It’s the third Thursday of the month, and that means it’s time for . . .

In my wildest schemes and dreams (and plans), I do something artistic every day.

What, exactly, do I mean by that? And how do I define “artistic” anyway? Well. That’s the real trick, y’know; it’s my personal “sticky wicket.” Because deep in my heart, what I mean to do is express myself through visual arts . . . drawing, painting, collage, printing. It’s something I crave doing. It’s something I want to do. But. It doesn’t always work out that way. Because my head fights my heart every single day. My head tells me that I need to Get Things Done and that I Don’t Have Time For That (and also that I am No Good and Who Cares Anyway).

It’s a struggle for me. And especially at this time of year . . . when I’m moving out of my summer “palette” of gardening-as-art and back into my inside “studio” to pick up my pencils and brushes (which is another problem altogether since I can’t even allow myself to say I have a “studio” without using those quotation marks because I feel like such a fraud when it comes to “my art”) (sigh).

Anyway. Personal demons and baggage. (Working on it.) But when I found this poem the other day? Well. It spoke to me. As poetry will. If we let it.

Art Lesson
by Mark Nepo

The mind moves like a pencil.
The heart moves like a brush.

While the mind can draw
exquisite prints, the heart
with its deep bright colors
will ignore the lines.

If you only follow your mind,
you wil never go outside the lines.

If you only follow your heart,
what you touch will never
resemble anything.

We must be
a student of both.

For the mind can build
itself a home, but only
the heart can live in it.

This poem can be found in The Wonder of Small Things: Poems of Peace & Renewal, edited by James Crews, 2023, Story Publishing. Information about the poet can be found here.


You can find A Gathering of Poetry every month . . . on the third Thursday.
Share some.
Read some.
Gather up some poetry!

(Bonny is hosting a special link-up for A Gathering of Poetry. Be sure to check it out!)