Monday, 11 May 2015

Dark Horizons

I haven't been inspired to blog for the past week.  Perhaps it's the glut of bad news from many parts of the world, the rampant political idiocy closer to home, or that my latest job application rejection has pushed me beyond my limit of tolerance.  So today I'm posting a poem that I wrote ten years ago about how discouraging it is to have little support.

I once had a relative who nursed the sick to health,
She did so out of kindness and not pursuit of wealth.
Tending beds and healing folks and helping every day;
But when I asked how I could pursue this gainful way
I was told:
"It takes a very hardy breed to walk among the ill,
They're overworked and underpaid and the time off is nil,
And there's a chance that you might catch some dread disease.
You don't want to be a nurse, so forget the idea please."

I once had a teacher who inspired kids to dream,
Passing on her knowledge and lifting self-esteem.
Reading, spelling, two months off in summer isn't bad;
However when I asked how this career could be had
I was told:
"Schools are filled with hoodlums who do not want to learn,
Rude and disrespectful and getting worse with every turn,
The profession doesn't have the prestige that it once did.
You don't want to be a teacher, so do something else, kid."

I once knew a musician who had the grace of an elf,
A piano or an organ was like an extension of himself.
Then there was the writer whose words leapt to the eyes;
But when I started to plan on these paths to realize
I was told:
"In the artsy world there's no guarantee of success,
Only a very few survive to take their fame to press,
Most have no cash to spend, their lives are revolving doors.
You don't want to be an artist, you'll end up scrubbing floors."

The years passed and one day I realized I had been a fool
To live my life according to somebody else's rule.
All those roads I could have taken I chose to let pass by,
Because of the difficulties I had not dared to try.
I told them:
"I hope that you are now happy that I am in despair,
For your lack of support my field of inspiration is now bare.
I am too old now to start over and find a place midstream.
You don't want to be a person who kills a child's dream."

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