A Poem About An Artist’s Need To Make A Living

It seems that most of our time, most of our thoughts, most of our energies, are consumed with thoughts of “how to make a living.”  We worry and fret over jobs we hate.  We long for a few hours of free time to do what we actually want to do.  We sweat when an unexpected bill comes and cackle with glee when unexpected income blows our way.

All of this is energy better spent elsewhere.  Yes, we all need to be responsible, but we also need to be wise.  The handful of years we have on this planet are irretrievable and precious.  We must balance our priorities mindfully.  Saving everything meaningful for “when I retire” is presumptuous.  First of all, the future is unknowable and beyond our control.  Who knows what will happen?  Secondly, time is an illusion.  The only real time is Now.  Who you will be in 30, 40, 50 years is probably just more of who you are today (except, perhaps, more crotchety!).  So, why not make TODAY the best day it can be?

That said, the following poem is about my own struggle with this issue.  (I think I’ve finally found some peace with it!)  The form I chose is Shakespearean Sonnet.  Enjoy…


Making a Living


A slave to your demands upon my time,

I wince to feel the stripes upon my back.

The distant Siren’s call of wealth sublime,

A threat derailing heaven’s patient track.


The gifts within me struggle to survive

The cancerous damage false priorities wrought.

The labored breaths of dreams yet still alive

Aggressively invade my every thought.


Yet, how can I be blamed? This sorry state

Abuses every poet, artists all.

To translate Spirit’s jargon is a fate

Not chosen. How could I reject the call?


Content with fortunes great or small I’ll be.

Escaped from double mind – an artist, free.



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