, Goddess of bountiful harvests, of you alone
Unreachable, O favorite of the Lord, in brilliant isolation,
Of beauty pristine and colder than ice,
Is it said * that God doesn’t play dice,
But His spinning gyroscope globe He enjoys :
God’s spinning top - the best of toys.
O bisque queen, gem with halo rings,
Like a dove with wide-spread wings,
Hover like the Holy Spirit, float on the inky blackness,
Send me a message to fill my darkness.
Long in the ether your far-light lingers on high
Before it is allowed to reach my eye;
O Majesty remote cold and beautiful,
Send me the vision of heavenly beauty bountiful.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . ..
Beauty turns me on.
Anyone who has seen the planet Saturn even in a small
telescope cannot fail to be awed by the beauty of the planet.
* A "see" is the territory ruled by a bishop
* The saying “God does not play dice” is accredited to Albert Einstein,
when explaining the workings of the universe.
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IN THE DENTIST’S CHAIR
Lean back and just relax
Put on these protective glasses please
Injection - this will not hurt at all
He says in fluent dentist-speak
Man with goggles and mask like an alien
Probing me like an insect aboard a UFO
God I‘m starving - no breakfast
Oh , from the x-ray looks like
We need a couple of fillings
And It was cornflakes and fried eggs and bacon
I’m afraid it will cause some discomfort
But just relax
I look at the legs of his pretty assistant for comfort
I was afraid to come here at all
Coward for pain in dentist’s chair
Put off and put off six months, till now -
April is the cruellest month*
Month of early cherries from Spain
And lettuce from the greenhouse
And a cucumber salad upon a table in the garden
Like a patient etherized upon a table*
As the alien probes my molars
And asks me about football on tv last night
Oh for a melon big as a football right now
Sold by the shop on the corner where the woman
Is so full-figured....watch her as she gives
Cucumber to another customer
Yes a bit of voyeurism sometimes is fun
Dental assistant’s legs show nice muscles
As she reaches up tip-toed for a tall
Pile of green plastic rinse-cups
Rather similar to a cucumber
I try to answer the football alien
With a mouth full of metal
I stutter and garble out a reply and the alien uh-huh s
Disinterested interest as they say
She looks into my face, concerned, and I am flattered
But she only sees my horrible decayed tooth
Now spit, and again, rinse, spit
I am helpless like a beetle on its back
Wearing plastic goggles
Use this tissue
She’s so helpful, like mother
Don’t eat for six hours even if you have a good appetite
Oh those melons….appetite
I am a man of appetites
No ! I am not Leopold Bloom nor was meant to be*
My appetites are mostly for learning, for humor, for sorrow,
But maybe a melon tomorrow.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
*These lines are quotes from T S ELIOT and J JOYCE, both masters
of the stream of consciousness technique.
BETTER THAN GOLD
International literati pay homage
To our hero’s literary courage
Matching Homer’s and Cicero’s of old:
Dr. Ram’s words are better than gold.
Author of countless gems of art
Always a SOUP figure right from the start
Giant of words and verse to behold:
Dr. Ram’s words are better than gold.
Standards of style and lexicon to uphold
He often to me the secrets has told
Occasionally has also needed to scold:
Dr. Ram’s words are better than gold.
When needing advice or lost in a fog
When rhyme is a marsh and rhythm a bog
And my poem is stillborn, unalive, cold:
Dr. Ram’s words are better than gold.
LIFE PRECEPTS AND GOD
I want to mold no one, for what I believe is suitable for me alone;
Each must find a belief-path which suits perfectly, but suits no one apart.
Let me offer my beliefs only to show how a path may be found -
And advise you to believe nothing unless it is deep in your heart.
If my job as father was correctly done, on their path through life
My children will treat others as they themselves wish to be,
And will look upon each person as a potential brother in need of help,
And seeing another’s misfortune, they will say - it could easily be me.
They will look after each other and others who may be in need,
And seek no thanks or praise, but do the job secretly with no bother.
Love is shown only by actions, and in the doing is the praying.
Their actions will be motivated by what is necessary for these others.
