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The Artist

This poem was written in June 2010, and ironically enough it started in an English class while we were covering poetry.

“Let the muse be not defied!”
The poor and sulking Artist cried
“Rest not the hands, the heart, the head
Lest the work be dead!”

“But you need to sleep, to drink, to eat!”
Cried the loved ones in defeat
“Or else you shall waste away
You must find work, today, today!”

“That daily grind will kill my soul!
That isn’t meant for my life’s role
Just go away and leave me be!”
The Artist cried despairingly

“We do this out of care for you!”
The loved ones said, sincere and true
“Just let us take care of you a bit
You’ll come back later when well and fit”

“Go with you, I will not!
Else my passion, it will rot!
Oh, what lies do you know of art?
To think that I’ll just pause my heart?

I shall rather waste away to death
Than be so tortured with every breath
By a life of mediocrity
Oh please, oh please, can’t you see?

I prefer to starve down to my bones
To pass away with silent moans
Than to live a pre-fab life
Even if it’s free of strife

I may never be famous or great
Or even be better than average-rate
But then my heart will beat so strong
Even if it does not beat for long”

“That pounding you feel will end so soon
Your life will end in a faded tune!”
All the loved ones strongly said
Fearing to find their dear one dead

“Then so be it!” The Artist shouted
“If there is no other way about it!
My life will end sans pomp and shine
But that last song shall still be mine”

“But do you not fear ending life without wealth
In some cold, sterile room all by yourself
Having no hand to hold but your own?
Do you not fear of dying alone?”

“Ha!” The Artist cried in conclusion
And in the face of their confusion
“And tell me, how different will that be
From dying with a sea of strangers ‘side me?

For that’s what would happen if I should take flight
And join you in your lives of plastic delight
I don’t need your false joys and petty woes
Saturated, all of them, in purple prose”

The loved one sighed and left in silence
Leaving their artist to all that nonsense
The artist bade them take their leave
Sighing in irony, watching them grieve

For the feeling was mutual, and the Artist mourned
Their boring lives, so pretentiously adorned
Filled with pretty promises of power and things
In gilded cages and under clipped wings

Crippled by compliance, lost and tame
He won’t get stuck in their rat-race game
For the Artist had looked in his loved ones’ eyes
And could see them drowning in all their lies

For while the Artist lived oft’ in poverty
It was a life of contented honesty
And though the others lived rich from corporate war
The Artist knew they were the world’s true poor

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