Artist’s Calling

Spirits dwell
in unlikely places,
speak to us
through lenses
their essence
embodied in
child-like faces,
or animal snarls,
begging to be freed.

I am shamed
by my awareness,
helpless to intervene,
have not perpetrated
the original sin –
guilty by DNA,
lineage tracing back
to the slaughterers,
those who ravished
land and Peoples,
disregarded the elementals
who once breathed life
into this sacred place.

How is it then
that I should capture
the tortured?
Is this merely projection
of an internal demon,
or am I being called
as witness,
my hand poised
to illuminate,
give voice
in service to
the suppressed
and violated?
Is this not,
after all,
the artist’s call?

(The image that inspired this poem was taken on the Kettle & Stony Point Reserve on the shores of Lake Huron. Can you see the face?)

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9 comments

  1. Mankind has a lot to atone for. The poet’s voice brings focus to past indiscretions that we need to be reminded of, so it never happens again. Maybe wishful thinking. Lessons seem to drift over deaf ears these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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