This is a difficult path to take and it is the right path:
But path or no path, I love my children - they are mine. And I believe this:
If I love my children as dearly as a father can, then
How much more does God our father love us. We are his.
THAW AT CROWSNEST PASS
Huge mountains massed and cliffs sheer. It’s March
And endless blue sky cold is held back by the Chinook arch,
Snowy prairies rolling into their thousand-mile realm -
The landscape is gigantic, majestic, orchestrated to overwhelm.
But I stand and watch the lake-ice thaw,
Surprised by the tiny delicate music -
Descant ice - jingling, jangling, tinkling
In delicate accompaniment to the giant symphony.
Ice chunks tangled in slow waves with the wind
Tiny tintinnabulation before total ablation.
There is silence and harmony around the sound,
The small melody of the ice breaking into spring’s chorus.
Note: Crowsnest Pass is the southernmost way through the Rocky Mountains in Canada
BUBBLES OF BABBLE
A father sees his small children babbling and
Blowing insignificant bubbles in the wind.
One child's lips blow a lot; another blows only very few.
Yet these few are precious to the father.
The multitudes which peel effortlessly
Off the soap-frame in the hands of another child
Mean little individually - shining spherical pearls before swine,
Blowing randomly in the wind.
And prayers, too, fall sometimes too easily from the holy lips
Of people kneeling in groups each day: and each babbling
Repeated mantra or Hail Mary has individually little significance:
And God is showered with bubbles of babble of all sizes and colours,
Some in clusters inside one another, with bits of extra soap dripping off
Carelessly-formed sloppy glassy balls.
Some of them expire before even reaching his throne,
So little effort was put into them,
So little intention of ever following their path upward.
But a lone figure lost, abandoned, in some black
Perilous sea of troubles who, pitched headlong into a moment
Of last helpless desperation, screams at the top of his soul
To his God, and at that moment is certain
That only the Almighty can right his troubled boat,
That he has exhausted all his own puny powers,
And recognizes the insignificance of his babble -
Such a prayer is a precious gem, perfectly-formed and rising,
Fast-track, directly thronewards, as it should.. . . . .
A pearl of great price.
THE BLOSSOMS OF HOME
Heaven must be this sweet -
Old Pilikov across the street,
The Schillings there along the shore,
Apple trees just outside door.
In the softness of lush pink shade
My children grew and played
With their heavy laden giant blooms
And inhaled their pure perfumes.
To start each day in blossom,
In display perfect and fulsome,
Spread low over my transom -
Is surely life in heaven’s bosom.
TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN
We watched horrified, awe-struck for hours while the sun died
Slowly, shorn of his long golden locks, and suffocated by the oncoming moon-rock.
Samson, blinded. His eyes bitten out - nothing left -
Devoured, destroyed : then completely consumed as he died in silence,
In his Stygian cave, as he gave up the ghost, as he left us alone.
Shadow of moon like a hunter’s pitch cloak encroached with vulture speed .
Birds, even the skylark, silenced, harking in their stark branches
For the inky wings of the angel of death, coming - not to Ramases - to us.
That bleak mark in the east dark: coming fast - it was upon us even as we asked
What is it? Grey through the miles of mist, then raven-darker, as it closed on us.
It swooped us into its black veil, sunless, lightless, lifeless - where no bird sings,
And our breath stopped, held, unnoticed: and we, bereft, waited in mourning.
Until the sun - Samson - with his re-grown bright hair pouring out from behind the moon
Miraculously rose from the dead and pushed aside the black cave-stone into oblivion
And pierced a hole in the veil, burning that hole infinitely, gloriously,
And we were restored to life in the smile of heaven.
Written by Sydney Peck
A total solar eclipse is an unforgettable sight. This poem is about such an eclipse
which I saw in Weyburn, Saskatchewan i n 1977. One cannot help being struck by the
loss of the sun in the daytime. Birds and animals also react strangely. I recommend
anyone to try to see a total solar eclipse if it is possible. A partial solar eclipse, or a
lunar eclipse, are not remotely as spectacular as a total solar eclipse.