POEM: The Art Thing



I never understood
what this art thing was about
having been raised among books
two three four decades old
written for children I thought
the world ought to be
a safe place
and then I realised the world
is never safe if you think it is
this is where this art thing
comes in
you see
you have to make it safe
nobody cares how you do it
you just have to make it safe
and it seems
art is a bit like a lottery
there is a prize
and you go for the prize
and if you win
people listen to you
and you make the world
a little bit safer
because they trust you
not because of what you say
but because they trust you
you won this prize you see?
its an okay system
except when
the prize is not really a prize
but a wall
to prevent you
from seeing the real prize
you and everyone else
which wont be about money
but something else
something everyone needs to see
but somebody wont let you
so you have to climb the wall
while pretending
to streeeeetch on tiptoes
to reach the prize
and quite possibly
you cannot win the prize
when you have told
what is on the other side of the wall
at least not for a while
as everyone gets used to
what is on the other side
and then
for a while you can relax
if you want
and stay on the ground
and just pick at the prize
like your neighbour’s apples
hanging over the fence
and its okay
for a while
and then they become boring
and all the same
this is where art begins
I now realise
you don’t actually have to
eat all the apples
if you don’t like apples
its just an example

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