Robert Mapplethorp


If you stand too close

To the heart of the matter

You are bound to scar


Will I part with dignity

Wraith wings palpitating

Amidst a populous lament?

Or will I, as ash, disseminate

Into the bowels

Of an unsigned grave?


How long I have lived

If pain is a testament

A transparent thorn

In a garden that neither

Blossoms nor withers


Will I end an imitation

To the Creator I failed?

My legacy evanescent

Books burned for warmth

In the belly of a metal drum

Expendable to the craft

But exploitable in a fix


The arts are often disregarded for being impractical (they seem to be vanishing from schools along with fitness) and poets are looked at as irresponsible for following a dream that does not generally result in a sustainable income. I am constantly at war with myself. Follow my dreams, go all in or do something more well realistic (it is hard to do both and become a genius). Weighing what I want against what others want and expect of me. It is enough to drive a person well mad!



48 thoughts on “To dream or not to dream

  1. It is unusual for a poet to see only black and white in such a grey area as poetry. A view may improve from a different perspective. Elegant exposition on the theme – nice work.

    1. I think it is a paradox many poets and artists are obsessive in nature, extreme in their moods and proclivities and yet their work can reflect a good deal of wisdom and depth, wisdom they are not always rationale enough to apply. I am obsessive in nature and have trouble switching gears, I don’t multi-task well and even though I crave balance and could write poem after poem on the subject I struggle with balance on daily basis. I am working on it though =)

      1. Good for you…I started taking a course Writing for Children, long distance but got half way through to do work from home with the 2 kids, transcribing court cassettes…I wanted to get my own car! So life got in the way. I always had this dream since I was very young…so here I am, a grandmother, and finally following this dream…I realize it is not publishing (although who knows) it is that I am finally writing and by doing so more and more, on this blog I get better from encouragement, from reading amazing talent here too. Good for you working on your passion. I did go back to university when my children were young up to their teens, to get my degree so I can do the work I so love today:)

      2. Even though I want to pursue writing I don’t regret going to University for me it was great accomplishment/experience. There are lots of muses in life. You are an amazing writer so I am not surprised that you get positive feedback on your blog that is as it should be. You are an inspiration in so many ways!

  2. Although I’m not a poet or an artist, I have had the same exact conflicting thoughts recently. Go all in with creativity and abandon the life of a money-making “career” that is someone else’s, or pursue the fire yet be broke.

  3. Well they do say genius is madness…. 🙂 I know the struggle of which you speak, the bills must be paid BUT to me it would be a tragedy indeed if you were not to follow your dreams. Your talent is real and true. The world needs more beauty and balance is over rated 🙂

  4. i hear you….expectations of others will break your spirit and the undervalued nature of art…its rather disgusting…because there is little money in it…and money is the quality of value currently…i dunno, i rather like poetry as revolutionary more than mainstream anyway…ha

  5. An exemplary write MLM – written from the heart (I think)?
    Your footnote is an accurate summary of the life of ‘the poet’ – excluded we are (in the most part) from the mainstream of ‘art.’
    Oh the elusive dream of being recognised for what we do or try to do well.
    Kind regards.
    Anna :o]

      1. Just visited your new prompt site MLM – and followed. As my blog is not WordPress I rarely read the reader – so would miss your posts. Is it possible for you to include a ‘follow by email’ thingy?
        Anna :o]

  6. “populous lament…” Pure gold! Love the new look of the blog. Haven’t been blogging much lately, but I still pop in from time to time.

  7. “How long I have lived

    If pain is a testament

    A transparent thorn

    In a garden that neither

    Blossoms nor withers” – amazing and powerful, as always!

  8. There is so much to learn out of it.. the words, the essence, the feeling, and more important the purpose. Such a BRILLIANT writeup.

    I think, the second line if gets altered into “to the matter of the heart” can fit beautifully in a love poem. Isn’t it? 🙂

  9. I would like to say I love your blog and the wonderful and beautiful things you share as well as the inspiration and smiles you bring in doing so! Thank you for being you and I hope even if you do not accept awards you will accept the sentiment expressed as I honor you with one. There is no prize that comes with the award other than my appreciation and being grateful you are part of our world and making a difference by sharing in such a positive way…
    I have posted the award and link to it here I hope you will accept it or at least the sentiment behind it! http://artisticlyxpressedthoughts.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/awards-and-shared-gifts/

    With love,

  10. I’ve struggled in that same war for most of my adult life, Yves & where did doing realistic/practical work get me? Nowhere, except more unhappy. And here I am. I’ve come full circle, I’m finally committing to my gift & my dream, I’m at peace. I know it will take time, but that’s fine. It’s meant to be.
    Of course, I can’t speak for anyone else – just my personal experience.
    You are a genius poet & I can’t imagine you doing anything else.. xoxo

  11. I remember an interview with Mary Oliver. She said, (something like) “i get up really early in the morning and write, so that I can give my employer my second best work” and that she always chose jobs that were not very demanding on her thinking and had nothing to do with her writing, so that she was free to dream. Eventually became a university lecturer, i think, but not till much later.

    1. I am thinking of taking on a part-time simple job to help out with family expenses and hopefully so we can procure better living arrangements. A job that hopefully won’t tax me to such an extent I wouldn’t be able to write.

  12. Totally with you on this, Yves. The weight of others’ expectations (both real and imagined) gets too much to bear at times. And all I wanted to do in life was draw!

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