Art and Its Casualties

a poem by
DAN FECHT | Journalist + Poet

This poem trickled through me as I reflected on all the gifts that artists and entertainers attempt to give to us. I thought about the enduring desire of so many souls to make an impact on the world, and I found it beautiful. I thought about how a small percentage of people pursue these desires, and that was even more beautiful, but a bit sad. Then, I thought about how the larger percentage of people allow these dreams and ideas to deteriorate, and do nothing about them, which made me feel that many people’s purposes were unsatisfied by the time their days were done. I hope that this poem opens eyes and puts artists into motion, because only you can tell that story your own way…and we need that. You were given something special, don’t let it fade. 

Photo by Alex Jones

THINK of all the talent that evades this earth
Before ever being discovered. Lost strokes of a paintbrush,
Words gone unread, songs gone unsung, inventions
Which never left the creator’s head. Culture suffers the
Grievance of a myriad of vanished souls who could have
Healed another soul with art.
Have we put too much stock into the almighty dollar?
Some who can’t even argue desire law school.
Many who don’t even like people consider a doctor’s scrub.
Reprimanded at a young age for feeling dissimilar to the crowd,
Is what you’ve been. You swam like a salmon, upstream and out of dreams.
If you quit, you’re a statistic. Demise of the tree you planted.
Soil gone solid. A shrub that wants the shadows. You can only
Wilt, because they tell you to. But those who think outside
Of the box, don’t worry about walls. This is how talent will
Grace this earth as medication.

Dan is a writer for DC Life Magazine