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Alone in the Universe

Neruda’s scorching flares
ran down Kerouac’s moonbeams
when Voltaire’s evening sky went dark
and Angelou’s heavenly lights
were nowhere to be seen.

Hemingway’s beacons were eclipsed
by Casanova’s supernova,
leaving scars in the stars
— a brokenness in the Frost
mended by Whitman’s stories
about Emerson and Thoreau
on the secluded shores of Walden Pond.

Such is the voice of the writer,
the artist who shares visions of Starry Nights
— constellations of painted words —
from a place of love
that will neither be reciprocated nor be understood
by his contemporaries.

It is said that there
is no honor for true prophets
in their own lands:

How many a creative mind
has been taken
from cruelest isolation
by his own hand?

Push onward;
Continue pushing your imagination forward,
toward modernity and free expression!
Give no more power to depression:

Remember the passion, the calling,
that brought you here, to success.

Though you are under duress,
hold close to your heart
the joy your work has given you
and the times that you savored your art,
when you did it for free.

Sooner or later,
all of the time
you thought was lost
to fruitless work
will be recovered:

Have faith and you will be discovered.
Hone resolve and your problems will eventually be resolved.
Love your craft and your craft will love you.
Show compassion and encourage others to success.
They will encourage you and direct your compass.

There is but only one thing that rings true to all
Nerudas, Kerouacs, Voltaires, Angelous,
Hemingways, Casanovas, Frosts, Van Goghs,
Whitmans, Emersons, and Thoreaus:

That art is not about the self but about selflessness
— the accumulation of beautiful things,
such as divine wisdom and earthly knowledge,
of cultural memories and personal anecdotes
about shared histories and common identities
that cross generations of civilizations,
transcending time and language
with the hope that those who inherit the world after them
will learn from the achievements and failures
etched in their ancient footsteps.

They tell us, in other words, that we are not alone in the universe.

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