An Artist’s Fear

16 May

For 3 months now I’ve been trying to write something most every day… except for the week of my birthday when I was so ill all I could think about was maybe getting out of bed to visit the bathroom.

I think for most of us who write, whether for an audience or not, our biggest fear is… what if the words dry up. What if the muses or whatever or whoever inspires us decides to leave us hanging.

For a long time it seemed I could only write if my personal world was in shambles and I was deeply depressed. Something many artists in various arts have discovered. Just ask Vincent Van Gogh or Silvia Plath among the more famous ones.

I know better now since words have come bursting through or tiptoed in at different times and moods in my life. And sometimes you just have to make yourself focus and do it.

I started writing songs and poetry when I was 14 (many, many moons ago) so it’s something I’ve thought a lot about over the years. Below is something I wrote in the mid 80’s when I was still figuring out the craft of writing… not that I’m done figuring it out yet!


down, down I sink
deep depression ~ surrounded ~
I can feel her
darkly warm, nurturing healing earth

and then I write, I can
of this or that or maybe both
moment to movement
imaginary conversations
turned to song
angers, rejections, frustration
bring the words

but soon, too soon – I’m afraid
I am lifting
borne aloft on shaky wings
gathering courage, high I fly
communing with the faces, friends and the world

while struggling ideas all blocked
inside create an un EQUAL pressure
and a balloon flown too high

so I plunge yet again
in an ocean of letters and notes
being all there is to keep
me afloat

an unfailing pattern –
never changing
afraid I am
without these swings,
these altered states
would I, could I


2 Responses to “An Artist’s Fear”

  1. Michael McHone May 17, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    Lovely poem. It is through such swings or changes in our lives that we gather the wool on our lives I suppose. Know that you are on the right course, at the right time. By the way., Miss the PT and swordfights. You guys became my society for a while. Yours obsequiously, Michael McHone Hope you haven’t forgotten me. P.S. Thanks for helping to make me whole again. You truly affected me in many ways. MM

  2. Michael McHone May 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    PPS One other thing, you say that words dry up, I sometime feel that the words don’t dry up. They are there but sometimes its out time that runs dry before we get them down where we ant them…MM

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