What good is art

What good is art if it does not instruct,
or for our “better angels” cast new wings
beyond utilitarian design,
reminding us that beauty without form
is doomed, under the sheer weight of itself
to force its rigid framing to collapse?

Art is like all religions, in that all
are but a generation from extinct;
the evolution of a form requires
that it do more than simply change its clothes,
grow gills and fins to swim in altered seas
or learn to hunt new game to feed its young.

What good are schools if they do not provide
a context beyond simple black and white,
and offer views of different paradigms
where parasites are not the food chain’s end?
That corpse is sucked of marrow, and its bones
are far too fragile to host us for long.

The arts are an essential to the whole:
without creative outlet, we are chained
to follow, sullen, on pathways not our own
in search of some elusive, unknown truth
that if found, will be meaningless, or worse,
to our imagination’s limits, dead.

What good is any dogma that insists
on praising uniformity’s facade
while damning the poor souls behind those bars
whose torment is to see outside the cage,
and fed on lies of common brotherhood
to mutate into monsters, thugs, and whores?

True culture does not denigrate the arts
if it intends to do more than survive;
and Beauty, unappreciated, dies,
its empty shell an ugly, barren waste.
What good then is mere rhetoric that claims
some great prize as its end, by any means?

16 May 2005

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