Why For Art Thou?

I seem to be on a poetry bender this week. Here’s today’s effort:

Why For Art Thou?

By Melanie Anne Phillips

I don’t create for fortune,
If I did I’ve surely failed,
I don’t create for fame,
If I have , I’ve been derailed

Not for recognition,
On the vast historic shelf.
Others have oft told me
I should art just for myself.

Yet that is not from whence
My Muse arises – no!
Not from what I want to draw:
But that which draws me so.

I see a scene, I hear a thought,
That beckons to be known.
It chooses me to tell its tale,
“Right now, do not postpone!”

I have no choice, I have no voice
But that which I’ve been given.
I cannot rest a moment,
When I have so been driven.

The scene will set, the concept fade,
If not protected now.
It’s singular existence,
Depends upon my brow.

Furled in concentration,
Twisted in despair,
I squeeze the vice upon my mind,
And flail about midair.

The hour-glass runs empty,
The spirit sputters out.
But in that tragic moment,
My psyche wheels about.

And just before the vision
And the spirit it contains
Have vanished from the earth,
They transform within my brains.

I become an avatar,
A spokesman for the dead.
A poor and tawdry medium
Dim eyes and tongue of lead.

Yet through my swollen faculties,
Bruised and battered all,
A dark, imperfect image,
As I quietly recall,

The thing that once revealed itself,
Though now it is no more,
It lives again in oil or sound,
A window or a door.

Its fleeting spark departed,
But captured in its prime,
It’s meaning not forgotten,
Shining bright in prose or rhyme.

I don’t create for fortune,
If I did, I’ve surely failed,
I don’t create for fame,
If I have, I’ve been derailed.

I don’t create for others,
And never for my heart,
I do it for the spirits,
So they live on in art.