Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Great Artist

A great artist is someone who balances at the end of a diving board
over an empty pool
and does not jump
or back down.

At first the people will think him a lunatic and yell,
“wait, don’t jump, there’s no water in the pool!”
And “Get down from there you imbecile.”

Only the rain will share his dream.

But the artist will stand stoic
And wait,
bouncing a bit in the wind.

Sooner or later people will begin to fill the pool

An old lady will come muttering
with a watering can.
Children will fill pails
spilling most along the way.
A woman clicking by in high heels
will pour out her evian bottle.
A gardener will stretch his hose
far from his thirsty roses and ferns.
the artist will wait.

Boys and girls will splash in the summer heat.
People will begin to smile
and old men will exclaim,
“this will be an excellent pool for swimming.”
Everyone will gather, and the mayor will declare,
“We will fill this pool so the people of our town can swim.”
And they will congratulate the mayor for being good.
But still
the artist will wait.

A few may remember
and say, “the artist made us fill this pool,”
“he is a genius.”
But most will applaud themselves,
stating with the utmost conviction,
“I was one of the first to add water to this pool.
  I drove twenty gallons, twenty miles in my truck.”
“I had water dropped from a helicopter
  flying at one hundred feet.
  Quite a marvelous feat.”

And when the pool is full and the first sweaty children
file up before the ladder to the diving board,
Most will call out,
“Move it old man so my son can do a back pectral spin
  off the high dive,”
or something of that nature.
But some will stop and watch,
a hush will spread over the crowd and they will wait
for the artist to finally do his work.

But it does not matter if the artist does the most graceful swan dive
or lands a belly flop.
Of course the people will be disappointed.
They will moan, “he spent all that time up there to cannon ball off
and get us wet!?”

But the artist will know
and will be satisfied.
It may have taken many years through cold and heat,
maybe even centuries.
But the artist achieved his goal
even if no one,
not even he
(in his senility)


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