What’s It For?

What’s It For?

This poem may be a mirror,
slightly cracked,
in an old dusty frame
hung crooked out in the wild
with a reflection and a smile.

A soul must find a way,
find a way to stay
a float in between small victories,
taking full pleasure in the stories
between the glory,
and that is the purpose of my poetry,
saving me from, oh, how hard it is to be.

If you’re an artist
then maybe you relate
to the inner drive that calls you to create.

In there you strive to be truly great,
gaining one step closer to this thing called fate.

In creation there is insight,
a sparking of the inner light
that just feels right.

You might indulge artistically
in the places you dare not physically go.
To others a new vision you show.
The ages feed on the seeds you sew.

You leave things people should not see
inside your web search history.
Only because you’re filled with an innate intellectual curiosity.
Probably just like me. Probably just like me.

You crack jokes when you’re uncomfortable.
You might secretly adore it,
slightly fear it, but sure can’t ignore it.

You’ll travel as far as your mind will explore it,
mouth a gape and asking for more
until you reach understanding.

And when the knowledge changes you,
you’ll find new connections before the day is through.
You’ll connect one level to the next,
unlocking questions that once left you vexed.
You weave from love to love,
connecting the dots that form the quilted cape of a personality.

You find other sojourners in that road’s reality,
an accidental commonality,
both unnamed and unspoken
in bonds between hearts once broken.

Somehow your soul knows what to do
as the words, they flow from you,
a familiarity that spans lifetimes
echoing back into the centuries
connecting to some mystical prophetic mind
for whatever wisdom you might find.

You find it in the forest,
up the mountains,
under water falls,
in the way your soul alone hears the call.

And as you’re put into a trance
by the very craft that makes your soul dance
nothing can breech your soul
for it is infinitely aglow
with what you were created for,
that is to create more
beauty, not destruction,
growth, not instruction,
peace, and not war,
music, and not shouting.

And while you may not have factual certitude
of what you’re on this planet to do,
you possess an open mind and heart, too,
with a giddy awe-soaked attitude
as you ascend creative altitudes
to create something not here before
that ignites the sparks of joy
and that is the key
to injecting hope into this world.

You see more possibilities
than those that average in conformity,
and that rebellion sets you free
to dream of what a heaven this life could really be.

It consumes you.
You must do what you must do.
Breathe. Transcribe your soul.

Listening to your soul teach
the wisdom it finds there
usually, just out of reach.

Sharing art can feel like being turned inside out,
naked, over examined, embarrassed,
open to interpretation, misunderstood,
exposing too much of one’s soul to the light
when it is more comfortable in the shade.

Oh, but not sharing, therein lies a death,
a uselessness, a surrender to ennui,
so bring on the risk, the soul, the passion,
and drink it down until it drowns you in bliss!

Taking joy in acts of creativity—
In this there must contentment be,
for it carries us, you see,
to a place where we are free.

It’s not dark, but light
as you climb towards new heights,
unafraid of new experience.

You, too, have known darkness,
so you treat everyone with kindness.

You lean towards sensitivity,
remain rooted in an idealistic ideology
that yearns for a world that frees
a new reality,
revolving on love,
living in peace,
where each has what he needs.

You cling to this vision
as you wander this nation
in search of true relations.

You teach the world to see.
To see the good in everything.
To see beauty in the ordinary.
To never cease to sing
no matter what the day may bring.
To love.

And in that love,
you bring us closer,
closer all the time
to a life divine.

This is the intersection of art and prayer.

Creation and Creator, what do you find there?

Maybe art can save one life—
maybe many more.

Both of artist and observer.

That’s what it’s for.

Don’t you know that’s what it’s for?

To shape a better world,
and nothing more,
and nothing more.

D.L. Lang
D.L. Lang
D.L. Lang of Vallejo, CA is the author of nine poetry collections, including 2016's Poet Loiterer which Kirkus Reviews described as containing "Free-spirited ideals couched in fairly infectious rhymes." She enjoys performing her poems at open mics and entering them in county fairs.